IT IS A beautiful day but for one thing—my leg is hurting like hell because I’d broken it three months ago and the fracture hadn’t healed despite the intervention of foot specialists and witch doctors. Oh well, shit happens…
The biggest problem with my leg is when I’m shifting gears while riding my V-Rod—I can see all the star constellations in the universe instead of traffic and no amount of the painkillers I am smoking will distract me from this unwanted astrology. So I put my bike in the garage for a spell and decide to take it easy. The only time I am getting out of bed is when I need to piss or crap ’cause I was told that shitting in one’s bed is not very hygienic. All my entertainment in the bedroom comes out of the bloody TV and the only hardness I am feeling is the plaster firmly attached to my leg.
The Philip Island GP in on in a couple of days and I am looking forward to watching the races—until I get an email from Skol about the Norton Day in Lugarno, NSW. I must admit I have a weak spot for the Norton brand as it was my first ride on a big bike in the late sixties that gave me a thrill that lasts till the present day.
So here I am cursing my leg and the world in general, hobbling on crutches towards my car. Changing gears is as painful as on the bike but at least I can’t fall off if I loose consciousness. I manage to get to the Norton Day without blacking out, and after parking my 4WD, I discover the parking lot is a long way from the Norton displays. No worries, I hijack a local golf cart which carries me to the Norton show.
I meet plenty of people who have a weak spot for the Norton motorbike too. We chat and collectively drool over the bikes on display. Man, there were Nortons from the pre-war era to the last ones the Norton factory built. There have been numerous attempts to revive the production but for some reason they weren’t successful; otherwise I would be riding one now. I spend a nice day among mighty machines and friends who have gathered to celebrate the old British iron that left its mark in motorcycling history.
Driving home was again a matter of astrology. I managed to catch the last glimpses of GP but after the Norton day it was a pale substitute for the real thing. Thanks again to the Norton Owners Club for organising such a successful event. I just hope that the next event will be announced in Ozbike to attract even more Norton enthusiasts.
By George Lang