Here are some stories to make you smile over the New Year.
My mate came from a very strict family who were “Plymouth Brethren” and consequently were not in favour of either me or my 1955 AJS 350.
His mother caught me swigging from a bottle of Corona in their kitchen and this was the end for me!
We decided to visit Clacton for the day and I duly arrived at Arthur’s home on Saturday morning to pick him up whereby Mother leaned out of the upstairs bedroom window and called, “May the devil be with you for your sins Russell"
We headed off towards Baldock as the road through to Buntingford was far more interesting than the Hertford route as it had more bends, and ear-oling, as was the term of the day for fast cornering, could be undertaken with us both hanging off as far as we dared.
(No wide sticky tyres in those days, just a good old pair of Avons). Anyway the back end let go, and we entered a field on a left hand bend, fortunately through a well positioned open five bar gate and we and the A-Jay eventually came to rest unharmed.
We sat for a while to regain our composure then head to the heavens laughed and thanked god for sparing us despite the specific instructions given by Mother!
Travelling home late one frosty evening I approached a roundabout and noticed three lads sitting on the kerb at the road side watching me with their bikes parked against the wall.
I thought that they were probably noting the different cornering techniques and gave the Tiger 100 a few more revs and knocked it down a cog only to have the bike slide away on the ice.
“We wondered where the icy patch was” called one of the boys, as they got up and rode off laughing.
Entering Luton after a sprint down the Barton bypass I entered the built up area and came to halt at a set of traffic lights.
A car drew up alongside and I noticed the driver raise what I believed to be two fingers when I promptly returned the gesture to him.
The driver then pulled over in front of me and it was then that I noticed the silver numbers on the shirt collar of the off duty constable.
He had in fact gestured a friendly Three finger sign signifying that I was now in a 30mph zone! My case came up soon afterwards!
We three this time, Me on the Tiger 100, my mate on his Dominator, and another on his Velocette, if I remember it was none other than Phil Read, who was at Luton Tech with us at the time.
Incidentally if you read this Phil, the lecturer reprimanded you once on your usual lateness quoting “You will never get anywhere in your life Read”.
We were spotted by the force as we were checking the carburetion on the A5 near to Dunstable, a favourite stretch of road for trying her out.
We decided to split up to avoid any difficult questions and reduce the odds of us all being stopped.
I took a long detour and eventually arrived home in the dark and noticed a police car outside my house. “Had a nice ride sir?” Enquired the officer? "Not really," I replied, "just popped down the road for a packet of fags."
Motor’s a bit hot for that sir he replied noticing the sound of the cylinder head fins tinkling as they cooled in the cold night air.
Better get inside now sir, before you burn your leg on those Hot pipes.
Long live the fifties and sixties.