Friday, December 4, 2015

T-Day weekend 2015 T-Day weekend 2015

Again, I went up to my brother's in Haddam, Ct. and again, we had mild weather.  We had the traditional and excellent Thanksgiving day meal with neighbors.  Friday, we went for a end of season ride, Amy, on her '71 CL350 Honda, Doug on his '64 Norton Electra, and me on my '53 Moto Guzzi Airone Sport.
We rode to N. Madison where we met Rich Hosley, who was riding his '73 750 Norton Commando Interstate (one of the last 750s) after having a technical issue with his Norton International.  We headed north and west with Doug leading first through Durham and Northford.  Then Rich took the lead as he was more familiar with the roads to the west.  He took us through Wallingford, past Quinnipiac University, and into Cheshire where we had an excellent lunch at the Notch Store.  From there Rich led us through Prospect, Bethany, Seymour, Woodbridge, Hamden, North Haven, Northford, North Branford, East Haven, Branford, and Branford Center, where we left Rich at his business after looking at his pile.  This includes a '42 Ford Convertible (one of the last before production stopped for the war), an Ossa Wildfire and a 175 Sport; a Norton ES2, 650 SS, Combat Commando Roadster, a Fastback, and a Manx; a Royal Enfield Interceptor; a Matchless G-12, etc., etc.  From there, Doug led us through North Branford, Guilford, North Madison, Killingworth, and back to Haddam.  All told, it was about 150 miles through south central Ct., in excellent conditions with the leaves off the trees allowing one to see around the corners and into the woods and clean roads.  And, though it got more populated as we went west, traffic wasn't bad.  Doug drained the oil out of the Electra and the Honda hot.
The next day was cooler and showery and I went riding mountain bicycles with another neighbor, Cheryl,  and her dog, in Cockaponset State Forest.
 I hadn't been out in the woods on a bicycle for a couple of years, well before I had my right ankle replaced.  I only crashed once, so I obviously wasn't trying and Cheryl had to do a lot of waiting for me to catch up.  She is nearly 20 years younger than me and has a pretty trick bicycle and is very fit and experienced.  But, it felt great to be out in woods.
 As long as I'm on two wheels, I'm happy.
Sunday, we went to the British Iron Association breakfast at Pete and Sandy Swider's house in Salem.  My old sparing partner, Phil Turkington, was one of the dozen or so who showed up.  Phil and I had many dustups in 250GP races, he on his Bultaco, me on my CRTT.  A few years ago, he badly broke his femur and quit racing, but still rides vintage bikes on the street.  It was good catching up with him.  And it was good hearing Ad Coppens' classic immigrant story.  He arrive in the U.S. from Holland with $28 in his pocket, knowing no one and little English.  He worked three jobs, built up some capital, and started a tire business, importing and exporting tires to Europe.  Eventually, he sold out and started doing what he really loves, restoring AJS and Matchless and supplying part for them from his shop in Salem.
Back in Haddam, Doug took out his '64 260 Benelli and I fired up the Airone and went for a 10 mile burn up, then dumped the fuel and oil to put them away for the winter.
Doug returns from warming up the oil in his Benelli
Ya own a Guzzi and ya live under it.  Amy Roper photo.
After draining all the fuel and oil, we lowered all the bikes into the basement.
Amy's CL 350 Honda goes in first.
The 175 CZ goes down.
Amy receies the Norton Electra
Doug lifts his Benelli
My Airone being lowered
We saved the biggest for last.  Amy reaches for her 2016 V7 II
This completed the ancient Roper Family tradition of stowing of the bikes and the end of another good season of riding.

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