Another year rolled round and my motorbike was due it’s MOT. My bike had sat unused all winter, under it’s fluorescent green cover with a huge lock looped around the seat and through the rear wheel.
After raging inwardly at bureaucracy and admin tasks for a moment I got on with the task of booking my bike in at the local garage.
We are creatures of habit. And I had got out of the habit of using the bike a couple of time a week to commute a few measly miles into work, a habit I had got into just to keep the thing running.
I hated to do it, but I had to tell myself that the bike wasn’t being used enough to warrant being kept anymore. The decision was made, the time had come to sell my motorbike.
On the morning of the MOT the bike started first time, despite a winter of neglect, and after a couple of minutes idling with the choke out, I pulled the clutch in, stomped the bike into first and pulled away.
I was immediately regretting the decision to sell my motorbike, as I knew I would, as I began changing up the gears. Man, these things are fun to ride.
Turning left out of a roundabout onto a dual carriage way, tucked in behind a BMW 3-Series, I decide to open it up. 2nd gear acceleration is like going into warp drive, and some quick blips of the throttle and two clutch-less changes sees the BMW a speck in my mirror. At a higher speed the air battering into you forms a nice cushion, almost holding you up, releasing the pressure on your wrists. The bike’s position makes sense at these speeds, why would I sell the thing?
Slowing down to turn off the dual carriage way, into the maze that is the industrial estate where the garage is, my head cleared and all thoughts of pinning the throttle open and heading to Wales for a few weeks disappeared.
Forty minutes and one coffee later the bike had passed it’s MOT and I was zipping home, a little sad in the knowledge that this could well be the last trip we took together. The MOT form told me the bike had only done 100 miles in the last year, it was confirmed then, it really was time to sell my motorbike.
A few photos later (work the floor ‘bike, worth the floor) and the bike was listed on eBay. A couple more minutes and the race leathers were photographed and up on eBay, along with a couple of accessories.
Within minutes questions started piling in. “How much will you sell for, I don’t like the whole bidding thing” – then why exactly are you on eBAY? “Would you be willing to post?” – yes, the reason I said pick up only is because I want to post a set of 10kg leathers. “Can I see a photo of the leathers being worn?” – A bit creepy, but sure.
The auction ended, a price was settled and a couple of days later the day rolled round to sell the bike. That day was yesterday.
At work I felt a little bit sad that my adventures on motorbikes were over, at least for the time being. I left work on time, got home, jumped into my leathers and took the bike out for one last spin.
An hour later I had helped the guy load the bike into his van, signed some papers, taken some cash, offered a few pointers on the bike and waved him off. I had expected to be a little bit gutted, especially given I’d enjoyed the last spin so much. I’d done it, I’d managed to sell my motorbike.
Funny thing is, I am really happy about the whole situation. No more feeling guilty for having a lovely bike and not using it. No more worrying about petrol going stale or topping up brake fluid.
It’s a massive step towards life simplification. And it feels good.
We tend to cling to items, as if they will bring us happiness at some continuous flat level. No doubt about it, my motorbike did bring me happiness when it was new and exciting.
It took me on an adventure the length of the country. It took me round race tracks, scraping my knee around bends. But to hold onto an item just because of some good memories actually starts to reduce your happiness. The happiness curve from riding my motorbike had been on a downward gradient for a couple of years now.
I looked after my bike, but nice things can be much more of a drag to your happiness than a boost. If you have a nice car you worry about scratching it, someone pranging their door off it in a car park or it getting nicked. When you have a swanky pair of new shoes you prance round puddles rather than smashing through them in your sturdy walking boots. People worry about new wooden floors getting scratched or a new cooker getting dirty. Worry, worry, fucking worry.
We collectively fret and worry over nice items and in a sad paradox those items that are believed to bring happiness just complicate life and act as a reservoir for complication and needless negativity.
There’s something to be said for simplifying your life. Perhaps that Buddha chap was onto something after all.
The decision to sell my motorbike was the right one.
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PS if you didn’t notice, the title of this article is a copy of this far better one.