My first motorised machine, an old Mobylette 50cc Moped brought for the princely sum of £5 from a mate. I rode this up and down the garden wearing out the grass before I was old enough to get a license and ride it on the road.

The variable drive with a centrifugal clutch and drive belt was fine in the dry, but it used to slip in the wet. Spares were difficult to come by, so I used to make head gaskets out of silver foil and cardboard.

I loved this bike and the freedom it gave me. I didn't care that it wasn't the latest on the road, but I was jealous of another mate who had a brand new Yamaha FS1E, the first and greatest of the 'sports' mopeds. This was long before the days of restricted moped speeds. You made it go as fast as you could and there were rumours of the FS1E doing 50mph, whereas my Mobylette could barely reach 30 mph!