Friday, August 12, 2022

My Royal Enfield is a door to the past

Close up of a door handle.
A 1955 door handle makes me happy every time I see it. 

 If I analyze my devotion to Royal Enfield motorcycles, it comes down to being someone who enjoys things that take me back to his childhood in the 1950s. More interested in the past than the present, I just plain like vintage things. 

It doesn't hurt that Royal Enfield's new motorcycles are pleasant to look at, competent and attractively priced. But, of course, I am thinking here mostly of my 1999 iron barrel Royal Enfield Bullet. 

My Royal Enfield satisfies my nostalgia. It is a 1999 iteration of a motorcycle that could have been built in 1955. 

Yet I am not sated. 

My wife wants a new front door for the house. The present front door has been greeting visitors since the house was built, in 1955, and it shows its age. 

The door-and-window salesman who came out to look at it agreed with her. 

I think I moaned. 

"My husband loves old things," my wife explained. 

I elaborated: the old door has a lovely (to my eye) fluted door handle, with its own lock. 

"Well, you could get something that wasn't pitted," the salesman said. He practically guffawed. 

"Pitted?!" I exclaimed. "That's patina." 

Of course the old-fashioned screen door, with its hook-and-eye lock would have to go too. And the new door could not have a slot for the mailman to put the mail through (that wouldn't meet hurricane standards, I suppose).

The salesman knew (they all do) to address his pitch to my wife. Left to my preferences, nothing would ever change.

We're due to go to his showroom to pick out the new door. I'll go along.

But, after that, I'm going for a motorcycle ride.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Royal Enfield keeps a date with flamingoes

Royal Enfield posed with mural of flamingoes.
What is a perfect setting for a Royal Enfield in Florida? 

 It's magical, the 2022 Royal Enfield Owners Club Members Calendar I keep on my desk. 

Month by month it somehow succeeds not only in marking the progress of the year. The calendar actually improves 2022. 

Every time I glance at it I am treated to the vision of a wonderful Royal Enfield motorcycle in a wonderful setting. 

So far this year the calendar has shown member photos of  Royal Enfields by a mountain, on an ancient bridge, in front of windmills, with an artillery piece, cornering on a racetrack and, dramatically, beneath the wing of a Battle of Britain Spitfire. 

And there are more great months to come. 

Photos selected for the 2022 REOC calendar were chosen, in part, to evoke a sense of place, according to Teresa Langley, club membership secretary, who picked them.

I have no Spitfires here in Fort Lauderdale to pose with my Royal Enfield Bullet, but the calendar has inspired me to look for potential locations near me. With that in mind, what do I think of when I think of Florida?


There is some argument about whether real live flamingoes are native to Florida. However, millions of plastic flamingo lawn ornaments can not be wrong.

This came to mind weeks ago when, having made a wrong turn on my Royal Enfield Bullet I ended up looking at the other side of a building I pass almost daily. I hadn't realized that the unseen side featured a mural of flamingoes.

Ideal. But it looked to be a challenging shot, as I would have to put the Bullet on the sidewalk and stand in the roadway to get it. Pressed for time, I decided to put off making the photograph for another day.

When I finally got around to it I had trouble finding the mural. There was only one thing to do. I proceeded to get myself lost again in that neighborhood and trusted to instinct to bring me back to the flamingo mural. It turned out to be no where near where I had remembered it.

I hope you like the photo. There is no sense my submitting it for use in an upcoming calendar.

Unfortunately, Teresa advises me that there will not be an REOC calendar for 2023. It's a loss, as she did a superb job on it for 2022 and I think just having a calendar available serves as a daily reminder of how great it is to be a member.

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