Borrego Springs Road Run
March 4 -7, 2004
“From the Distaff Side”
By Margery Sucher
Here’s your Distaff snoop nodding in again with more unofficial, unsolicited, (unwanted?) lowdown on the latest Borrego Springs Run. I submitted a few words to this bulletin two years ago and Vic told me he heard that somebody actually read them. Maybe I’ll pick up reader No. 2.
This year, 2004, the weather was neither too hot (2002) nor too cold (2003), so I thought a ride in the chase truck might be fun. When I discovered that Hobo John, one of my favorite people, was driving one, I got his permission and climbed into the front seat of Craig Dillmann’s truck. We were about to take off when Max Bubeck toddled up and said he’d be coming along, so Hobo tried to tuck him in the back seat. Max is not a large fellow but there simply wasn’t enough room for his legs to drop down between the back seat and the front. Hmmm! Must be a way to skitter this back seat backward, they both opined! If there was they couldn’t find it, so passing folks were hailed down to help. Five people, including a woman (!), were called upon when finally some genius discovered a little string hanging down under the seat near the right rear door. It had a metal ring which, when pulled down, inched the seat back just enough for Max’s legs.
And we were off! Hobo handled the unfamiliar truck like a pro, up the curvy road to Julian, but said he was conscious of the responsibility of driving another man’s truck. Right! When we were leaving our first stop (no, that’s wrong… We made a stop at a little store but I never could see why) at the Winery, Hobo wanted to go out the way we came in, but Max suggested, no insisted, that we go behind the winery building; here we suddenly met with the gooiest patch of deep brown mud you have ever seen, about a foot deep! It came over the hubcaps but we didn’t get stuck because Hobo shot right through it. He never said a word… well, Max didn’t know the mud was there, did he?
After a fine lunch at the Hideout (a good choice, by the way; delicious hamburgers and pleasant owners) I was walking back to the truck when I saw Hobo by the roadside in earnest conversation with a fellow with one arm cocked up in the air like a wounded bird. At first I thought he was doing the funky chicken but he really wasn’t moving that much. Passing them, I took my place in the front seat. Max was already in the back… let’s go. But Hobo and the guy with the bad wing just kept on talking, glancing furtively at me. Pretty soon the “wing man” hobbled over to my side of the truck and just stood there; he didn’t say a thing, just shuffled around. What does he want? Then it hit me; he wants this seat! Why doesn’t he say so? So I said “do you want to sit here?” He sort of mumbled, so I said “well, of course, hop in, I don’t care where I sit.” His arm wouldn’t have made it in the back, not to mention his gimpy leg. So he hopped in and I snuggled in the back with Max.
As we were snaking back down the mountain, the conversation between the three men covered all sorts of enthralling subjects like carburetors, magnetos, valves, tanks… all of which I plan to study up on when I get a chance. But I had hoped to contribute a little something to raise the level of discourse to a different if not higher plane. Then, sparked no doubt by the presence of our gimpy friend, I remembered a fellow Harry and I talked to in 2002 who had undergone a botched knee operation which he talked about in a most colorful way, referring to his leg as the “damned leg… this damned thing,” hitting it as though the limb itself had maliciously failed him. For some reason this amused me, and on this trip, I had hoped to see Mr. Leg again to ask how he was now. It had gone out of my mind, but now I saw a chance to ask a question of mild interest, so I said: “Any of you fellows know a guy who had a bum knee a couple of years ago? I’d like to know how he is but I can’t remember his name… big fellow, nice smile, very vocal.” Max and Hobo said not a thing; the fellow in front was silent too, until I heard a smallish voice say “that sounds like me.” And so it was – none other than the King of the Mardi Gras, Dee Cameron. On the rest of the way home, we got the “rest of the story” about the “damned thing.”
The Saturday night banquet with its colorful Mardi Gras theme was a stunning success. Janis Graber and her helpers dressed the hall in a fashion to make professional event coordinators pea green with envy! And President Tim, who seems to be more comfortable all the time in his role as Master of Ceremonies, handled the job this year with firmness leavened with wit, keeping the lengthy program moving in spite of “help” from his unruly audience… “Shut up, Dee!”
At the banquet, Tim mentioned our just-inaugurated Fist Annual Poker Tournament held on Friday night – 9 to Midnight- in the hospitality room. It was a last-minute decision so we were luck to have one table of seven or eight people. The hospitality room turned out to be a poor choice of locale, however, as one happy reveler took it as his personal playpen and proceeded to entertain us. Strange as it may seem, even penny-ante poker players prefer to look at their cards. We did have a lot of fun at the table with a little lady who played “dumb blonde” reading her cards. Not so dumb, though; she won the money prize! Next year we hope to have a larger, dedicated room accommodating more players at several tables. No buy-in cost, one money prize. Such “for fun” activity must be approved, however, and details as such will be forthcoming. Until next time… this is your friendly scribe signing off.
