another perfectly good motorcycle ruined.......

Sunday, 28 June 2015

never trust a man [with egg on his face]





 the peaky blinder ducati project was always going to be a track-bike only machine. that was until i realised that for most of the year it would be sitting in the shed doing nothing, so, the infamous daytime mot passed, taxed and it's ready to hit the road. i've done around seven hundred road miles on the bike since the trackday at cadwell, i really can't get enough of this thing. since nelly at cornerspeed re-flashed the ecu with the rexxer tuning package, [finding a very useful five bee-haytch-pee and a linear torque curve to boot] i've been caning it. it feel's great riding a barely legal bike on the road, no indicator's, small numberplate, no headlight, blah, blah, blah. a thin piece of neoprene for a seat, big analogue tacho and tiny digital speedo, the bike is better than the standard road bike, the fueling is spot on, no lurching and searching like the standard bike, pulling cleanly from two thousand in top gear, it makes riding in town traffic a joy. on the open road? a wiff of throttle will see you past most traffic, the bike is so light and just 'flickable' it actually laughs at you and your feeble human attemps at cornering, 'is that all you have in the locker monkey-boy?'. to say i'm chuffed is an understatement. i've had a couple of minor problems that you get with any newly built machine, [tail-light and numberplate vibrated off and smashed themseves to rat-shit, ended up cutting the wire with my knife and stuffing the mashings down my jacket to get home] my clutch casing mounting screws vibrated out, just a matter of the powdercoating heating up under temperature and shrinking, sorted now] defining moments? the fast saturday evening ride back from lincoln, down to stamford, past rutland water, into melton mowbray for the 'leicstershire tt' visor splattered, bike fly-blown and sticky from road debris, dangerous on my 'yellow-hammer' supersport, deserted roads and warm, low sunshine. oh yeah and the illegal ride back from a distant bike-night, racing to get home before the darkness falls........

Saturday, 20 June 2015

today, tomorrow, forever...












so, the firm that i've worked for for almost thirty years send me a letter this week to inform me that they are scrapping my final salary pension, the reason? 'we need to use the money that we are currently spending on pensions for our colleagues to be re-directed into the business so we can invest in the future and enable us to purchase competitors and strengthen our position in this very competitive market' oh. so, squeeze me? your going to use my pension money to invest in the firm's future? ok, so where does that leave me then? 'well, for every ten quid you have put in expect to recieve six quid back' whoa, is that fair? 'well, we have to look to the future, the pension scheme cost's us a lot of money, money we could be using to take the company forward. so, what about my future then? 'well, we suggest you seek financial advice, [at your own expense of course] oh, we have contacted the relevant people and you really can't do anything about it, you can't claim age discrimination, i guess you've just got to suck it up' i had nine years left to work. now? well, i'll be working until the day i shuffle off this mortal coil, hey ho. thursday i trap down into leicestershire for the bike night at the vic in coalville, it's a forty mile ride away, a beautiful, mid-summer night, long day's and i need to get my head. i dig out the 'false' bonneville, [the bike closest to the shed door], i'm soon clear of the urban limits and open up the twin, short shifting through the gears and steering the bike using the wide sportster bars, sitting almost upright and keeping my knee's in tight to the tank. out over swarky bridge, the ancient causway where bonny prince charlie decided to sack it and call it a day, skirting melbourne and through pegg's green, dropping onto the 'a' road into coalville and up to the pub. big steve marsh, his wife deborah, son steven jnr and another old mucker, gadge are alredy there. deb's passes me a tea and i investigate the carpark, a couple of t140 bonnevilles, lary, hot-rod harley custom, beautiful mz, i.s.d.t replica, [stunning bike] warning, warning, honda motorcycles approaching, lovely little green cd 200 cafe racer, resto-job 750-four, [great bike, but, i have personally chopped the shit out of these bikes than anyone still alive, why would you want to put one back to standard? just saying] the bsa gold star? triumph tt rep looking the business. oh yes. the rigid framed cbx, six cylinder chop? i'm looking at it and shaun blockley sidles up at my side, 'i built that frame, got a picture of me sitting on it at uncle bunt's' shaun is ex ncc commitee, retired member but still heavilly involved with the club. as the shadow's lengthen i trap on my own, a fast ride back on dry roads, eyes streaming with the pollen. i pull over as i near home, fly splattered yellow safety glasses, sun sinking, motor ticking as it cool's. today.tomorrow. forever.........

one year on.

one year on. i worked with rod. we spent loads of time together, working away from home, travelling the length and breadth of this country, thousands of miles, sharing dig's, ghoster's, early starts and late finishes. fucking hard, back breaking, dangerous work. we had nothing in common really. he was a fisherman, i loved motorcycles. he was the best welder i have ever seen, as strong as an ox, roll-up hanging from his lip, i like strong tea but rod's stewed brew would strip the enamel from your teeth. rod took his own life 20/06/14. miss you mate.

Friday, 12 June 2015

moto morini riders trackday [aka still the best kept secret in motorcycling]
















as soon as the invite to the moto morini riders trackday drops through the letterbox i get my entry back a.s.a.p. seriously, miss this at your peril, more tracktime than you could ever need, laid back and just really good crack, great bikes, ice cream and like minded people, all the ingredients for a bosting day out. [the morini club pay extra for the good weather too] me, chalky and dangerous ended up looking like lobsters, the 'peaky blinder' ran great all day, never missing a beat, got a graze down my forearm where a lad on a montjuic forced me onto the grass at the chicane, he waved an apology, no worries, stuffed him around charlies, balance sorted, fish and chip supper at mermaid fisheries in horncastle, van unloaded, couple of peronis and fell asleep in front of the telly watching the tt coverage, a perfect day..........