This was my very first bike – a Suzuki GSX600R, otherwise known as a teapot. It took me round Scotland and on a couple of track days, and got me introduced to the Suzuki Owners’ Club. I was sorry to part with it, but I needed something with a little more power.
Enter my first Thunderace – that is, a Yamaha YZF1000R. A quoted 145 bhp – quite enough for then.
This is the bike in touring mode. We’ve just come back from a fortnight in the Alps and paid a fleeting visit to my mother’s in the New Forest. She snapped us as we set off back up north.
I originally joined NAM in order to get the required advanced qualification for NBB. Pat and I both found the social side and the rideouts immensely enjoyable, and I’m now Treasurer!
I’ve done a few track days, and huge fun they are too. This is me about to be overtaken at Croft. My last track day was at Cadwell Park, where I took the old hairpin too fast, parted company with the bike and managed to break my collar bone.
There is a biking connection here. Pat and I got married in September 2001. We spent our honeymoon with nearly 50 other bikers on a long weekend in Caudebec en Caux on the banks of the Seine. A friend mistook these bucolic expressions for romantic feelings and recorded the evidence.
Over about two years I did 45 shifts for Northumbria Blood Bikes. I eventually found that my body clock is just too hard-wired to allow any sleep following a night shift!