Archive for the ‘Motorcycling’ Category

Family history and motorcycles – it’s genetic…

Friday, December 10th, 2010


It’s nearly Christmas and for some of us family is top of mind.

I’m an accountant and IT guy, so got the phone call tonight to ‘come fix the bloody iPad, your mother broke it’.  So I hop on my 1980 CX500 and ride over to mum’s about 9pm.  It’s been raining for about six years now it seems like, and I need night practice…

Having fixed the iPad, I got a free family history lesson. When mum was 12 (58 now) she used to help my Uncle Leo (the family’s notorious original badass biker) polish all the chrome on his 1960s Triumph, for hours, and he’d let her ride with him from the gate to the garage. This is the same mother who made me promise to never ride a motorcycle (’nuff said on that topic 🙂 ).

He’d also occasionally give her 2 bob for helping with that (a lot of money in 1962!) and he’d also help her with her Coke habit.

He’d bring around a litre of the stuff, she’d drink the coke and then get sixpence refund from the shop on the bottle.

Apparently Leo used to go tom-catting with Rod (on his BSA!!!) and Dougie (on Alley Oop – but mum didn’t know what sort of bike it was, we think another Triumph) with their bikie molls (Margaret, Lesley & Jeanie).  All of them my aunts and uncles (paired, in that order).

Leo died of a brain tumour in the mid-80s, and Uncle Doug passed away about 5 years ago.  Rodney’s still kicking, but I never knew he ever rode bikes.  Apparently everyone ribbed him that he couldn’t handle its power; one day he went through a corner, a driver came the other direction too wide – SMIDSY (sorry mate I didn’t see you!), and gone was the BSA.  And present is a scar on his cheek that that now explains.

It’s hard to think of my aunts in their 60s (approaching 70s I think) as bikie molls.  They would possibly dispute that description – but I think the evidence is in.

And I shudder to think what Uncle Leo’s shiny Triumph motorbike, or the BSA, would be worth today…

Apparently it’s genetic, a recessive gene in my case until a mid-life crisis brought that strand of DNA to life, but still – it’s genetic.  Thought I’d share.

[Image from Flickr User TW Collins. Some Rights Reserved.]