It was a hot summer afternoon. I was almost asleep on my desk when I saw an old guy coming through the door, walking slowly, a cane in his hand. I would say he was on his seventies.
He passed by the Harleys and didn’t pay attention to the Ducatis either, but the Triumphs caught his eyes.
I got up, walked over to him and shook his hand, and even before I could introduce myself he asked:
“Do they till make Triumphs?”
“Yes, they still do. Brand new if you want”.
He laughed, tapped gently on the gas tank of a used “675” that was between us and said:
“Oh no!!! I don’t ride anymore”
“But I had quite a few Triumphs, long time ago. I think my first one was back in 1960.
Then he started telling me about a time when paved roads were rare and the broken bikes had to be fixed in backyards. Parts had to be adapted from other bikes or even built from the scratch.
He also told me about details of the machine that only who tore them apart and put everything back together could possibly know.
He was the kind of guy who rode Triumphs not to show off, but because he loved them.
Even told that he and his pals used to race on the back roads outside of town.
“ We wore no helmets, no gloves… Just a bunch of reckless kids”
I tried to convince him that the bikes have changed a lot, but the kids… They are still the same.
– “Perhaps…” he said. “Perhaps…”
Sometimes he would stare at the Triumph logo and be quiet. Maybe he was trying to remember more histories.
I would gladly listen to all of them.
I accompanied him to the door and before we parted, he looked at my left boot, with the leather worn out by the bike shifter.
“A biker yourself ?”
He smiled, shook my hand as strong as he could, wished me luck and left.
No, I never had a Triumph and most likely that I’ll never have. But it does not matter; we are all bikers.
That handshake is record of a brotherhood. We can find our “brothers” anywhere in the world, in different situations.
We are bikers and we’ll always be; even after the weariness of time forbids us to keep on riding.