Wednesday, May 22, 2019

El Diablo Run - EDR 2019

     The El Diablo Run is a chopper get together in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.  San Felipe is about 125 miles south of the border from Mexicali.  The EDR only happens every other year and a last minute mechanical problem kept me away in 2017, this year I was ready to go.

     I called my friend Bob Marshall in Riverside, California.  Bob  said of course he was going to the EDR.  So I rode to Riverside, spent the night and the next morning Bob, his girlfriend Annette and I headed for Mex-he-co.  

          It's about 300 miles from Riverside to San Felipe. We rode east to Indio then south by the Salton Sea to Calexico where we crossed the border to Mexicali.  Mexican Highway 5 south of Mexicali is a pretty lonely road.  There a few small settlements but no gas stations.  

I had been told there was one Army checkpoint about half way to San Felipe.  I envisioned a few young unhappy soldiers with mildly itchy trigger fingers standing around a military duece and a half parked in the road.  What I found was a professionally manned checkpoint, similar to the one found between Reno and Truckee in Northern California.  We were waved through without stopping. 

     Bob and Annette had reserved a hotel closer to town, so I settled into Ruben's Camp.  The beach was beautiful and the weather was mild.  

I met up with old friends.




     The EDR is truly a Chopper event and there were very few stock bikes.


          There were some local motorcycle clubs with interesting names.

     The races were on Saturday. The dirt lot across from Ruben's Camp was the location. Bob Marshall, land speed racer, entered his Kawasaki KZ-1000P bike in the hardtail race. He didn't win but had a good time and didn't die or tear up his bike too much. Really, a Kawasaki Police bike is hardly a flat tracker.

     After a weekend of sun, beer and fried shrimp, it was time to head home.  I rode to Mexicali, where I parted ways with friends, who were headed to border crossings to the east.  I had a little trouble finding the international border because a lot of the traffic signs were damaged and I had heard that there was a "hole" in the fence that was for motorcycles.
     I asked a few locals and they confirmed that waiting in the car line would take hours and be incredibly hot and that there was a motorcycle lane.  The "hole" in the traffic fence was in fact to allow motorcycles to access the motorcycle lane that was between the car lanes. 
     Once back in California, I headed home and as usual I got into that mode where I just kept going and going. There were heavy winds near Palm Springs and it rained on and off from Santa Nella to Oakland, but I kept going and made it home about midnight.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

American Road Runner by Bob Marshall

     The book American Road Runner is about The Stampede, a cross country chopper race.  The Stampede is not anything like any other motorcycle race. How do you cross 3000 miles of the country in the fastest way on a rigid frame home built motorcycle? Do you go as fast as possible at all times or keep an even pace to minimize fuel stops. Do you stop for rest, or not rest at all? No matter how you plan your race, or what strategy you follow, there are going to be mechanical problems, bad weather, uncertainty and a dangerously increasing fatigue factor.

     No matter your preparation, your skill, your stamina or your luck, you are going to have a lot of time to just think. In those long hours of non-stop riding, Bob Marshall contemplates his life and gives us a look into his mind. American Road Runner is a self examination of an extraordinary life considered during the stresses of running what some have called the greatest American motorcycle race.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 Las Vegas Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Auction
                                                                                                By Gordon Perlow
     This years Mecum Motorcycle auction in January was again held at the South Point Hotel. There were over 1,750 motorcycles up for auction. Prices varied from $1-2,000 up to $704,000 for a 1939 Croker big tank. A collection of 235 museum quality bikes were brought over from a single collection from Stockholm, Sweden. 
     Every bike was listed at no reserve and they all sold over their predicted prices. There were several Brough’s the bike made famous by the legendary T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who owned seven at the time of his death.
     The auction also featured various pieces of antique motorcycle collectibles and art work. The auction ran for five full days. It was fun and exciting. This was only my second time there. Not only were so many great bikes to see and watch the crowd bid, but it was a social event to meet and talk with motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world.
Last year I won a 1961 BSA A10 Super Rocket, pre unit bike. 
     This year I got this awesome 1961 Triumph T120C. This bike was the American version that was sold at Johnson Motors, in California, made famous by the late Bud Ekins. By the way, he was a racing partner of the late great Steve Mcqueen and Mr. Ekins was famous for making that infamous barb wire jump in the film “The Great Escape”.

     I’ll be back next year and maybe I’ll get another bike. Possibly another blue one to match the BSA and Triumph. I highly recommend going there for the experience alone. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Stampede Reunion

My ride to Cottonwood did not go quite as expected,
 but that's another story.
Packed and heading to Cornville.

Bob Marshall arrived in Cornville on his unique KZ1000 P. We hung out in Cornville, as other Stampeders arrived, visiting and talking till late. 

     Next day everyone rode to Jerome in the rain. The town of Jerome is stuck on the side of a mountain and was a copper mining town at the start of the 20th century. By the 1960's it was virtually a ghost town. Now it's a place with restaurants, bars, art galleries and wine shops. Touristy without the junk shops.

It was good to hang around The Spirit Room at the Connor Hotel, watch the rain come down and listen to the band.

On Sunday everyone got together for breakfast and some photos in the parking lot. Paul Corey brought out his drone and we all gawked at it like farm boys who just saw a horseless carriage for the first time.

Charles Davis, Charlie the Nomad, a man of many talents, who organized The Stampede and knows more about The Stampede than anyone. I sure hope he's got a book in him.

After breakfast John, Jessie, Paul and I decided to go for a little ride to Sedona and up Oak Creek Canyon.

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Paul's plan was to tour the Northwest, Jessie headed to the Southwest. John and I returned to Northern California. Everyone else went in their own directions. I think everyone had a great time. I hope there is another Stampede Reunion.