January 30, 2015

Saga’s sensational swoop for Bennetts this week surely proves what most of us have long suspected, that bikes are for old folks only, and that no self-respecting youngster would want to be seen dead on one, or indeed anywhere nearby.

Once they’ve got over the youth-friendly smash-and-grab convenience of dirt-cheap Asian scooters, today’s young people increasingly recognise that (like wearing a panama hat, joining the bowls club, or taking The Telegraph) getting on a bike put years on you (at the same time, paradoxically, as taking them off your life expectancy).

Even among bike insurance providers, Bennett’s book looked decidedly one-foot-in-the-gravish, with a doddering 77% of its customers aged 40 and upwards. Almost half of all Bennetts Blokes are over 50, according to this week’s Guardian newspaper, who devoted a full-page splash to Saga’s swoop.

As a point of comparison: one in three bikers in the UK have passed the Big 5-O (and we’re not talking about the mid-Pacific US state from whence those groovy oldsters source their favourite ‘party shirts’).

Old folks dominate the bike market to such an extent now that one manufacturer has actually started offering bi-focal helmet visors that allow their users to check their revs, fuel, and speedo whilst still having some vague idea of what’s hurtling towards them as they corner mid-stream round leafy commuter-belt lanes.

Bennetts have apparently told the Guardian that, rather like Vicki from the chippy in Whelpsdale, they plan to continue servicing bikers of all ages for the foreseeable future, but will obviously have a range of specialist services, from cruise packages to Silver Singles nights, to offer bikers of, shall we say, a more mature vintage.

“There is a growing interest in motorbiking among the over-50s,” said a Saga spokesman, who has clearly not yet learned to call it motorcycling. Reassuringly, he added that: “a growing proportion of them are taking a motorbike test.” So perhaps they’ll be alright out there after all.

Still, Careful how you go, Grandad, eh!

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That is seriously not cool, Dude


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