Saturday, 1 May 2010

Sepia Saturday: Hold On Tight

This is me, casually sat astride a formidable looking motorcycle, with my mum riding pillion. I’ve no idea who owned the machine, but it’s likely to have been one or the other of my grandfathers.


(In a previous post, ‘Belts and Braces’, I’ve reprinted an article I originally penned for the Hampshire County Magazine in 1988. It’s an affectionate recollection of my maternal grandfather’s motorcycle and box.)

My penchant for two wheels saw me progress rather quickly, from tricycle to bicycle, and during my early teens, my thoughts were of little else than motorcycles and motorcycling. A school-friend lived on a farm, and he was also smitten. I visited secretly, and we’d take turns at riding an old Matchless around the fields.

By the time I was old enough to legally ride a motorbike on the public highway, my parents had mustered all their wits and wisdom to persuade me towards four wheels.

I did own a trail bike in the early 80s, but I always felt so exposed on it, after years in a car. The closest I get to biking these days, is on the edge of my seat, as Valentino Rossi weaves his magic around the circuits of the world.

More Sepia Saturday posts HERE

© 2010, copyright Martin T. Hodges

24 comments:

  1. Hi Martin,
    Baby Martin looks very interested in life sitting astride with his Mum. I have a similar pic with my Mum astride my Dad's Indian motorbike which nearly took his life.
    At university I had a small motorbike but it felt like a BIGGIE to me as it zapped through the brisk Christchurch air, except for the fffffffizzzzzzzzzz sound it made.

    happy days

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  2. What a wonderful photograph! I've neber been on a motor bike but I love the sound of them. When my husband was little in the 1960s his dad used to take him out on his motor bike and tied my husband to him with a piece of string as he sat behind him! Can you imagine what would happen if a parent did that now?!!

    Julie xx

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  3. We are motorbiking down the same Memory Lane today Martin. I must admit that I never inherited my fathers' enthusiasm for two wheels - I have always preferred the solidity of four.

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  4. Oh my! In 1969, I think it was, my husband and I flew to London where we picked up a BSA 650 at Tooting Motors and wobbled out into traffic to begin the adventure of our lives. For three months. we traveled through England, France, Spain, Italy,Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium -- camping all the way.

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  5. What a darling photo! Your Mum looks so happy and proud of you. I've only been on a motorbike a few times in my life, when I briefly went with a boy who had one. I still remember the feelings of scary exhileration.

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  6. Martin, I recognized you from your avatar pic! This photo of you and your mother is an absolute treasure.

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  7. Delwyn - This is probably the safest I've ever looked on two wheels.

    Julie - Your husband being tied to his dad with a piece of string made me smile, as it reminded me of my own childhood experiences. You're right though, parents wouldn't get away with that today.

    Alan - Snap! A friend of mine rides a Yamaha R1. just the look of it, frightens the life out of me.

    Vicki - What a way to see Europe, on a BSA 650!
    That road trip must have sparked some memorable moments.

    Nana Jo - My mum's smile returned, with interest, when I eventually chose a car over a motorbike.

    willow - Well spotted! I'm guessing that I must have been a mature looking baby. I certainly couldn't pass myself off as a baby faced grandfather.

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  8. You were an adorable baby, and your mom looks so proud and so protective. I used to ride on the back of a boyfriend's "motor scooter," but one of the happiest days of my parenting life was when my adult son sold his motorcycle.

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  9. What a wonderful post. I can see why you loved the motor bikes! That pic of you and your mum is priceless!

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  10. Susan - Thank you. Yes, 'bikers' are a different breed. The rest of us feel so vulnerable with so little protection.

    Betsy - I certainly was keen, it appears. Even at that age. You're right about the picture. It is priceless.

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  11. Love the photo of you & your mum! I never caught the motorcycle bug, & this may well have contributed to my advancement into middle age!

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  12. John - Thanks. The problem with bikes is that we nearly all know someone who has come to grief whilst on one. By steering clear, you may well have turned the odds in your favour.

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  13. this is a special photo!

    my dad had a motorbike when he met my mum, but it went right after he had a fairly serious accident. there are no photos of it

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  14. Phab Photo!

    I look forward to Sepia Saturdays a lot.

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  15. This is really beautiful photo :)

    marinela x

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  16. What a darling little apple-cheeked baby you were. And you look mighty happy. It's such a cute picture!

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  17. Lettuce - Your dad had a 'wake-up' call. Hope there were no long lasting effects from his accident.

    Moptop - It's a lot of fun. Do feel free to participate. You'd be more than welcome.

    Short Poems - Thank you Marinela. So pleased you dropped by.

    Nancy and Barbara - Thank you. I do look as though I'm having a great time here, don't I?

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  18. What is it about boys and bikes? I'm happy enough with my customized trail bike. Great photo.

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  19. Paul C - Well, I'd say speed, risk, thrills etc, but those things can apply equally to both sexes. Whatever it is, I was glued to the MotoGP in Jerez yesterday.

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  20. Easy Rider! Its 30 years since I had one & I still miss it.Great Photo!

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  21. Tony - I sold my trail bike in 1983. I still love being around bikes but it's only four wheels for me now.

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  22. I 'learnt' to ride a big motorbike at 12. A dispatch rider took pity on me and sat me on his work bike and pushed it while I 'operated' the handlebars.
    I felt huge and grown-up and very clever.

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  23. Friko - These magical moments stay with us, don't they? Children are so in need of being given the opportunity to feel grown-up and important, now and then.

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  24. I remember all my bikes and forget all my cars.

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