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February 1998

 Vintage World


It’s halfway through February, and Jay is bugging me for a column, so here it is.

I did a bad thing. I bought another CZ. Buying the bike itself did not cause the guilt I feel, but not telling my wife did. Cindy is well aware of my illness and had actually done an incredible thing that I was unaware of. A couple of nights before Christmas I came home from a truly horrible day at work. I stopped at the paint shop on my way home, picked up my Penton frame, and slowly moved through rush hour traffic. As I drove home I was thinking about how I was going to explain the ’73 CZ 400 that I had bought the weekend before and why I wanted to quit my job. Great, here I go spending money while wanting out of the place that gives it to me.

I crawled out of the car, pulled the frame out of the back. Walking into the house, I dropped the frame in the living room and headed for my scotch stash. A couple of fingers of my favorite scotch helped dull the ache in my head. Cindy was looking at my freshly powder coated frame in the living room and, surprisingly, said she liked how it came out. I was shocked, since she has been watching me carefully since I came home with a bike that had not been started in 10 years. I had promised her that I would not buy another bike until I had fixed or junked the Penton. A promise that I had just broken.

After finishing my drink, I headed for the garage with the frame. I live in an old house that has a detached garage in the backyard. I never lock the doors on the garage, but they were locked. I was pissed! I did not want to put the frame on the ground, so I struggled with the lock. After finally getting the stupid door open I went to put the frame on the bench, but something orange was in the way. A new KTM 380 EXC! Cindy was watching from the window, she said I dropped the Penton frame and almost fell over backwards. Now how to tell her about the CZ?

Of course I had to go ride the thing ASAP, so the day after Christmas I loaded up and went riding. I went alone, so I could get used to the bike without feeling the pressure of trying to go fast. The guy parked next to me came over to check it out. He had been looking at the new KTMs. He said, "you bought yourself a nice Christmas present." I told him that my wife bought it for me. He said, "well, she either loves you or wants you out of the house." I replied, "what difference does it make?" The bike is great, very fast but easy to ride. Jay wants me to write up an All-OffRoad bike test about it.

The next weekend I went to pick up the new CZ. I’m thinking that I can’t tell her about it, but she will never notice it. Boy was I wrong. The very FIRST day it was in the garage, hidden under a tarp, she comes in and asked, "where did the other "CZ?" come from." I’m in trouble . . .

"Vintage World" by George Vadney