Tribute October 2020.
From Jean-Francois Helias' Antelope report and tribute to Rodney Taylor.
Rod... The best day of his life!
Rallyist Thierry Garnier was Rodney's closest French friend and the two shared a strong and lasting friendship for five decades. In July 2015 Rod confided in a letter to Thierry how much motorcycling had influenced his life and has been the catalyst for so many meetings and friendships during his travels:
You see, Thierry, I was thinking about the other day at the village festival.
Now I know. At the time I didn't know, but now, with time, at my age, now that I have very little to live, I know...
The most beautiful day of my life... it's the day I bought my first motorcycle...
Yet, when I told my mom and my colleagues at work; all of them said it was dangerous and that I would have been better off to buy a car...
But, you see, Thierry, I am sure now... I know that day... that day it was the most beautiful day of my life...
Because, thanks to this motorcycle, and all the bikes that followed, I could discover my country, England, and then all of Europe, France... and I had friends... friends from everywhere, some are no longer here... but I think of them... incredible friends like you who invite me to your home every year… it was all thanks to the motorcycle...
Thanks to all the friends I meet with the motorcycle...
So, now, I know, the best day of my life, it is when I bought my first motorcycle!
- Rodney Taylor
At 81 he had hadn't lost his sense of humour!
For many people getting older isn't funny, but keeping your sense of humour as you age has been proven to help us cope with the changes, challenges and unexpected obstacles of ageing.
Anyone who knew Rodney knows that he had a good sense of humour which he liked to use when the occasion called for it.
Proof of this is in a letter sent two months before his death, on August 30, 2020, to his friend Frank Grimley.
I have received an appointment to visit Rugby hospital on September 16 for an X-ray on my left knee joint for them to consider progress to solve the problem or whatever.
Thierry (Garnier) has suggested that he has spare parts from repairs to his lawnmower and with luck it should be possible to knock up a metal knee joint.
After some thought I've rejected the idea because of our inclement weather and I fear corrosion.
Still it is good to know even after Brexit we can rely on the French.
- Rodney Taylor
This drawing was a gift Rod gave Frank Grimley. It shows Rodney on his trusty BMW, on which, between 1975-80 he had clocked up several hundred thousand kilometers. With such a high mileage it was obvious that his German flat twin bike had suffered major engine and gearbox problems. The double 'R' on the sign post stands for 'Rolls Royce', a company for which Rod worked for nearly 40 years.
- Jean-Francois Helias
A couple of photos from Heather MacGregor of Rodney at the Elver rally in '76 and Jubilee Weekend at Ripponden '77.
Photos purloined from Facebook.