YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE A GO

Junior school is a distant memory, I never liked it much, In fact I Hated school, from Infants to secondary

Going to school was my only option because I was shit at bunking off,
I never had any money to go to the shops and my cloak of invisibility never worked as good as other kids

I did my home work and achieved some good grades however that never stopped me from the hating the teachers and some of the tedious lessons I had to endure such as Religious education - what the fuck was that all about , geography , chemistry and that hateful lesson DRAMA.

Now drama was a subject taken if you wanted to doss and the ideal job that you will eventually end up with is working in a fast food restaurant , Not for me.

My thoughts were on cars and motorbikes , So when a mate of mine said his brother was selling an old Honda CB 200 for £25 I had to have it,

At the time I was only 13 years old and this was going to be a difficult task in convincing my parents to buy it for me, I could pay them back with my pocket money at 50p a week and after 50 weeks i could afford the petrol.

That day seemed to drag out so much and as soon as the bell went for end of lessons I took off like a fat kid with a luncheon voucher.

After a lot of convincing and promising to clean my room blah blah blah my Dad said he would buy it and me and my brother Dan could help clean, polish and sit on it.
Not the deal I wanted but better than nothing,

The next evening we went to my mates house and brought the old Honda, It was green and rusty, It didn't start, the seat was torn and the brakes were binding.
It was perfect

The push home was about a mile and my Dad , myself and my 11 year old brother Dan dragged this beast all the way, the flat tyres didn't help but we were pushing our motorbike.

Now at the time Dad was working long hours away and the bike just sat there, I had a workshop manual and I could read so how difficult could it be to get the steed running,
Turned out to be quite easy in fact,
With the battery charged, the spark plugs cleaned and fresh petrol poured into the rusty old tank me and Dan hit the electric start, The engine spun over and over, Nothing, We tried again BOLLOX still nothing

This went on for quite a while until the battery died and as the day light was fading fast we called it a day and went for our dinner.

The next day after school with freshly charged battery the Dangerous brothers had another attempt at firing up the old beast, I had read the manual again and noticed a red switch on the handle bar....RUN...OFF...RUN
It was in the OFF position, with flick of the switch and a stab on the start button the old Honda fired into life and leapt forward nearly crushing us in the process.

The bike stopped just as quick as it had fired up, neither of us knew what had happened, was it possessed, did all bikes do this and will it happen again when we pushed the start button was the questions spinning through our little skulls.

We checked the bike over and realised that it was in gear, the old Honda was rocked back and forth and the gear lever stabbed until the bike rolled freely.

With intrepidation I hit the start button and the monster engine fired into life again, this time it just sat there and purred like a wounded cat. the throttle was given a huge twist and the bike screamed at us.....We have brought this monster back to life.

We were lucky to have had quite a large back garden as kids and this was our play ground or for now it was a testing ground for the beast,
As mum had just popped out for a bit and dad was still at work Dan and myself took turns in learning the hidden art of riding a motorbike, We had both ridden push bikes for years but this was completely different, No peddling and it could easily take us both on that huge seat.

The garden became our speed way track, gear changes were not smooth, stalling and crashing to the deck were frequent, over revving the engine to produce some nasty noises was very common however we were getting better by the minute,
Our dad had ridden bikes for years and we were brought up with them so it must have been in the blood.

Eventually when the billiard table lawn resembled a photo of the Somme we pushed the bike back into the shed and made our way in doors for tea, knowing that we had now became masters of the motorbike.

A few days later we dragged the bike out the shed and decided we would take it to our camp in the woods about 2 miles away,
Camps... thats something kids dont have any more, an old arm chair dragged from a skip, some broken trees and lots of rope, That was our gangs camp
This humble dwelling sat in a wooded area just off a huge playing field and we thought that if we pushed it there we could show off what we had and what we could do with it .

NO CRASH HATS HERE ... no one wore cycle helmets, you saw the odd nutter wearing a horse riding hat on their push bike sometimes and that was because they were fucking special,
We were brought up in Chatham in the 70s and 80s ..tough as old boots and built of bread and marmite

Now the old Honda's were not light bikes, this little 200cc weighed as much as a modern 1000cc, if not heavier and me and Dan weighed as much as a couple of wet towels.

We set off full of gusto, pushing our beast up the drive and along the road towards our final destination....THE CAMP.

Approximately 5 minutes into the shunt were both thought bollox this is so much hard work, its got an engine, we can both ride like Evil kenevil and there are not many cars on the road right now so why not ride it.......

That is when our first experience of speed and freedom happened.

With me on the bars and Dan hanging on for grim death I pushed the happy button and our steed fired into life, with a popping and spluttering from the exhaust system we ever so slowly started to edge forward up the path, keeping one eye on approaching folk and the other eye on look out for Mr Plod.

The lamp posts and other foot path furniture kept slowing us down so evasive action was needed, with the road empty and us now approaching neck braking speeds of 15mph we took to the road
I opened the old girl up, snicked it into 3rd gear and wound that throttle back....FUUUUUUUCK....we shot up the road quicker than a rat with a firework up its arse.
The wind, the noise, the freedom, I was grinning from ear to ear, dont know about Dan but i knew his grip around my waste was getting more constrictor like,
Warp speed nine was achieved when 5th gear was stamped into the box, I cant remember how fast we were going but it was arse clenching scary.

We were nearly at our final destination to impress every one with our new toy and talents in the art of motorcycle taming when out the corner of my eye I spotted my metalwork teacher Mr Sparry....Of all the fuckers to see he was worse than the old bill,
We carried on regardless and rocked up at base camp to the excitement of all our mates and proceeded to teach them the skills of skidding, burn outs and doughnuts,

After a few hours we rode the beast back through the ally ways and side streets towards home, parked it back in the shed and waited for the bollocking from mum and dad to happen
Yep old Sparry had popped in and reported us for our misdemeanor on the main road a couple of miles from home and needless to say it was a bloody long time until we dragged our steed out the shed once more and went on another adventure