The smell of coffee, jasmine and two-stroke oil.

As I sit here, waiting for my molten-hot Turkish coffee to cool to a temperature that won't induce third degree burns, I'm watching my teenage years ride past. More accurately, it's the smell of the passing two-wheeled scenery in the fluorescent lights from the restaurants that's most evocative. Mingled with the coffee and the heavy... Continue Reading →

Talking Turkey with a Vespa.

It's 30 degrees in the shade here in Turkey, and they don't ride in leathers. They don't ride much in the way of big bikes either. The largest I've seen has been a lone R1200GS. The rest? Much, much smaller. 125 is the norm, with everything from obscure Chinese reverse-engineered CG125s to the occasional Jawa.... Continue Reading →

RAF Kelmscott and summer silence.

The airless reception area with its cheerful, exhortative corporate posters made me think of communist Russia. Dark wood. Grey, worn carpet. Grey fluorescent lights. Every so often, there would be a sharp, electronic bleep and the door would get pushed open. A grey-suited figure would scuttle past and the door, on its spring, would creak... Continue Reading →

Hanging up your helmet

The days are, finally, lengthening. That seemed as good an excuse as any to drag the Ural from under its cover and clack-zag though the staggered web of lanes to Bibury. At this time of year the coach loads of travel-myopic, Bath-Stonehenge-Bibury-Shakespeare n' Stratford-inna-day tourists are still tucked up and posting acid on TripAdvisor. Instead,... Continue Reading →

“Council said ‘no’. Village said ‘yes’.”

Last night was the last Monday in June.  To anyone on two wheels that means one thing - Cassington.  If you have any motorcycling soul, you'll be there to inhale deep of two-stroke oil, 20w50, petrol and the aromatic scent of warm, well-ridden old bikes. If you have any charitable soul, you'll drop a few... Continue Reading →

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