Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
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A Lesson and a Beginning

I began riding in 1948, and now that I am in my seventh decade of life I have learned what I did not understand when I was young. That is, "Why do old timers think so much about their past?" All I can say about that is when you get to that age you will then understand. J

One way to appreciate what you finally ended up with for a motorcycle is to remember what you started off with in the very beginning. If you had an experience similar to mine it was not what you had dreamed of but what you could afford at that time. We often hear it said a beginner can get into trouble with a powerful motorcycle, but we don't hear much said about an under powered one causing a rider to get a ticket.

When I was in high school and near graduation my dream of having a big motorcycle was too expensive for me. That is how I ended up with a Servicycle made by the Simplex Company. It would take me where I wanted to go if I would be patent and not be in a hurry. Later while I was a student at the University of Texas that little thing introduced me to law enforcement.

Another student I knew was working his way through the university just as I was, but he had a different kind of job. He lived at a dorm on campus, free room and board for working in the kitchen. We had been to a picture show one evening and my Servicycle was struggling, trying to carry the two of us as I was taking him back to the place where he lived. Once underway, my motorbike would carry two of us, but starting from a stop was a challenge for it. In the darkness the weak headlight let me see a stop sign ahead but there was no traffic at that hour and I planned to slow to a near stop, check for traffic and ease through that stop sign. My headlight was too dim to show me a half dozen city police officers standing at the corner waiting to direct traffic when a basketball game ended at the nearby gym. I had just entered the intersection when about six flashlights came on and pointed at my face and one was being held by an officer who stepped in front of my Servicycle and stopped me.

"Why are you running a stop sign?"

"Because it is not easy to start from a stop and I didn't see you."

Sometime later, several days, I answered the phone. It was the police department and I was told a warrant for my arrest had been issued because I had not appeared by the specified date on the ticket that I had received for a stop sign and now I had been charged for failing to appear. The officer continued by saying if I would come in that day and pay the fines he would not have to come and arrest me. I asked how much would the fines be and he said, "$5 each, if you plead guilty, are you guilty?"

I answered, "I guess I am, I would have run that stop sign if that officer had not stepped out in front of me, but I guess you might as well put me in jail because I only have $5."

He then said, if I would explain to the judge what happened he did not believe the judge would make me pay the fines. I then said, "I will bring my $5 and then they can do whatever they need to do."

When I arrived at the police station the officer again asked me, "Did I run the stop sign?" I answered, "I intended to run it and would have if that officer had not been in my way."

Reluctantly he took my $5, but dropped the charge for being late. Even then he repeated if I would see the judge and explain what happened he did not believe I would have to pay the $5.

Little did I know at the time I would someday be in a uniform wearing a badge, but I had learned I needed a more powerful motorcycle. J