April ’07 or so, I was riding Boadicea, Suzuki SV650S K2, a lot. 250 mile daytrips, 700 mile long weekends and commuting to work every day. I started early, there was little traffic and the morning run became a race against myself. If I get this corner just right, it’ll set me up for the next few curves and I might knock a few seconds off my previous best time.


I got to thinking that I oughta get a decent set of leathers. I had a old Dainese jacket that a mate had given me when he wrecked the matching pants at a race meeting but was riding around in kevlar jeans, which have no impact protection. It was on my mind, I talked about it to a few people. I was in the old Shakespeare Hotel on King St drinking with a few mates when Laura hobbled in on crutches.


“What happened to you?” tho I knew the answer.


“Dropped my bike. Is the Moto GP on in this pub?”


Couple weeks later, the motorcycle supermarket near work had a sale, it’s useless for repairs or even new tyres, but good for cheap gear and I picked up a pair of quality black leather trews for $250, half the retail.


Two or three days later I was riding home from lunch at my parents, wearing my new trews so I could break them in a bit, I braked approaching a speed hump, Boadicea left a geometrically perfect squiggly line in the trail of dumped oil and I was lying on the road with a young hippy couple staring at me with some concern. He helped me pick her up and I left her at a nearby friend’s house.


Four months later I’d move in there and Maya, a lovely woman and one of my new flatmates, would turn out to be the likely culprit. She owned a car that dumped oil, a lot of it. No big deal, really, I should’ve been riding in the wheel tracks, not the centre of the lane. I learnt the value of proper leathers and the incompetence of the shop that, by the demands of the insurance company, did the repairs.


Credit instinct for bugging me about the trews, they are still in fine fettle today and saved me from a smashed knee in ’07.