Wednesday, July 01, 2015

bmw

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What were we doing at a European car showroom on a Wednesday afternoon?

It’s all terribly exciting, because we were there to collect a brand-new vehicle.

But it wasn’t a car. It was a bike. A motorbike.

A 1,200cc BMW motorbike, model R1200R, which costs the same price as our car, jeez.

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How did we get here?

One, it was necessary. With his freelance work, KK found himself having to travel to places in Singapore with no buses or MRT stations and which no taxi driver wants to go to at all sorts of odd hours. Like in far-off Mandai, or to Jurong Island.

Can he take the family car? I said yes, he can have it, the kids and I can bus and cab around. That was my preferred option. He said no.

Can he get a second car? Both of us agree, no way.

Two, it’s on his bucket list. He's missed riding since he sold off the Harley nine years ago. Since he needs a bike, he will get one that he wants. Yeah, he did the whole checking out second-hand bikes thing, but all his research ultimately led him to BMW.

Did I - as a conscientious wife who would want to keep her family intact and preserve the life of her husband - object? Especially given the spate of articles about fatal motorbike crashes? Of course not. I told him to go spend his bonus on his heart’s desire.

In preparation for re-entry into the world of slippery roads, rainy days and crazy drivers, KK kitted himself out with new boots (better traction), gloves, padded jacket (protection in case he scrapes the road), helmet with in-built sun visor and an eye-hurting luminuous yellow vest which apparently acts as a force-field to repel cars. (because drivers would be misled into thinking he’s a cop)

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* Track shoes to bike shoes

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* Jacket and gloves

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* KK straight out of the showroom on the road. The vest works! Drivers think he's a cop!

The kids are all eyes at the showroom, where a young man takes something like an hour to explain the multitude of switches and gadgets on the bike. It all looks foreign to me, and a bit scary to think of KK riding a machine which he just learnt about minutes ago.

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* The young salesman with the tinted hair, a BMW bike rider who tells me he just had a bike accident and injured his right wrist. I laugh and say that's very reassuring to hear.

But that’s not KK’s concern. He turns to me and whispers – You didn’t happen to bring my spectacles right? (No I didn’t.)

He hasn’t ridden in years. But once on the road, he confidently zipped off. We meant to escort him home but he shook us off in five minutes when he rode past the long line of cars waiting to turn onto the expressway.

When we get home, he is waiting, glowing. “It’s quite fun”, he says.

But in true hypocritical fashion, he says he would not allow his children to ride.

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* Too bad. Day's picked out the bike of his choice.

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