I have lost my licence several times.
I view the process like the Circle of Life – they give it to me, they give it back, I then return it to them, they eventually return it to me and so on.
But it sucks. And because it sucks, it teaches you things.
This is what I learned the last time I lost my licence – and I really lost it. For a whole 16 months, no less.
My suffering was profound, so maybe you will get something out of it…
The Devil makes work for idle hands. And for fools who don’t have a licence, apparently.
My return to the world of men was two lengthy months away. Certainly a bridgeable span, given I’d already sat out 14, but it was still a trial.
Because while time does indeed fly when you’re having fun, it has positively dragged its cloven hooves where I’ve been concerned.
Still, what I have learned and done in the time I have been outcast may be of some benefit to you.
Lesson One – Getting on the turps for six hours and hammering home at an average speed of 160km/h on a Friday night is not wise.
Lesson Two – Do not engage in drunken debates with sober police officers. I did not and the Speed Dangerous charge I was originally lumbered with (168km/h in a 100 zone) was, altogether miraculously, absent from the charge sheet in court.
Lesson Three – Good lawyers make for valid miracles.
Lesson Four – An invalid licence cannot be used as photo ID because Telstra can’t employ anyone bright enough to understand that an expired licence is still valid photo ID.
Lesson Five – A licence-free bike rider is a burden to his family, his mates and is always the most savagely drunken and tetchy guest at any dinner party.
Lesson Six – At night, when everyone’s asleep, a licence-free rider will repeatedly try to make giz-licence-back pacts with demons.
Lesson Seven – Dirtbike riding, track days and racing do not, cannot, and will never replace being able to ride whenever the mood takes you.
Lesson Eight – You gotta get your fix wherever you can, though.
Lesson Nine – People have trouble understanding that had I actually wanted to race motorcycles and jump chookies in bumpy fields, I would have taken it up at the age of 18.
Lesson Ten – Public transport is for the damned, the stench-ridden, the gross, the foul… and seething sociopathic idiots who’ve lost their licences.
So that’s what I’ve learned.
What I’ve been doing while denied my usual outlet is actually not a great deal.
Apart from thinking. About motorcycles and the riding thereof. And how very worthwhile it would be if the passion and humour of bike riding could be communicated to the world.
Surely, if people who did not ride could see and hear what we see and hear when we’re riding they would convert.
After all, as bike riders, we are pretty damn special and the world should consider itself lucky to have us. Are we not the living embodiment of the unrestrained human spirit? Do we not eagerly pursue and engage in the very same risk-taking behaviour that caused us to come out of the trees in the first place? Are we not armed with a sense of adventure and a love of life that seems to have been utterly sucked out of the rest of the human race and replaced with safety-first dreck?
A loud “Hell, yes!” to all of the above. But since it’s part of our intrinsic character as motorcyclists, and since we ride all the time, we often don’t even recognise our own uniqueness within ourselves.
But sitting on the sidelines of your very reason for being does tend to bring that reason into focus rather sharply. It’s so true that you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.
I now do know – and I’ll hang from the nearest meat-hooked gibbet before I ever again take motorcycle riding for granted.
By Boris Mihailovic