CHARLES GRAHAM: Why I’d never get a motorbike

The aftermath of Paul's crash
The aftermath of Paul's crash

I’ve never been a fan of motorcycles.

An ex-colleague used to have a photo in his drawer of a big gathering of biker pals, and every few months he’d get it out and lugubriously cross out a face as they gradually died, usually in horrendous crashes.

People who love bikes love the freedom they offer. I’m sure some get a buzz (literally) from dicing with death too, tearing along at limit-busting speeds, weaving round blind bends and overtaking four-wheeled vehicles as if the only other people on the road are fellow Isle of Man TT racers.

Lord knows the number of times I’ve heard silencer-less bikes let loose at something like 80mph as they straighten out onto the main (30mph) road at the back of our house.

I get that business of being close to a powerful engine and how liberating it must be to have the wind in your face (not that it would do anything for me).

But there’s a high price.

Statistics show you are 11 times more likely to die if involved in a road smash riding a motorbike than a four-wheeler.

And I’m glad Paul Doran, who suffered multiple fractures in a crash last week, has come round to my way of thinking and vows never to get on a bike again.

As CCTV footage - available on wigantoday - shows, he was riding up Wigan Lane minding his own business within the speed limit when a pensioner, parked at the side of the road in a Citroen Picasso, pulled out of his space without indicating and began executing a U-turn.

Paul, who had two seconds to react, veered onto the wrong side, hoping that the motorist would see him then stop to allow him to get round the front end. But the oblivious driver carried on his merry way resulting in robust car and flimsy Aprilla colliding and the latter’s rider being smashed into a wall.

Had it been a car, there could well have only been vehicle damage to report - and perhaps the Picasso driver would have spotted it too and thus avoided a crash altogether.

Nope, I’ll stick to my tin box on wheels, thank you very much.