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2017 Triumph Bonneville T100 – Ride Review

Photos by Megan Harris

"I've had a look at this motorcycle of yours whilst you were having your supper," my wife's grandmother says upon my return from the pub.
Grandma, as she allows me to call her, is upper-middle class and English to the core. She is naturally wary of Americans and has been known to suddenly burst out laughing at the idea of my being able to make a living writing about motorcycles. Add to this the fact she is somewhat deaf, a condition not helped by my natural Texas mumble, and it's easy to see why she and I don't chat a lot. When my wife is around, Grandma prefers to deal with me in third-person terms: "Now then, Jenny, does Chris want tea?"

My wife isn't around this time, though. I've ridden the 2017 Triumph Bonneville T100 down to Devon on my own, staying the night, so I can get meet photographer Megan at the beach the next morning before tourists arrive. Without my wife as interpreter, Grandma and Grandad (who is also…

What I am

No Fat Chicks.
In my last post I described this blog as "a tale of the journey from what I am to what I want to be." There are so many things I want to write about, but I'll do my best to keep it all under control. One of the ways I plan to do that is by imposing a 500-word limit to my posts.

We're talking about an obsession here, and you bet your sweet tushy I can go on and on and on and on and on (and on) about motorcycles. I could easily and happily sit here churning out novel-length tomes on motorcycling, motorcycles and so on. But who - apart from me - would want to read it? Part of the reasoning behind a public forum like a blog is to share the experience. Perhaps someone else will find comfort in knowing there is a person just as sick for motorcycles as they are. Perhaps others will be able to offer advice or commiseration. To make it more palatable for them - for you - I will try to rein in my longwinded nature. 500 words or less. And no more than one post per day. I promise.

(Yeah, we'll see how long I hold to that promise...)

So, anyhoo. On to the question of what I am. Or, rather, who I am. My name is Chris Cope. I live in Penarth, Wales - a small village sharing a border with Cardiff, at the very bottom of a sticky-out bit of western Britain. I'm originally from the United States, though, and the longer I live here (6.5 years, so far), the more happy I am to let people know I'm from there. Homesickness has that effect; it crystallises in the mind all that is special to you about the place you left.

The place in the United States I'm pining for tends to change depending on my mood. I was born in Texas but came of age in Minnesota. I miss both places, but more often than not Minnesota - and specifically the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and Saint Paul - comes out ahead.

I went to high school in Bloomington, Minnesota - a suburb on Minneapolis' southern border and home to the Mall of America. I graduated in the same class as USC head coach Lane Kiffin. Or, well, I would have. I wasn't the most academic of teenage boys and ended up having to spend six months in an intensive catch-up programme after all my friends had graduated and moved on to college. It wasn't my finest hour. But I tell you about it because it's an experience that set the scene, creating the conditions that would ignite the very first spark in my motorcycle obsession.

The story of that spark, though, will have to come later. I've reached my 500-word limit.


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