I’ve been thinking a lot about off-road riding. It seems natural to me to ride off road, I think because until recently all my motorcycle experiences have been off-road. I had a couple of motorbikes in my youth which I used to ride around the farm, and typically crash. One into a wall (although, I have to admit that was on purpose, but that’s story for another time) and one into a tree while jumping. Although now that I think about it, I didn’t crash that one.
Evel sporting a rather dapper jumpsuit

Evel sporting a rather dapper jumpsuit

My Godfather Pete crashed that motorbike. Pete was and, still is a very cool Godfather, mostly because he was a biker. I remember him turning up at my Primary school when I was about six or seven on a motorbike and he had a denim jacket on with a teddy bear on the back. In a small (my class had about six other kids in) rural village that was about as rock and roll as it gets. That appearance made me cool by association until about the age of eleven.

I had a black moped for a while and I used to ride it around the farm jumping it off things while humming the theme from Star wars; I’m not sure why. I think because it was black I had decided it was a Darth Vader motorbike. There was a line of thick fur trees on the edge of the gardens and since one of the trees was smaller than the others you could jump a bike through that gap. This was an amazing stunt as it seemed impossible and yet you could burst through the ‘solid’ trees to the other side with no side effects other than a pine fresh aroma. I had managed this lots of times, although admittedly I practiced on my bicycle before I tried it on a motorcycle, and was fine.

Pete had a go at the jump and hit a tree. The bike was a write-off and Pete did something awful to his ankle and couldn’t ride for a few days. He had to hobble around using a broom handle just like a pirate which made him seem even cooler. I think there is a lesson in that we could all learn.