I thought I would start keeping a record of my experiences riding bikes. I encounter so much ignorance about what it takes to ride and how it effects me that I am going to set the record straight.
First up I have ME, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, often called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It can be horribly painful and is quite capable of immobilising me if I let it. “It’s like flu” or “So you’re tired all the time” don’t come close. There are days when walking to the shop for some milk leaves me so achey nothing else gets done.
Getting around is a serious problem, the amount of walking and standing around involved in getting a bus or a train means I am frequently exhausted by the time I get to my destination, then I have to return when the timetable says so. Or not if the bus or train is somehow late or non-existent. Moving a week’s shopping is a nightmare.
In the summer of 2011 I decided to take my compulsory basic training (CBT) and get about on my own power. I had enough money to buy and insure a bike and for the basic training. A car was right out of the question, maintenance costs, insurance cots, and driving lesson costs all too high. Two years down the line I have one of the last licences isued with a 33bhp restriction for the first 2 years, and have owned 3 bikes, my current ride is an old Japanese V-twin, passed my test on the second 125 having written the first one off.
But I have my independence.