Q: What’s your biking history?
A: When I lived in London I rode a scooter, but I didn’t actually pass my full test until about four years ago when I moved back to Dorset on the UK’s south coast. I’d always wanted a classic Triumph and, with a Bonneville just out of my price range at the time, I got myself a 2005 Scrambler. It’s become my pride and joy and has been reincarnated several times already.
Q: So why do you love tinkering with it?
A: You don’t buy Bonnevilles, Scramblers and Thruxtons for their performance – it’s for the look, the sound and the feeling they give you, and so you can pose on them! The whole Hinckley twin range is an iconic and versatile one, with potential to adopt all styles, so you can use your imagination to take the bike in whichever direction you want.
Q: But isn’t a bike also meant to be ridden?
A: It’s funny, because there’s never been anything wrong with Triumph’s bikes, but very often the first thing people do is take them to pieces! In truth, sometimes I’m willing something to break on it, to give me the excuse to tinker again, but it never has done and riding it is wonderful, especially on the coast roads near me.
Q: So tell us about your shed…
A: Well, I just moved house in July and, while I love the new place, one of the painful compromises I had to make with my girlfriend was to sacrifice my old garage for a much smaller garden shed. It’s just 6ft x 4ft (1.82m x 1.22m) and is not as dry or warm as my garage was either.
Q: How sad were you to leave your last shed behind?
A: I’m still not over it! I used to spend four hours a night, seven days a week in my old garage in the summers, working on my bike or just sharing my passion for Triumphs via my blog. The new shed doesn’t have room for my favourite chair and I doubt I’ll be too keen to spend much time in there in winter…
Q: Do you ride all year round?
A: I do, though the UK winters are pretty brutal on bikes, especially when you’re aiming to keep them looking shiny and pristine. However, I have a great relationship with my local Triumph dealer, because I buy so many parts. As one of these photographs shows, I’ve even ridden mine in two inches of snow before, though I’m not sure it went down well.
Q: Do you mean it didn’t go down well with your Scrambler?
A: We have a love-hate relationship! Some days the bike is all I think about, but others I don’t want anything to do with it. But the thing is, if I ever sold it, I’d have to buy another one. I think my girlfriend has realised the only way I could replace my bike is if we had a child, and only then because kids take up almost as much time!
Q: Does she ever ride pillion?
A: It sounds bad, but I’ve actually taken the rear pegs off – my bike is for me! I don’t even particularly like riding in convoy with other people because on my own I can explore and just focus on really enjoying the bike and looking cool. That’s probably not very fashionable, but when I want to share my biking experiences, I turn to my blog.
Q: So what is the purpose of Bonnefication?
A: A lot of blogs can be very self-satisfied and self-important, but I don’t actually use mine to say much – it’s more a platform for people to post pictures of their own projects and share that passion. What’s incredible is how much it’s taken off – Bonnefication now gets more than 1,000 new hits a week and we’re at well over 400,000 in three years. By far the most of those come from the USA, but Italians and Brits also love their accessories and custom jobs and we’re getting contributions from all over the world. Hopefully it inspires people. I’m just an average Joe, modifying my Scrambler as a hobby. So, if I can do it with my pitiful mechanical skills, then so can anyone. It’s that Heath Robinson thing…
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