Life is a funny old thing! When I passed my test in 1989, it would cost me around £6 to fill up my bike, £250 to insure it and no congestion charge to ride to work.
We would think nothing of heading to Brighton for fish and chips on a weekday night or heading to Cornwall for a weekend away. The most expensive part of riding was your gear and when you had a United Colours of Benetton CBR 600 and matching leathers, that gear wasn’t cheap!
When COVID came along fuel dropped in price to a level comparable to when I was in my teens, petrol was cheap but I was grounded, it was déjà vu. Now in June 2022 if I am lucky, I can fill my bike for less than £35 or £40 if it’s Maidenhead services. It’s crazy and sadly I cannot see it changing anytime soon and perhaps by Christmas our wish list will contain things like unleaded fuel rather than new Rukkas.
Thankfully the fuel situation hasn’t put people off applying for their test and passing! Well done to everyone who has passed and can now enjoy a summer of green badge holding and hopefully a lot of smiles.
Thanks to all the observers who have helped secure these passes and the group is on a roll, so don’t delay, as soon as you are consistently scoring 85 and are advised to go for a check test do it and if successful book your test ASAP whilst you can still afford to fill up your tank!
When you do venture out in hot weather remember that dehydration can be fatal and that you do not always notice the symptoms (such as headache or swelling tongue) when you are putting all your effort into the system and staying safe.
On the hottest of days avoid drinking caffeine and never be tempted to wear flip-flops and shorts, it is amazing how many riders I see on the A272 riding their shiny Harley Davidson or super sports bike in just that.
Wear vented textiles if possible but if you must go full-on MOTO GP rider make sure to take on plenty of fluids at each stop; better to be alert and need a wee than feeling dizzy and not being to concentrate during a two car overtake.
If you attend any of the IAM skills days, they will reinforce the need to stay hydrated.
If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, have a headache or cramps, or feel your skin becoming unexpectedly cool and clammy, your body could be overheating. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. Don’t try to be tough and “ride through it.” Pull off at the next exit or stop as soon as possible and immediately find a way to cool down. Remove your helmet and put a cold, wet towel around your head. Walk into an air-conditioned store or restaurant and order a jug of ice water.
Failing that order a bottle of 1996 Dom Pérignon it’s probably cheaper than 22 litres of unleaded.
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