Three wheels on my wagon

Bikes have been part of my life since I first tried a friend's 50cc Monkeybike at the age of 11.  I couldn't wait to get a licence.  In Frome, there was an independent BMW dealer, Difazio's.  I'd walk the 3 miles from home to stand and gawp at the unfeasibly swoopy-faired R100RSes, RTs and -... Continue Reading →

Slow Train

There’s not been a lot of time for two or three-wheeled ambling recently. Instead, a pretty solid wall of work-borne rush, stress and frustration has kept me off the bikes. So, with an unaccustomed free Sunday afternoon and some sun, I decided to stop beating my head against it, hoiked the keys off the peg... Continue Reading →

It’s not Urals that are unreliable. It’s their owners.

It was the rain that did it. That, and me buggering off for Christmas, leaving the Ural alone, outside under its cover. By the time I’d got back, half the UK’s annual rainfall had found its way into the carburettors. The Ural has two, one for each cylinder. Most of the water was, of course,... 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 →

Rotary Nortons, lunch and fifteenth century painting

It’s all Hugh Jaeger’s fault. As are so many things. It’s been mayhem at the office since January. The shells keep coming over. Every day we've climbed the fire-step, scrambled over the parapet and - bayonets fixed - charged the enemy. And now, this week, for the first time, there’s space to breathe a little.... Continue Reading →

Why it takes longer by Ural

You don't buy a Ural to go fast. Urals are Russian motorcycle combinations, built like tanks (but slightly heavier) and rather slower.  Based loosely on the 1930's design for the BMW R71, they're still made in Siberia.  That means they're designed to deal with Siberian roads and weather.  Speed is not important.  Da. Flat out,... Continue Reading →

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