Buying My First Bike…All the signs seemed to say DON’T DO IT!

26 Mar

I really want to go on a motorbike trip. I’ve been watching the Long Way Round and am totally in love. Naturally the first step is learning how to ride. I have decided that rather than take lessons (for the time being anyhow) I will buy a bike and practice with the help of my partner in crime.

I spent a few weeks watching the posts on craigslist in Victoria and Vancouver and checked out a few bikes. After seeing what was out there in my price range (which is pretty budget right now!) I decided to find a Honda CBR 125R. Right away I knew it was the perfect bike because I wasn’t afraid of it. I know many people would think it is too small even to learn on but I figure I can become very confident on this and then upgrade.


We went over to Vancouver for a weekend and decided to check a few out. Found one I liked and then holy hell did difficulty ensue. There were a few DON’T DO IT signs:

1. I had a huge runaround with Scotiabank trying to get enough cash out on a Sunday – their computer system was ‘locked up’, their customer service staff used way too many I statements (I know you must be frustrated, I understand how you feel, I love bikes, I….), lots of time spent on hold and going into my least favourite parking lot in all of Vancouver to visit a Scotiabank ATM. It probably took about 4 hours with no luck.

2. The poor guy selling the bike to me thought I was the sketchiest person he had ever met – with offers of paying half today, half tomorrow, going to Superstore on a busy Sunday afternoon to purchase Kinder Surprises and get cash back to pay him.

3. Finally cash in hand we did the whole registration and insurance thing.Next step helmet so my coadventurer can ride it away. Where to on a Sunday afternoon at 4:30 – Cambodian Tire. This one is 4 levels and smells like some kind of toxic death…I don’t understand how people can work in there all day without throwing up. It’s just filled with VOCs.

4. Helmet now to go pick up the bike and put on the plates and get back to my parents. Did I mention it’s February and cold…and my coadventurer insists he doesn’t need gloves?!

5. Back tire is a bit flat. Try to find a gas station that actually has air…since when do gas stations not have air?! After the third station success.

6. Arrive at parents…poor coadventurer is a popsicle. Madly pack and find warmer clothes and gloves for coadventurer. Tell parents bike is for coadventurer so they don’t freak out.

7. Head out to catch the ferry back to Victoria before it’s pitch black.

8. Make the ferry with time to spare!

9. Get home in one piece : )

It probably is one of those you had to be there stories but it was quite the run around…or maybe I am just turning into a island person and can’t handle the running around that I used to do in Vancouver!!

Throughout this whole process I kept thinking is this a pain in the ass for a reason? Should I take this as a sign to NOT get a bike? I probably wouldn’t have survived all the craziness if it wasn’t for my surprisingly calm coadventurer (he has a very low tolerance for bullshit and running around much like myself). He asked at one point if I would be disappointed if I didn’t get it. I knew this wasn’t the only bike in the world but I get a bit fixated when I want to do something…so the answer to his question was yes, definitely yes.

It’s interesting the more I start paying attention to what appear to be signs from the universe the more I realize that I really need to keep checking in with myself to see what I want and not get thrown off by what appears to be signs telling me to go in the opposite direction. It’s difficult though because you don’t want to ignore such signs either…like everything in life I think it is a balance.

I know I made the right choice though – every time I see the bike parked in the driveway and everytime I get on it for a practice ride I get an absolutely huge grin on my face!


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