Bob Langford

 

A combination of home brew, hidden bricks and inexperience led to me parking my mate Malcolm’s Greeves 250 twin (cast ally frame down tube….) in an apple tree in his dad’s orchard at the tender age of 15. With Malc on the back.An inauspicious though memorable start to a long association with cheap dodgy bikes throughout my school years. Panther, Royal Enfield, BSA A7 , A10, Bantams, Triumph thunderbird, 3TA . At college 1973, my first Honda appeared: all spine frame and leading link forks. Cheap, reliable, AND exciting, courtesy of Mr. Bridgestones early attempts at rubberwear.
A wideline Norton Dominator (complete self assembly kit £60) was raised from the dead in great secrecy in my bedroom (tenth floor Lightfoot hall, Chelsea College Kings Road SW3). Brought down in the lift, final assembly on the pavement, then ridden off for an MOT, it paid my Hall fees for two terms.(£220).
Thirty years, job, cars , house ,marriage, dogs, kids , and I was ready for my mid-life crisis, and having bought my saxophone at the previous decade milestone , it only left the bike…..  So I bought my Pan European.Bigger, heavier, faster and more expensive than anything I had ever ridden, I pootled around trying to avoid death and serious embarrassment until a neighbour (Simon Daffern) took pity on me a dragged me to a meeting. So, I stood up, and made my statement….. “ Hello, my name’s Bob and I’m a crap rider.”They took me in, and the rest ,as they say, is history.I was away in Spain when they voted me in as treasurer……