Cedar Falls, Iowa
The Chicken Coop
Triumph, BSA, and Ariel were taken on with the building of a shop building behind the house, a quarter mile down a gravel road, in Cedar Falls. (The building was still there in 2005) All these bikes were exciting. Not only were they the first new motorcycles following the big war but they were very different from the patterns of construction established by Harley and Indian. As literature came in, the excitement mounted. My new BSA C10 would be a few months in coming. The first arrival was the Triumph Speed Twin. The chrome and maroon gas tank surfaced as the crate was opened. What a day! The new telescopic front forks were the first seen and the 6” of smooth travel was simply amazing. We knew what sound to expect from the beautifully flowing chromed exhaust because of the two Triumphs Paul had sold in 1939. But those forks were really something. For demonstration, Paul would lay a wrench on the shop floor and roll the bike over it, causing the forks to work. Cinders from the local power plant were used to surface the drive and yard when the shop was built. The cinders were scattered from a big pile dumped there. When the job was complete there was still a three foot high pile left over. This became something to ride over for fun. Paul took the Triumph over it for the first time and when the forks reached full extension they locked. This was a disaster, for this new concept in fork design had many riders coming especially to see it. He quickly took the bike to our chicken coop, as fortunately no customer was witness. He cooked up a lie about where the Triumph went when customers came around to see. In the coop he worked at dismantling and fixing the problem. This he accomplished but I did not understand the reason for the problem. However, with what I eventually learned about the requirements to dismantle and reassemble those forks, I was impressed it was accomplished in a chicken coop.