Archive for ‘History’

May 18, 2017

Aloft

Air – like some Japanese watercolor from the Edo  Period 江戸時代 this airborne Triumph soars across the tinted page in a blurry motion. Touched by the glisten of a desert sun the lazily brushed lines offer the glimpse of the briefest of moments between the land and the sky. Superb artwork by HAMMeRED.

April 25, 2017

Two-Wheeled Philosophy 

Zen & Now – one of most seminal books to some out of the seventies Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig became the “On The Road”of its Day. Written as an odyssey of the mind and the search for inner balance it uses a real journey with his son on a Honda CB77 Superhawk 305 from Minnesota to San Francisco. Pirsig, who died yesterday aged 88, sought the metaphysics of Quality, and questioned “what is good?” The motorcycle is the ideal forum for this exploration; be it a vintage cycle or newer moto. 

April 9, 2017

War is Past

Century – A private of the Royal Engineers on his motorcycle. The chevrons on his lower right sleeve show he is in his third year of overseas service… One Hundred years ago today saw the start of a British offensive at Arras which, by its end a little over a month later saw close to 400,000 losses and casualties on both sides. The motorcycle is a wartime stalwart Triumph Model H.

Edward Thomas a notable wartime poet was killed in action this day. His work extolled the virtues of the English countryside and its invigorating open airs. One of my bosses twenty years ago was the godson of Thomas’ nephew, born in May 1918 he was named after his uncle. 

“And I rose up, and knew that I was tired, and continued my journey”

March 17, 2017

Viking Lass

Frige’s Day (Frigedæg in old English)- Norse goddess who had the power of foreknowledge. A sturdy TT Triumph is a suitable Valkyrie-like ride for possible warming spring weather that is in the foreseeable future.

March 13, 2017

2-2-2

Trainspotting – a bunch of friends in the mid sixties enjoy each other’s company whilst chasing steam around the country. Based in Weymouth they were present at the waning of coal powered transport. Left to right: Norman Gillespie, Denis Turner and Keith Robertson. The large bottles of Guinness must be some story… the photo us Denis’s who worked on the railways in the sixties.

February 2, 2017

Watch that first step. It’s a doozie.

Punxsutawney Phil – being the 2nd of February today isn’t just when the Wood Chuck eats us know if winter will stretch out for another six weeks but is now also known as a repetitive day. After Mr Bill Murray’s comedy movie from 1993, where a selfish TV reporter finds himself in a time loop on 2nd Feb and only through self learning of selflessness he escapes the cycle. 

The photo is Bill on a Honda XL175 dirt bike as a camp counselor in the film Meatballs. 

January 20, 2017

Potus45

Weekend’s Here – well, we got through 20th January 2017 in one piece (-ish). All I need is a horizon, a stout moto to get there on, and my gal riding pillion with me…

January 19, 2017

Noble Gassing

Neon – 102 years ago today French inventor Georges Claude patented the gas discharge tube, more commonly known as a Neon Tube. Formed into pictographs and writing they herald a company’s identity or message. 

January 17, 2017

Doughnut Delivery

Giant Scarab – I spotted this patina-rich coffee & doughnut van scuttling about the City recently. Elegant hand painted script cheerily advertising a morning refreshment for construction and office worker alike. It’s a doughty International Harvester Metro Van, produced between 1938 and 1975 keeping its distinctive flowing form well into the sixties when its edges were squared off to meet a demand for something new. The flowing gumdrop lines were created by the capable hand of Mr Streamline himself, Raymond Loewy. 

January 16, 2017

Spiritual Speed

Gallipoli Galloper – beautiful period photograph from a century ago of the Reverend Cecil Howard Edwards who served as the army chaplain for the ANZAC troops. I’m sure he experienced the worst of humanity in the Dardanelles. His model of transport is a Triumph Model H 500cc to get around Southern Queensland. 

December 26, 2016

Fifty Years Ago…

Boxing Day – what a wonderful image this is. Low Canadian sun lighting up a frozen roadway with a hardy soul taking his svelte Triumph Tiger Cub out for an icy spin. Heavy mitts keep the digits warm, but an open face helmet will cause some frost nip to the nose…

November 26, 2016

Fidel

¡Viva la Revolución! – love him or loathe him, but you must agree that Comrade Castro believed in his country and its population for more than half a century. From coming ashore with his band of revolutionaries headed by Che Guevara on their clapped out cruiser Granma; to the overthrow of Batista; multiple asassination attempts; and hardships after the collapse of the Soviet Union; as well as crippling trade embargoes with the US. He stood by his socialist ideals for good or ill, only time will tell if his words of defense may come true: “History will absolve me!”

October 21, 2016

Tax Disc Aug 71

Flares – the early seventies sure were an interesting time for fashion: Platform boots and bell-bottom trousers. Package holidays at the Costa del Sol; Dad’s Army or On the Buses on the Telly. Decimalization in the wallet, Harvey Smiths V-sign to the Establishment. What better way to venture beyond the Age of Aquarius than on a sturdy Triumph?

August 21, 2016

I’d like to buy the World a Coke


The Grand Hotel – back from a weeks much needed vacation touring Michigan. We spend a night at the much lauded establishment on Mackinac Island, where only hotlrses and bicycles are used for transport. I spied this vintage Coca Cola delivery bike in the the foyer in red paint and shiny bell. 

Oh, and the roads in Michigan are wonderful, I now need to plan a motorcycle trip there someday…

May 30, 2016

In Memorium


Motorcycles in Wartime. This weekend sees another time to appreciate what others did to ensure a less troubled world. Sacrificing your life is the ultimate act of selflessness for freedom. I’m posting this image of some Harley Davidson Rotax engined dirt bikes used by troops probably somewhere in Southeast Asia. A Cobra stands idle behind.


More dirt bikes being utilized; this time the dry sandy conditions of the Middle East. It’s one way of traversing rough terrain quickly.