The Happy Biker
Read the road, to ride it.
													Born to ride, but have to work.									
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Andrew Anderson © 2014 The Happy Biker All Rights Reserved

Ok, biking info about me; Started in the back garden on a Vespa racing scooter my dad got, rode that from 13 to 16 in the garden!  Then got my Puch 3 gear a couple of months before my 16 th birthday. On my sixteenth birthday day I was out at the crack of dawn riding about on the local roads in North Fareham, always thought  would be a cyclist but the thrill even at that first low speed was just exhilarating.

Met up with my school mates from Bishopsfield and they had various mopeds, we went out riding one day over Bitterne, Southampton and there in shop was the most beautiful site, a brand new Puch Monza Grand Prix,  this was in the JPS (John Player Special) colours all black with gold lettering, I just had to have it.

The Puch Monza Grand Prix JPS was a 6 speed 72 mph 48 cc moped, which the basic model was 54 mph and yes both were legal in 1976 bought to the above spec and neither were modified, riding this new moped felt even more like the wind, so faster than the infamous FS1E’s of the time which were cheaper and more affordable by many, but another great moped the FS1E’s were and still are.

Had the Puch JPS just 2 months 7 days and then going home from work in Fareham at the Redlands Lane / St Michael's Grove junction on Monday 8 th November 1976 at 17:15 hrs had an accident where a yellow VW Beatle registration number DCG 999K it went right from Redlands Lane into St Michael's Grove, going across the road lane I was travelling in and I hit the car causing enough damage to nearly make it an insurance right off.  Still to this day I do not remember the collision as all that I tell is from what I got told afterwards!  I hit the VW Beatle, went over the bonnet and then got run over by a bus, I was pronounced DEAD at the scene of the accident and was revived, in the ambulance on the way to the Portsmouth Royal Hospital, I DIED again and was again revived.  I thank the ambulance crew again to this day, but never got to meet them.

My mother did not want to come and see me and my father had already gone to work at 4 PM to Oxford, but my brother Michael & his wife Carole did, they were the only ones that did.  Surprisingly I was released the next day, injuries were 7 stitches in my left index finger, multiple lacerations on body, arms, & face (lacerations caused by the bus as it ran over me I was rolled along the underneath of the bus) a few chunks out of my left lower right leg and NO feeling in my left side front shin it was numb, I also had a chip out of my front tooth with a few others with hairline cracks.  The accident trauma caused a personality change.

Before this incident.

I was timid, afraid, an introvert and stuttered profusely, for years I was told by many that I was stupid, and why?  It was just because I was a large lad and stuttered, others became impatient whilst I tried to speak and tried to finish my sentence’s and often very being taken advantage off.  Later finding out those that did, lost !!!!!

After that day I felt alive and was going to live each day on as if it were my last, not knowing if I would be here another day!

With the personality change, and as if a great miracle I did not stutter again.

After legal aid help by Peter Latham of Glanvilles Solicitors Fareham, I had my insurance payout (after there undisclosed cost’s covertly covered from sight got me to sign a pay-off cut!).  So what did I buy?

#1. An Anschutz air rifle. I was a member of the Golden Lion Rifle Club (Handicap 3).

#2. An engagement ring for my beautiful Janette whom I met on 21st October 1977.

#3. Protective bike gear, new helmet, gloves, boots, leggings and two jackets one leather one Bellstaff wax cotton from Rafferty Newman (now Destination Triumph).

#4. A brand new  Yamaha RD 125 DX from Raffery Newman.

#5. A meal out for Janette’s parent with my parents at the “White Swan” Bursledon, to celebrate our engagement and for both sets of parents to meet.

So my next bike was an Yamaha RD 125 DX.  I had for a while and then sold it to buy a Suzuki GT 380, it was during this time that I then started to road race on an amateur basis for “Nigel Brown Racing”, this lasted only three seasons then stopped as my fiance Janette soon to become my wife gave an ultimatum, she won and I stopped racing.  My race bikes were general a mixture of Bonneville’s and Commando’s.  I used to weld together the motorcycle race frames, and my pay off!  I was able to use the stock bikes for road racing, as then I as like now you have to hold an ACU licence to track race on an amateur basis.

After this swapped my GT 380 for a Triumph Herald Convertible and also a Honda 250 Super Dream (Old Style) with a humped tank!  This time a bike just for pure commuting in & out of Gosport.

For a number of years I was without a bike.  In 1994 bought a new Harley Davidson FXR known as a “Big Boy”.  This was great as Harley Davidson’s are a living legend.  From an early age all my children would come out riding pillion, they all wanted more and wanted to stay on the bike for hours, they tell me it was a terrific childhood experience and memory.

In 1995 saw a really terrific GT 750 (known as a Kettle) for sale at a bike exhibition at Ocean Village by Rye Motorcycles, going back and forth many times as the price was high and was advised by my friends and brothers not to pay that much, but it was such a clean terrific bike, I just had to have it, so also bought this, and it has had only one previous owner from Botley, who bought it new from Park Road Motorcycles - Shirley, Southampton.

Wanting to venture out more and with Jan’s consent got my latest bike a 2010 BMW R1200 GS Adventure, it was a Bahnstormers ex demonstrator, went for the BM as my neighbour Dave really convinced me these were the bikes to have and Bahnstormers were the shop to buy from!

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