I watched a clip via Twitter last night and they mentioned Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), which reminded me of my army days. I got sent to the shrink due to issues and a panel of them interrogated me. They sent me back to my regiment with a letter for my army doctor. The doctor’s was closed so I had it overnight. Curiosity got the better of me and I steamed it open.
It was 27 years ago but I know it involved Personality Disorder, I think it was Borderline.
Nearly 30 years I’ve dismissed it. Borderline makes it sound like barely a consideration. It turns out that’s just the medical term for an exact condition.
One that is characterised by anger, risk-taking, drink/ drug abuse, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and a lack of self esteem.
All the bikes I’ve crashed, the wilful disregard for life and limb, the years and years of alcohol dependency, self mutilation, mental anguish, anger and self loathing.
All. A. Fucking. Condition.
I thought the individual bits were normal.
I thought everyone else was a pussy because they saw a gap that was so tight that if *anything* went wrong they would die and they backed off. I did it anyway.
The bleeding I’ve done to try to atone for the unconscionable deeds of my past.
Slipping into overdose unconsciousness knowing I might not wake up.
If that’s how you are, you rationalise it. Everyone get’s stressed, the self mutilation is a release valve. You’re going to die anyway, why not have some fun on the way? If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. Etc.
All. A. Condition.
The whole of my life is a lie.
I’m a tad upset, as you can probably guess.
I’m going, in another case of hope over experience, to see the doctor.
Most of it I don’t actually mind, but there are some aspects from which I’d give anything to be free.
I said last time that my black bike had blown over.
A horrifying picture to be sent when you are 5 hours away.
At first I didn’t believe it was the wind, thought it was the kids messing about. But for some reason our house gets the wind howling across the front. We have to bungee the bins to out awning thing to stop them blowing into next door’s car. So OK, wind.
I changed the lowering kit thing, fixed the snapped fairing and carried on.
Then I looked out of the window last week to see my red one on it’s side, which had toppled the black one, which had smacked into the car.
I ran outside, dragged the covers off the bikes and the locks and stood them up. Not easy. The red one got off with a graze to the bar-ends as the black one cushioned it’s fall. The black one had the red one’s handlebars smack it in the fairing.
Smashing a lump out of the side that hadn’t been damaged last time. Super.
The car too the black one’s handlebar to the (rusty) wing.
For the time being I’ve stopped using the bike covers which are obviously catching the wind like a sail and I’m putting the bikes on main stand every time (instead of side stand). So far, so no worse.
You can’t get replacement fairings for love or money. Mainly money. But you still can’t get them.
I’ve found this product that you mix up and pour in and it set as plastic. I just have to take off the fairing, tape it perfectly and pour it in. Easier said than done.
I’ve bought a new wing and been spray painting it. I’m waiting for it the clear lacquer final coat to dry. Tomorrow I have to take the grill, bumper and wing off to replace. Super dooper.
It was near dark when I finished but it totally looked the wrong colour. I’m hoping it dries right, because I’m not doing it again.
To deter thieves I put a disc lock on my red bike (on top of the engine immobiliser and alarm). This slots through your front brake disc and locks, making it impossible to ride the bike away.
I forgot to take it off. Rode forward a foot then slammed to a stop, nearly falling off. I thought nothing of it, took the lock off, rode to work down the motorway. And back. Giving it beans.
I stopped outside our house as usual, started walking the bike back into the parking spot, touched the front brake, nothing. What?
Bad picture, but if you look at the bottom of the brake calliper (black bit with “Nissin”) you can see the brake pad dangling down. That is supposed to be in the calliper.
Part of the calliper where a bolt goes through has snapped off.
I’d just ridden like a dick along the motorway. Twice. I was going to pick Nathan (my nephew) up on it the next morning.
75% of a bike’s stopping power is the front brake. You can stand on the back one and it will lock and you’ll speed along with your back tyre sliding. If the ffront had of failed so utterly on the motorway, when I needed it, I wouldn’t be writing this.
