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An­der­son re­li­gious songs, but he turned it down low so it wouldn’t dis­turb pedes­tri­ans or car driv­ers with open win­dows as he was rid­ing to work.

His bike was a customised Har­ley-David­son Clas­sic, and he’d spent a lot of money get­ting it right: wa­ter-cooled con­ver­sion (so that the en­gine was nice and quiet) with a lovely big ra­di­a­tor mounted be­hind the fair­ing (he got a bit hot some­times in summer, but it was a small price to pay for mak­ing such a lovely bike ac­cept­able to the gen­eral pub­lic); special ex­hausts (that re­duced the ex­haust-note to 42db); nice, sen­si­ble flat han­dle-bars; and a seat and sad­dle­bags cov­ered in drip-dry ny­lon fab­ric (be­cause he didn’t ap­prove of us­ing leather, since ev­ery an­i­mal had a right to live with­out be­ing ex­ploited by man, which was why he and Sa­man­tha were also veg­e­tar­i­ans). He was es­pe­cially proud of the new paint scheme, and his taste was con­firmed when a po­lice­man on a white Wankel waved him down. “Hello, Shin­ing,” the po­lice­man said, “I’m not stop­ping you for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar – I know your bike’s al­ways in tip-top con­di­tion, and you al­ways ride it sen­si­bly… I wish I was as good and as care­ful a rider as you, but I just thought I’d stop you to tell you how great your new colour scheme looks.”

“Yes, and of course I’ve in­formed the DVLC in Swansea about the change in par­tic­u­lars,” Shin­ing an­swered. “I’ve got to ad­mit I think it’s su­per, too. It’s not easy to get some­body who can paint a bike in white, re­flec­tive sil­ver, and day­glo orange, and it cost a lot, but the cost doesn’t mat­ter, just so long as other road users'll al­ways be aware of my pres­ence.”

“You’re ab­so­lutely right,” the po­lice­man told him, and made a joke. “It’s a pity we can’t give you a cou­ple of blue lights, like we’ve got on our Nor­ton Wankels – then you’d be re­ally con­spic­u­ous!”

“Oh, but then peo­ple might think I was a po­lice mo­tor­cy­cle,” Shin­ing replied, “and that wouldn’t be right. Mas­querad­ing as a po­lice of­fi­cer is a se­ri­ous of­fence, isn’t it?”

“Wow, Shin­ing,” the po­lice mo­tor­cy­clist said, “I re­ally ad­mire you, did you know that?”

“And I think you’re all do­ing a won­der­ful job,” Shin­ing told him. “Where would civil­i­sa­tion be with­out peo­ple like you?”

“And with­out peo­ple like you,”’ the po­lice­man as­sured him, and started up his bike. “Have a re­ally nice day, Shin­ing, won’t you?”

“It’s just a ques­tion of the right mental at­ti­tude, a healthy diet, and re­spect for one’s fel­low crea­tures,” Shin­ing replied, and the po­lice­man agreed, hero-wor­ship shin­ing on his face as he rode off.

He had a good ride to work that day, but then ev­ery day was a good day as far as Shin­ing was con­cerned, and he al­ways en­joyed the ride to work, even when it was win­ter and it was rain­ing, be­cause his Rukka suit meant he was bone-dry when he got there, and the heated gloves meant that his hands were as warm and dry as toast, as was his face be­hind its heated vi­sor with the lit­tle screen wipers.

That day was es­pe­cially nice, though. He stopped once to help a blind old lady across the road, and she was touch­ingly grate­ful. “God bless you, Shin­ing,” she said. “The Lord in his wis­dom has seen fit to af­flict me with to­tal blind­ness, but I can tell it’s you from the pow­er­ful aura of good that al­ways sur­rounds you, and your clean, healthy, whole­some smell.”

Shin­ing was touched by her sim­ple, geri­atric grat­i­tude, even if the word ‘smell’ was a lit­tle un­fit­ting, he thought. Still, the won­der­ful English lan­guage had changed, and evolved, in the eighty years of the old lady’s life, he knew, so he made al­lowances for her ar­chaic us­age.

