Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by plaques » 08 Mar 2019, 12:43

Genuine bike enthusiasts rarely cause any trouble. I used to go over to Waterfoot for one of their 'meets'. Town centre closed off with hundreds of bikers showing off their expensive metal. Most of them looked like they'd had really hard lives and wouldn't have been considered as normal people. Having said that you never saw anyone drinking alcohol and the only person who was staggering about was the local drunk. With bikes costing over £10k the last thing you wanted was booze inside you.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 08 Mar 2019, 16:55

Hence the camping weekends that the rally venues afforded. On the bikes, 10K and the rest Plaques for some of the bigger cruisers sports bikes and tourers. A lot of the born again bikers are now from the doctors, solicitors and stockbroker professions. You would need a decent salary to buy and maintain some of the marques especially as they may only come out once a week as an amusement. If it was otherwise they would not be able to keep up with the concourse look of their bikes. My bikes back in the day were my only form of personal transport, I had no interest in cars as such. So they got me to work and college during the week and then became the instrument for adventure and fun at the weekends, particularly once you had a steady girlfriend. I didn't need to learn to drive until I was 21 and out of my time when I could then be self sufficient as a field service engineer. My previous years of experience and survival on two wheels meant that I only needed six lessons (at £6 an hour) to to get the feel of the Ford Escort that I took my test in, that included the hour for my test, passed first time without problem. My instructor told me to put in for my test after my first lesson. This is a sore point with my kids who all had multiple lessons (at huge cost) and quite a few failed tests before they got their tickets. Different times of course, it was a lot more straightforward 40 years or more ago and even different still for previous generations to mine. :smile:
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Wendyf » 08 Mar 2019, 18:35

A farming neighbour of ours in Scotland had a bike rally on his land every year. They would clean up their sheds and provide catering and space for social events. We all used to help out serving breakfasts and an evening meal for 2 nights. I think it provided a healthy income for the farm!

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 08 Mar 2019, 19:04

I have been to a few proper rural ones in my time. Snowman Rally is held in winter as you would imagine, January or thereabouts and down in Derbyshire. A camping field with a barn, crated ale bar and a DJ playing the tunes, other buildings with catering on offer, the only rally I have ever been to where you had to wait until Sunday afternoon to break camp as all the tents ground sheets were frozen to the ground, very cold but good for cuddling. :extrawink:

Dragon Rally in Wales was another good one, that and the Snowman done with the good relations with the farmers and the organising clubs. Our own clubs Pennine Rally was held in the open fields across from the Tomato Dip on Keighley Road before any of the industrial estate was built.
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Wendyf » 08 Mar 2019, 19:10

I can't remember the name of the club, but people came from all over the UK and there was an organised ride up Princes Street in Edinburgh on the Sunday Morning.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2019, 03:45

Fascinating insight into a different world.....
You're right about licences Ian, see me memoirs for how I got mine! My first one was All Groups, the complications came in later but even then I got my HGV on Grandad's Rights....
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Wendyf » 09 Mar 2019, 07:14

Wendyf wrote:
08 Mar 2019, 19:10
I can't remember the name of the club, but people came from all over the UK and there was an organised ride up Princes Street in Edinburgh on the Sunday Morning.
Motorcycle Action Group ..... It popped straight into my head this morning.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2019, 08:18

Isn't it amazing how your brain works on these things overnight!
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by plaques » 09 Mar 2019, 08:19

Round about 1960 my pal and myself took a ride down to Brighton, we were on Velocettes, found a small boarding house and settled in to the local scene. 90% of the bikers came down from London and we had no trouble fitting in with the action. This was just before the Mods and Rocker days, M & Rockers actually there was no trouble only a few snide remarks about 'pansies' etc.
The real action was in the bars at night where an ill judged comment about one of the local 'gays' would erupt into a full scale war.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 09 Mar 2019, 08:24

You lot have led such exciting lives..... At that time I was working all hours tramming all over the country and I often say I missed the 60s and 70s completely! (I remember often thinking late on a Saturday night as I passed through towns that some people were having a far more enjoyable time than I was! Largely the mini skirts that did it for me....)
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 16 Mar 2019, 15:44

I have got the relevant albums out that cover our early biking years. I'll scan a few and put them up but I think I will relate the first meeting of the long haired biker lad with Sally's dad, Thomas Henry Hutchinson.

