When my wife asked what I would like for my birthday, I replied: “Nothing, don’t need anything.” And I really meant it, until I saw The Wolf on a local Facebook Buy, Sell and Swap page.
It would have been unfair to ask my wife to buy me the bike; it was a lot of money. So her birthday gift to me was permission to buy it. There’s a difference.
A couple of years ago I bought a new 125cc motorbike, which was stolen after just three weeks. Buying The Wolf is me sticking up two fingers to the thieving scum who took it, leaving me just a wheel locked to the rail.
The new bike, I call it my ‘Hardly a Davidson’ is a handsome beast built in China, around a Yamaha engine. It goes like shit off a hot shovel.
I’m at the age when grabbing as much life as I can makes a lot of sense. Friends tut-tut and shake their heads at the folly of riding a motorbike on the roads of St. Martin, but I love the roar of the exhaust note as I a drop down a gear and accelerate to overtake. The adrenalin rush is the same as I felt in my youth as I wound back the throttle of my 750cc Royal Enfield and sent it surging forwards like a wild horse on steroids. Even the rock ‘n’ roll songs of those heady times play in my head and the road down to Marigot could be the one leading to Brighton, where we went to taunt the grockles and the Mods on their wimpy scooters.
Of course, I now have to hang on to the bike, and I don’t mean as I ride it but when she’s parked up. I have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the scumbags from nicking it, but I doubt anyone would dare for am I not Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, Marlon Brando in the Wild One, Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider all rolled into one … a rough, tough ass-kicking biker-boy!
It did cross my mind just how McQueen and Co., would deal with the local scooter riders overtaking them on the inside while balancing on the back wheel … but rest assured, I’m working on it.
Here’s a poem to my St. Martin scooter riding friends:
You hear them coming from a mile away,
they take off the silencer, it doesn’t hold sway.
Stripped down bodies, the panels are gone,
no lights, no number, no helmet, no wrong.
The cops rarely catch ‘em, they do what they like,
weaving through traffic as if it’s their right.
Gas is no problem, they siphon yours out,
they do it at night when no one’s about.
You see them in Marigot on only one wheel,
on the road or the sidewalk, it’s all the same deal.
And should their bike break, there’s no need to repair,
just steal another, there’s plenty out there.
Chains don’t deter them they all carry cutters,
so enjoy your own scooter while it still sputters.
I had mine for three weeks, so it wasn’t all bad,
but then it was nicked by some likely lad.
I won’t buy another; I’ll steal one instead,
and strip it right down and paint it bright red.
The cops won’t catch me as I wheelie about,
just one of hundreds, a law-breaking lout.
In the year I was born, the following was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary: big bang, n.