A very dear friend of mine, who passed away several years ago now, was an avid desert racer and raced AJS's.
Larry told me of one time when he was racing down in southern Cal at the annual desert races. He recalled how his bike was running as well as it ever had, and he felt on top of the world as he tore across the desert.
He was in unusually good form, and everything seemed so perfect and so right, he was riding better than he had ever ridden before, it was a perfect day and a perfect race, he felt he was way ahead of the pack and riding like this he knew that he was going to finish well.
He was tearing across a particularly difficult area and was so, so pleased with himself because he seemed to just fly across the sandy terrain. Just then, from what seemed to be from out of nowhere he was absolutely stunned when a rider shot past him as though he was standing still! He couldn't believe his eyes, he was riding so well, so smoothly, so fast, and this rider came past him many many miles an hour faster than him.
It was Dick Mann. My buddy said he almost gave up right there and then!
I met him at a vintage meet here in WV.
Even relaxing around the motorhome, he was an intense guy.
Took a few pics of him with a friend/racer from the past, Bob Shawley.
Well, I ran home, downloaded them into a copier, and printed out 2 copies on some picture grade paper.
Was back at the track in like 20 minutes.
You could see, both of them, friends from their prime that hadn't seen each other in 40 years, really appreciated it.
Later that afternoon, I see Dick standing on the side of the fence, on what was one of the faster sections of the Motocross track.
I kinda slink on up, and start a conversation, trying with all my might to not say something stupid.
But, hey, this is Dick Effin Man.
I could not believe it.
We go back and forth a bit, mainly about the bikes passing by.
Then, the rank amatuer slips out, when I say "They're sure carrying some speed aren't they?"
It's a vintage race for cripes sake, these old goats might be cracking 35mph at most.
Dick turns, looks me right in the eyes, with an expression of, I dunno, impatience, and a bit of distain maybe.
He didn't say it, but he gave that look of, "man, you don't know what speed is."
well Dick sure could lean in a curve, so why not leave in a (topend) urn?
i remember when CW censored the name Dick Mann.
we were outraged!
unfortunately it was a sign of things to come.
todays censorship has gotten way out of hand.
of course if your dick-less you can do no wrong.