Friday, February 01, 2008

In which we talk about motorbikes and death

I went to the London bike show yesterday. H had some tickets going so I thought I might as well bimble along. If you have never been to the Excel centre pack lots of food, it is unbelievably far east, it's practically in France. I've never been that far East and stayed in the country.

After about two days of travel on the tube I finally arrived. I had some initial confusion and nearly walked into the toy show by mistake but after that I was safely in the world of motorbikes. H was there for work so we had to take photographs of exciting bikes and note down their details.

Occasionally I'd spot a bike I'd really quite like and then email Piqued for his view on it. Most of the ones I liked the look of fell into the 'you won't live to be 35' catagory, but this was a bike show so it was full of the most rediculous bikes.

After a bit of a stroll around I bimbled up to a bike magazine stand and had one of the weirdest conversations I think I've ever had.

L: 'Hullo, Who should I talk to about doing freelancing for your magazine? I'd love to get involved'

Chap: 'You can talk to me, I'm the deputy editor'

L: 'Great, I've just inherited a couple of classic bikes and I'd love to write about them for you. They are very special'

Chap doesn't look massively interested

C: 'Yes? What sort of bikes are they?'

L: 'My dad made them, so they aren't any make really. He designed them to look like pre-65 trials bikes but they are completely original'

Chap starts to show interest and takes some notes.

C: 'What engine do they have in them?'

L: 'Again a custom job, my dad made those too, hand machined.'

C: 'Blimey' (I don't think he really said blimey, but he did say something like that.)

L: 'Actually my dad was featured in your mag a few months back, jumping his motorbike at Eton'

Chap says my dad's name.

L: 'Yup that is the one, I'm Louche, his son.'

C: 'Your dad invited the editor to come and see the bikes, but he never arranged it'

L: 'Well he has passed away so it is a bit late now.'

C: 'I'm very sorry. Those bikes sound really interesting and if you are a writer you can write them up for us. I'll tell the editor about this and get back to you'

L: 'Marvellous'

Exit Louche stage left.

After that I looked at some more bikes, sent some more emails to Piqued about bike ideas where he said 'no you will die'. Even though he said the bike would kill me I entered a few competitions to win a couple of ridiculous bikes including a beautiful Ducati 848.

There is a bike display thingy at the show where a selection of very silly people do things on motorbikes that should really kill them. Stuff that makes your knees hurt just to watch it, there was a bit with a chainsaw and I think that probably says enough.

Oh and before I forget. The stunt bike people had to treat the floor to make it have more grip in some parts. What did they use? Coca Cola, weird eh?

After the show I went to my Viking friend's leaving party. He is finally abandoning London to go and live in Devon with the love of his life (he first fell for her at the age of 14). As expected he was very jolly about this, and it couldn't happen to a nicer chap.

You know driving down to Devon to see him would be an excellent thing for a chap with a motorbike to do.


Gorilla Bananas said...

There is a bump in the mortality of males in their late teens and early twenties which actuaries call 'the accident hump'. I wonder if it would be feasible to ride a horse to Devon, entirely avoiding the roads.

Louche said...

Gorilla - That is a great fact. Do you mind if I use that in something?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Not at all. I shall give you male and female mortality rates from English Life Tables No.15, so you have the facts at your fingertips.

These figures are deaths per 100,000 of the population:

Age 16: 52
Age 17: 75
Age 18: 87
Age 19: 83
Age 20: 84
Age 21: 86
Age 22: 89
Age 23: 89
Age 24: 88
Age 25: 86

Age 16: 26
Age 17: 31
Age 18: 31
Age 19: 32
Age 20: 31
Age 21: 32
Age 22: 33
Age 23: 33
Age 24: 33
Age 25: 34

DJ Kirkby said...

Sorry..did I hear you say donercycle? No? How about murderbike? Be careful!

Amanda Castleman said...

I owned a Honda Sky moped, which is not very sexy. But I drove it while living in Rome, which – if I may say so myself – kicks it into ding-dong territory.

Motorbikes, even of the put-put girlie variety, are fine things. But a Ducati ... oh the places you could go...

Louche said...

Gorilla - I had no idea that great apes had access to such information. What other useful facts do you have in the jungle?

DJ - Don't worry, I'm going to be a very safe rider, the sort that poodles around on classic bikes while wearing flying goggles.

Amanda - Did you wear a neckscarf at a jaunty angle? I want to go to Rome now.

Amanda Castleman said...

Si, si certo. Naturalmente I wore scarves. Mainly silky ones I fancied were chic and Contintental. And high-heeled boots, of course, but I'm not sure those would suit your look, however Flashmanesque...

Go to Rome. Everyone should. Especially anyone who appreciates opera buffa and la bella figura.

Louche said...

Amanda - You should stop talking about Italy like that or I will be forced to abandon any pretence of a life in London and jolly well move to the beautiful country that stole my heart two years ago.