Wendy thinks god saved me.
I’m an atheist, but fuck me!
One bit of good news amongst all the bike tragedy, we have another biker in the family!
I heard that Nathan was in a shite £5.50 p/h, dish washing job that he hates. I had a look online and there are £9.50 p/h warehouse jobs he could easily be doing but they are a bit far to pushbike. (For the yoof of today. I was cycling 22 miles a day a few years back as part of my Tri training. *tuts*)
His mate was going to give him a cheapo Chinese bike but it got nicked.
I said if he was to get his shit together to get the job we’d lend him the money for a bike. Instant transformation! Totally impressed with him. Dropped his vices like a brick and got his head into the Highway Code. Went to town to get a provisional license the next day and posted it ASAP.
I’ve been getting excited searching for learner bikes for him.
He wants to get into bikes, and wants something that will do him for a few years. (I suspect that will change. He’ll either love bikes and want a bigger one or get his car license. I suggested the latter to him, in my defence.)
My criteria was: Japanese (reliability, resale value), low mileage, naked (no stupid expensive fairings to replace if/when he drops it, so easy and cheap to fix) and 4 stroke. I have a loathing of 2 strokes. Temperamental, polluting, hideous sounding things. OK, shit-off-a-stick fast, but just no.
As bleeding usual everything that fit the criteria was a gazillion miles away. Which would have been no fun riding back on a 125cc.
Then someone put one up in St Helens! As it turned out it was way in the sticks on the far side, but still a lot nearer than Devon or the bottom of South Wales.
Nath and I went to look. I checked out the mileage. It’s a 2009 bike, online the MOT records only go back as far as 2012 or something, but it has been putting on 400 miles for the last 4 years, so the claimed 6000 miles is quite possible.
There are a few dings, a dent in the tank, a scrape on the clock, the mudguard has been repaired (just looked on eBay and got him a used front mudguard for £15. Job done.) but the engine is superb. It’s a Yamaha YBR125 Custom. Hilariously underpowered, but that’s a plus for a learner. Apparently the YBR125 road bike (the non-custom style bike,whatever it’s called) is the standard beast of burden for motorcycle training schools. The Custom is the same engine with different styling.
We got it. Lisa (my sister) broke her motorway duck to run me up to collect it. She passed her test about 6 months ago and had never been on the motorway. “I’ve never been in fifth gear.” lol.
As I said, I rode it home. About 19 miles. It’s a cracking little beast.
I was reading a review saying it costs about £9 to fill the tank, and you get around 214 miles!
Supposed to be about £19 per year road tax.
Top end of 65mph. Allegedly. I had an indicated 55 out of it, but I wasn’t trying to redline the poor little thing.
I’m not so sure about the feel of the tyres. Nath might want to get a new set. £60 for the pair. My back tyre alone was £152!
I’ve given him my (armoured) textile bike jacket, some decent waterproof leggings and gloves. He just needs a lid. He has to attend (no pass or fail) a one day course before he can go on the road. Compulsory Basic Training (CBT). Seems it’s classroom, practical on clutch control, gears, steering and such, then 2 hours out on the real roads with an instructor.
After that, get totally bitchslapped for insurance, (over a grand! For a 125! Ouch!) get the road tax and he’s away.
Wheels and a desperate desire to get out of his current, hated, piss-take job should see him earning big bucks in no time.
As I sent to our Lisa
This is the perfect time of year for getting a job order picking. Or that one sorting parcels. Possibly at thrice damned Herpes, but it’s good money, no freezer to worry about, and it would do until he can get better. I was talking to a picker at our place. He said the management leave you alone, the pick target is easy, and you have to request to go in to the freezer! I saw a wage slip a few weeks back and they aren’t on that much less than me, and I paid £5k for licenses. I’ve just looked it up, it’s about 10 or 11 miles from Lisa’s to my works avoiding the motorway, about 25 minutes. That’s a do-able commute for double his money. (At ours it’s not the hourly rate, it the overtime rate, the rate for working past 18.00, the bank holiday rate, etc that make it good money.) Just got to wait for them to recruit again.