As I mentioned in my last post Sally had told me that her dad didn't have a very high regard for long haired youths and certainly not those from the biking fraternity. Spring 1973 was spent with me travelling over to Carleton during weekday evenings to do my courting. We used to go to the Swan with Sally's mates who I got on with OK and soon started to be noticed in the village. I reckon maybe a quarter of the residents were related to Sally one way or another, she had a lot of Aunt's and Uncles on her dads side and lots of cousins who were all around the same age as us. Sally had gone to school in the village with all her friends and relations so it was a close knit community. A lot of folk knew we were courting but not Thomas.

Depending on the weather we would either have a night in the pub with an odd pint and a few bags of crisps, play darts or just natter with mates. If it was fine we would go out walking maybe down to the river or round Church Fields. We talked about how the presentation to her mum and dad would pan out. I have to admit I was not looking forward to it.

I think it was sometime in May and we had been at the Swan. It had rained all day and developed into a thunderstorm mid evening. I parked the bike in front of the Swan and Sally would normally see us off before going home. That particular night it was about 10.30 or 11 on a Friday, it had stopped raining and I got togged up, got on the bike switched on but couldn't get it started. I tried a few times on the electric start, then multiple times with the kick start so as not to flatten the battery. Nothing, I got the plug spanner out and whipped one of the plugs out, all well although a bit wet with petrol from previous attempts to start. I put the top cap on and wedged it against the cylinder head and turned it on the starter, nothing, did the other side, same result. On the plug cap for the other cylinder I could see that it was arcing through the insulation of the cap, It looked like both were waterlogged, confirmed by resting the caps on the cylinder head and turning the engine over with the starter. It was dumping the HT to earth before getting to the plug, bugger! By this time the battery was getting a bit tired as well, downward circle with no immediate fix at after 11pm.

Not a lot of options really, I could walk home but I had work on the Saturday morning and it would be a lot of hassle if I left the bike and then had to return to fix it. It just really needed to dry out but It wouldn't do it at that time of night. With a bit of reluctance from me Sally suggested that I pushed it up to her house on West Road and she would test the water with her dad. I did just that but lit up a fag to calm my nerves. West Road is a short row of cottages just as you are leaving the village on the left had side, Mill Hill on the way out over the tops to Earby. I waited with trepidation on the garden path as Sally went inside. I was expecting Tommy to come out and give me what for, for bothering with his daughter. Time seemed to drag, seemed like an age but was probably no more than a minute or two. It had started to rain again.

Door opened and there was Sally's dad about the same height as me, ruddy complexion and black wavy hair not long home from Carleton Working Mens Club where he played darts. He looked me over first without saying a word. "Don't stand there in the rain lad, come on in, don't mind the dog he won't bother you", as I stepped in he said "where's your bike, fetch that in as well, it wont dry out there". I was gobsmaked to say the least but did as I was told. I went back outside and shoved it up the garden path. We moved the settee forwards nearer the fire an popped the bike behind it. "Louise, put the kettle on and make the lad a brew, he looks a bit starved". You can stop the night on the settee and we'll see what its like in the morning".

That was it, I breathed a sigh of relief as I had obviously passed muster in some way. It was my introduction also to Zoltan, Savannah Cameron Zoltan to be precise if we give him his pedigree name, German Shepherd, he eyed me over more than Tommy actually and spent the night on the hearth in front of the settee, I reckon on guard duty. 6.30am Tommy was up and after exchanging pleasantries took Zoltan out for his morning walk. Louise, Sally's mum was next and she made me a brew and an egg butty. Sally was down by the time her dad got back and we were sat together on the settee. "Ey up our Sally, we were wondering when you were going to fetch him home". Her mum and dad had got wind of our courting a few weeks before through the Carleton family network but were waiting for us to make the first move.

It had faired up during the night, I reversed the bike out from behind the settee and popped it on the side stand on the garden path. I refitted the plugs and popped the caps back on. Switched on, cracked it up on the kick start and it caught first time. I left it idling for a while until it warmed up while I got my kit on. We said our goodbyes outside 5, West Road and I went straight up over the tops to work in Earby until dinnertime. I was back in the afternoon to pick Sally up and we went over to Appleyards and I got some new HT caps for the bike. I noticed Sally had her helmet and gloves in full view on the shelf under the window bottom when I went to collect her, she had previously hidden them under her bed and sneaked them in and out as and when required when she was bothering with a the biker lad, (front door was directly at the bottom of the stairs). I was invited back for tea by her mum, Louise. Sally had become an accepted biker girl by her mum and dad and it would appear that I had my feet under the table and so it was.

