Hi, my name is Mark Hipkin. I am a Solicitor practising at Alderson Law LLP in Whitley Bay and I love all things two-wheeled. This month I had the pleasure of riding the TRIUMPH SPEED TWIN 1200.

We are back bike reviewing after the lockdown. Thank the Good Lord. In these times of uncertainty, we need a release and by gum, did I get one with this bike. I had, last year, taken out its smaller brother, The Triumph Street Twin, which is a “measly” 900cc but this bigger, beefier brother at 1200cc in black and 96 brake horse power is marvellous.

I would like to see them both side by side but the Speed Twin has the small, muscular, powerful dimensions of its smaller brother with the short wheel base, which shows me that this is going to be a very nimble and usable bike.

Sitting astride the bike at Triumph Newcastle and having a whirl around the TFT display and controls, which are very easy to get used to, a turn of the key and the button pressed – whurr, boom and rumble came out of the exhaust, which I was surprised was simply a standard one. The Vance and Hines aftermarket end can is apparently spectacular. Triumph seem to have taken Honda’s mantle of producing extremely well-made quality bikes that have instant usability. Feet up and I had the hang of it by the first set of traffic lights on Scotswood Road. Slightly forward riding position, this unfaired naked roadster type was a doddle around town.

I took the A and B road option, turning off the A69 at Heddon on the Wall and decided on a run to Housesteads and the Sill visitor centre at Twice-Brewed YHA. I had been there before and it is a lovely run out along the undulating straights of the Military Road in the shadow of the Roman Wall with the odd nadgery bend and sweeping turn thrown in for good measure. The suspension on this bike was much more focused than the last time I rode there on a Honda CB1100X which wafted me along.

It was a beautiful, sunny and warm, 26-degrees day with a slight breeze as I zipped along. Overtakes easily with a large engine in a small frame format. I passed by Housesteads Fort and the iconic Sycamore Gap to my right (which was my Dad’s favourite view) with thoughts of Roman Wall exploits and Kevin Costner’s Prince of Thieves film.

A pit stop in the beautifully presented and well-situated Sill Centre and catching the rays on their balcony café with a flat white and a slice of cake. Bliss. This was a day when those legionnaires

from Rome may have felt at home. Beautiful weather and not a Pict in sight! I turned my chariot around and thought it was such a nice run on the way here – why not – same way back.

Great speed and power blend and it rode the undulations very well on the Military Road. Sometimes I was changing gear or listening to the overrun, just to hear that exhaust popping behind and below me. It was the veritable wave of torque on this cracking run out and how well it pulled that stuck in my mind. There was little traffic to hold me up and there were views to savour for 20 or 30 miles on each side.

Who’s this bike for – this is a bike for everyone. It is powerful, sure-footed in its handling but so easy to get used to and ride. Usual Triumph build quality with that great eye for detail with small Triumph logos everywhere. I particularly liked the bar end handle bars which were unobtrusive but really gave that factory custom look to the bike.

Sometimes bikes remind me of a song as I am riding them, or a character. This is an unashamed retro lookalike bike but with the build, reliability and quality missing from the 1970’s and before. It was Kevin Keegan who came to mind when thinking about this bike – when playing for Hamburg, he was European Footballer of the Year twice, and was nicknamed “Mighty Mouse”. You may also remember the “Superstars” contest which he took place in on the TV. Like him, this Triumph is at the top of its game. A great bike – and it’s British!

Mark Hipkin practises at Alderson Law LLP in sunny Whitley Bay (it is always sunny in Whitley Bay!), and is a Partner/Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at wbay@ aldersonlaw.co.uk or call 0191 2533509.

Mary was born and has lived all her life in the North East of England. Her first interest was science and she originally studied Biomedical Science at Northumbria and worked in the scientific research field and the NHS, before studying part time, again at Northumbria University, to obtain her degree in Law. Since then she has enjoyed a varied career covering many different areas of law, before specialising in Children Law, which she has done almost exclusively for the past 5 years.

Mary loves reading and history and at a weekend can often be found at one of the many historical sites the North East has to offer and has even been known to play video games when she can find the time.

Chris was originally a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives from 1997 and qualified as a Solicitor in 2001.