As he was rid­ing past a cin­ema, he saw a group of twelve-year-old boys look­ing at the posters out­side. The film on that week was ‘Swedish Em­manuelle 23’, and the posters were hardly fit­ting view­ing for a group of school­boys on their way to the Sir Keith Joseph Sem­i­nary School (Shin­ing recog­nised their uni­forms), so he stopped his bike, got off, and walked over to them. They looked abashed as he drew near, and all blushed and looked down at their shoes in shame.

“Now, chaps,” Shin­ing said, “this isn’t very nice, is it? You know, a woman’s body is one of the loveli­est things cre­ated, but it has to be re­spected. I know they’re nice to look at, but just think of this poor crea­ture, and how she makes her liv­ing tak­ing her clothes off for money, and mak­ing films like this. Well, you wouldn’t want your sis­ter to do some­thing like that, and have school­boys gaw­ping at her, would you, eh?”

One of the boys burst into tears at the hor­ri­ble thought, feel­ing guilty at his con­fused de­sires. Shin­ing pat­ted him gen­tly on the head, which made him feel bet­ter, and he vowed to be­come a vicar, when he’d passed his GCSEs, and do mis­sion­ary work in Namibia. “You know,” Shin­ing said, “I was young once, just like you, and I used to look at smutty pictures like these, and get all worked up, if you know what I mean?”

The boys did, and they were as­tounded at Shin­ing’s hon­esty and hu­mil­ity in ad­mit­ting he was once like them. Two more started blub­ber­ing.

“Well, that’s how you get spots,” Shin­ing told them. “And you’ll never be any good on the rug­ger field if you’re too tired from all those other de­ceit­ful and de­grad­ing forms of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. I think you know what I’m talk­ing about, don’t you, chaps?”

They all burst into tears, and vowed never to do it again, or look at pictures of women in provoca­tive poses, or even think un­whole­some thoughts. Shin­ing strode back to his Har­ley Clas­sic, well sat­is­fied.

Two miles fur­ther along, he stopped to help some­one who was hav­ing trou­ble with his Tri­umph Special. He was a fat, bearded, sweat­ing in­di­vid­ual in oil-stained Le­vis, and a cut-off with an out­law bike gang em­blem on the back, and he was curs­ing hor­ri­bly, and nurs­ing bruised and bleed­ing knuck­les. Shin­ing didn’t mind, he knew he was there to help every­body, no mat­ter how un­wor­thy or anti-so­cial.

“Here,” he told the star­tled out­law, “let me put some TCP and Elasto­plast from my firstaid kit on your bleed­ing knuck­les, and then I’ll see if I can fix your bike for you.”

While the bearded biker stood by, Shin­ing fixed his bike for him. It wasn’t very se­ri­ous, just a top end re­build, and when Shin­ing’d re­built it in just fif­teen min­utes, given the carbs a fi­nal tune, and pol­ished it with the Solvol and pol­ish­ing cloth he kept in his tool­box, he turned and smiled at the baf­fled biker.

“There we are,” he said. “I think you’ll find that that’ll be good for an­other 50,000 miles now. And now that’s out of the way, I think you ought to go home, have a jolly good bath and a shave, and get out of those grubby clothes of yours, don’t you?”

The fat, bearded biker growled an ex­ple­tive at him, but he did it a lit­tle shame­facedly.

“Now you know you don’t mean that,” Shin­ing told him mildly. “I know peo­ple ex­pect it of you out­law bik­ers, but there’s no need to de­grade your­self by play­ing to their me­dia-in­duced para­noia, is there? You’d be amazed at how well I get on with peo­ple, and I’m a biker, just like you. Swear­ing doesn’t solve any­thing, you know, it just shows how limited your vo­cab­u­lary is, and how lit­tle self-re­spect you have for your­self. Be­sides which, I’m a karate, taek­wondo, and aikido mas­ter, so you couldn’t do what you said you’d like to, any­way. You’re dread­fully out of con­di­tion – have you ever thought of going on a diet, do­ing aer­o­bics, and cut­ting down on your al­co­hol con­sump­tion?”

The abashed biker con­fessed he’d like to lose weight, and get back into trim, and maybe drink a bit less too, but he was on the dole.

“There you are,” Shin­ing told him. “A heaven-sent op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing while you’ve got the leisure time. Why not work out at the YMCA, give all that beer and con­ve­nience food a miss, and re­ally start to make some­thing of your­self? And, you know,”headded,“bike­sand­beer­re­al­ly­don’t

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