I have another tale that features Tommy again with a later bike a couple of years down the line though.
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by plaques » 16 Mar 2019, 18:24

I take it you were still riding the Honda K4. Any British bike of that era would have been dripping oil over the living room carpet. I think that would have put an end to your courting.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 16 Mar 2019, 20:32

Yes indeed Plaques, the Honda 250 K4 was only 10 months old at that time and I had found the second minor problem with Jap bikes apart from the plasticised tyres they were supplied with and I had already fixed that one. That was the compound used for the HT caps for the plugs, I guess they were OK in a more temperate climate but not up to ours. One thing Japanese bikes didn't do was drop oil, tight as a drum in that respect. The ones I replaced them with were German and I never had another problem with them for the duration I kept the bike.
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 17 Mar 2019, 02:52

Has Sally ever read the first part of Horace Thornton's evidence in the LTP? It would interest her, it's all about Carleton Village......
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 17 Mar 2019, 10:15

She says not but I'll show it her.
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 18 Mar 2019, 03:41

:good:
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 18 Mar 2019, 22:38

Next episode...

First few pictures, no fancy cameras, all taken with a 110 roll film plastic snapper, best ones when the sun shines. Here we are around the time of my test March 1973, the sun is not shining here but I have proper Dunlop TT100 tyres and the new rack on the bike.

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By the time I had been presented to Tommy and had been given the OK to continue courting his daughter we were already discussing summer holidays. We had been going out for five months by June and knew that we both had already arranged holidays with our respective mates. Sally had a week booked in Blackpool with about five other girls and I had arranged to go down to Newquay with a few of my Barlick mates. Neither of us could really give back word to plan something together so we left the arrangements for this year as they were. It was only a week apart and of course absence makes the heart grow fonder. We did manage to get a weekend wild camping in together just up the road in Helwith Bridge by the river Ribble, weather was kind, there is a pub of course up the lane and a quarry further on but nothing else. We shoved the tent up by the river and had our first weekend away together.

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A wash in the river soon wakes you up!

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No idea why we had Sally and the tranny on the wall, could have been taking the rays I suppose. :smile:

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July holidays came around and Sally went off to Blackpool on a coach from Skipton. We said our goodbyes on the Friday night. I packed up and set of with Rob and Pete. Pete had seen my K4 250 and fancied one of his own so we matched on this trip. Rob had the slightly smaller Honda 175 twin which could still hold it's own if it was not two up, albeit at higher revs. We stopped and camped at Taunton for one night on the way down. The camp site, I remember it well, was a long field at the side of a pub. The tents were pitched either side which left a wide avenue up the middle. The field had a tall privet hedge or similar at the top and we had pitched about 10 to 15 yards from the top. Rob and myself left our bikes parked up by the tents but Pete decided he would take his down to the pub, we told him he was daft but hey ho, his decision.

What do three lads do in a Taunton pub on a Saturday night, they drink Cider. Fine and dandy if you are walking back to your digs 200 yards up the field next door. At the end of the night that's what me and my mate Rob did. Pete, said he would catch us up after he had been to the loo. As we approached the level of our tents about 20 yards from the top we heard Pete coming up the field at full tilt, we could see his lights coming up from behind. Problem was he forgot to slow down as he passed us and totally misjudged the stop. The hedge stopped him OK but he kept going and ended up over the bars and nearly out the other side. Surprisingly the bike survived with little damage, certainly came of better than my abrupt stop with the doctor. Pete took a bit of extracting backwards out of the hedge with nothing broken apart from his pride, he was fairly limp with all that cider inside him. We parked up his bike, kept his keys and put him to bed. We made it down to Newquay the following day and pitched up on one of the camp sites on the headland. We spent the week trying most of the pubs in Newquay, on 10th July we took the required trip down to Lands End for the proving photo.

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Looks like I caught a bit of a tan.

We went riding out around the lanes, exploring Tintagel and a bit of time on the beach when the sun shone. Weather went a bit downwards towards the end of the week so we broke camp on the Thursday and reversed our journey from the weekend before. We stopped at the same camp site at Taunton, we went to the pub at the bottom of the field for a beer, Pete left his bike by the tent with ours and non of us touched the local Cider. :extrawink:

If Tizer reads this, I wonder if he can tell me if the camp site is still there?

