Thursday 26th July 2001, Plano TX

Better news today. We spotted a ’95 Triumph Trophy in a Suzuki dealership off Rt. 75. The price looked about right, so we mentioned it to Junior at North Dallas BMW. “Don’t touch it”, he said “it’s the older shape. People aren’t buying those now. They are asking way too much.

“But let me make a phone call. I have a guy looking to buy a new Moto Guzzi. He has a ’97 Trophy which he will sell. Impeccably maintained, D&D ‘Texas pride’ pipes, Triumph luggage … trouble is, we can’t offer him the money he needs to buy the new bike.”

The phone call was made, and we agreed to meet Robert Corbin with his bike the following morning.

By this stage, the dealership staff were beginning to feel quite sorry for us. Very kindly, they mentioned that there was an ‘open evening’ at a local motorcycle accessory store, “ … free food, drinks, prize draws. We will be there. Come along. Have some fun”.

That evening we both jumped on Brigid’s little BMW and set off to find Moto Liberty on the other side of Dallas. By the time we arrived, the party was in full swing. The forecourt was full of sports bikes of varying age, capacity and condition. Kids showed off their wheelie skills to the watching gallery of friends and peers. Merrin was there with his young daughter, and a couple of the other guys had brought their children to watch the high-jinx. The impromptu displays ended rather abruptly when one of the less competent riders wheelied into a hedge. We winced as we heard that all too familiar sound of cracking plastic … Mercifully, the worst the rider suffered was a badly dented pride!

We all finished the evening with a trip to Speed Zone, where we spent a couple of hours go-karting and racing motorcycles on the video simulators.

The trip back to the hotel was scary. As the weather was still sweltering, we had gone out wearing only t-shirts and jeans. The party proved to be further away than we had thought, but it was still light and warm, so (even two up on the F650) the mileage didn’t really worry us. I-635 is the Dallas equivalent of the M25 … but with exit ramps to the left and right of each carriageway. Hairy enough in daylight, but a real bottle-tester on a dark windy night, with 16-wheeler trucks overtaking us on both sides!

Once safely back in our room, we cracked open a couple of ice-cold beers and vowed “NEVER AGAIN”!