There we were, side by side, riding our motorcycles across the motorway many a year ago.

Side by side.

Me and my oldest brother who, like me, had been addicted to motorcycling since he was about 16.

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Yep, side by side and slightly hunched forward into the wind because we had sort of allowed the four cylinder engines of our bikes to have a bit of "exercise".

It was not overly clever edging past the legal limit but we didn't take it too far just in case a track marshall (police officer) may have stepped forward and flagged us to a stop.

It was elder bro' Paul who had taught me to ride a motorcycle when I was 15.

I couldn't get the throttle and clutch side of the equation quite sorted so he ran me through it...and I never stalled after that.

He had a Velocette in his teens and I started on a Honda, and starting was a critical thing here as sometimes Paul would spend some time getting the compression to assist in his breath-drawing kickstart lunges.

On the occasions it would not fire willingly he unwittingly taught me, a curious 7-year-old then, something and colourful words.

So yep, he taught me to ride but I taught myself how to occasionally come off.

On one of those occasions we had a large uneven landscape of grass out the back of our first house and only had a hand mower.

Which was no good to me as I'd bashed up my pelvis and and ribs and knees.

So good old Paul came around a couple of times to do it for me.

Our occasional misdemeanours on the open roads were replaced in time by taking our high octane genes on to the closed circuit tracks.

Race days and test days and whatever.

He started a race team called Team Clive, as that was where he lived at the time, while I just grabbed whatever I could lay my hands on for some track sessions.

I had a crack on some fast Suzukis at Taupo and shared the garage with multi-champ Andrew Stroud...but he wouldn't let me out on his Superbike.

Although several years earlier Superbike champ Russell Josiah let me out for a few fast laps up at Pukekohe aboard his ferociously quick championship-winning Kawasaki.

I was chuffed when he simply said "hey that was pretty good".

I often reminded Paul about that and he'd roll his eyes.

"I'd have gone a second quicker," he'd say.

"Yeah maybe after about three beers," I'd reply...over a beer.

Which we often enjoyed.

One time, back around '81 I think, he came round to put a gate on for us.

Just before 11 he turned up with his drill and bolts and stuff and we agreed that as the sun was now over the yard arm we'd have a quick cold one before setting to work, as the sun was already heating up the landscape.

We finally got on to it about 2.30 and it looked a picture...slightly off level but a picture all the same.

And being an adept mechanic and painter and panelbeater anything that needed doing on any car, or bike, within our family circle, was taken care of.

We once took out and put in a new engine in our old Vauxhall Viva in about four hours.

He fired it up and after a few sputters it set into idle yep, time for a quiet one.

Great memories and Paul left all of us with plenty of them.

And that's what we have now...for Paul passed away just over a fortnight ago.

We lost our bro' and his kids lost their dad and his mates lost a good buddy.

In his final days his health collapsed so quickly...and his eyes closed about a year after he had first been diagnosed with that horrific and evil cancerous monster which takes so many lives.

I got the call from his eldest lad Chris about 6am.

"It's happened," he said.

"Dad's gone."

It was, in the end, a blessing as the day before he died when I called to see him he was in terrible distress, which I have to say the saintly folk at Cranford Hospice dealt with and assisted with so wonderfully.

They are remarkable comforting people...absolute saints.

I miss the boy, but he's still here in the head and heart and when I catch up with my other brother for a quiet ale we now put Paul's picture on the table where he would sit...and his glass sits there too.

So then, when I take my turn at the Pearly Gates I'm sure Paul will be waiting...and as long as he's warmed up our Honda fours all will be well.

The race will be back on...loser has to get the first round in.