Confessions: Bikers Revenge

Twenty years ago, when Simon was a whippersnapper presenter on BBC Radio 1, he received thousands of letters from listeners confessing their darkest secrets and worst misdemeanours, begging for his forgiveness. Every day, Father Mayo read out a confession - and then he'd decide whether to grant forgiveness or not.

Now Confessions is back on BBC Radio 2 Drivetime. Read a Confession below, then Send Simon Your Confession


Dear Simon and Team,

During my time at an University in in the early 70s, I joined a motor cycling club. It was made up of student bike enthusiasts who liked to work on their motor cycles during the week and then go out on them at the weekend. We were very lucky to have so many beautiful areas near us and it was wonderful to be able to ride our, fairly large, motorbikes out and about.

From time to time people who lived in the areas through which we roared objected and took a rather dim view of the noise and disruption. Some even called us "Hells Angels". We were nothing of the sort. Apart from the noise we made when we just rode together in the countryside. We acted as considerately as any 19/20 year olds would and we always stuck to the Highway Code and tried to treat other road users with respect. We just enjoyed the thrill of riding at speed in areas where we could do no harm, or riding serenely through beautiful areas.

On one our visits we encountered a group of motor cyclists over from the Continent. They all rode new power or super bikes. Our group of about 15 students had stopped at one of our usual haunts, a roadside cafe just outside a small town, when a large group of these lads and lassies roared in.

They could not find any room in the cafe's forecourt so they started moving our bikes to make space for theirs. In the process they knocked over a couple of our bikes and left them on the ground.

They laughed as they walked over to the cafe, making unpleasant comments about the British and their rubbish bikes. One of the bikes that was knocked over and left on the ground was my Norton ES2, 500cc. When I looked over and saw my bike still on the ground I went over to the group and asked them to get the person who knocked my bike to go and put it back on its stand.

They just laughed at me and threatened to go out and kick it to bits, after all it was only a pile of British junk.

I returned to my group who tried to console me, but we decided to leave as the other bikers arrived in the café, as they were getting noisier and more abusive.

When we got outside I noticed a tractor parked a little way up the lane with a pair of chaffing chains trailing behind. And then a plan was hatched! I got a couple of mates to help me and we proceeded to thread the chains from the tractor through the front wheels of all the continental bikes and then padlocked the chains together, meanwhile the rest of our mates screened us from view to the bikers inside.

We then got our bikes started and were ready to ride off; just before we left I popped my head into the cafe and said, in German and Italian, something very rude about the continental bikes! As I fled from the café I went past the first of their bikes and pushed it over. Needless to say, the other bikers came chasing after me. I jumped on my bike and we all took off to the top of the nearest hill, we got about half a mile from the cafe and stopped to look back.

We laughed our heads off as two of the bikers started their machines and tried to take off after us, (having not noticed the chain through the wheels…)

As they moved forward they tugged the chain, and over they fell on their sides along with a number of the other bikes behind them. Chaos ensued and while they desperately tried to get the chains out of the wheels, the tractor driver, who was of course oblivious to the entire escapade, got quietly into his tractor and without a backward glance drove off, dragging the row of shiny new bikes along behind.

After about 20 yards he must have realised that everything was not as it should be and looked back to see a large group of irate bikers running towards him while their bikes were rattling along the lane still attached to the back of his tractor. At this point we rode down towards the tractor to defend the driver if necessary, but just before we got there two police cars turned up and a number of policemen got out and started to try and sort out what had happened.

Obviously we rode off as quickly as we could and no-one followed us… Let's face it they couldn't really!

Some of us later saw on a local news programme that several bikers had been arrested for a breach of the peace. But we never heard anything from the police or saw anything more of the continental bikers as we stayed away from that area for the last three weeks of the summer term and then went home for the holidays.

Now some years later I have to admit to feeling rather sorry that so many smart, new bikes were damaged and that I caused fellow bikers so much grief. I'm also sorry that I could have got the tractor driver into a lot of trouble and for causing the poor police the extra work.

Can I be forgiven?


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