I have enjoyed the last couple weeks immensely; The longer commute to work, through the countryside and onto a freshly paved stretch of highway with few traffic lights, the quiet evenings and space both in the home and around it. The leaves will be falling soon and the scenery will be magnificent, in my mind I can already see it. Something tells me my enthusiasm for country living will wane when the snow hits, but for now I choose to remain elated.
Although I have been preoccupied these last few months with the vagaries of selling a home, packing and relocating there have been some developments on the bike front. The biggest news being the thinning of the herd.
After long deliberation, I decided it was time to part with the 350 Bridgestone. I hadn't touched it in a year and I had bought it on a whim in the first place. I am happy to report that it went to good home, an army Captain bought it for his ailing father who longed to have another one. His father had apparently done 44,000 miles 2 up back in the 60's with the Captain's late mother riding pillion.
Of all the bikes I have ever sold, I probably feel best about this one. It isn't very often where we have an opportunity to bring someone that close to fulfilling a dream or goal. I look forward to seeing the end result and hope that with his permission I can share those pictures here.
On the fresh project front, something has been haunting me of late and has caused me to take a turn away from my 2 wheeled friends. If you have ever had one of those dreams, the type that seem to speak directly to you, perhaps this will make sense. If you are like me, when your eyes close the mind drifts to a montage of hazy imagery, sometimes coherent, sometimes not. Then there are those other ones, the variety that seem to follow you throughout the day and almost define the state you are in. They carry a message or meaning that causes a shift in thinking, making what was important a mere day before less significant.
Mine was about a vintage VW Beetle.
The humble but iconic little car, ingrained in the public consciousness now for more than half a century. The people's car was a big part of our family for 14 years, having an especially big impact on my late sister as it remained her favorite car until the end of her life. She had a large and eclectic collection of beetle collectibles such as die cast cars, belt buckles and postcards.
My father had bought Victor from new at Gran Turismo motors in Winnipeg in the fall of 1968. A 1969 'deluxe' model (which included a gas heater and rear defroster, deluxe indeed!) together they almost immediately set off to Ontario where my father had accepted a position with Westinghouse. He was there through marriage, home ownership and the arrival of two children, he was there through snow storms and trips to my grandmother's home in the country. In my mind and I'm sure hers as well Victor was a member of the family. Watching the old Herbie movies was even more special with a real VW to play pretend with!
When my father made the decision to sell Victor and move on to a Datsun wagon, It was upsetting and I can honestly say I felt a sense of loss. He was sold to our neighbor at the time and thanks to Ziebart rust proofing when new, lasted several more years on the road.
In high school, I nearly bought a super Beetle and I recently unearthed some VW magazines I purchased at the time when my father and I recently cleaned up the attic. I can't clearly remember what got them back into my mind then, but I know what has returned them to my mind now. The dream. It was that dream where I remembered a promise made to my sister; that one day I would find her a Beetle she could call her own.
So the decision has been made and cast in stone. The liquidation of assets has begun and superfluous items sold off to raise the funds. I am still working on the finite details, I won't be diving in headfirst. I know that whatever model I end up with will certainly look early (pre '67) regardless of what year it is made. I have started to gather up small pieces to restore individually in bite size portions. So far this is only a pair of early headlights and a bonnet, but it's a start.
I can't say I have ever felt a sense of peace regarding a project before, but this time I do. There is no anxiety, urgency, obsession. There is only a sense of time and fulfillment knowing that I am being true to my word.
Watch this space!