Me and bikesI started riding bikes, er, years ago. In about 1978, in fact. The first bike (not very legally) was a Triumph 5TA (500 twin).
That blew up after a while, with a conrod emerging from the bottom of the engine, and I bought a BSA B40 (350 single). After a while, the big end went on that, but with perfect timing, a colleague decided to sell his 750 Bonnie.
The Bonnie suffered a severe trauma when down in Cornwall. As I came round a left-hand bend, a car started to pull out of a driveway. He saw me and stopped, part-way out. I went to ride round the front of him, he decided he could pull out - he was wrong. I scraped down the right side of his car.
The bike was a mess. Front wheel pushed back to the engine, frame bent, exhaust bent... it was written off by the insurance company and I bought it back. I was a member of the Triumph Owners Club, Meriden branch, which met at the factory. One contact was able to come up with a frame (it had been used to test the new powder coating) and front wheel, plus a few other bits and pieces.
Over the next few months, I rebuilt the Bonnie. Finally I got it back on the road, only to have it stolen a few months later. That was a seriously unpleasant experience, and one I hope never to undergo again.
Later, another friend was selling his Bonnie - with the insurance money, I was able to buy that off him. I used that for a while, and then was stupid enough to get done for drinking and driving. The Bonnie went into the garage, and over the next year, seized up rather solidly.
When I got my license back, I needed some transport, and finished up with a Superdream 250. Later sold that and bought a 400 Dream. Then, when I was made redundant, I bought a CX500 and did some despatch riding.
After four years of the CX500, I wanted something a bit more oomphy, and the Hinckley Triumphs were getting good reviews. And so opened the current chapter of my biking story, and the Hinckley Triumphs.