Staying Alive!
Years ago, around the age of 14 or so, my mate (Christian) was the envy of the school. He had a little Honda CR80 scrambler.   Christian’s dad was a keen dirt bike racer (sidecar motor X).  He had bikes and bike bits aplenty at his house in Ascot.  In a way, It was like a dirt bike grave yard.  For me going there and seeing all those bikes lying around was pure heaven.  Suddenly I had the bug !!  

I begged my dad for months, "Please can we get a dirt bike dad ??"  We had woods at the back of the house.  It would have been paradise.  Maybe not for dog walkers !!   Eventually my Dad gave in and somehow found an old Honda CR125.  And it was old !!      We drove up to Oxfordshire somewhere…and this old bike was soon in the back of my Dad's big old Citroen.  How we got it in there I’ll never know.  In case it slid out of the back, I seem to remember having one hand on it all the way home.  Getting that bike into the garage was the best feeling.  Thank you Dad.  (I had to cut the grass and wash the car for months after!!). 

The woods beckoned.   We (some friends and my brother Matthew) soon took the bike through the woods and found a huge open field.  We knew that this particular field belonged to Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees.  It had humps, bumps and jumps a plenty.  “This will do” my brother and I said.   My friends and I set about showing Matthew (a complete novice), where the brake pedal and gears etc were.  After a few stalls and shaky starts and with Barry Gibb's mansion in the background, Matt was off across the field and into the distance.  I was afraid that if he stalled the bike, he may struggle to get it started again.  Sure enough, when he was a fair distance from us he stalled it.  My friends and I started to walk towards him to give him a hand.   No sooner had we set off when like lightning a white Land Rover came tearing from Barry Gibb's mansion, steaming towards my brother and the bike.  We thought, oh s**t, were for it now…   As the Land Rover got closer to Matt, I could see him desperately trying to kick start the bike.  “Come on Matt, start the bike and get out of there” I thought !!  The Land Rover got to him.  We ran over thinking my bro had been confronted by a real angry Bee Gee !.    The driver of the white Landy (a caretaker of some sort) was actually OK with us.  “Did you ask permission to ride  motorbikes on this land ?”  “No” we replied. “Try asking permission from the land owner” said the man.  “Now clear off”. “Thank you, we're sorry”, we said and duly walked the bike off his land, our heads held low.    

We decided to write a letter to Mr Gibb requesting permission to ride our motorbike on his land.  We penned a letter and set off to back to Barry's mansion.  This time we used the main entrance.   My mate Paul drove us in his Ford Escort.  The funny thing was that when we were on Barry's driveway (which seemed to go on for ever!!),  Paul put one of the Bee Gees hit songs on the car stereo.  'You Win Again' was pumping out of the speakers when we pulled up to Barry's front door.   
We knocked on the big old double wooden doors of this stunning Tudor mansion.  After a short while the door eased open.  A bearded man stood at the door, he must have seen 4 or 5 lads staring at him with wide eyes and mouths open in anticipation of seeing a musical icon.  To this day we're not sure if the bearded man was actually a Bee Gee.  Well, he didn’t have skin tight white trousers and a medallion anyway…  We explained why we were there, handed over our letter of request and headed off.  We never had a reply !!  Tradegy...! 

We found alternative places to ride the bike but were soon turfed off by farmers ect.  Unless their dad is a musical icon and owns a field of their own, I guess these days, youngsters have to join a dirtbike club in order to ride their bikes.    My brother Matthew never got the biking bug.  Paul went on to be a D J in local pubs.  I'm sure he giggles when he hears 'You win again' (as I do).  The old CR125 was ridden into the ground and ended up in the dirt bike grave yard.  Worn out and knackered in Christian's dad's back garden. 

Honda CR125 
Another of Dan's fond biking memories. Do you have a tale to share with us? If so, email it to the web-bitch !