As a biker who is regularly pissed off by the antics of other bikers (and cyclists, who are just as bad yet see themselves as eco-saints), I sink further into resigned gloom when I see that an EU directive combined with the usual British inability to organize or fund anything means that even fewer bikers will get trained or insured.
There used to be 260 motorcycle test centres. Now a more complicated bike test means that there are only going to be 66 test centres. So you won’t be able to book a test. So if you were already dreading taking the test this will be what convinces you not to bother a) with the test, but b) and more importantly, not to bother with a training centre because the test they book for you as part of the package will be at the other end of the country and at the other end of the year.
I’ve always been a biker but it’s particularly useful for my job, working as I do in South-West London. If I’m called out between 0800 and 0930 or between 1700 and 1830 I go on the bike as the van would take forever and stress-reduce the tiny bit of the rest of my life that wasn’t in the van. Of course I get some stick about this from other locksmiths who don’t believe you can be organized enough to work from a bike. They have arguments amongst themselves along the lines of, “You must be joking mate, you can’t call yourself a locksmith using a Somevanorother, it’s too small. You need a Yetanothervan like mine. I bought it second-hand from the local elephant ambulance service and added a workbench with a vice.” I tease them by turning up to shared jobs on roller blades and with a rucksack.
And let’s not let car drivers off the hook. Because of the reduced personal risk, an even smaller percentage of them bother with lessons, tests and insurance. And what are the police doing? The police are fighting their own email and computer systems and the paperwork that the computer systems were meant to replace. If you see a police officer on the street they’re going to work or coming back. You might read a couple of the blogs in the blogroll — whichendbites and The Policman’s Blog if you haven’t already.
Does anyone else work from a bike? Anyone know where you get those compact ladders that bike-based handymen use? I seriously want one of those.