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I carry a notepad with me on all of my rides and use this to reflect on a range of different things: people I should meet, the feel of my Bonnie, the scenery, contemplations that might happen during my ride, etc. I do this for a number of different reasons; it helps to enhance my riding experience that I so passionately enjoy, it will serve as a personal memoir for myself so that it can be passed over to my 16 month old son along with Bonnie when the day comes for him to get his license and roll her down the road, and I hope one day to possibly have this published as "The Bonnie Tales." If no one objects I would like to take excerpts from these writings and share them here on this forum. If they are long winded or needless then please let me know and I will stop posting them. If not then I will "scribble" away as I enjoy to do almost as much as I enjoy riding my Bonnie...

It was one of my very first rides on Bonnie since coming to the United Kingdom. My sister was visiting from America and was the first time for her meeting her new nephew. It was a classical British summer day; the sun was out and a cool breeze could be felt that would make you think it felt more like late spring. We decided to have a "proper" British Sunday and go to a well known pub in Diss to have a Sunday roast. Bonnie had finally arrived and was street legal so I was acting like a six year old at Christmas...I had to ride. My wife was equally joyous that Bonnie arrived so that she didn't have to listen to me sing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" to her anymore. So it was agreed that I would fire Bonnie up and ride out to our Sunday roast as my wife, son, and sister rode in the cage.

I fired Bonnie up and rolled down the A1101 and immediately felt even more connected to her. Perhaps it was because I was able to ride my Triumph back in her "motherland" and she had returned to her origins or perhaps it was knowing that factory was less than a 100 miles away; either way, her parallel twins seemed to have hummed and rumbled sweeter and louder than she ever did before. I specifically chose the windy or "twistie" country roads to get us all to our destinations and immediately had a grin on my face as I took in the smells of the Suffolk region; rolling past the horse ranches of Newmarket, the pig farms before rolling through Bury St. Edmunds, and the countless farms where the smell of onions flowed through the air. Bonnie made her journey back home and I didn't want the ride to end. My biggest anxiety during the first leg of the ride was if I should open the old girl up and let her trot down the twisties or to pull back and sit up straight to take all of it in...I chose to do both. I pulled back and rode alongside my wife's car so that I could take a look at my son in his car seat and could see that he was mouthing the only word he knows for motorcycle: "da-da." Of course there is a difference and if the motorcycle should be a Triumph then his word changes to "DA-DA, DA-DA, DA-DA!" I smiled boastfully as I put Bonnie back into fifth gear and went ahead, hoping that one day my son takes the same interest in this passion called motorcycling and can experience the sense of freedom, independence, and calmness that riding has to offer to us.

I quickly began brainstorming before our Sunday meal was even over as to how I was going to continue the ride further. I immediately blurted out: "we should go to the Henry Watson plant after our meal." This would extend my riding at least another hour and allow my sister and wife to shop at the place where Henry Watson pottery is made. It was visionary and I can say egotistically say that I was a genious at the brief moment. Bonnie fired right up and she felt as if she was lunging to get back onto the twisties; that she was in need of the English twisties as much as I was. The road opened up more to the picturesque farming land scape as the A142 carved through the heart of it, allowing a panaromic view in every direction as Bonnie rolled on. I was brought back to my immediate surroundings and away from my contemplations as Bonnie seemed to developed a substantial echo. Five other Triumphs immediately engulfed around me as I soon realized that multiple parallel twins were now singing in unison. They sped past only to realize they had passed Bonnie and then immediately began to slow as one rider lowered his left hand to the side of his back to motion for me to join the pack. Bonnie had less hesitation than me and I was in the middle of this spontaneous pack before I even knew it. I received the courteous and respect cafe helmet nod as the fellow Trumpeters pulled in their clutches and revved their engines; I graciously returned the gesture ensuring that my cafe helmet nod was a little deeper than theirs.

I motioned backwards with my head to the newly formed pack to a little boy behind us in the car that was frantically testing the restraint system of his carseat to full capacity. Luckily they were able to understand the gesture I was emitting and followed my cue of pulling back and engulfing the car. This is the motorcycle language that so many of us are aware of; speaking in volumes while on a ride but without having to say a single word. Now my son's word for motorcycle changed to "DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-DAAAAAAAA" as he was accompanied not by one Triumphs but by six of them. Each one of us taking turns to roll our bikes up to his side as we beamed ear to ear seeing his reaction. My sister was bellowing in deep laughter as she raised her hands to cover her ears symbolizing how estatic my son was to be surrounded by so many Triumphs. To my sadness, the turn for the Henry Watson plant soon approached and I turned on my signal to motion that this surprising but appreciative union had to come to an end for me. The other five Trumpeters motion their acknowledgement to me and layed on their horns briefly as they put their bikes back into fifth gear and re-attacked the twisties. Bonnie answered right by sounding out several fast bursts of her horn and gracefully leaned into the turn that took us into our next destination...
 

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I really enjoyed reading your tale! I'm from Norfolk & know the roads you were riding. I'd imagine that riding a Bonnie around 'Constable Country' would be pretty cool too!

