Daisy's Diaries


Challenging Life on a 1948 Triumph: Daisy's Diaries
By Graham Ham

Give up the day job, buy an old bike and ride off into the sunset - a dream for most but reality for the author as he takes on the Landmark Challenge set by the Triumph Owners Club. But first build the bike, make peace with the family, then just go - meeting life head on. Often hilarious, always interesting this is a book which brings home the joys of classic motorcycling as Daisy, a 1948 Triumph Speed Twin puts in some 5,000 miles to win the Challenge - in spite of mechanical mayhem, fire, and just about everything else that can go wrong with an old bike. The author, armed with little more than a compass from a Christmas cracker, a dysfunctional map and a random selection of the wrong tools sets out to challenge life together with his young family. Great fun, just what classic motorcycling is all about and makes you itch to join him on the road!

Graham Ham is a journalist with a regular column, Daisy's Diary, in RealClassic and which forms the basis of this book. Graham is a well-known face to many classic motorcycle enthusiasts and rallyists, many of whom have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book.

  • Prologue
  • The start of an obsession
  • The Landmark Challenge and into the fens
  • Back to the drawing board
  • Diversion to Le Mans
  • Practising on rabbits
  • Heading west
  • Fire in the shires
  • Northern Landmarks and punctured in Durham
  • Mountains, rain and perilous descents
  • The world strikes back
  • Wales, sheep and more trouble with Landmarks
  • The final frontier
  • Epilogue.


This is a thoroughly entertaining book! Daisy's Diaries charts one man's passion to rekindle his love affair with Triumph Speed Twins, an affair started with Ruby, his 1955 Speed Twin that had seen him through his early years. Having recently left his job for a life of reduced stress and increased fulfilment, the author, Graham Ham, embarked on a search for a replacement Triumph upon which a series of adventures would unfold. And adventures they surely are! This is not Jupiter's Travels. It is not a series of death defying escapades as a man battles for survival in inhospitable terrain. Instead it is a totally engaging description of a man's travels across England, Scotland and Wales astride an aged, but capable vintage motorcycle.

The book is based on his dream to complete the Landmark Challenge; an event organised by the UK Triumph Owners Club, where entrants have one year to visit 50 Landmarks, carefully scattered around the corners of our green and pleasant land. This is an achievement that most would be content and justly proud of, however, Graham is determined to win the Individual Gold Trophy for the oldest bike to complete the challenge. Needless to say - he does!

The whole year's travels are described in a fond, witty way that makes the pages turn, and left me wanting for more once I'd reached the end.

For anyone who likes bimbling around country lanes and enjoys the experience of travelling for the journey's sake, this book will delight you. I will be reading it again quite soon!

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Daisy's Diaries

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