I am now looking back at the biblical three score years and ten milestone and my wife is approaching from the other side. It must be time now for a plan.
Over the years I have honed a skill in day dreaming that has often thrown up the plan for the future, I am looking at a particularly suitable pass-time that we can both indulge in and that will help to chisel our physical features. No I am not going down the line of Botox, Collagen or any form of cosmetic surgery. What I have in mind will achieve the results without resorting to a knife. There will be an initial financial outlay but since it will do the job for both of us, it will be much less expensive in the long run.
We have all been at the seaside or a roadside cafe when there has been an invasion of bikers.
They cruise in, park their bikes at the point nearest the action so there is a conglomeration of two-wheeled machines. Now it doesn’t matter if someone appears to be blocked in since they will all be leaving together. It appears to be OK if they are parked on the pavement.
They slide off their machines and after a furtive glance around divest themselves of their helmets before ‘klomping’ off in their boots to the nearest fish and chip shop. I always arrive ten seconds after the last of the multitude arrives at the end of the queue.
It was being at the end of the queue that provided me with the first flash of inspiration for my plan. Most of those who began by exuding an aura of youthful arrogance and malevolence were as far away from youthfulness as I am. They were in fact glancing around rather shyly. Malevolence had left the building about forty years ago.
The conversation was about the good old days, when the pension was paid in cash to your hand in the local post office, what time the grand-kids arrive for the taxi ride to school etc.etc. To show membership of the club, they all had their hair ‘dyed’ the same colour: a sparkling silver. Although a large proportion of the male population had no hair to dye. However, in an attempt to show they belonged, the hair cascading from their ears blended with the rest. It is like the sixtieth ‘Children of the Damned’ sequel.
The realisation slowly dawned that they all had a stature that belied their age. I began to make notes!
I looked at motor cycle clothing and was amazed!
The following is a list, not exhaustive by any means, of common ailments that affect the aged. Sagging muscles and flesh, vertigo, arthritis, poor eyesight and hearing, various levels of incontinence, memory loss and slow reaction times.
Motor cycle clothing challenges all of these and banishes them to the ‘under the table’ category. No cures but nobody knows!
So let’s have a fitting. We will start at the bottom, the feet that is, to avoid any confusion and work upwards.
First a pair of thick socks already begins to address the swollen ankles. A foundation of thermal but firm undergarments or garment continues the squeeze. Now a pair of leather or leather like trousers. Must be tight so they will not flap in the wind. No room for flabby flesh which is being pushed upwards as you get them installed. Now assistance is needed to stand and force your feet into the boots. These have shin and ankle protection built-in on the plus side but a very large negative is that the zip is much too far from the hands. You will be beginning to realise why septuagenhairybikers are never seen alone. They do not function alone.
The vision now is reminiscent of the song ‘Big John’. Broad at the shoulders and narrow at the hip is the relevant phrase that all septuagenarians, not only bikers, will remember. There is a problem though, the flesh above waist level is beginning to look like a bubble about to burst and the corset has yet to be fitted. The ‘corset’ is in actual fact a kidney and back protector that can be a part of the trousers, part of the jacket or separate and independent. So the jacket has to be ‘slightly’ over-sized in order to make room for the new you but the external view is beginning to look appealing to the wearer. The jacket plays its part though. You can have shoulder, neck and back supports which apart from having safety points to note also add to the broad shoulders and upstanding nature of the beast.
The helmet is, of course, not only a legal requirement. It changes Clark Kent into Superman and nobody recognises Clark. He has gone! Nobody sees the bottle bottom glasses but sliding them into place through the visor space without surgery is not easy. The helmet can be fitted with an internal sound system so you can leave the hearing aid at home!
Finally, fit the gloves. Lots of protection and centrally heated to slow the onset of arthritis. They can even be attached semi permanently to the handlebars to help avoid any confusion about left and right.
Now let us return to the list of complaints of the aged population.
Vertigo is characterised by a loss of balance when attempting to get vertical from a horizontal position. This is offset by the stiff and heavy nature of the boots and the fact that you are held vertical by the stiffness of the super tight clothing. Stubbing your arthritic toes and bashing your ankles are things of the past due to the protective pads built-in to feet, ankles, knees, elbows etc You can’t fall over and even if you managed it you would be unhurt due to the strategic armour.
Poor memory is a thing of the past. At least when on the bike. You will not get lost since there are about thirty bikes all going to the same place. The chances of all thirty riders and their passengers forgetting the way is ‘almost’ beyond fathomable.The route is chosen carefully! You are riding a bike that is capable of covering three hundred miles in a couple of hours. The septuagenhairybikers though, need to stop at a ‘watering hole’ every fifteen minutes. Next time you are on the road on a warm weekend check how often you see a crowd of bikers outside a cafe. More important, notice that nobody is drinking. They can’t afford to take on any more liquid! So they go out for a weekend ‘blast’ and take all day riding to the nearest coast and back via half a dozen well known biker friendly cafes. Naturally, the waterproof nature of the biker trousers mitigates any incontinence issue that might arise from being at the back of the queue at the conveniences. Fill your boots has a different connotation here!
So it looks as if it would be the solution for us. Taking the tablets won’t do it but biking could. I have still got my biker licence from the days in the sixties when my faithful Francis Barnett seemed so powerful going downhill with the wind but woefully lacking in anything in the other direction. Before adding the weight of passengers, modern bikes have the power to weight ratio of a formula one car. Keeping the machine in 1st gear produces the howl we all hear when a group of bikers goes by without losing the element of surprise when they crawl by with legs outstretched like stabilisers to offset the problem of slow reaction times.
So, yes, there will be a financial implication to joining the ‘Hellz Methuzellers Chapter’ but it is not money down the drain. If we find the cafes are too far apart and I am falling asleep at the handlebars after the lunchtime fish and chips, we can part exchange the bike for a Harley Davidson lookalike Disability Scooter. We will look really mean! They can’t hear you coming!. We can continue wearing all the gear and really cause some pavement havoc on the daily Complan run from the sheltered housing centre to the One Stop Robber Shop……………..