40 years ago, I started a life partnership with motorbikes. That passion hasn't waned, it's been the most stable relationship in my life. The one single thing that defines "me".
I cannot overstate how great a part of me bikes are. I'm not a biker, I'm a motorcyclist, 24/7, all year round. I love introducing others to the passion I hold for bikes. Love what bikes have given me, have felt the pain when those I've cared for have been taken on bikes.
From the early days of my first little moped and the freedom it offered, on that first day I rode to Ruthin and felt king of the road at 30 mph, I stopped in a layby for a cigarette feeling awesome that I had my own transport. I regularly pass that layby and still remember that stop every time.
Or the first long journey, riding two up to London with a mate on a Honda CB125S.
Or the joy at hitting my first "ton" on my RD250B, blue 2 stroke smoke pouring from the yowling pipes.
Or my gloriously anti social RD400 with painfully loud expansion chambers that was loathed by most of the late 70's north Wales police force
The assortment of bikes, trail, sports, two strokes, air cooled, liquid cooled, four stroke, singles, twins, multi's, all contributing to a love and a life I'd not change.
Working for Kawasaki, where I could live, eat, sleep bikes. Where customers where mates not merely customers, my first multi a sweet Z650B, which led onto my first 1000cc bikes my beloved, fondly remembered Z1R. The first bike to take me into Europe.
Working for Kawasaki, perversly, led me to the second love and an extension of the love for bikes, my passion for BMW's with the first of 5 K100RS's. Utter dependability, these 5 saw me traipsing around Europe from Scotland to Italy from Spain to Berlin.
The trail bikes, taking me to mountain tops along small trails and sheep tracks, and one even two up from Wrexham to the Cote d'Azur in a day.
Some of the highs? Riding along the Cote d'Azur, helmetless, on the twisting coast road to Cannes in 1990.
Taking my Mum to see my brother in Germany in 1991.
Introducing my daughter to bikes with her first little Yamaha PW50.
Riding down the Route d'Soliel for the first time, flushed with excitement for the journey.
Climbing the Col d'Lombarde at 7800 feet on my KLR600 feeling its fueling struggle with the altitude but in wonder at the views on show.
Riding in the USA, South Africa, Asia and most of Europe.
Just too many highs to go through, one final one involves the A5104, my K100RS SE and 3 Yamaha R1's to the Horseshoe Pass .... they lost
The pleasure in sharing my passion for bikes with the closest to a Dad I've known, my dearly loved uncle, Les. More than an uncle, more than a mate.
The lows? Losing a brother on the bike I gave him to the poor driving of a local taxi driver. Losing a mates girlfriend to another poorly driven car. Injuring my ex in an accident caused by a motorist reversing around a corner!
I estimate that this year marks a 1,000,000 miles on bikes. The huge percentage of which has been awesome.
Youngsters today who go straight to car ownership are losing out on the chance of having their lives touched by a mode of transport that transcends mere transportation, as they say "Cars move the body, Bikes move the soul"
Now let's start the next 40 years