First bikes, take two

My first bike, in about 1957, an Ariel 350 (left).

At 17, any bike that was affordable was ardently wished for.

I was told that it had been Hartley-tuned; and living on the doorstep of, and a constant hanger-around at Brands Hatch, that name meant something to me, although I wasn’t sure in what context.


I don’t know whether it was geared for trials or scrambles, but it had a solid rear end.

I was at sea in those days, but in my leaves, while all my mates were at work, I loved trials-style riding it around the many local places available for such pastimes.

A real ‘goer’.


The picture shows my younger brother doing the Marlon Brando bit.

Les Carman, Formby, Liverpool

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the February 2020 issue of Old Bike Mart – on sale now!


Enjoy more Old Bike Mart reading in the monthly paper. Click here to subscribe.