I never carried my Atlas tool kit or tire air pump, as i felt they would be tempting targets for thieves. In place of the tool pouch, i carried a rain suit. The rain suits in those days were nothing like the modern ones .... but my primary concern was that it fold up and fit in the underseat Atlas tool tray. My Atlas never had saddle bags for storage.
Between my 3rd and 4th year undergraduate semesters, I landed a summer job as a junior engineer. Professional attire (jacket and tie) was required. If I made the 30 mile commute to this job on the Atlas, the rain suit had to go, as I required a covering for my coat and tie. For this purpose, I used a military unlined fatigue jacket that I rolled up and stored in the tool tray.
Needless to say, I never rode the bike if rain was in the forecast, but on one fine day, either because no rain was forecast, or because I failed to check, I made the commute on the Atlas, and in the late afternoon, there came a gully washer. The rain came down in torrents for about 2 hours, and it was still raining when security closed the engineering offices and booted me out. With nowhere to take shelter, I resolved to get wet and make the 30 mile trip.
I soon found the roads to be gridlocked, as the low places, such as underpasses were flooded. Seeking an alternate route, as everyone else was, resulted in more gridlock, but I found myself on an unflooded boulevard, but with all auto traffic dead stopped. I went to "lane splitting" or riding in between the stalled cars. I know this was highly illegal and dangerous, but the cops would be in grid lock, the cars were dead stopped, and if I kept my speed to little more than the minimum to control the bike, I could stop if some guy decided to open his door in my path.
Soaked to my skin, I rolled up to a signal controlled intersection, the light cycling green-yellow-red over and over with no one moving either way. Being a law abiding driver, I waited at the intersection until the red light turned green.
While waiting, the window of the car next me opened, and the driver said "Hey, Hey! Let me ask you a question?"
"Sure, ask!" I said. He said "Don't you feel like an asshole riding that thing in the rain?" I looked at the traffic signal, until I saw the yellow come on for the cross traffic, then I turned to this guy and said "Yes, I do". He shot a grin ear to ear. Then I said "Now let me ask you a question?" "Sure, ask"! He said, still grinning.
I said "Don't you feel like an asshole sitting at the head of an intersection, (and pointing to the traffic signal) while you have a green light to go"?
His grin suddenly vanished, and i went thru the intersection continuing to thread my way between the cars.
When I left work on my triumph a couple of work mates would usually be at the bus stop just down from the factory
I could never resist doing some stupid stunt as I went past them usually standing on the seat or sitting sideways on the bike etc
but one night I brought my leg round to sit side saddle but I hadn't clipped the seat down properly (it was a hurricane unit on a bonnie) and the seat got jammed under my shin and as I tried to get it back the seat was now on edge underneath me whilst I was standing on the foot pegs but the seat base was made of fiberglass and had to be properly lined up before it would fit down,and I didn't want it falling in the road
My mates were pissing themselves whilst I was wobbling up the road trying get the poxy seat back down so I could stop without falling over
I have 3 best mates that we all hang out with when we get the chance one night we were all up the shed having a few to many beers when I came up with a little game called who can kick the Norton to life, first up was Brian who has never owned a British bike the ignition switch was in the on position, remember my bike has a hot motor and a JH maggie so should fire up easierly, well I through so anyway, five attemps only, after his five kicks he was buggered, then it was Steve's go he had a Commando when he was young and a Dunstal Commando later on in his years so through he would have a good chance, wrong again and he missed it as well, then it was Paul's turn he be the best one to be able to start it as he owned British bikes all his life but not a Norton, by this time we have comsumed a lot of beers, no luck with the first 4 kicks on the fifh one he was straggling and all of a sudden he's gone over and the Norton on top of him it was so funny we all were pissing ourselfs except for Paul of course, he didn't see the funny side of it.
After getting the bike off him we had a few more beers when the boys looked at me and said gone on if your so smart you start it up, well I just sat on the seat put my leg on the kicker and gave it a swing she fired straight up like it always does for me, turned it off and back on then kicked it again back to life, I did this 5 times and each time it fired right up, then got off the bike sat down and drank my beer it was all quite for a bit when Paul said f...ing smart arse.
It was a good night for all we have known each other for over 45 years and we always put shit on each other as good mates do, Steve and Paul are full on Harley riders now and they cop shit from me, I have stayed true British and they get pissed off when my old owned 43 year old Norton still gives them a hiding lol, but they give it back to me as good as I give it to them, thats what good mates are all about, by the way Brian has owned a 1935 Indian for over 40 years he just got it fully restored and back on the road after sitting in his shed for all that time, its a great looking Indain, now we just got to get him to start on his 1933 Ford coup hotrod.
It was a super warm day in January, and several of my buddies and I had a date to go scuba diving. After dumping my dive tanks and gear into Walt's station wagon, I remarked that it was such a fine day, that I ought to ride the Atlas on down to the dive site.
After we spent most of the day in the water, we came out to dry, and then I noticed that a "blue norther" had come in, and the temperature had dropped 30 or 40 degrees. After saying that I was going to freeze my ass off on the 40 mile ride home, Walt said "Keep your wetsuit on. I'll keep mine on too, and ride double with you."
We rode about half way, then I signalled the guys in the station wagon to stop for coffee. Walt and I entered the establishment in our wetsuits. The owner stopped us just inside the door saying "You can' t come in dressed like that" "What's wrong with the way I am dressed?" I asked. "You're overexposed!" he said. "Overexposed, hell," I said, "there's nothing exposed except my hands and face!"
Walt said "would you let him in if he was wearing a jacket and tie?" "Of course", said the owner.
I continued to argue with he guy, but Walt was nudging me towards the door. When we were out of earshot from the owner, Walt said "I picked up my dry cleaning yesterday, and I happen to have two jackets and two ties in the station wagon" "Gotcha" I said.
So we went out to the station wagon, each of us donning a tie over the wetsuits with a nice Windsor knot, and a jacket. The owner, could not keep from pissing his pants when we came back in, and told us to seat ourselves.
Continuing the ride home, we stopped at a traffic signal, and some kid stared at us from the back seat of Mom's car, and then said "Hey Mom, look at the Phantom"! Anyone remember that comic strip?
no mate sent to the stores to get a pr gloves tho by the store man don't be stupid it means a pair of gloves happy days and stood at the stores waiting for a tin of tartan paint how stupid were we at 16
In Australia the GOVT and police are cracking down on outlaw motorcycle clubs and their members and loud Harlies, on the news the other night a patch wearing cluby stopped outside of a police station and did one hell of a burn out, there was smoke everywhere but when he let go of the front brake he started to fishtail down the road where he lost it and went arse up in front of on coming traffic, by the this time I was pissing myself laughing, he picked his bike back up and trying to start it by this time the cops where running towards him when if finaly fired up and he just got away, it was all on camera his patch clearly shown as well as his number plate, what a fool it was so funny and being put on the nightly news, one copper said we will catch up with him but I think his other clubbies will get to him before us.
Follow up to the story of the burn out outside the cop shop, today the police raided a house on a different matter and inside they found a male with injuries to his leg the male confessed to being the rider of the bike doing the burn out outside the police station that was on the news the other night and his injuries to his leg was from coming a cropper from the burn out, they ended up taking him to hospital to get patch up but his injured leg was more serious and was hospitalised, its also come out he wasn't a member of outlaw club, but he was wearing a patch of some sort, what a fool.