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My first legal two-wheeler was a 1959 Dayton Albatross, with a Villiers 2T 250cc twin engine, Earles type forks, foot-change, etc., sort of half bike, half scooter, an idea also perpetrated by DMW as the ‘Deemster’. The Albatross should have been called the Albatrocity… It was hypersensitive to front tyre pressure, but nobody warned me. As a stupid 16 year old, my first ride was flat out, to see what speed it would do. At about 50mph it went into a violent tank-slapper, so violent that after three or four oscillations it was going from lock to lock, and one of the fork stops broke off, enabling the front forks to go 90 degrees to my direction of travel. There was an equally violent deceleration, and I went over the handlebars, with the clutch lever going under my watch strap and ripping it off as I parted company with the Albatrocity. I slid down the road, and clearly remember it overtaking me on its side, showering sparks.
A little lad kindly handed me my watch, with the bracelet still intact, and spectators helped me up, with the elbows out of my jacket, and the backside out of my trousers. The Albatrocity was also picked up, and wheeled into the nearest house garden. The householder gave me a very stiff drink, probably whisky or brandy, but I was not yet a drinker of alcohol so had no real idea what I was drinking. He asked where I lived, and said that he would give me a lift home and look after the Albatrocity until I could recover it. He then proceeded to don a crash helmet and riding gear, and the lift home was on his Lambretta, which I was VERY apprehensive about due to my ‘accident’. Happy days ?