MORE MIKE

Classic Bike (UK) - - YOUR LETTERS - BILL WOOL­NOUGH, SWANTON MORLEY, NOR­FOLK

I con­grat­u­late you on the ex­cel­lent ‘Hail­wood spe­cial’ May is­sue. I have a mem­ory of Mike which could not hap­pen to­day. In the very late ’50s he was en­tered in a meet­ing at Snet­ter­ton, my lo­cal cir­cuit. Dur­ing the morn­ing a ru­mour spread that Mike was nowhere to be seen and would not be rac­ing. At lunch I wan­dered around the pad­dock and saw a BMW saloon car ar­rive. Be­hind the wheel was Mike be­side a very dec­o­ra­tive young lady. In the back where the seats should have been was a tatty look­ing 125 Mon­dial.

The light­weight race had a very re­spectable field, but Mike cleared off and lapped al­most the whole field. Peo­ple were stunned to si­lence. Maybe like me, it was the first time they had seen this phe­nom­e­non on two wheels.

I never met Mike, but some time later I did see that ratty Mon­dial again. I walked into a bike show­room and there it was. The bike shop man­ager who was rac­ing it con­firmed that it was in­deed ‘ex-hail­wood’. “How does it go?” I en­quired. “It’s OK, but noth­ing spe­cial”, said its new rider. It’s pre­vi­ous rider truly was “some­thing spe­cial”.

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