So the years pass. I sold the Sprint and left biking for a while, although I did buy another Sprint some years later before selling that. I thought I had put my biking days behind me until one day late in 2003.
While going through an old box of photos my wife came across an old picture of the Tribsa, the one I sent to CB in 1993. Well, that was enough to fire up the old memories and some new enthusiasm for classic bikes. I remember saying to my wife that I wish I could track the Tribsa down and buy it back, and duly requested that she buy me a Classic Bike magazine while she was out. That would be the first CB magazine I had read in over 10 years. She came back with the magazine, but I didn’t read it straight away. In fact, I had gone on-line and rashly bought (unseen!) a 1960ish A10 which, when it arrived, proved to be a heap of crap that someone had literally, and very loosely, lashed together. But it was a project I could get my teeth into. It was early in the year and cold in the garage, so one day I grabbed the CB mag my wife had bought me, put my feet up and casually flicked through it. I got to the small ads at the back and scanned the offerings to get an idea of prices and what was out there…. then my eye was suddenly caught by a very small, words only ad:
Suddenly I got this tingle up my spine. This wasn't possible. Surely it couldn’t be my old bike? The bike I wanted back, advertised in the first Classic Bike mag I had read in 10 years, only bought by my wife because she dug out some old photos - no way! I sprang off the sofa like a cat that had just trodden on a live wire. I’d forgotten what month and year I had the Tribsa featured in CB, but I knew I’d kept a copy somewhere for sentimental reasons. So up in the attic I went and scrabbled around until I found the still pristine mag. I bought it back down and sure enough the date on the cover matched the ad! I’m no statistician, but the odds and sequence of events that had brought this about must have made winning the lottery look like an easy bet. I made a quick, very trembly and excited, phone call - but the news was both sweet and sour. Yes it was my old bike, but I was just too late, it had been sold! I cursed myself for my delay in reading the magazine the moment it was bought for me.
But I couldn’t leave it there. The circumstances were so inexplicable that surely it had to be fate? So I wrote to Classic Bike who published the letter. I waited until the next issue with trepidation and unbelievably a dealer had replied to say that he had bought the bike and it was up for sale.
Needless to say I called him straight away and bought the bike, despite the fact that he’d ramped the price up from what he’d paid for it - well, he would knowing that I wanted it….
So she came back home in a van. When I saw her being rolled off it was like a homecoming. I was so excited. However, it was only on close inspection that I realised the poor old girl had been totally neglected. It looked as though someone had not garaged her for the last decade. Many of the nice parts had gone too, like the stainless steel hosing and even the little toolkit I had made up for it. So I felt a bit deflated, but since I felt I was meant to find and get her back I was OK about it. So we had a few rides on ‘Trixie’ as our biking friends christened her. It was fun, but the old girl was really a bit tired out, and I realised that I would have to totally rebuild her ...
... but this time she would be better, quicker and more stylish than before.