Daily Archives: November 12, 2021

Pudding Basin or Fighter Pilot?

That was the question I asked myself when I was back at work and earning – many months after breaking my neck in a motorcycle accident at the age of nineteen —

Or do I go back to the leather flying helmets that were plentiful after the war – I still had one tucked away somewhere from when I started riding on the road the day I turned seventeen – complete with the neccessary Mk8 goggles —

I remember vividly from many a ride in all weathers home to Dunblane from a Saturday night dancing at the Kelso Corn Exchange – from rain in the Scottish Borders turning to sleet and snow over the heights of Soutra – the flat belt driven dynamo fitted low down behind the front wheel of the 350 Velocette was virtually useless once the pulleys got wet and would leave me groping through steamed up Mk8 goggles in the dark —

Time to move on – my mate Les had given up riding after a collision with a coal lorry while riding his 600 Norton Dominator. The collision didn’t do the truck any good and Les didn’t fare much better. Tthe nett result after the coal dust had settled left him with one leg shorter than the other. It was enough for common sense to prevail and Les gave up motorcycling and I won his open face Bell helmet for a fiver —

Anyone want to buy a picture? I jest – my wife happens to be an artist and that oil pastel of her family at play in an orchard isn’t for sale at any price. But the open face helmet is a masterpiece too – a Roland Sands Replica of the Bell Helmet I was wearing when I had my own little crash which left me with a broken neck and mouthful of broken teeth —

Unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with the same degree of common sense as my mate Les had shown. With my Bell Open Face helmet last seen with a police sergeant’s fingers poking through the smashed roof as photographed by the Daily Express when they ran a major campaign to make motorcycle helmets compulsory – I had to decide what style I was going to wear next —

Yup – always the ijit – I went for this Pudding Basin lid – mainly because my all-time hero Bob McIntyre looked so good in one. I wore it back in 1966 when riding my BSA 650 Lightning – my best mate Patch has inherited it now and I have to admit he looks better in it than I do —


Posted by on November 12, 2021 in out and about


Luca Grunwald #43 – Moto3 GP Racer —

Back in 2009/10 or thereabouts I was considering moving full time to Croatia and spent the best part of a year down there sussing things out —

During my time in Croatia the old GP circuit of Grobnik was a place I got to know quite well —

I happened to be there one quiet weekday and spotted this young lad with his dad – down from Germany where he had won a Junior Championship – getting some warm weather practise in on his 125cc machine —

I was impressed with the way he was riding and to be honest the fresh faced kid didn’t even look to be the 15 years old he claimed. Later a chat in the pits with him left me favourably impressed and I have often wondered how his career progressed. Having stumbled across his old postcard/pic in my gallery this morning a quick google of Luca Grunwald confirmed my earlier impressions. The lad had gone on to win several German and European Championships and even made it all the way to Moto 3 GP’s. Good on you Luca – you even suit that beard you are sporting in your latest video —

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Posted by on November 12, 2021 in out and about