Archive for ‘History’

April 15, 2019

A Loss to Civilization

Nous sommes tous Parisiens | Terrible news from France today as fire engulfed Norte Dame. It is a City I love to stroll around “flâner à Paris looking at the architecture; and would one day hope to ride a Moto around doing likewise; stopping at the occasional street cafe and carry out another French pastime: people watching.

The Lady will be rebuilt and Paris will Triumph.

April 3, 2019

Woman in Charge

Girls Gotta Dream | Chicago selected a new Mayor yesterday; Lori Lightfoot – she’s black and gay: a trifecta in historic significance. The choice was achieved in a landslide victory by a population looking for change in the Windy City’s typical politics.. She got my vote and I hope we experience civic unity.

March 19, 2019

Cuppa

Royal Flying Corps | A despatch rider in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) enjoying a tea break while seated on her Phelon & Moore 500cc single cylinder motorcycle circa 1918. On 1 April of that year the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were amalgamated to become a new service: The Royal Air Force (RAF). Image from the archives of the Imperial War Museum

March 6, 2019

Chaika (Seagull)

Hero for All | Valentina Tereshkova celebrates her 82nd birthday today. Launched atop Vostok 6 on June 16 1963 she spent 70 hours in space orbiting the Earth 48 times becoming the first woman cosmonaut.

February 24, 2019

Tea & Crumpets

The Riding Dead – current season of Ride with Norman Reedus sees him reunite with TWD co-stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Andrew Lincoln to take their motorcycles from the bustle of London to a tranquil Cotswolds. On their way they stop off at the 5000 year old Neolithic site at Stonehenge. The jaunt along the cross country A303 is undertaken under rainy skies. It’s a great episode.

February 19, 2019

Not a BMW

Cooler King – slim chinos, cut down sweatshirt, cigarette and Persol shades: he epitomizes Cool. A Triumph TR-6 dresses up to look German hits the mark too.

February 14, 2019

“Helen, I think we took a wrong return at Aylesbury.”

No. 1 Corinthian Arch – this year is the 60th birthday of the classic small British car: the Mini. So the blog will periodically dip into the history of the coolest vehicle ever devised. It beats the Beetle, dashes the Deux Chevaux, sinks the Cinquecento. I like this photo for the black and white photojournalist look as well as the Arch at Stowe where my wife live IN for a summer back in the mid-nineties.

February 3, 2019

Heartbeat

The Day The Music Died – Sixty years ago today a small aircraft took off from Mason City Iowa flying into winter conditions with poor visibility and crashing near Clear Lake killing all on board. Of course this was Buddy Holly 22, Richie Valens 17, and JP Richardson (The Big Bopper) 28; as well as the pilot.

Waylon Jennings gave his seat up on the flight to Richardson.

In regards to Buddy and his love of motorcycles; here in Jennings’ words:

They loved Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One,’ and when they got to Dallas…they decided on the spur of the moment to buy motorcycles and drive back home on them.” Waylon recalled. “They took a cab into the city and walked into a Harley-Davidson shop. They had their eyes on a trio of 74-inchers, but the proprietor didn’t think they had any money and treated them like a bunch of bums. ‘Hell, you boys couldn’t even begin to handle the payments on that.

Then they went over to Miller’s Motorcycles, which specialized in English bikes. There, Joe B (Maudlin, the Crickets’ then-bass player), and J.I. (Allison, the drummer) bought a Triumph each, a TR6 and Thunderbird, respectively, while Buddy picked out a maroon and black Ariel Cyclone, with a high compression 650cc Huntsmaster engine. They paid cash, bought matching Levi jackets and peaked caps with wings on them, and rode home through a thunderstorm.”

January 24, 2019

Toon Time

The Hill – climbing up from the historic and commercial center of Newcastle is Westgate Road. It literally was the west gate of the medieval town that following the line of the older Hadrians Wall towards the sunset. Its role as a meeting spot for travelers is therefore ingrained. For several decades it has been the popular venue for motorcycle gatherings centered around the numerous bike shops, chippy’s and cafes. I remember as a wee un coming down from North Northumberland twice a year to go to see an ophthalmologist at the General Hospital at the top of the road. My mother and I would take a bus from the City Center to the appointment and I’d look out of the window at the bikes; exciting stuff for a young lad! It’s popularity is waning but there are some stalwarts holding the flame aloft for any roaming bikers needing an excuse to gawp at new models; or enjoy a lunch at a greasy spoon washed doon wi’ a mug o’tea.

January 23, 2019

Pheon

Ten Past Ten – Smiths are the clocks used on vintage British motor vehicles. Speedometers for velocity measurement and Tachometers for engine revolutions. Here’s a fine timepiece from the watchmakers at Smiths chronometers in military styling. They were a staple for British soldiers in WW2, wrapped the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary as he summited Everest and an alternative to the Swiss Made items such as Rolex.

A detailed description of the face:

“The black dial features a somewhat traditional aviator configuration found on numerous mil-spec watches: a legible hours index with a triangle at 12, sword hands, and an outer railroad track for the minutes. Right under 12 is the “SMITHS” logo and an encircled T indicating the presence of tritium. Above 6 is the pheon (broad arrow), the official mark designating property issued by the British government dating back to the 17th century. Right below 6 along the inner perimeter of the minutes track is a proud “MADE IN ENGLAND,” a small element that differentiates the W10 from scores of other mil-spec watches.”

January 1, 2019

Trifuno

Cuba – Triumph of the Revolution (Triunfo de la Revolución) – 1st of January marks the anniversary of the victory of the Cuban Revolution by Fidel Castro in 1959. We travelled there in 2003 on a Cultural Exchange program between the US and Cuba.

It would be a tremendous adventure to travel across the island on two-wheels.

November 11, 2018

The Memory of Loss

Armistice- on this day One Hundred years ago saw the end of hostilities of The Great War. A global conflict whose influence ripples to this day. Tragic in outcome; it saw the loss of a generation through industrialized warfare, epidemic disease, boundary reconfiguration, and political & societal upheaval.

October 9, 2018

Instant Karma!

Imagine – John Lennon would have been 78 today. “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.

July 21, 2018

Moonshot

One Small Step – 49 years ago today saw the monumental combined effort of thousands who achieved the seemingly impossible task of landing men on the moon and returning them safely back to earth. Neil, Buzz and Mike were those men and Apollo was their craft.

July 4, 2018

Fat City

Freak Power – another Coloradan piece of folk lore was the 1970 election for Sheriff in Aspen which included on the ballot Gonzo reporter extraordinaire Hunter S Thompson whose goal was to shake-up the incumbent conservative leaders. Though unsuccessful it did pave the way for liberal reformation later that decade.