After much reflection, mainly on my mortality and the prevalence of inattentive idiots driving tanks on the roads, I decided that I really couldn't tour anymore or have big, fast bikes. Then there's the anti-social nature of Laverda exhaust notes. Just not me. That's why the lovely Commando that I was tempted by wasn't bought - too fast; too loud; too manly by far.
But, I do love one particular local classic ride event each year and I like tiny lanes, of which Somerset has an abundance so, looking back over my 120+ or so bikes I made a list of the ones I liked the most in retrospect and wish I still had. Here it is: BSA B31 tele/rigid and B33, Ariel Red Hunter VH500, Matchless G3 girder/rigid, AJS 18S, AJS 18 tele/rigid, Triumph 5/1 girder/rigid handchange.
So it became pretty obvious that old, cooking singles are my thing. Ideal for wafting gently down country lanes, doffing one's imaginary cap at sundry passing ladies, gents and vicars, pulling up to investigate nice country churches and other such, similarly gentle, ways of oiling the Kings' lesser-used highways.
So, I fancied a girder/rigid, preferably a 500, and started to look. About a week later this popped up in my inbox. I always loved BSA green and this was restored to a high standard 10yrs ago but barely used since. So, plenty of nice fiddling, no cosmetics (phew!) and no rush to get it on the road, use it lots, overtake all nearby cars etc.
I have to say, giving up smoking really wasn't much of a challenge 26yrs ago. Bikes however, seem to be a lifetime thing. Oh well, best get used to it. Even my wife says the BSA looks lovely - she didn't even roll her eyes!!