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Southern Shorts - MoPed Wreck on White Elephant Road

Troyce Walls | Published on 12/3/2020

Southern Shorts, are a series of stories written by longtime member, Troyce Walls. Written decades ago about his life with motorcycles beginning with mopeds. These are familiar tales most members can relate to and thankfully Troyce took time many years ago to write these unpublished shorts.

After decades of being sequestered on a dusty floppy disk, scroll through any title from the Author Troyce Walls and read any or all of this ongoing 15-part series of stories from the past.

Some of them may have migrated to the 'Continent' and went to Puch.  I got an Allstate Moped for Christmas when I was 13.  I really wanted a Honda 50, but took what I could get.  (J-bike content satisfied).  The next summer, about when I would be turning 14, I was cheerily buzzing along a chert road down along Guntersville Lake.  For you Yankees, chert in N. Alabama was a weird orangey mud/quartz like rock combo they used to put down on driveways and roads through the county that just didn't quite make the 'secondary road' category.  It would harden up considerably after a couple of rain/sun cycles, turn lighter, and make a pretty fair surface, except for the larger pieces of rock which tended to have razor sharp edges for a while.  Well, you make do.  

Anyhow, feeling froggy and having just perused an article at home on the Agostini/Hailwood battles I was hunched over them bicycle type bars and just flyin' along at maybe 27 mph, just short of WFO.  The chert was bouncing the pretty but spindly 23 x 2.25 wheels around pretty good, using up most of that 1.5 inch of suspension travel too, I suspect.  A turn to the right loomed up betwixt the 'bars and above that big ol' 1.75 inch speedo.  I sat up a little and began the backpedal - that's the application of rear brakes on this particular GP machine for those unfamiliar with the engineering details - while simultaneously beginning to haul in the front brake lever just like the books said to do.  My feet backpedaled around one 360, then two or three more in quick succession.  Awwwh, heck.  

When I got up the bars were twisted completely to one side and the front tip of the fender was bent just a tad, my privates had taken a minor shunt from the tank mounted there on the frame downtube, and my hands and knees were a little skint.  I looked back up the road, and there were three tracks in the chert leading directly through the corner and off the road to the big ass old limestone outcropping I'd pegged.   Front brake was workin' good, the other two tracks were outboard and most likely had a little Converse shoe rubber mixed in. 

Turns out the cable to the rear brake had come loose with the pounding on the rocky road.  I wired that baby up after I got home and straightened the bars, touched up the fender, and put on long pants in preparation for Dad's arrival home from work at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.  

What rock?

P.O. Box 663, HUNTSVILLE, AL 35804