Charlie's bike info

My bike interest started early, as a teenager living in France. There were numerous 2 wheelers around, and one big adventure at age 17 was riding a bike from home in Orleans to Barcelona Spain and back. There was another bike while I was in college, followed by some years of modified 4 wheelers. Bikes showed back up again in the early 80's, and have been around since.
  Here's some views in the garage ... there used to be a 1948 Panhead, and several BMWs.   The Panhead has gone away, and the most recent addition in the garage is another 2 cylinder bike - a Ducati 851 to SP3 specs.   Right now the garage holds the Ducati, one BMW, and a 350cc single.
  Some year's rides included Florida and West coast trips.   There have been years where bike miles were over 20,000 ... this year will probably be less.
  Someone asks ... How about some stories, about how motorcycles first came into your life?
  Which gets the comment ... Oh yeah ... they want firsts ?
  First bike stories ?
  Well, lemmezee what I can do ...
  * First time on a bike -
  had to be a 50cc moped when I was about 14 ... and, since I was used to covering 30 to 40 miles on a bicycle to get places, this seemed like a huge sense of freedom.
  Just twist the handlebar grip and you'd be able to ride on forever ... maybe to any exotic place that came to mind!
  Paris! Frankfurt! Mont St.-Michel! Marsailles! maybe even to the edge of the known world!
  ( I lived 60 miles South of Paris at the time )
  The fact that this was a worn out POS bike, that wouldn't hardly run had absolutely nothing to do with the enjoyment level!
  * First bike ... a few months later -
  self and several buddies lined up summer jobs in a small town about 20 miles away. Had turned 15 at this point. The original (public) plan was that we would all bicycle back and forth to work, and we all did for about a month :-) Then part 2 of the plan (non-public) came into play. Combine great distances to travel to actually *WORK* at our ages with having money burning a hole in one or more pockets, stir gently with the observations that Ed, Bob, and Pat (other plotters^H^H^H^H workers) are getting bikes - the parential sales job was successful!
  The bike was a 50cc Mobylette moped - bought new! It was wonderful fun, and helped me learn about sand on corners, lack of brakes when riding double, and all sorts of wonderous lessons. Uh huh!
  This one progressed through Lambretta and Vespa scooters , to the ultimate sport - road machine ... [drum rolls] ... a Puch 175cc in relatively splendid condition! You had to be 16 to ride over 50cc, and you had to be 18 to ride over (I think) 250cc or drive a car. The first scooter helped me learn a lot too ... like what a pillon passenger does to stopping distances on wet cobble stones - ran smack into the back of a bus full of cops, I did! Didn't hurt much but my dignity ;-(
  * First tour trip -
  Springtime of my senior year in high school, 5 of us decided it was time to explore the world ... sort of. We rode from our homes near Orleans France to Barcelona Spain and back. That trip still brings back memories to me while sitting here in frozen Ohio, although it's some [unspecified] number of years later!
  *Hey*! I can remember it, so don't complain! Things like our race-ahead buddy who discovered ice on a turn in the Pyranees, and the rest of us came along and picked him up after we stopped laughing! And staying in a lodge in Andorra where the blankets were 6" thick feather comforters.
  * First time over the ton -
  This one, I don't remember. So there. You caught me.
  I think it was on a Triumph 500cc twin, in about 1960, but I'm not sure.
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