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Monday, August 11, 2008

A Royal Enfield named Ralph: Part II


Yesterday we began the story of Pete Snidal's nearly life-long relationship with a Royal Enfield motorcycle he nicknamed "Ralph". We ended with Ralph disassembled in boxes, and Pete selling him to a friend named John, on condition that John never re-sell Ralph to anyone but Pete.

The full story is "The Saga of Ralph" in the files section of the Royal Enfield Yahoo Message Group. Part I of my synopsis is here. This is Part II:

"You can imagine how delighted I was when I went to visit John one fine spring afternoon and he said, "Come on out to the garage: I wanna show ya somepin," Pete relates. It was Ralph, newly painted and already warmed up.

"Don't suppose you'd like to take him for a spin?" John asked. He didn't have to ask twice. Pete goes on to relate John's love for Ralph, which he used as a daily rider.

"I began to wonder when and if I was ever going to get my kick at the cat, having realized that the deal I'd made hadn't really been that clever -- there was no time specified when he had to give me Ralph back!" Pete writes.

Unfortunately, the day would come. In the early 1980s, John died, age 39, of a heart attack. John's wife told Pete "I guess Ralph's yours, now. But there's a catch."

She wanted their son to have Ralph when he got big enough. He was only about 5 at the time, but a serious motorcycle fan and, of course, Pete writes, the boy loved Ralph.

So that was the deal. Pete kept Ralph oiled and exercised in his shop. Finally, John's son Myles showed up one spring afternoon with his pickup truck.

"We loaded him up on the spot, and there he goes," Pete writes. "Ralph the Legacy. An heirloom you can ride!"

Do you have a long-term relationship with a particular motorcycle? Leave a comment here.

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