o In Pete's desperate attempt to crank the Vincent, he said, "My puny weight wouldn’t even move it. I tried the mystery lever on the left handlebar, and it spun over freely. I held this lever in and kicked and kicked. Every now and then I was rewarded with a loud explosion from the exhaust, but run it wouldn’t." One of his friends had an older brother with a Whizzer. "He said that lever must be like the decompressor on his brother’s Whizzer which you needed to release before it would start. I tried this, and after a few more kicks, it suddenly burst into life. What excitement!"
o Pete said of his pre-license days, he would ride his Francis Barnett around town until he got pulled over. "The cop told me to drive home and he would follow. I didn’t speed, with him behind me. He talked to my dad, and said I rode the bike well, but I could not ride it again until I was 16 and had a license. If he caught me again, he would seize the machine. It went into the basement It was a bit rough, and i was instructed to dismantle it completely, and the sheet metal would go to a family friend who had a body shop, and my dad would finance the repairs and paint. Interestingly, it didn’t get finished until a week before I turned 16. I had it painted Chinese Red, like the Vincent."
o "Many years later, the Vincent showed up at an auction. I couldn’t afford it. It was actually a “White Shadow”, with polished cases, and heads, and as it was imported to N. America originally, it was finished in Chinese Red to appeal to the N. American market. That’s why it has the alloy fenders rather than the usual touring fenders as on a red Rapide."
o 1912 Indian Single: Pete said, "In 1956, I rode my less than perfectly restored 1912 Indian in the AMCA’s Canadian London to Brighton Run. I told them it was a 1910, so it was approved. The weather for the entire 400 miles was either very hot, or raining heavily the whole time. The magneto, sparked OK when I tested it, but when it got hot, the condenser would break down, and it would misfire, and cut out. When the rain came, the magneto was cooled off, and performed well, but the exposed brake bands would slip, so I had no brakes. Fortunately, I had been riding a bicycle a lot, as I had two pedal most of the way. I removed the front fender so I could jam my foot on the front tire to slow down in the rain.
Fortunately, I had a good friend who towed my trailer behind his ’33 Ford sedan, getting me to the start, and picking me up at the finish. He couldn’t enter, as his car was too new."