Sitting out the side of the workshop well that what we like to call it, feeling the sun beat down on my already sunburn head. Sipping a cool bottle from the little fridge just inside the door. “Any bloody chance you doing any bloody work” sings out from the open window. ”Yes when I down this”. Back inside the little Tiger Cub sits in bits all over the floor. Bertie sits striping the back wheel down for new bearing and a new tyre. I’m left to strip the years of muck and crap from every other bloody part. The smell from the degreaser stinks in this heat. But brush and scrape and out side to hose them down. Twenty some odd years it lay in a barn, valve dropped and holed a piston, lying third in the race at the time I’m told. The Cub belonged to a local man who ran a service station up the road, some of the local racers rode it . Road races here are on public roads and I live on one. Bertie being a bit older that me use to ride one, I only ever had Jap bikes. He keeps on about how fast they rode these Cubs; he should try a modern bike. Having got the crap from the frame its not so bad looking, we decide to hand paint the frame and spray up the fork legs. After draining and fitting the new seals. By the end of the day the little bike was taking shape.
Next morning Bertie heads out to pick up some parts. “ Don’t you sit out there and do bugger all” he warns has he jumps into the van. It has hardly got out the lane and I have a cool one in my hand. Out in the sun, remembered the baseball cap. The one I got at this years North West 200 race. Slide down the shed side and soak up the rays. Finish me beer and doze off.
I’m sitting on the line at the start of the 200cc race on the Temple circuit. Raving the Cubs engine and watching the starter flag. Down it goes and we all set off in a sea of dope fumes and smoke, up the hill into the first right hander Keeping it nailed to the stop, and round the left at the hill top. I’m lying fourth, head on the tank and knees trying to push the sides in. Over the crest of the next hill and the first straight . I’m sitting on the rear wheel of the third placeman has we hit the Hanna bumps. This is were you hope the fuel tank has been bolted on well and you could do with a few more inch’s of padding in the seat. Hitting the Ulster cottages I get along side the back wheel I have been following, knowing the next half mile is a fast section before you get to bends leading to Prentices Cross. Has we hit the first of the bends I’m up a place and heading into the fast blind left-hander before the crossroads. Down the gears and on the brakes remove a bit more from the bank outside the labourer’s cottage, swing right and head for Red Brae corner. Number ten in front misses a gear and goes up the slip road. Could be a lot worse, there’s a stonewall waiting for you if you miss. I’m up to second place and we hit a narrow part of the track down the long cow shit covered road that leads past a large dairy farm. Finding my vision blurring and filling falling out, I’m catching the leader. Closing has we hit the Oughly School corner, front wheel kissing his rear tyre and we on the long straight heading for the hairpin at the finish. Down we go neck and neck, bikes bouncing from grass verge to white line and back. Down through the gears side by side into the hairpin bend I look at the rider and he grins, I feel a sharp kick in my thigh and a voice yells “ have you done any bloody work”.
A little history
1962 Triumph Tiger Cub racing motorcycle.The track described is the local road race where the owner lived. It was called the Temple 100 road race.