Right. That’s Lisa sorted for motorways and fifth gear (lol again) and Nathan’s life sorted.
I’ve offered to give Pam, (Bryn, another nephew’s wife) our car when she passes her test. It’s a scruffy bag of shit but it seems determined to run for ever. If she wants it, it would get her started. That just leaves Robyn (niece) to sort out.
One other thing. The red bike. The front end has gone from “bit iffy” to “sweet Jesus, I’m going to die!”
I was banked over and accelerating when the bike started to oscillate. That is so not good. I was putting the forks in for a rebuild this winter anyway, but now it’s a necessity. I took the black one out for one day, after months of familiarity with the red one, and I was throwing it down into corners in a way I’d never dare on the red one. It made me realise how bad the front end must be. I’m getting the forks done, but if it still doesn’t have the feel of the black one I’ll be selling it in the spring.
In other news, my loss of taste is getting worse. Now I’m getting false tastes. Eggs tasting like garlic, cakes tasting like mad chemicals. On the bright side, I’ve dipped under 11 stones today for the first time in years. I was within a jammy doughnut of 12 stone for a while. And the associated messed up sense of smell isn’t too bad. I’m coping with the minging smells I think I can smell. Such as my leather jacket smelling of rotting meat. As long as Wendy and Lisa assure me they aren’t real. I couldn’t bear to think others were thinking I stunk that bad.
I got a really shitty cold, back in March, since then I’ve lost a lot of my taste.
I used to love cream, now it is meh. I can sort of taste it, but mostly meh. I warned Wendy off a cream cake the other day saying it tasted like cardboard. She ate one anyway, said it was gorgeous. One of Marks and Sparks special range, apparently.
I had a hankering for chips. We’ve not had a chip pan for at least 10 years. I bought a deep fat fryer with a lid and a filter to keep the smell down. My Swedish chum put me on to a top tip, pre-boil the chips. 5-6 minutes pre-boil, drain well, straight into hot oil. I reckon I’m at the peak of my chip game, they are fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside, perfect. And tasteless. I bought proper salt (as opposed to the grind-it-yourself sea salt rocks) and proper chip vinegar, not the tons of fancy white wine vinegar and such we have in the cupboard. About all I can taste is the butter on the bread.
Butter and chocolate are about the only things I can still properly taste and enjoy. Which is just super for a lardarse.
But now it’s going from irritating absence of taste to false tastes. I had to throw the egg component of the classic British delicacy, chips and egg, away. It tasted of garlic. I know there’s no garlic in the pan, the oil or the egg, but bugger me I can taste it.
And now my sense of smell is getting in on the act. Our washing powder, which we’ve used for years, is starting to be repulsive to me. And my leather jacket. I washed it and conditioned it with leather conditioner. A honey and jojoba thing that makes the leather supple and waterproof. It’s a proper product, as recommended by a proper biker site.
But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed a disgusting smell that has just been getting worse. There isn’t one. I’ve asked Wendy and Lisa to smell it and they say it smells of leather and vaguely of patchouli oil (I tried to mask the smell but the oil has lost it’s potency). There is no disgusting smell. But when I put it on I’m nearly heaving.
I already had some specialist leather cleaner so I’ve given it all a couple of coats today and I think I’ve got rid of some of the stench. I’ve ordered a conditioner made from other stuff. And some new, very stinky, patchouli oil.
If I can’t sort it I may have to mothball my leathers and buy a new coat. It’s making me gag.
My only consolation is no-one else can smell it. If I thought everyone else was smelling it I’d have binned it already.
Another bloody annoying thing, I think I’m starting to get tinnitus. I use silicon ear plugs at night to get to sleep now I’m off the sleeping tablets. I noticed when I put one in, on top of the usual whine there was an undulating noise. At first I thought it was something from next door, but once again it’s (literally) in my head.
