Why We Ride Part 2

Sorry I left you guys in the lurch there, but I needed to take a minute to write some more as that’s as far as I got, before I gave up. Well I didn’t give up. I took a hiatus… a 3.5 year hiatus. I’ve been very busy. Don’t eye roll me! 

Never mind, you would never have known if I hadn’t told you, but I thought I would be honest, so get over it and let’s keep it moving.

Right so we were talking about how bad I was as a sales assistant, or that’s what you thought, because I just stood around talking bikes all day. WRONG I was good, I loved making sales, I loved surprising people that I knew what I was talking about and most of all I loved selling the right kit to the right people for the right purpose. Even if that meant selling them a £300 jacket instead of the £1,000 one.

O wait. Maybe I wasn’t great at sales, I was honest, which I guess in the world of making money that probably isn’t the best quality, my customers were always happy though.

During this time a lot was happening, I was figuring out my business, I had met my now fiance, and I pulled the trigger on my first bike. 

Business 

As it turned out I could use my passion for all things 2 wheels and use it to make my business actually viable. So I started drawing people’s motorcycles, from the first one, word got round and there has been a steady flow of commission work ever since. I was getting to spend my days drawing bikes, while listening to podcasts, or my music, it was quite literally the dream and still is.

After 2 years working in the shop I was done, it had run its course, I was allowing it to consume me, I was making money for someone else, distracting myself from the original point of having the job in the first place. So, all of that combined with my back making physically working more and more difficult I walked away.

The break was needed and I had to turn Bobblys Artwork into something more legitimate, a Facebook page, lots of advertising, and more recently a website, I am finally getting there. 

Every time I get a new commission I get excited, someone is paying me to create something that they will display in their home, which is kinda crazy but I love it. My work is now all over the country and my t-shirt designs are in the States and Australia which is pretty damn cool. 

Let’s not dwell because this isn’t a sales pitch, if you want to see my stuff, just check out the rest of the website.

Fiance

Let’s not dwell here either. We met at work, he made me laugh, when we weren’t at work, we were spending our days off together or talking, stuff happened, everyone else knew what it would be before we did, then boom here we are 3.5 years later moving into our first home.

With that said, when he sold his Harley (named Dolores) it was nearly over there and then, I loved that Sportster more than he did. Dolores would be wheeled into the shop floor and meticulously cleaned and posed for pictures throughout the work day.

My sadness about Dolores being passed on to some other guy, has only increased with Harley removing the Sportster from their EU lineup, for which I have much distain. Infact in an article I wrote recently I am ready to rally the troops and start a protest, irrespective of it being a ‘Baby Harley’ to some people, it is a 64 year old institution and let it be known that I for one am appalled.

Dolores doing her bit to make sales.

First Motorcycle

Now the important bit…I spent months thinking about my first bike, thinking just go and buy the Indian that I have dreamt about since the moment they re-booted the Scout. Big test, big bike, do it. 

I actually had planned to do my test before I started the job in the bike shop, so I already had all my gear, I was ready to go. HJC Punisher helmet (picked by my Brother and his love of Marvel), Weise Jacket and Gloves.

The helmet was the one piece of kit that was really worth it’s money. I cannot speak highly enough of HJC helmets for their comfort and fit, it was the one brand that would fit most people comfortably and the one that had the widest price range again to fit all budgets. Plus, it was the Punisher which I just found funny, rocking around with a big white skull on my lid.

Financial restrictions meant that getting on with buying a Scout and doing the big test was not be the way forward. CBT booked instead.

I was the same with my driving test when I did that 13 years ago, I wanted it so bad the nerves took a hold of me and very nearly ruined the whole thing. I don’t remember much except being out on the road, thinking “Holy S*** I’m riding a motorbike” before very nearly riding straight into a truck on the right while being screamed at by the instructor. 

Regardless I went home that day with my certificate, but the adrenaline, nerves and everything left me a bit of a mess, I knew I could ride, but the whole pressured environment wasn’t my thing and it’s still not. 

There is an inner rebel in me that if someone tells me to slow down, I want to speed up, go right and I want to go left, I’m quite broken. I have found myself getting mad at the sat nav, throwing it in the back and taking a 3 hour detour to get home, it is a serious problem! 

Therefore, teachers, instructors, authority and me, are a bit like oil and water, (there are exceptions sometimes, and a handful of people I will take heed from).

So, scrapping doing any further tests for a while, a week later I went and put a deposit down on a MT-125, it was all prepped, ready to roll, then I changed my mind. I didn’t want it, it was too expensive, and it was never going to be the MT-07 that was at the peak of its popularity.  

At the moment I wanted to be the 17 year old kid that would come into the shop and go out for a ride and be hooligans. Then it kind of kicked in that I wasn’t 17 and I have a bad back.. so maybe wheelies aren’t a great idea, and neither would be running red lights and racing police cars. 

Even my old beat up Beemer had given up and gone to car heaven at this point, with its carbon fiber wrapped bonnet, so I needed to grow up. Sort of. I needed a grown up but not wildly boring and sensible option, a CB125 or YBR125 just couldn’t happen. It seemed apart from the MT, or Honda Repsol 125, all 125’s were pretty boring…

How it came to be, I don’t quite remember, but there on my radar from Birmingham was Mutt Motorcycles and it was a match meant to be, a universal shift into alignment, shining a light on the perfect bike. 

Not only were they proud of their Birmingham roots, much like me, they were reminiscent of the old Birmingham bred motorcycles of bygone eras, the very bikes that I loved, read about, dreamt about, and wanted adventures on.

I figured out finances, me and Scott went to check them out and walked away having signed my life away for the Mutt S-54. 

There were no nerves, no worries, no unease, just raw excitement, and a feeling of fulfilling a dream.

Check back for the next installment which will unravel the journey of me and my Mutt!

My Mutt hanging outside work with Dolores.

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