The Classic Motorcycle

Ron’s disappeari­ng act

- Teresa Jones, Halifax, Yorkshire

When I visit my friend Ron, a subscriber to your magazine, he likes to talk about his old motorcycli­ng days, and I recently recorded a conversati­on with him, which I thought I’d share.

Bearing in mind my friend and I are ‘Yorkshire-ites,’ I’ve tried to write it in the dialect common to around ’ere. The interview with him went something like this…

“Quite a few o’ us once went on t’bikes to Malham. We went on t’Gardale scar. Parked t’bikes on side o’ t’road – only a narra road. Just sat there talking before we decided to move on. But suddenly my bike, with me on it, slid down t’side o’ t’road, down t’banking into a stream at t’bottom. All quite quietly and gently in all.

“It wa’ all overgrown and nubby noticed me disappear as I slid down t’embankment. I wa’ still sat on t’bike an’ slid in t’stream at bottom. All t’grass totally covered it all – all t’foliage fell back on top o’ me. Ah could hear wa’ folks saying, ’Ere, where’s Ron?’

“Ah could hear ’em so ah sat on t’bike a minute or two listening to ’em wondering where the ’ell I wa’. I sharted ‘I’m ’ere!’

“They peered down over t’top and found me… I didn’t hurt myself at all, I’d just slid down, sat upright on t’bike. That bit wa’ all thickly overgrown and when I came down it, it came down over t’top of me. I wa’ invisible! Not one of my pals knew where I’d gone. Coulda been a skeleton down there left on a bike six months later.”

Luckily, Ron and his pals retrieved his bike, and got it back on the road. This was

Ron’s second motorcycle, a

1939 250cc twin-port AJS single, which he classes as his first ‘decent’ bike, which followed a 1937 Sunbeam he’d ridden for a month or two while he did up the AJS.

Ron doesn’t ride now but keeps two motorcycle­s in his shed, a beautiful 1962 Velocette Clubman Venom and a modern 125cc AJS, for sentimenta­l reasons, and which he hasn’t actually ridden from new. “It’s a reminder of those happy times,” he says.

His love of riding his motorbikes has never left him and he enjoys telling his stories, such as the one above, which I hope I’ve captured the flavour of.

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