So I googled “quietest helmets”. It’s not the engine or exhaust noise, it’s the wind noise at speed.
Anyway, they had a top 5, all of which were ridiculously expensive. The “Basic” model of one was ‘only’ £270.
Two Hundred and Seventy of her majesties pounds, sterling. About 50 Euros, after Brexit.
I wasn’t happy about it, to say the least, but tinnitus is for life. I bit the bullet and bought the bloody thing. It’s no quieter than my last helmet. *sobs*
It’s all singing and all dancing, great helmet, but no quieter. I googled again. You need to buy an additional velcroed flap that fits under your chin to stop the wind whistling in. From Germany. Another £30. For a piece of cloth with velcro around the edge. Maybe a little quieter. Maybe. I noticed the helmet had an always open vent thing that blows air up the inside of the visor, to de-mist it. Which is going to be bloody nippy in winter. First wet and cool day my visor steamed up! I had to buy the anti-mist inert. another £27.
So not a happy bunny.
Oh, I forgot. In the high winds lately, I got a message and picture off Wendy, my black bike had blown over. I was in deepest Darn Sarf at the time so couldn’t do shit. Wendy couldn’t lift it. She tried, bless her feeb good intentions.
The arsehole before me had put the lowering kit on the bike but hadn’t shortened the side stand, so instead of leaning over onto the stand the bike was sort or perched on it. Strong wind, bike cover flapping about like a sail, BANG!
I got off fairly lightly. The fairing cracked but I’ve managed to fix that with an internet tip, this glue that actually melts and fuses the plastic at a chemical level. And I dropped and broke a mirror in taking off and refitting the faring.
But here’s where it get’s good.
I took the red bike for a service and brake pads, dicked me about for a week, £310.
I waited for the small garage, took my own brake pads in, got it serviced and brake pads fitted, next day, (by arrangement, he had someone off sick so asked if I needed it back the same day) for £130.
He said he checked the plugs and filter and they didn’t need doing. Anywhere else would have done it anyway and charged you, or not done it and charged you. Top man. He said the only fault he could see was a sticky front brake piston, needs new seals, so he’s doing that this Friday.
While I was there I asked him about the lowering kit. He said it was just two triangular plates that attach the suspension to the frame, held on by three bolts. Undo the bolts, replace the original plates, do them up. I thought it would be a big job as you’d have fit them under pressure from the shock, nope, put it on centre stand, and it just pulls out. I got one off ebay for less than £30, fitted it myself, and job’s a good ‘un.
In other good news, I fitted that hugger (close to tyre mudguard) more or less hassle free, and got the Scottoilers on both bike working. (Vacuum drawn oil bottles that drip slowly on to the chain to keep it lubricated.)
If I’m going to be riding the black one all winter I wanted it to sound a bit better. I did a lot of research and some measuring the red bike. The silencer on that is 450mm long. It is about 77 decibels (I got an app just for that) which is the same as stock. I had my eye on two cheap end cans. One was 450mm, the other was 350mm and was high mounted. It looked really cool, but I was worried about the noise. I couldn’t get the TL1000 to an acceptable noise level even with stock pipes. I emailed the guy at Delkovic about the cans. He said the 350mm was about 2Db louder, but both would be over 100Db. I have now discovered the Db scale isn’t linear, 30 is not half as loud as 20 again, but double. Does that make sense? Each 10 is double the previous 10. So, roughly 80db for my current exhausts, That means 100Db would be 100 times as loud. That doesn’t sound right. Look, you know I’m shit at maths. The point is, it would be bloody loud.
So I opted for the 450mm and if it was too stupid loud I was just chucking it on ebay and staying stock. It’s 77Db.
Still it does sound lovely, just not ridiculous at tickover. Then you open it up and it sounds gorgeous.
That’ll do nicely. Bit miffed as I reckon I could have got away with lots snazzier high mount one, but still, it was well cheap, easy to fit, good kit, and it is a nice sound.