Star Letter: A total triumph
By: Web Editor
Having made the decision to purchase a bike some years ago, the opportunity presented itself with the maturity of an endowment policy so it was off to the local Triumph dealership.
I passed my test in 1976 and haven’t ridden a bike since – some 35 years. So it was with some excitement mixed with trepidation that I set off in car with my wife to pick up my gleaming brand new Triumph America – I chose it not only because it looks gorgeous but because I had read and been advised that it is a very neutral ride and I didn’t want anything that was going to encourage me to get too lairy.
So, cash handed over and controls explained I swung my leg over, settled into the saddle and thought: what on earth am I doing? Telling myself it can’t be that difficult and it will all come back within a few hundred yards, I pulled on my lid and after about five attempts managed to secure it – not a promising start. I thumbed the starter, a big grin spreading across my face as I twisted the throttle: okay, clutch lever in and into first. Gently twisting the grip I slowly released the clutch and wobbled gently forward, so far so good. Now for the next challenge – changing gear. In preparation I had been practising while sitting on the sofa at home and yes, my wife and daughters did think I had gone completely mad. However, it helped and gear changes, although far from slick, went okay.
Now riding on the open road and an even bigger grin spread over my face... but which disappeared rapidly with the sudden realisation that Taunton town centre was rapidly approaching, and that meant stopping and starting and inevitably some slow manoeuvring and even worse, finding neutral.
Stops followed by an immediate turn were interesting to say the least. Right at roundabouts proved particularly problematic with jerky throttle control followed by a close encounter with a kerb, which put heart firmly in mouth. However, with the town successfully – if not elegantly – negotiated, I at last reached some country roads where under the darkness of some trees I noticed that in all the excitement I had forgotten to cancel the indicators – doh!
The rest of the ride home was surprisingly uneventful – that grin eventually returned and continues to return every time I climb into the saddle.
- Hi Steve, fantastic you are enjoying the pleasures of biking once again. Have an Sdoc cleaning kit on us to keep your Triumph America in tip-top condition. Ed
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