Posts in Category: Motorcycles

Janet’s father on his BSA M20

Dad on bike

Belinda was in the UK recently and met her son’s soon to be mother-in-law, Janet, who mentioned that her father rode a bike during the war and thought we might like to see this picture of him. He was in a Royal Engineers field company and he used to ride ahead on his bike to check routes were clear for his platoon(?). He landed in Normandy but several weeks after D-Day as they were mines, bombs and bridges specialists.  He then went across France, Belgium and Holland on his bike, then into Germany.

While they were training in Kent beforehand, he had a terrible collision with another motor cyclist and the handlebar went through his knee. Ironically, it was an interned German surgeon who saved his life and his leg, and fitted an artificial metal knee cap – possibly the earliest ever as it was an experiment!!

He was in hospital nearly a year at Barming Heath in Kent. Many of the engineers were on South coast both deactivating and laying but also learning to build Bailey bridges (she grew up with that name – 1950s – as it was still very recent to him). It was a real skill to get the bridges up quickly so that troops and and tanks could pursue the retreating Germans. He was at Ardennes and the dreadful Falaise pocket. Yet he was still a cheerful, kind and positive man for all that, like so many of them.

He was 94 when he died in 2011 and on the occasions he went into hospital as a white haired, wizened old man, Janet used to pin this picture up on the wall to remind the staff that he was not some anonymous old geriatric but a real person who had been young and vibrant like them once. It is one of her favourite photos of her father.

We wondered whether the wound could have been caused by a lever as they were sharp on the end and due to this problem had a ball end fitted to stop this happening.

 

New Triumph Explorer for Tony

Tony has been a good friend for more than 10 years and has just picked up his new bike.  I rode one of these last year and didn’t expect it to be so agile in the bends and with that endless power it should prove to be a very good bike for all situations, not so sure about the off road though but it looks as if Tony has been trying that option out, fair play to him.

Here are a few pictures of his adventures with us at Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours.  First time down here was to help out with the renovation of the property, he gave us a hand with the new roof, laying of new floors on the top storey, concreting the barn and painting the house to name but a few.

When he came with his bike a Yamaha Fazer 1000, he didn’t quite make one of the corners (now affectionately called ‘Tony’s Bend’) after a visit to Lourdes and spent the evening in the hospital being stitched up but it didn’t put him off as he still managed to ride the bike home after Mr PMT had repaired it, he is still upset that we damaged his Yoshimura exhaust when we recovered the bike in the trailer.  The picture of the yellow tank is from the Fazer after the crash, note sympathetic comments written on it by his ‘friends’!  He is still a regular and welcome visitor.

He has now invested his hard earned cash into a new Triumph Explorer which will be visiting us in October along with 8 other friends!