Back Street Heroes
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Another ‘70s tale of my days working in the Dorchester bike shop. Saturdays were always a meeting place in the shop – the usual gang came in for a chat, and that was how we all knew what was going on as there was no internet or mobile phones back then (thank goodness).
One bloke sometimes put on a disco in a local village hall or pub (I think he was secretary of the 71 Club – anybody remember that?), to which I always went, hoping to meet the love of my life. It was 50 pence to get in, you took your own booze, and you could always guarantee to have a good old snog with the girls. There was this one girl, Rosemary, who took a shine to me. She was a bit on the larger side – so much so that, while having a cuddle, I couldn’t get my hands to meet when putting my arms around her waist. She was very pretty though, and I think her dad ran a pub! We used to go outside for a cuddle – I remember one time we rolled all the nettles flat behind the hall. Once, I must’ve fallen asleep outside in the grass, due to alcohol, and on waking couldn’t find me bike. It was pitch black, and I had no torch, and after a drunken eternity I found a bike that my key fitted and, on turning on the lights, saw it was the only one there! All my mates’d long gone, the feckers, and so had Rosemary, probably in the arms of another. On doing up my leather, there was this horrible pong – I’d only gone and rolled in some dog shit, and it was plastered in the zips of my jacket. BASTARD! Much later in life, both my first and second wives’ names were Rosemary, and my sister’s name was the same... what are the chances of that happening?
My wife sometimes tells me off for talking about the past all the time, but being a teenager in the ‘70s was a great time – the future didn’t exist in those days. I love the Trevor
Dowling ‘Reminiscing’ stories – well done, mate, bloody brilliant.
Asked once, ‘What’s the worst thing about getting old?’ I replied, “Remembering when I was young.” If anybody out there used to watch ‘The Likely Lads’ on TV, you may remember one line of the title song that said, ‘All we’ve got to look forward to is the past.’
Soon I won’t be able to get any petrol for my 42-year-old Shovelhead, what a great future? What a crock of shit.
STEVE (CHELSEA PENSIONER) WARREN
Don’t worry, Steve, by then it won’t be alcohol that stops you finding your bike, it’ll be dementia! N.
I thought to put pen to paper on my biking/ triking journey. I started out back in the day on a Francis Barnett 197cc – that ages me, doesn’t it? Over the years I’ve owned many bikes, and ridden in excess of 300,000 miles, and’ve been lucky enough to travel in Europe and Scandinavia. I used to do all the shows, and even owned a chop I bought from an ex-outlaw as I don’t really know one end of a welder from another. I tried Harleys, but £8,500 of repairs in 25,000 miles for the last one took the edge off the experience!
I don’t consider myself a biker, just someone who enjoys checking out anything on two or three wheels. Many years ago my wife decided she no longer liked two wheels, so I purchased a Rhino trike, on which we rode thousands of enjoyable miles, and I also rode other bikes.
Then in 2014 the health fairy decided that I was enjoying myself too much! Long story, many hospital visits, operations, etc., but thankfully we live in a country where normal people can access goodquality health care. Two years ago my health took a turn for the worse, and the wife suggested I trade my big bike, a Crosstourer, plus the Rhino, for something easier/safer, as amongst many things, my one illness affects my balance, so I looked round for something to sit ‘in’ rather than ‘on’, as it’ll hurt just as much to fall off a bike-based trike, as a bike. Realistically, this left the choice between Boom or Rewaco as they had stuck in my mind since I first saw one at the Rock & Blues years ago.
We decided I might as well draw a bit from my modest pension, and have a Rewaco – not a new one, but a fifteen-year old one (I’m only a normal bloke and no way, even with two vehicles to trade, could I afford a new one!). It was purchased from a dealer, not quite as described but, after another two grand(!) spent dealing with the bodges, I now have the vehicle I thought
I’d purchased and, over the last two years, I’ve ridden many thousands of miles on the Rewaco, and have had a great time, in all weathers. I still have a Yamaha Bulldog which, with enough meds, I can ride for about 50 miles.
Like most areas of bike/trike life, the Rewaco polarises opinion, but don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. I’m still having a brilliant time, and it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made.
The icing on the cake? Well, the health fairy’s decided I’ve been kicked enough, and the big C is now stable, not cured, but a damn site better than the options, and I am luckier than many, so who knows? Another show in 2022? Didn’t think I’d have that choice twelve months ago.
So here’s the big question:
Am I a real biker? Definitely not!
Am I a real triker? Apparently not!
Do I give a shit? Absolutely not!
I consider myself lucky to be here so I’m thoroughly enjoying whatever I’m riding, always with a big grin, always thankful to be on two or, more often, three wheels!
Mate, I’ve never been a real biker in me life, but who cares? Good on yer! N.
I’ve been a reader for many years now, but something happened in your last edition that hasn’t happened before.
On reading Rick Hulse’s ‘The Joys of Life’ I seem to have got some dust in my eyes, causing them to water. This contamination clearly must’ve happened in the packaging department of your magazine as I am a rufty-tufty biker of mature years, and couldn’t possibly’ve got emotional over the aforesaid article.
Please ensure it doesn’t happen again. NIGEL, GUILDFORD