... freedom on two wheelsI didn't want to be a biker. As a spotty faced teenager I was mad on cars, just waiting for my 17th birthday, so that I could get behind the wheel. With a month to go my father bought an old BSA Bantam, sat me on it and pushed me off up the road ! Not the usual story, I know. I don't know if he realised the path that he was setting me off along.
Eventually, with over 40 years of biking behind me I decided in 2010 that the time had come to hang up my helmet. With family and work stuff I didn't get out anything like I used to (and having become a fair weather biker the weather often intervened on the days I could) and it had been drifting away from me.
One fine spring day that March I had to go over to Harrogate. I got the bike (BMW then) out and had a good ride there & back. When I got home I thought "I'd have enjoyed that just as much in a car" and I never rode the bike again.
It may not be
all gone. I still look at bikes, I do still have a dust
covered MZ 250 in the garage that Karen has never seen
go, and Triumph certainly make some models I fancy. But
for now fresh air motoring is via 4 wheels (I didn't
totally abandon that) and this page has become a record
of a long life (if not life long) passion of mine.
So I came back down closer to earth and the BMW was replaced in March '96 by a Yamaha XT600E. A light, fun machine for blatting around on.
However, summer 96 passed and a friend of Karen's seemed interested in the Yamaha. I thought I had an Aprilia Pegaso lined up, so waved the Yam goodbye... then discovered the Pegaso was not quite as close to my grasp as it had seemed.
But all was not lost, as this opened up the opportunity of going for the one bike that that I really fancied at the time - an MZ Skorpion Sport. I had one major disappointment, travelling 250 miles to see a "*****, mint condition" one which turned out to be an absolute dog. Hopefully that dealer will think twice before trying it on again, as I successfully sued him to recover my costs ! If you see an advert for 'Motorcycle Trade Sales' of Aldershot, walk away !!!!
What it did do, however, was act as
the catalyst that broke my tie to the Laverda and so
perhaps led to my giving up biking. After I'd had the
BMW a few years I was taking the Laverda for it's MOT
are realised that I had done only a tiny mileage on it.
Just about every time there'd been an opportunity to
take out a bike I'd picked the BMW.
Because I believe bikes exist to be ridden
I decided one of them had to go and - because the BMW
was the one I was using most - I made the hard decision
that it was time to part with the Mirage. It readily
found a buyer who appreciated both its originality and
the ways I had fettled it over the years and it headed
off to a new home down south. I do hope it is still
giving good service and being well treated.
But after that I still did not do many
miles until the fateful day arrived that I mentioned
above. With hindsight I believe I should have sold
the BMW, kept the Laverda and I think I'd still be a
biker if I had done that.
But I didn't, I'm not currently a
biker, and life goes on.
My additional biking pages:Laverda Space - section of my site given over to things Laverda
5,000 miles around the USA & Canada on my Mirage
International Laverda Owners Club 25th anniversary rally
Some fun stuff to do - have
you seen www.wordle.net
? It takes text and makes word clouds out of it.