Saturday I was back in Barlick and went on to Skipton to meet Sally off her coach home from Blackpool. She had a good time with her mates dancing the week away but we had both missed each other. No rallying after the holidays we just eased into the local biking scene. Sally needed a bit more kit for better safety and turning the weather. Up to press through spring and into summer she was in denims and pumps on the back. Not very good if we were ever to have a falling off session and not practical if it rained

Back at work on piece work as a machinist sewing slippers at Peter Blacks Sally could make about two to three times as much as me in an average week. I was on a fixed wage with an annual review and rise, we usually got a Christmas bonus as well. She needed some boots and waterproofs. Back in the 70's a pair of leather bike boots were around the £30 - £40 mark and Barbour or Bellstaff waterproofs rocking on £80 to £150 for jacket and trousers depending on brand and style. Very few bikers of the day wore full leathers, some of the outer gear was starting to get reinforcements in the elbows and knees but it would take a good few years more before full plastic lightweight armour for the bits that break became the norm in weatherproof gear. She worked over on a few Fridays to make some extra cash and as Autumn and Winter approached she had her boots, over trousers and jacket. She preferred the Belstaff gear as they made lighter weight reinforced nylon stuff. I had waxed Barbour gear which used to get a bit stiff through the colder months. I had a different view and much better choice 30 years later when I had to kit out again when we had our last bike.

Tommy was on the committee of Carleton Working Men's Club and lost no time in signing me up as a member, Sally already was so it was a done deal. Now we were out as a couple so to speak we could frequent both the pub and the club. There were some good functions on up at the club and I met a whole new bunch of Sally's Aunt's, Uncles and older cousins. I probably knew as many folk in Carleton as I did in Barlick. I got roped into the Carleton WMC fishing team and did one or two Sunday matches with them.

Sally was 19 in early October and I turned 20 in late November. Sally was kitted out now for the bike, we saved up for Spring the following year when we would start the rallying season.....
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 19 Mar 2019, 04:06

:good:
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 20 Mar 2019, 15:35

A potential spanner was thrown into the works which could have had a major impact on our plans for the Spring. The Arab-Isreali or "October War" was the spanner in this case. It created an immediate crisis for potential fuel supplies.

Ration books were issued by the British government to combat petrol shortages during the 1973 Oil Crisis. The Organisation of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) imposed an oil embargo on Western countries which had supported Israel during the Arab-Israeli Yom Kippur war.

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The books were based on the engine capacity of the vehicle you drove and were issued to last a 6 month period. I received mine for my bike sometime in November. It consists of 12 "N" units and 6 "L" units. In the case of my 250cc bike they were half units. No details were given as to what capacity these units would actually be.

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As it turned out they were never actually pressed into use. There was a knock on though which would manifest itself in December of 1974. Speed limits were reduced in an effort to safe fuel which was still in short supply.

Motorways stayed at 70mph, Dual Carriageways were reduced to 60mph and all other roads to 50mph. Motorists could previously drive up to a limit of 70mph.

Notwithstanding the odd no fuel signs that you came across occasionally at filling stations. Shortages were not really an issue for bikers.

Here are a selection of photos from our rallying. I like many others didn't bother to write on the backs of so many of these. I can't remember where some were actually taken although I may hazard a guess, some are more obvious.

This one is easy, it's Sally in March of 1974, one that does have annotation.

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Ready for off somewhere, local by the look as no gear packed, outside my mum and dads anyway.

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A bit further afield here, summer rally venue somewhere in the country. I have an idea it may have been Aysgarth.

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This one is easy, we were on our way to the Captain Cook rally, organised by the Tees Tornado's bike club, up on the NE coast.

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Next one is easy too, it's the Blackpool rally which was quite eventful.

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Skipton Gala Day in June of 1974 was another nemesis with Tommy day for me. I took the opportunity on the day of trying to get Tommy fresh in the Fleece in Skipton which is where the family usually watched the procession from, I had an ulterior motive though. Being a traditional type of bloke I was intending to ask him for his daughters hand in marriage. Sally and I had discussed this previously of course, we realised that we were both smitten by then. Anyway we reckoned that plying her dad with dark mild might make it a jolly event. It was a jolly event although I'm fairly certain that Tommy knew what I was about before we started, (family grapevine again) no hiding in the village. I reckon he had empty legs and it cost me a bloody fortune trying to fill them! He shook my hand anyway and we got the blessing from both parents.

Summer holidays came round and we decided to go down to Newquay where I had been with my mates the previous year. All Sally's mates had gone to Rhyll to a holiday camp so we decided to call in on them on our way down to our holidays in Cornwall. We had one night out with the girls in Rhyll and camped overnight on a local site. We then took the scenic route down through Wales to Chepstow where we spent another night. We arrived down in Newquay on the Monday and set up camp above Fistral beach.

