Bikes and a Bentley
I’m as happy talking about bikes as boats. I’ve been riding motorcycles since 1965. The bikes have included a 250cc BSA C15 that taught me about mechanical breakdowns, a 650cc Matchless that almost killed me at the age of 19, various reliable Hondas and Yamahas in the 70s and 80s, a Kawasaki GPZ1100 whose performance you simply couldn’t ignore, a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140, and the star of my book Good Vibrations – a Harley Davidson Soft-tail called Black Madonna. Then I had a Yamaha FJR 1300 for a few years. It was a beast of a bike, but I often rode the hour and a half to London on it. It was big enough for me (I’m 6ft 6in), kept me dry and with heated grips I didn’t feel much pain in winter. The acceleration was nothing short of thrilling!
I sold that last spring after a hip operation. Now I’m fully recovered and I’ve bought myself a Triumph 900cc Thunderbird in Legend trim. It’s a naked bike which considerably reduces the temptation to be illegal, but it still punches away from the roundabout like a rocket ship. Comfy too!
I’m a real petrol head and a few years ago acquired ‘Reggie’, a 1949 Mk VI Bentley, to do a bit of land cruising. We’ve driven him to Scotland, had an epic ‘spin’ down to Italy with a blown head gasket and been to several Goodwood Revivals. He’s also officiated at weddings.