You call that a ‘footrest’?

The Norman Club’s discovery of a battered B4 Sports reminds Pete Kelly of an ill-advised outing on a borrowed bike 50 years ago

Our ‘Club Call’ feature has generated quite a lot of correspondence, and Gary Pilcher of the Norman Motorcycle and Cycles Club has informed us of a surprise find of a West Sussex-registered Norman B4 Sports – in a bad way, true, but the basis for a restoration nevertheless.

It reminded me of my recuperation from a serious bike accident back in 1965 when, with my right leg encased in plaster, I started getting a bit fed up of not being able to ride.

At the time, I had a girlfriend who liked riding pillion, so I asked a friend if I could borrow his Norman B4 Sports to take her for a run into the countryside. He readily agreed, so I clamped a metal bar across the downtube to rest my stiff leg on and picked her up.

With my leg fouling the right fork leg the steering was severely restricted, of course, and changing gear entailed bending down to move the gear lever by hand, but the joy of riding a bike again was immense.

We weren’t far into our journey when a police patrol car came past and pulled us to the side of the road.

Shaking his head in amazement as we explained what we were doing, the officer said: “I could throw the book at you, but it’d take all morning to write it down. Just turn around, get straight back home, and if I see you again you’ll be booked.”

I humbly agreed, he took off – and we continued with our ride anyway! How different it would all be today…

298_745135744Norman B4 Sports

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