I guess this is where I’m supposed to wow you with tales of daring-do around the Oxford ring-road or hanging off an Alpine peak by a wheel spoke with nothing but a polo mint and 2 gallons of unleaded petrol to drink …..
Sadly no …. I’m just an ordinary chap with an (un)healthy love of bikes. I guess I got it from my grandfather, but it was the first whizz around a field on a Puch Maxi that really clinched the deal. It’s been a 57-plus year roller coaster ride – literally – some magical days and days I thought I’d throw the leathers and sell the damn thing.
For some of that time, I was a London dispatch rider ….. for some a ‘professional’ rider and for the last nineteen years I’ve worked full and part-time as an Advanced Motorcycle Instructor. I’ve also dabbled as an Agricultural engineer, a dashing RAF type, a CAD/3D modeller, a Laser engineer and as farmer/builder/plumber/electrician on our Italian small-holding. Nowadays though I work in autonomous cars … couldn’t get much more different could it!
As a rider though, I’ve always worked on my own bikes. Some I tinkered with and some I lavished obscene amounts of money on (“… hello, this is HSBC, we’re just reminding you that YOU bank with us, not the other way around!”), some I raced and some just shone so you could eat off them. Either way, bikes have been in every waking moment of my life and some damn fine dreams come to think of it. Bikes have come and gone in a steady procession …. about 50 at the last count, but only 5 of those in the last 15 years!
The Aprilia Caponord Rally-Raid (FX53) came along in February 2008. It rolled up on a cold but sunny afternoon in Oxford with less than 1,800 miles on it. As of January 2020, we’ve covered over 152,000 miles (245,000 Km!) together and I don’t see any reason to change a bike I get on with any time soon. We’ve still got some life left in both of us and an awful lot of places to visit!
In November 2015 a second rather skinny Rally-Raid (NK03) arrived and so the family grows. So if you see a Rally-Raid on your travels in the UK, give it a cheery wave ….. there’s something like a 1 in 9 chance it’s me! 😀