Weather was glorious and on the Wednesday we went down to Lands End according to the date on our signpost photo.

Here we are in the Last House car park.

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Sally adorns the bike better than me :extrawink:

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Thursday morning we awakened early with the sun streaming into the tent, too good a day to waste so after a quick brew we took the path down from the camp site onto the beach. We were sunbathing before 8am. We stayed on the beach and in the sea all day and both managed to catch too much sun. Thursday night was agony, we both had a touch of sunstroke and couldn't bide to have clothes on. We slept best we could in our swimwear sat up. Raging headaches, shivering and sweating. By morning the headaches had bated and we walked down to the chemist in town. He gave us some of his own mix cream to lather ourselves up with. We knew we had overdone it and made the decision to go directly home.

We still couldn't bide to put clothes on so we packed up as we were and set off home in our swimming cozzy's. Didn't manage to get off until early afternoon. Got a lot of strange looks but hey ho needs must, it started raining in the Midlands. It was bliss in the rain and we just pressed on, the rain turned to a summer thunderstorm and torrential downpour to go with it. I remember us rocking up at an all night transport cafe just south of Manchester and walking in like two drowned rats. Bike boots, trunks and helmet. The lass in the cafe took one look at us and took pity, "oh you poor things, come on in and we'll sort you out". So she did, she made us both breakfast and didn't charge us, found us some towels to dry ourselves off and Sally found that she could get her jeans and a T shirt on. I got my shorts and a T on. We got back into Barlick on Saturday morning, lesson learned about time in the sun.

We were doing a lot of miles on the bike and two up with a lot of gear it was OK but a little underpowered for the longer hauls. In September we decided to take a trip down to London to see what Elite Motors, (where I bought the bike) might have to offer in the way of a potential upgrade.

We stayed at a camp site off the M4 out at Slough, it was at the side of the Mars Bar factory just where the green belt started back then. We only spent one night on the camp site as that first night we found that it was overrun by Rats. We spent a lot of the night batting them with our bike boots when they were scurrying between the inner tent and flysheet. Note to self, don't camp again next to a food or confectionery factory.

Early doors after a brew and a bacon butty apiece we went down into the city and had a bit of fun with the Lions and pigeons.

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We took in a few more of the sights London had to offer in the morning, found a cafe for some lunch and then returned to the bike and found our way out onto Tooting Broadway where Elite Motors lived. We had a good look round at what they had on offer. Couldn't afford another new bike but was looking for a good 2nd user part exchange deal. They had a lot of bikes but nothing really that we fancied. Oh well, nothing on fire so we made our way back up to Slough and the Rat field. Here is Sally packing ready for the journey home.

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November, I took Sally off to Samuels Jewellers in Skipton and I bought a ring she liked. Thursday 28th November which was my 21st birthday, we didn't go to the bike club that night. I presented the ring, she hadn't changed her mind. :smile: We then went down to the Swan with a few of her mates to let them have a look.

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I think she looks happy enough. :smile:

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My mum and dad got me a signet ring for my birthday. I have worn it ever since.

More bikes to come and a bit of fun with Tommy in the next episode.......
Ian

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 21 Mar 2019, 03:30

Innocent days...... Lovely!
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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by plaques » 21 Mar 2019, 20:02

Seeing Sally all togged up in her motorcycling gear reminds me that Mrs P was -probably one one the best pillion passengers you could wish for. At 7 stone wet through you hardly knew she was there. Steady as a rock, added nothing to the braking and never flinched on corners. By comparison a lad I used to give a lift to was 6ft 4, 14½ stone and virtually took control of the bike from me. Each corner was a sudden drop with his knee touching the road as you see now in professional racing and a massive correction partway through. Every bit of braking was a real fistful. Give me a passenger who sat there nice and passive rather than someone who 'knew' how to ride a bike.

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by PanBiker » 21 Mar 2019, 20:30

On our last bike, we had all mod cons so to speak and Sally used to sleep on the back when we were on long hauls. I will get to that later in the story. Our Dan could do the same as well.

I once gave a lift to a lad who nearly had us off by trying to fight the bends by counterbalancing because he thought we were going to fall off when I eased into the bends. I pulled up after a while and told him to get off as he was a liability, I did leave him at a bus stop though :biggrin2:
Ian

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Re: Bikes You Have Owned and Loved

Post by Stanley » 22 Mar 2019, 02:34

I have only ridden pillion twice and each time I was so scared I just froze......
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