Meet the Member – Dave Shanks from Bicester

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What is/was your day job?
I retired in 2003 after working in Transport/Warehousing. I had five jobs in all, never unemployed.

How long have you been riding?
I started riding in 1954, but had a break for the usual family reasons from 1970 to 1980.

Tell us about your current bike
My pride and joy at the moment is a BMW F800GT that I have owned since August 2015.

Can you share a favourite route that you’ve ridden or a memorable trip you’ve made?
Most tours are memorable. I don’t really have any favourites because I enjoyed them all within reason. I like riding in the Cotswolds seeing as it is on my doorstep plus the view if you got time to look.

For you, what’s the best thing about being a motorcyclist?
It’s the freedom of two wheels plus all the walks of life you meet through motorcycling. It is a great leveller, and joining the BMW (or any make) club is a good move in my opinion.

And are there any downsides?
I find the lack of respect and the attitude from whoever is in power that the small contribution that motorcycles make in the wear and tear of the roads does not reflect financially in lower vehicle taxation.

If money and/or time weren’t an issue, what would be your ideal trip or what would be your perfect bike?
I would like to have done the Canadian Rockies and New Zealand, but never made it. I felt one could do Europe 2 or 3 times for the same outlay.

What was your first bike?
Being on the Railway I needed better wheels than the type you propel, hence my first purchase was a BSA C10 250cc side valve. When I got posted overseas in 1958 during National Service I passed my bike on to an elder brother, but the Vicar pulled out in front of him. He was OK but the bike went to that big scrap yard in the sky. (See slideshow for photos!).

What was motorcycling like when you started?
The public was very anti motorcycling in 1954, very much all tarred with the same brush regardless how one rode. It took many a year to change; it must have been the colour of our money.

What did we  do then that we don’t do now?
What we do now is put on protective clothing. Back when I started most kit was ex-WD (War Department), and my first crash helmet of sorts was what paratroopers wore in WW2. I only wore it a few times before it went in the bin.

Originally posted 2018-08-04 20:28:37.

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Author: Pony

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