Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Ian's got a brand new Jacket...

er....well its about 40 years old but its new enough.  I was chatting to Keith Baker at Classic Cycle Works about stuff and the subject of vintage leather jackets came up, and he said that old AMF Harley ones were very rare.  Of course I went straight on Ebay and found one in the USA - and as a result of a mix up in postage prices and the inability of our Parcel Force to tell me its in the UK - I struck up a email conversation. with Chris Baker of Bazooka Garage.  He has a great shop in Santa Barbara which specialises in converting old Japanese bikes into British Style Cafe Races, as well as selling other cool stuff - so check it out here

Anyway the jacket has finally arrived and I will be wearing it on my road trips next year.

Here is a small story from Chris about its original owner:

There is quite a story about the gentleman who owned this jacket. He was a deaf mute aerospace engineer here in Santa Barbara, very interesting chap, his son sat with me and translated a whole
conversation when I bought all his old riding gear and 1978 CB750.
We connected and he was very excited to pass this huge part of his life on to me. He also had a mid 80's BMW Dakar. He told me he road the Honda with this Jacket on from California to Belize and back. He had some very cool stories he would tell in grunts and noises and hand gestures, you could almost follow him and his excitement, then his son would translate it all to me with them using his Dad's limited vocal abilities and sign lanquage.

Boys Trip to Torquay (Third Year)

Last weekend was our annual boys trip to Torquay - this year, it was me on Macbeth, Preben went on the Othello Tracker, Paul on his Blackline, Andy on his XR1200 and a new recruit Steve, who went on some huge BMW tourer with a reverse gear (he will be getting a Harley soon - its inevitable) - I could see him checking out the Harleys in Dockgate 20 Dealership.

We had a slight route change this year as Andy (who was our Ride Captain) had heard about a great pub in Glastonbury, so after checking in at the Travelodge and having a Subway we set off on a pub crawl to end up at the mythical King Arthur.  Needless to say the pub was crap, and full of 14 year olds drinking alcopops - but we had had plenty beforehand and stayed in the excellent Mitre Inn (this is the best pub in Glastonbury).

The next day was a misty start, and my first port of call was Riders of Bridgewater for a quick oil change after I had topped up the day before with car oil - service there was great and well recommended.  The mist soon burned off and we made our way to the North Coast of Devon to visit the very picturesque Lynmouth - I would definitely go back here for an overnight stay!  On departing Lynmouth after Andy followed his rubbish Satnav for one more wrong turn, I headed off with Preben in the other direction and followed the course of the River Exe through Exmoor  - this is a great road.  Then seeing a sign for the M5 we blasted it to Torquay for some early beers.  Torquay is a top place - its a holiday resort and has a great vibe to the town., and so another heavy night followed with obligatory shorts in the Hotel Bar when we got back.

As usual its a slow ride back on the Sunday, but it was a warm sunny day and after a Mcdonalds at Chichester we were soon back on form for some final beers back in Tunbridge Wells.   600 miles in 3 days on a hardtail is not so bad!

Sadly this really marks the end of the riding season for proper trips - next one will be St Tropez in May 2013.....

......and finally here is Paul's video of the trip!