In a week in which the whole world went crazy over Dubai Police adding a Lamborghini and Ferrari to their fleet, I couldn’t help but think this was a time for introspection. What did such a development say about our society, our values, our progress...the nature of capitalism itself? And I couldn’t help but think...meh.
Because, for the truly dedicated follower of fashion such vehicles are somewhat passé.
Maybe if you CLIMBED INTO A DELOREAN and travelled back to 1985, then you’d see these as dazzling examples of futuristic vehicles. But back here, in good ol’ 2013, it’s a different story. I have seen the future, and it’s on two wheels.
This thought first dawned on me a few years ago, when my parents took my younger siblings on holiday to Thailand and Singapore. I was left at home with the big boys – my two brothers Mohammed and Ismaeil – who decided to give me the biggest surprise of my life.
Of course, they lost some of the element of surprise by telling me they were planning a surprise. Unsurprising really, after all, they were boys. Still, they hadn’t told me quite what form my surprise would take, so I was quietly hoping for a cake, or perhaps a meal out. Those would have been nice surprises. As opposed to that other form of surprise – the nasty surprise...like the time Mohammed told me, mistakenly, that Ismaeil had died. Or the really nasty surprise that my editor said was unsuitable for a family blog.
Anyway, the days went by and I soon relaxed my heightened state of readiness for a surprise. And that’s when they struck.
There I was, sat reading a book, when in strode one of them, dressed like an alien in black leather, giant boots and a shiny helmet.
“This is it,” I thought. “The day I have a heart attack and Mohammed can truthfully say one of his siblings is dead.”
As I slowly followed the leather-clad alien outside into the yard I said a prayer and prepared for the worse.
But as I opened my eyes rays of sunshine beamed down on the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever seen. Black, shiny and covered in red flames it was a vision to behold, an object more worthy of a Hollywood movie than our back yard.
At that moment, I fell in love, and decided that I too would one day buy one. Of course, my brothers laughed at that idea. So hard their leather pants squeaked.
Fast-forward to today, and I see many more motorcycles on the roads of Abu Dhabi. After their initial foray my brothers tried to convince their friends to become bikers, and many of them did.
Recently, as part of my role on the motoring team, I interviewed a number of young men about what drove them to take up biking, and why they spent so much money customising their bikes. What was it that made motorbikes so much cooler than cars?
All of them said that riding bikes was liberating and stress-relieving, as well as a way of showcasing their personality. Many young men customise their own bikes with wacky, eye-catching designs, that speak volumes about their inner thoughts. Ponder for yourself the meaning of the Harley-Davidson rider I found who painted his machine with purple skulls and motos saying “unleashed” and “I am a loner”.
Personally, I find this trend amusing and applaud the colour it has brought to our roads. In a part of the world where we see Lamborghinis and Ferraris on a daily basis, watching bright shiny bikes whizz by can be genuinely refreshing.
So maybe one day I will buy a motorbike after all. Then it will be my brothers who are surprised. But I’ll give those leather pants a miss.
See the eye-catching designs here.