Bikers abroad

I have come to Greece on a boat by mistake. The sailing part is great, it reminds me a lot of riding, to make best progress you balance forward motion against the wind, while on a bike you try and balance forward motion against the centrifugal forces that want to see you crunching on the tarmac. The sunburn and mosquito bites, not so good. It has been really interesting to see how biking is done in Greece. Motorcycling here is rather different than the UK – helmet wearers are in a distinct minority, though some carry a lid nonchalantly hooked round one arm. Protective gear consists of shorts and a tan. But the way the bikes are used also strikes me as quite different than the UK – here, they are part of everyday transport, people carry all sorts of odd loads, put mates on the back (high score so far is three large teenagers on a C90), and do their shopping – top marks for style to Mr Red T shirt who rode up to the cigarete kiosk on his ducati, left the engine running in that slightly choked bag-of-nails dynamic which is how ducatis protest at not being allowed to travel at an appropriate speed, bought his ciggies without getting off, and then roared away into the Aegean dusk. There's none of that "them and us" you often hear about in the UK, with non-bikers protesting that helmets and leathers make bikers look terrifying and intimidating.

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