twisted throaty throttle, tip-clicked gears,
piston powered torque had very few peers,
my knees clamped petrol tank so tightly:
my Honda roared on rural roads, brightly.
no crash impacts, I never tumbled,
megaphone pipe growled and grumbled;
clothes petrol scented, octane addictive,
the open road beckoned, speed unrestrictive.
long journeys alone sometimes taken,
rain soaked shoes often empty-shaken,
trouser legs glue-stuck, wet right through:
peeling them off took an hour or two.
two years I rode until one fateful day,
last push-start had high price to pay:
clutch-lever creased parked car-door:
damn the worn kickstart, I angrily swore.
I paid for damage – what a crying shame,
broker advised against making small claim;
biking days then finished, all driving done;
speedo-needle never tickled tonne.
off-road my boys speed noisy dirt bikes,
need for speed evident, Facebook likes,
(where’s that bravado from, i wonder)
– one serious spill, boy pulled from under.
high stance rider weaving traffic with ease
special-mix smell, petrol has power to please;
i won’t renew lapsed licence, relive lost youth:
grey hair and mid paunch hardly look uncouth….
Luke Hemmings, youngest son, need-for-speeder,
riding classic Yamaha 50cc dirt bike in Wicklow, 2004