Not a good look, but one for some unfathomable reason I adopted on stage at the MBE Verona. I blame the guy with the mic doing the introductions... obviously unimpressed by my English reserve as I handed over the award to Billy and Pepe, he urged me to look excited. Well, he asked for it.
Thanks (I think) to Billy for the photo. Check out the Italian Choppers website and you can see my speech: if you don't speak Italian, just speak English louder. Works for me. Italian Choppers.
Got back from Verona yesterday fairly unscathed by the snow in Europe and Aperol consumed on the trip.
We had a great time and a successful show. The Expo seemed even bigger than last year, if that's possible.
Like last year, lovely MBE organiser Gaia asked me to pick a bike from those on show to receive the GKM award; it went to this 1400cc S&S drag bike, built by a little firm called Italian Choppers (Pepe and Billy). I loved its stance and little custom touches (two front heads!), but what sold me on it was the almost exclusive use of Italian components around the S&S lump.
The tank, for example, is from an Italian moped, as is the scalloped rear valance... shaped and widened to fit. Two Brembo stoppers, check. Rare 'Ceat' Italian rear tyre, check. The dual Dell'Orto carbs, homemade pipes, front hub and Tommaselli throttle were icing on the cake. Well done boys... lovely work. We'll be featuring it in the magazine soon.
Thanks goes to my mucker Pat for all his help and to Phil for the laughs.
So sometimes I stop laying out a page or writing a feature and hit YouTube to, yes, look at even more bikes.
I would love to know where these crappy 'documentaries' source all their images and old footage of club members on their bikes (from what looks like the late fifties and early sixties). If all those little snippets could be cut together... nice.
Just over three months ago, I took this photo riding home from a lazy lunch in the country with Pete. Chuck Taylors and sunshine, Ray Bans and warm air. Perfect.
So don't give me that old bollocks about how you love the seasons: watching the leaves turn then drop; waking to that muffled silence that tells you the first snow has fallen; waiting for the spring flowers to push their way through frost.
I don't want seasons. I want sunshine, every day. All year round.
I had that, pretty much, in Australia. In the ten years we lived there, NSW was officially 'in drought'. Ideal in biking terms. (Obviously slightly less ideal in population sustainability terms.)
Still can't get used to the descent into four or five months of freezing, wet â€“ and soon to be snow-covered â€“ misery here.