Now, I can't seem to see any pics? :confused:


DaveB.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dave,

I will definitely post some pics to go with the tale as soon as I get home. I guess I should be working but needing a break from the grind and wrote that tale out instead.
 

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By all means, keep posting! However, I can't forgo the obligatory

:Need pics
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have been trying to throw in a couple of pics as an attachment but it keeps failing to upload. Am I going to have to open up a photobucket account or something just to link so I can show pics? Any help would be appreciated...
 

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I guess an old dog can learn new tricks after all...a BIG thank you to everyone that helped this old dog learn a new trick.





And this is how EVERYONE should feel right before riding...:D

 

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What a great report! I love it - man I miss a good sunday roast incorporating a ride on the bike.

I love your idea of a journal - so much so that I'm going to start carrying a notebook around too. Great stuff, and great pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
propforward,

Thank you for your feedback and I will continue on with my "Bonnie Tales" then as I enjoy sharing them. I never really had the idea until after I got Bonnie. I bought her just because I love Triumphs so much and always have. Trust me, I take a good ribbing now and then because of being active duty military stationed in the UK. The Americans on the base can't believe I'm not on a Harley and I am already becoming known as "the Yank on a Triumph" when I go off base. :D

What gave me the idea for the Bonnie Tales though is this shared response towards her. I specifically wanted Bonnie for her history and how sexy of a bike she is. What I didn't anticipate though is how many people share that very same reaction. So I often get approached by so many people and they do so in a very open and friendly way. Sort of like Bonnie serves as the bridge that allows people to approach me and reflect and the stories I have heard...it has made my experiences, not just on a Triumph but also as a person, very fulfilling and I feel lucky for it. So I started scribbling about my rides because of this reason. I am glad there are people in here that enjoy reading them; I will do my next Bonnie tale although I need to get some sleep right now because tomorrow I make the journey to the holy meca of the cafe bikes....the Ace Cafe! More to come...
 

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Catennacio,

Thank you for your response and the last photo is my favorite as well. That was the first day that I brought the ATV home for my son and I can boast as a proud papa that the recommendation for the toy is for children 3 & up and my son is only 16 months:D:D It seems he might have biking in his blood....that's my boy!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Agreed! Would have made a great screen name! :D

I am from that general area, and have ridden around some of the roads mentioned. That picture of you outside the Bunbury Arms has me yearning for a ride there - that magical word "Carvery" - man I loved going to the Pub for Sunday Roast. Fabulous. I want hear and see more of your rides around the area. Are you at Mildenhall or one of the others? Or maybe you're not allowed to say, which is fair enough. Mildenhall has one of the BEST air displays - tons of military hardware from many countries. Lakenheath has good air displays too. The Mildenhall guys really have their act together though in terms of organisation - both on base and in the surrounding area.

Happy memories. Keep it up man, and come and join in on the twins forum!
 

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the "Yank on a Triumph" would have been a perfect name to use. Unfortunately, I already had this account set up before I got Bonnie street legal and was "named" over here. I must say though, they (the Brits) have coined the name for me in a respectful and fun way. I am having the time of my life riding over here and have met the greatest people while doing it. It sure has been a blast so far riding Bonnie deep in Triumph territory. I will definitely post my pictures for you, as a matter of fact, I am uploading my shots to photobucket right now on our run to the Ace Cafe today and I will post them shortly.
 

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excuse me prop; I re-read your post and realized that I didn't even answer your question. I am stationed at Lakenheath but I live in Mildenhall. I made the best decision over here by living in a house in Mildenhall village and not on the base. We have great neighbor, the town center is literally a two minute walk from the front door, and we have the river/park behind our house where we always go to Sainsburys to buy some bread and feed the "quak quaks!" I agree with you, while my assignment over here has been good, getting stationed at Mildenhall would have been better. But I always try to look to the bright side; we live in a fantastic neighborhood, there are REALLY nice people around us, we have a great house, and I am riding Bonnie back on her old stomping grounds. Tomorrow we head back to another carvery to enjoy some Sunday lamb but I won't rub it in too much....:D
 

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Tomorrow we head back to another carvery to enjoy some Sunday lamb

:Eating


:drool:

I wouldn't mind some of that!

Mildenhall is an excellent village, you picked a great place to stay while you are there - good for you! I am sure you will explore much of the country, I recommend - well all of it - but the Peak district, lake district, scotland, wales, ireland, and the coasts. And Yorkshire. And Lancashire.
 

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It is funny you should mention about the trips; my buddy and myself already have plans for what we will hit. The goal is to have Bonnie officially roll through the British Empire before I have to leave. The first big one is the 50th Anniversary Bonneville celebration where Bonnie is going to displayed as the '06 model. I will be receiving a certificate with the frame and engine number on it stating that it was displayed at this event; probably the best souvenir that I can bring back with me from the UK. Then the next weekend it is off to Wales where we have a route planned on it that we are going to do a big circle, from Mildenhall through Wales then up to Liverpool and then back home. September will be the month for Scotland where we plan to travel to Lochness and find Nessie! We haven't got Ireland planned out yet but will definitely make it to wrap up the empire tour, should be a lot of fun and I plan on adding the patches to my Triumph jacket with pride :D Here are a couple of photos of today's run that I thought you might like...

