by Steve White
My 50th birthday was in October 2004. Earlier in the year, My wife Ruth suggested that I might like to do a biking holiday (motorcycling of course, this is a motorcycle oriented website after all!). I've often wondered how long a nano-second was, and I think that was one, just while I thought about my answer! So the bike magazines were studied, and Google was pressed into useful service.
My choice was Classic Bike Provence (www.classicbikeprovence.com). I had seen a short article in Classic Bike Guide magazine, extolling the virtues of Provence as a great biking destination, with its almost empty roads; sunshine 300 days of the year; great food and wine; and wonderful scenery; and a choice of British (and one Japanese) bikes . I have to admit that it was the Mk3 Norton Commando in Candy Apple Red that first caught my eye though.
So I phoned Neil Thomas (the boss) for a chat about how the tours are run; what gear would I need to take; what bikes could I ride etc. He was very helpful and we sorted out the best dates, he suggested using Thompson Fly, out of Coventry to Marseilles for a little under £50 return, and he would meet me at the airport. We could change the bike for any that are taken out on the day, and the tours are run very much as the LPMCC ran the club runs "when I were a lad". Done, and deposit sent.
The year then slowed down somewhat until the family holiday in Spain in mid August, then only a couple of weeks until my departure from Coventry on 15th September.