Telephone: John on 07773296826
When I was about 14 years of age my family lived in an old pub called 'The White Lion' in Bedworth, the town where I live. There was a row of cottages behind the pub and a long yard with two large, wooden Garages at the bottom that belonged to the pub. Behind the garages was a large expanse of rough ground which a few years previous had housed many families in rows of small old cottages with gardens but due to redevelopment they had all been demolished and flattened. At that time a friend of the family owned a 1960 350cc A.J.S. Model 8 which he would occasionally use to visit the Horse races. In between his visits to the track the bike would spend most of it's time in one of the old wooden garages at the bottom of our yard and I would service and put it through the MOT test for him, of course, I would give it plenty of 'Road Tests' on my rough ground 'Test track' behind the garages. One Sunday afternoon a friend call round so I asked him if he would like a pillion ride on the back of the A.J.S., he was more than happy to accept. We rode around the rough ground for a while then I decided to impress him with my riding skills. I steered the bike onto a long dirt road that, at the end, emerged from between two old cottages onto a small cul-de-sac. Once on the straight I opened her up spinning the back wheel in first gear, into second, third, then fourth. By this time we were really motoring and the end of the dirt track was advancing towards us a lot faster than I would have wished. I started to brake hard but we must have been moving much faster than I had realized. We shot out from the narrow neck of the drive between the cottages, hurtled straight across the road, up the opposite kerb, bounced the bike up a step at the end of someones garden (Fortunately the small wooden gate was open), up the long garden path and I dropped the bike just short of hitting the front door. I shouted to my mate to give me a hand to lift the bike back up, he was still sitting in the front garden near the gate where he had been 'Bucked' off when the back wheel had bounced up the step. We picked the bike up, pushed it back down the garden path, across the road and ran with it all the way back to our garage. Once back in the safety of the garage we checked the bike over, hardly a scratch. Fortunately there had been no traffic on the quiet side road and how the hell no one heard the noise I will never know but we got away with it.
I learned three major lessons on the road to my motorcycling career that day.
1. You have to know your limitations.
2. If you overstep your limitations to try to prove something to someone, things usually go wrong.
3. If you act like a 'Twat', you usually end up proving that you are one.
Oh! And 4. If you run fast enough, you don't get caught.