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I said Goodbye to Surrey Pubs
and lunchtimes drinking beer,
The crazy nights on motor bikes
were soon to disappear.
And so did all those teenage friends
but boy, we had some fun!
I wonder if they still recall
When old Ken Tuffs was young.
In 1987 I was given a bicycle during one of my friend Malcolm Scotts visits. I hadn't ridden one for decades and I was thoroughly enjoying the exercise. In the April of that year, while peddling furiously through the Welsh hills, I composed the above lines, part of a reflective song about my past. I called these songs my bike riding songs. My children informed me I must describe them as Poem's, for they said every song I had ever written had the same Irish tune.
As I cycled I recalled similar experiences on the motor bikes of my teenage years. Lunchtime visits to some of the ancient pubs in Surrey's delightful village's were often my destination. I also pondered on the reason I stopped that activity, why I put away my crash helmet for good in the latter part of the 1960's. It wasn't only the number of dents in the helmet, it was the number of times I broke my arm!
You have to be getting on in years to remember the TV star called Simon Dee, but he was the reason I stopped riding motor bikes. You see each week his show would feature two beautiful young ladies called "The Spooner Twins". I discovered they lived within my neck of the woods and one day I saw them as I and my Bike roared past. I turned around and went past them again and this time I whistled, I knew I had caught their attention for they looked up and I looked back, grinning. The grin quickly faded when the traffic stopped and I didn't, and somehow, at that very moment, I lost interest in "The Spooner Twins". The man whose car I'd hit was very kind and he drove me home. Much later at the hospital, I found I had broken my arm in two places which took months to mend, as did the repairs to my motorcycle, but in time both were successfully fixed and once again I was able to indulge my need to visit Surrey Pubs, for lunchtimes drinking beer.
The next part of this story of my youth seems like it couldn't happen, but I promise it did. I was riding to work one morning and all the cars in front of me stopped, I tried to brake but did not stop in time and, once again, I hit a car with my motorbike. This time I was not hurt but the car driver who helped me get up from the ground was the very same driver I had crashed into a year earlier. Again he was pleasant, but he did say that perhaps I should consider taking the bus to work, "It will be safer for every one", he suggested. Thinking back to the pain and the cost of the last accident I had to agree. I took his advice, and never rode a motorbike again. But I have to say that Simon Dee and the Spooner Twins crash helped shape my life, for I started taking the bus to work and that was where I met my Jenny!