Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Love of Triumphs

May16, 2012
   Just got back from the dentist. Got beat up pretty bad (both in my mouth and about my head by the dental hygienist Delea).

   My daughter is marrying a guy who loves Triumph motorcycles (I probably don't need to tell you he gets major points for this). Last week Deena and Mike asked me to draw a picture of the two of them riding away on a Tiger 500 to place on a map that will be sent out to show where the wedding is. Here's my rough sketch:

Obviously they need to be doing a wheelie and the two need a little bit more facial recognition, but, other than that, I know my bikes! Why? I owned several Triumphs, both a Tiger (500cc) and a Bonneville (650cc). Both were stripped down for TT racing. Here's a picture from 1968 of me on a Honda:

This is near Tri-Onda (they sell Triumphs AND Hondas. Get it?) in Tucson where I worked for several years after college. I went through a major motorcycle phase, racing on the weekends and overhauling bikes on the living room floor. I was living, eating and sleeping bikes. Then one day in the parts department of Tri-Onda, a customer came in being pushed in a wheel chair. He was in a big, body cast and he wanted to know the status of his ride. I walked back to the mechanic area and asked about the bike. The mechanics laughed and pointed to the corner where a crumpled up bike, lay in a twisted mass of metal, with the front wheel wrapped under the the engine. He got hit in the parking lot of a grocery store. Some woman didn't see him and pulled out, clipping him good. Long story short, sold my bikes, quit the job and didn't let my son have a motorcycle or even a quad or anything with an engine and two wheels.

I know it sounds rash, but it was like a light bulb went out. Not on, off. Still, as harsh as that sounds, I still love Triumph bikes. Love the sound, love the look, love the tradition.

"Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash."
—George S. Patton