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A Bike's not just for the weekend.

Written by Chris Chapman

There is a general trend to dismiss the motorcycle as a leisure toy.

Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions have recently published a report on Transport Statistics (link at bottom of page). Hiding within their statistics, are some interesting facts. Between the years of 1992-1999:-

57% of motorcycle trips were for work, business or education.
7% of motorcycle trips were for other personal business & escort.
Using my pathetic secondary education, that adds up to 64%. So well over half of all motorcycle trips are associated with business, work or education in some way. Don't believe the hype - bikes are still an important part of the country's transport network. If we want bikes to remain 'mainstream' and not just toys for the 'fat-of-wallet' we must emphasise the role bikes continue to play in keeping the country moving.

Bikes have many significant advantages over other forms of transport. Those advantages risk being lost in a sea of misinformation. Here a list of supporting 'points' in favour of bikes - if you know any more send them in and I'll add them to the list;

Motorcycles are so lightweight, so they do virtually no damage to the road surface.
Motorcycles are fuel efficient and use little rubber (they do only have two wheels).
Motorcycles take up less parking or road space than other forms of transport.
Motorcycles don't get snarled up in traffic jams - unlike other vehicles that are often stationary in traffic for hours on end, pumping out fumes and going nowhere.
Motorcycles are efficient urban vehicles, so any single journey is completed in a shorter time - less traffic.
Bikes are perfect vehicles for everyday transport. With today's superb protective clothing, modern reliable machines and professional training solutions, Motorcycles make more sense than ever before.

For example, on a recent business trip a group of eight colleagues took two cars from Manchester to Hull. I went on my CB. On the return journey an accident caused a five mile tail-back of cars, lorries and coaches. I was able to return to work over an hour before any of the others - and every one of my colleagues was totally stressed out from being stuck inside a stuffy, claustrophobic tincan.

Bikers love their bikes. We all share that. I love my CB, but it's much more than a toy for the weekends. My bike is used as a family taxi, for commuting, shopping, the school run, business travel AND leisure. The wonderful thing is that for all that practicality, motorcycles are above all, GREAT FUN. I know that at least 64% of you feel the same.

Chris Chapman