Once a year the Ottawa chapter of the CVMG (Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group) holds a one-day rally in Oxford Mills, a small village about an hour south of Ottawa. There’s a lovely small tree-shaded park where owners can park their treasures, and themselves, to enjoy a few hours of showing off and gabbing with fellow vintage bike owners and anyone else who expresses an interest.
It had been many years since I’d attended this rally, and in fact the last time I was there I actually won a trophy for a cafe racer Norton Commando I owned at the time. But I digress.
At any rate Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day for a nice ride over to Oxford Mills, so we saddled up and went to pay a visit.
And now for my first (two-wheeled) love. Back in the late 60s friends who had motorcycles typically rode a 250cc Honda Dream, or maybe a 450 cc Black Bomber. There were some small Suzukis around at the time as well, and the tough guys were on Harley-Davidson Electra Glides. But then another friend showed up with with what I considered at the time to be a ‘real’ motorcycle, a brand new BSA 650cc A65 Lightning. Everything from the bright red paint to the chrome-sided tank to the tank badges that seemed a foot deep called to me. It truly was
love lust at first sight. I never got to drive it but did get to ride pillion once or twice, and even as a passenger that big twin thumping along was music to my ears.
Since that time many, many motorcycles have passed through my hands (sadly no BSAs) but my knees still go a little bit weak when I see a beautifully restored A65 like this, one of the nicest looking motorcycles ever to cross the pond in my opinion.
Getting a chance to see this Lightning and relive some of those memories was worth the ride and price of admission alone.