Monday 9 December 2019

Sam The Record Man

I recently came across this photo from, I think, the 1970s online and it looked kind of familiar.

I did  bit of searching and came across this photo I took on a trip to Toronto in 2016 of the same shop front. 

The cops were arresting someone which was what made me stop and take the photo. Of the cop bike, not the actual arrest, as that was none of my business. 

I liked the 'americana' feel of the scene, despite it being in Canada. I have seen it said since that Toronto is the most American city in Canada.

Sunday 8 December 2019

Cinders to Shale

There is a small museum not too far from where I live dedicated to speedway racing. Strangely, the owner only opens it for one day a year, but it's his museum, so his rules.

A while back I got the nod that it was time for the annual open day and, although I'm not a huge fan of the sport, decided to pop along and have a look.

As museums go, it's quite small. Entrance is by donation and you enter through a narrow corridor covered in advertising posters. 

Turn a corner and you are met with a large room absolutely packed with bikes and even more memorabilia the strangest of which must be the jam jars lovingly labelled and full of ash and cinders from particular tracks and specific races.

The bikes themselves are pristine and they are obviously well cared for, unlike a lot of exhibits you come across in much bigger museums. They range from the vintage to the modern and include names like Vincent and Scott who I didn’t know made such specialist machines.

All in all it was a pleasant way to pass an hour or so and I’d recommend it should you manage to hear of it’s next open day.

Friday 22 November 2019

Street Twin

I put my Triumph into the shop recently for its first major service and they kindly loaned me another bike for the duration, an almost brand-new Triumph Bonneville Street Twin 900, one of Triumph's ever-popular parallel twins.

I must say that it was quite a bit different to what I've been riding lately. 

First reaction is that it's a small bike. Unfaired, no luggage, very light and with its short wheel-base relatively easy to move around, at least compared to some of the lumps I've had over the last couple of years. 

Sitting on it, the pegs are set well back, so you lean forward onto your wrists like a race bike and while the riding position felt a bit cramped at first I soon got used to it. 

The gearbox produced a very Triumph-like 'clunk' into first and away we went. Acceleration, brakes, handling, all excellent, and the slightly non-standard pipes give a lovely burble as you trundle along.

As with most naked bikes it would benefit from some sort of screen at higher speeds, and you'd need to fork out for some sort of luggage were you to plan going anywhere on it, but that's not really what this bike is all about. 

It's a shame that it rained most of the time that I had it as I didn’t really get a chance to put it through its paces, riding it with my sensible hat on to avoid any unpleasantness on an unfamiliar machine and greasy road surfaces.

The only downside worth mentioning was that I found the switchgear a bit fiddly and difficult to use with gloves on. Using the indicators was a bit hit or miss as the buttons were quite small. You would maybe get used to it on longer acquaintance. 

Could I be persuaded to trade it for my current ride? Probably not, which is no slight on the bike itself. It's an excellent piece of kit, but just not the sort of machine I'm looking for at the moment. 

I took the Street Twin back and picked up my own bike after a service which cost a little under what I paid for my first three bikes combined! Nonetheless, everything feels just a little better, a little sharper than before, so I guess that it was money well spent.