Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Twenty Flight Rock

Took the newly street-legal Triumph out on its shakedown cruise in the early evening yesterday. The length of Mountain Road and back, about 20 miles overall. Trepidacious and tentative at first, by about Mile 4 I was whooping with glee. Everything I'd been afraid of -- our dirt road, the bike's weight and power, cornering and handling -- was an absolute piece of cake. Today is too damned hot to ride, but maybe this evening I'll take another training run.

Apparently, and somewhat unwittingly, I have acquired an Identity with this '64 Triumph. I've been looking around the Net for info on it, and the most salient thing I'd found was that Steve McQueen rode the previous year's model in The Great Escape. Now I've discovered that this bike was popular with café racers in Britain, who chopped it for speed and handling. What I truly didn't know is that these guys were the Rockers, of Mods-and-Rockers fame. Teds. Quiffs. Sidies. Drainies. Leather.

They had a practice called "record racing." Gather at the transport caf'. Somebody puts Eddie Cochrane's "Twenty Flight Rock" on the juke. The instant the needle hits, you go. You have to complete a circuit and be back in the parking lot before the record is over.

Clearly, I have some Hairstyle Issues to deal with. And I suddenly find myself desperately in need to find a copy of The Girl Can't Help It...

11 comments:

Kevin Wolf said...

Gee, I already thought you had a kind of Steve McQueen panache. I guess this just cements the rep.

EmployeeoftheMonth said...

Yes, but do you a *NEW* sound?

thestoic said...

Do it in a leather thong and then I'll be impressed, Bronson.

Mr. X said...

"Are you a mod or a rocker?"

"No, I'm a mocker."

Will Divide said...

Oooo... points for thestoic for the Then Came Bronson reference!

You know, kiddies, once upon a time no one was cooler than Steve McQueen.

JC said...

Philip Larkin, Jayne Mansfield. Whenever you talk about this bike, the conversation inevtiably gets around to, uh, you know what. Think about that.

Michael Parks, of "Then Came Bronson" fame, actually had a small role in Trantino's/Rodriguez's "Grindhouse."

jc said...

Jayne Mansfield, uh? Taslin's hyper-sexualized mise en scene. I'm telling you, whenever you start talking about that bike you start in on you know what. Think about it.

Michael Parks, of "Then Came Bronson" fame (I am so old) actually had a small role in Tarantino's/Rodriguez's "Grindhouse."

JC said...

First Philip Larkin, and now the hyper-sexed mise en scene of Tashlin/Mansfield. I'm telling you,whenever you talk about that bike you inevitably start talking about you know what.

btw, Michael Parks, of "Then Came Bronson" fame, had a small role in Tarantino's/Rodriguez's recent film, "Grindhouse."

thestoic said...

Hail, JC...thine comments triune!

JC said...

Sorry about that, everyone. Believe it or not, I was not trying to achieve some sort of Warholian, Philip Glass-like repetitive effect with my triptych posts. No, chalk it up to burnout/technical incompetence. I got tangled up with Neddie's "word verification" process, and forgot the difference between blowing the verfication, and getting the comment up. Sorry!

hilarious pseudonym said...

The song takes on mystical, if not mytho-poetical, significance:

"1957--This is the year when everything started. 15-year-old Paul McCartney, persuaded by Ivan Vaughan, attended a summer fete at St.Peter's Church (July 6th). After the fete, Ivan introduced Paul to 16-year-old John Lennon who had been playing there with his band, the Quarry Men. Paul impressed the band by playing Twenty Flight Rock and was asked to join about a week later."

--http://students.ceid.upatras.gr/~pirli/ beatles/biography.html