He has over 25 years experience in private client work comprising Wills, Trusts, Probate, Powers of Attorney and other Court of Protection Work such as Deputyship applications. Chris has been a Partner in several firms in the North East, being Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

He brings a wealth of experience to his role and works closely with clients, providing them with a service tailored to their needs

Susan was born and bred in the North East, spending all of her working life in Blyth. She qualified in 1981 and, after some years at Alderson Law, began to specialise in family law, covering both private and legal aid. Susan was a member of the Law Society Family Panel and an accredited Resolution specialist, specialising particularly in private children law and domestic violence.

Susan took part-retirement in December 2018 but still works as a Solicitor here at Alderson Law. Outside of work she enjoys cooking, walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She has also been a Brownie leader for over 40 years.

Originally from East Yorkshire, Jasmine moved to the North East in 2012 to study at Northumbria University undertaking the M Law Exempting (BPTC) course (the only undergraduate course in England and Wales which incorporates the Bar Professional Training Course), graduating in 2016 with a First Class Honours and a Very Competent in the Bar Professional Training Course. Prior to joining Alderson Law Jasmine specialised in RTA Fraud in a Personal Injury firm, before moving to another firm to work as a Family Law Paralegal.

In 2018 she joined our team as a Family Law Paralegal and before qualifying as a Solicitor within the Family Law Department based at our Morpeth office. Jasmine represents clients in a wide range of matters including; divorce and matrimonial finance, disputes regarding the arrangements for children as well as parents who are subject to Local Authority involvement both before and during Court proceedings.

In her spare time Jasmine likes visiting the beach, going to the gym, watching live music and looking after her pet rabbit.

Julie is a highly experienced property solicitor. She studied Law at Northumbria University and, after qualifying in 2000, went on to work at national and international firms prior to joining the team at Alderson Law in 2017. She works alongside her clients, advising on residential and commercial property development, property investment, portfolio management, property finance, landlord and tenant, easements and restrictive covenants.

Fiona is a specialist private client lawyer providing advice and assistance with wills, trusts, tax planning, probate & estate administration, lasting powers of attorney, court of protection and elderly client work. Having previously worked with a number of Newcastle-based firms listed in The Legal 500, Fiona brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. She is a full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners), the association for specialists in family inheritance and succession planning.

Fiona grew up in Northern Ireland and studied law at Durham University, and has remained in the North East ever since. She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage in Northumberland.

Mark Hipkin, partner at Alderson Law LLP, has been advising businesses and claimants since he qualified as a solicitor in 1982.

Mark’s passion is for representing claimants on two wheels in complex, serious and catastrophic motorcycle, scooter and cycle injuries, but he also has extensive experience of acting for claimants in many other personal injury areas including occupiers and public liability work and accidents at work. He specialises in challenging and complex cases. Mark always puts the client first, looking from the first day of instruction to obtain the best and fairest outcome for a claimant, no matter how long a case may take. He is a fan of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and early neutral valuation as alternatives to litigation. Sometimes, however, litigation is the best option, together with the necessary drive to see every matter through to a fair conclusion.

Mark also, having started his own business, advises business clients, often with motorcycle-, scooter- or cycle-related businesses and also deals with complex commercial disputes, professional negligence cases, and general civil litigation.

Mark likes to spend what free time he has with his family and practising Tai Chi and Tang Soo Do (Korean Karate – in which he is a second Dan).

Having worked in family law for over 25 years, Julie is a highly accomplished specialist in her field. She has a vast body of experience in dealing with family law, from divorce and related financial issues to complex child-related cases. Julie was the first person in North Tyneside to achieve the status of an accredited advanced family law specialist, and is a member of the Law Society Advanced Family Panel, which demonstrates her experience in complex contested family cases and other subject-specific matters.

Though multi-talented and highly experienced, Julie’s particular speciality is in complex ancillary relief (financial settlement) claims and complex residence and contact disputes.

In her spare time Julie enjoys relaxing and spending time with her family and three grandchildren. She attends clients at our Whitley Bay and Blyth offices.

Tracey is one of our Partners and qualified as a solicitor in 1997. Throughout her career she has had a varied caseload undertaking matters in most areas of civil and private client law. Tracey can assist clients in a wide range of matters including: Wills, Probate, Powers of Attorney, Debt Recovery, Residential and Commercial Conveyancing as well as Licensing and Landlord and Tenant matters.

Tracey is one of our most senior practitioners with over 20 years of local experience, having graduated from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University. When not in the office she enjoys walking, cycling, and cooking with her family.