My bike and I

 

Eugene O'Loughlin, e-learning consultant

What was your first machine and how much did it cost? A red Honda CD175 which I "borrowed" from my brother Joe when he was demoted to a car. Never paid him for it. I loved this bike. It was brilliant in traffic around the city. Unfortunately it was stolen in 1981.

What attracted you to motorbikes? The sense of freedom, the buzz from being first at the traffic lights every time, and being able to park in the middle of O'Connell Street.

Any biking heritage in your family? My brother Joe had a Honda 50 before he "lent" me his 175. My wife Roma had a Yamaha 75 in the early 1980s.

What's your current machine and what did it cost? A 100th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic. It cost a lot.

What attracted you to it? Everything. Image, style, big feel, solidity, 1,450 cc engine, comfort - a proper bike.

What was your previous bike? Another Harley-Davidson, my first - the Sportster 883 Hugger. Before this I had a Honda 250 Nighhawk.

Why did you move from Honda to Harley? If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand.

Some suggest Hondas are better bikes than the Harley, and more suited to Irish roads. How do you say? Harleys are now much more reliable than in the past, so I'm sure that they are just as good. I do fancy the Honda Valkyrie.

What is your next bike likely to be? 125th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic.

How much do you spend on gear? A lot on accessories - just recently I added a chrome crash barrier at a cost of 450. I have a proper leather jacket, Harley-Davidson of course - but I don't spend too much on gear to wear.

What's been your longest journey on the bike? My longest journey was to London and back (700 miles) in two days last October, which was on my Sportster. To date, my longest trip on my current bike was to Kilkenny and back from Dublin with the Ireland 1 HOG Chapter.

What would be your dream bike and road trip? At last, I now have my dream bike. Dream road trip - Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in Chile/Argentina.

Have you ever had an accident on the bike? Recently, I had a bad skid during very wet weather; with nothing hurt only my pride - hence the purchase of a crash barrier.

If you were Minister for Transport, what changes would you make in the law? I'd allow bikes to use the bus lanes and QBCs (most of us do this anyway). I'd also allow left turns on red lights.