The Journey

The universe tells me to calm down

I went to buy a helmet today. I have no bike; I have not taken my CBT. And I have no actual money, just that which credit card companies are willing to lend. But still, I put on my jacket and trudged out in the snow, determined to buy a helmet.
“I’ll wear it around the house,” I told myself. “To get used to it.”
There is some logic in such thinking. When I was 18 and took a training course to get my motorcycle endorsement in the United States, I found myself distracted by my helmet. I was too easily amused by the fact I could sit there and mumble to myself without anyone hearing. And some strange aspect of the whole thing made me feel I was in a pillow fort – I wanted to close my eyes and take a nap.

So, sure, even though training courses here provide helmets and it’s a good idea to make sure you want to do something before you go spending hundreds of pounds on it, perhaps it might be smart for me to buy a helmet and get used to the feel and experience of the thing. That way, when I start training (whenever that is) my attention won’t be split amongst re-learning to ride and re-accustoming myself to the gear. It might be smart to do that… if I had the money.

“But this is really important,” I told myself. “I’ll put it on my credit card.”

The day before I had almost simply ordered a Caberg Ego online. I had stopped myself with the realisation that I really should know whether something fits before I fork out so much money for it. Better to go to a shop, I told myself, and I planned an excursion to Cardiff’s Hein Gericke branch – a short walk from Cardiff Central train station.

This morning I found myself over-thinking what clothes I would wear. What looks cool? What outfit is least likely to give away the fact that I’m totally green? On the train into town I started getting jumpy at the thought of where, exactly, I was going to hide this helmet from my wife. It would seem too frivolous a purchase to her. I felt almost as if en route to a romantic rendezvous. Walking to the Hein Gericke shop my hands were shaking with excitement.

I arrived at the front door and… it was all gated up. On the door is a sign saying the shop has gone into administration (i.e., gone bankrupt). Cardiff’s Hein Gericke is no more.

I stood and considered making the walk to Bevan Motorcycles, roughly 1.5 miles away – a bit of a trek in the heavy snow that was falling. As I pondered this, a car drove through a puddle of slush and mud, drenching me up to my groin.

“This is the universe telling you to go home,” I thought. “Save it for another day.”