Sunday, 27 May 2007

Paines-Taking Triumph

My white bicycle. I miss it
My business partner and good mate Matt Paines has been blogging his two-wheeled odyssey to Le Mans for the Moto GP. You can read his story here.

I'm envious. He's been in one of my favourite countries, doing something I can't do anymore. There are several things I can't do anymore, but motorcycling is the only one I can confidently say that Matt can still accomplish. His Triumph Daytona is always indecently clean and gleaming - I also envy his patience; every bike I've ever owned has developed a patina of road film and insect corpses.

As the weather improves I'm missing my Buell. OK, they're not the fastest bike on the planet - in one dimension. It's an American 1000 with the straight-line performance of a Jap 600. But go playing in the twisty bits and you come back with flies in your teeth and a grin like James Coburn. And the noise! It's like Louis Armstrong accompanied by the zipper on the fly of God Almighty. Sadly, that famously powerful front brake couldn't quite rein it all in before we hit the tractor.

Matt's sat-nav dramas brought to mind yet another triumph of fashion over sense. Why are the latest TomToms wide screen? OK, I can see the sense of a widescreen TV. I'm less convinced by widescreen computer monitors. But widescreen sat-nav? If your car had headlights that illuminated the fields each side of the road you'd get a similar effect.

So Mr T. Tom, go and pick up one of your new models and turn it through 90 degrees. See? Yes, tall screen, that's what we need. Rotate your screen display and give us something practical instead of fashionable.

Then go and sack that designer with the plasma screen telly.

1 comment:

Andrew Greenwell said...


I have just, quite by accident, come across your blog.

Your mode of two wheel transport would appear to have moved on significantly during the 38 years since we last met, sorry to hear your biking days are over.

I can still recall the gold Vespa Sportique (with side panels hand sprayed in Ford Saluki Bronze!) purchased from you in 1968, and have fond memories of your Lambretta LI 150 throwing the pair of us to the tarmac whilst rushing to clock in at Birlec one lunch time.

Good to see you have lost none of your sense of humour, hope you have a year to remember.

Andrew Greenwell