The tunnel run looking at the Ace...




Bonnie at the Ace...
 

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Excellent! Being on display as the 06 model is cool. Have I read this right - you took your Bonnie from the States with you to the UK?
 

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It is a long story so I am glad you asked...:D

I have ridden motorcycles all my life; starting out at six years old. I was a dirt head and raced motocross on Kawasaki's in which I have owned more cows than I can honestly remember. I came in the Air Force and have spent the majority of my time in Japan in which the elevation is unbelievable so I got out of motorcycling and got into mountain biking. I have one of those downhill mountain bikes that has more suspension than a street bike and costs about the same. The only thing I can do with this bike is buy a lift ticket and huck it up the mountain but I can also do 50+ m.p.h. down the course. It was quite the rush and I absolutely love the sport. Motorcycling was always in the back of my mind though and I came to the UK where my mountain biking adventures were pretty much crushed; as you already know, a ant hill where I am living right now would be consider an elevated point.

I have taken the time during my tour here to knock out my schooling where I am in my last quarter to get my political science degree and then grad school for public administration. The Triumph is a graduation present to myself because of the demanding and stressful pace of having a son in the house, a full time and demanding job, and finishing my last 70 credit hours of school in 14 months. I knew I wanted a Triumph; there was always a cerain mystique with Triumph for me and I absolutely love their bikes. Their looks, performace, and how they sound. I like the fact that Bonnie has a soft idle and then will roar out when you lay on the throttle. I call it the performing rumble and I much prefer this sound compared to the obnoxious trot that Harleys always have. The Triumph trot is more refined and more distinct in my opinion and it is music to my ears.

Sooooooooooooooooo...I had my '09 Bonnie picked out from Suffolk Triumph and was getting ready to pay for it; it was the green and cream Bonnie and no extras put on it. I am the type that is extremely picky about adding things on to a cafe bike. To me, the cafe bike is the perfect example of how minimalist design is so awesome and there is a real danger to breaking that package once you keep throwing things on. There was something in the back of my head telling me that I better cover all my bases before I bought the '09 Bonnie so I called the Hinckley plant and explained to them my situation. They told me that they were glad that I called and told me NOT to buy the bike unless I wanted to sell it before I left the UK. This is because U.S. customs would not accept the bike back into the counrty because of something to do with the registration systems that the UK uses and it is different than the one used in the states. Needlessly to say, my heart was ripped out of my chest with a spoon and then trampled on for even more thoroughness. I thought I was screwed and my Triumph purchase would be put off yet again. These type of purchases are hard for me because I have done my whole career so far overseas.

About two weeks later my buddy calls me late at night and tells me to get on to this website; it is a yard sale type of site for Lakenheath and Mildenhall military. The page came up and I couldn't believe what I saw...my Creamsicle!! Shipped over here from Nevada because the owner was just stationed at Lakenheath. I guess the Brits don't care about the VIN system and American sold Trumpets can be shipped back here. This was almost as if the stars were lined up...I have always rant and raved about tangerine Bonnies; absolutely my favorite color for them but I never even dreamed of getting one because of my situation of being overseas. Bonnie had a little less than 3,000 miles and was the typical story...some guy thought he would get into motorcycling but didn't care for it. On top of that, he has a baby and his wife on him to get rid of the bike to get from under the payments. So we went and looked at Bonnie but I knew I was getting her before we even arrived.

So she is an American Bonnie but bought over here. This is my first non-Japanese bike I have ever owned and I can't really say how special this bike is towards me. From my love of Triumphs that I have always had to the crazy circumstances that led up to me getting her...it's been one crazy tale but she is home now and parked warmly in her garage...:) I REALLY hate to admit this but I was so desperate to ride over here that I actually went to the dealer on base and had a Harley on order :eek:. Luckily Bonnie showed up a few days before I dropped the order and I raced down to cancel the order and get my deposit back. Now keep in mind...I am active duty United States Air Force, ordered a Harley on an Air Force base and now I am rushing back to them to cancel the order because I found my Triumph!! The guy looked at me with a dropped jaw and couldn't believe what he was hearing. It actually got a little ugly as it actually pissed him off. I told him the day HD made a better bike than the Trumpets then I will drop my order but that day isn't today so give me my deposit back! I got my money back, I paid for Bonnie in full and brought her home and I haven't regretted one second of it. This might sound a little made because of the events of circumstance but believe it or not...that is the absolutely truth. So now this "Yank on a Triumph" is having the time of his life!
 

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Bonnie is going to displayed as the '06 model. I will be receiving a certificate with the frame and engine number on it stating that it was displayed at this event; probably the best souvenir that I can bring back with me from the UK.
Way. Too. Cool. :thumbsup:

I love that second Ace Cafe picture; good work there. And the Harley story is priceless.
 
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