“The Rest of the Story”
By Tom Lovejoy
Surprise, surprise, this year the weather was perfect, the rain and cold of last year, just another chilly memory. People are showing up earlier each year for this great ride. Tim and Janis Graber did another fantastic job getting all set up for the big event. They really go all out and most of us would be amazed at all the effort and planning that goes into these things. Especially when we remember that they do it all for nothing more than seeing the rest of us have a good time and a occasional pat on the back and thanks. Our chapter is blessed indeed, not only do we have fantastic riding in So Cal, but we also have some fine folks in the club. So make sure you mention how much fun you had next time you see Tim or Janis, or any of their other helpers.
This year I was looking forward to showing off my new beast and driving in with more than one old machine in the bed. I had worked at having my 47 Chevy 2 ton COE ready Thursday morning and it was running fine. Wouldn't you know it though, by Wednesday I had it in a no longer running condition, when will I learn to leave these things alone? So I got my Sport Scout out and started checking things. Thursday morning I headed out for Borrego, fairly confident in my Indian getting me there. There was a good side to it, the weather was so nice the ride was very enjoyable, despite the traffic and if I did brake down. The Indian would cost me far less to have it towed home than my 2 ton would of cost. :-) My Scout purred as new though and I made Borrego in fine shape.
There was already quite a showing of grand old machines in the resort parking lot and many machines were running about all over town. All kinds of great machines were running around, many friendly faces, old friends and new. This year there were organized rides Wednesday thru Sunday. Many a grand old machine was out in all its glory as in days of old. Thursday had a treasure hunt that many folks took part in and had fun doing. Friday dawned bright and clear and for once even our faithful Scout Dave Niederhaus proclaimed the route free of rain, sleet or any other obstacles. We rode up to Julian comfortable in light jackets, many stopped there, for coffee or hot cider or maybe one of their famous pies. Then on to our lunch stop the "Hideout" for most, a group also went to pay the Menghine Winery a visit.
I myself never made the lunch, those wonderful pies kept calling me back and I had several pieces before it was all over. I had actually gotten on S2 headed back to Borrego, when I turned my Scout around again, just one more piece of pie :-) Back in the saddle and headed for the resort, I got behind a grand old pair of machines. A 18 or 19 Powerplus and a 1915 Harley Davidson, piloted by Vahan Bandoian "PP" and Mike Madden on the 15 Harley. Those machines were running super good, the Harley seemed quite happy at 55 mph! You would never have guessed those machines were that old by the way they were flying down the road. In the right hands, those old machines in good condition are truly impressive! Of interest while we were stopped overlooking Borrego Springs. A group of modern Harley riders rode by, with the 15 Harley pulled over at the edge of the road. I was amazed, I thought for certain those Harley riders would pull over to see - what I thought they would feel was all but the "Holly Grail"- A 1915 Harley in fine running order! Much to my amazement, they acted as if they saw nothing and continued on their ride. To each his own, but I thought they missed out on a real treat.
Back at the resort, even more fine machines were in attendance and folks were still coming in. The weather was perfect this year and we made the most of it. Of real interest was a 1905 NSU being paraded around in the parking lot, a very neat machine and in very good shape - given its 99 year old age!! Not running, but not missing much either and possibly not to far off from running. Who knows there are some mighty talented folks in the hobby. There was a Indian Four with electric start and automatic trans, brought out by Bob Stark, a rarely seen on runs Indian Junior Scout, a very rare and great looking BSA V twin, several glorious sounding Ariel square fours were out and about. Several sharp side car out fits were enjoying the run and as usual on this run, lots of family and friends were involved in the fun. A mighty Vincent or two and a barn fresh looking 27 Henderson Deluxe, the Brits were out in force and there was some German machines too. Even a Honda or two, one ridden well on her first club ride as rider, way to go Cindy. Several ladies were in the saddle, either as passengers or riders and or driving rescue trucks, way to go ladies - we all like seeing that. Richard Hutchins, of Hutchins Harley Davidson stole the show by riding in on a new Harley - with a beautiful Harley single from the 20's attached !!!! Saturday we were off for Ocotillo and then back to the Canebrake Community center for lunch. Special thanks to the Ocotillo Wells Volunteer Fire Department and member Frank Colver for setting up the new location. It was a bit of a challenge trying to find the location, as far as I know all made it. As for myself, I just pulled off the paved road and started following the motorcycle tracks, it worked well for me :-) The weather being so good, that a night ride up Montezuma's grade by moonlight was had by a hardy few. Several folks ask me about the teens Indian in yellow, which I had heard nothing of or like before. Then I saw Dave Niederhaus enjoying his "Cyclone" color schemed 1913 Indian. Another machine that had me looking carefully was Mike Maddens 1919 Powerplus, which had pressure oiling to the main bearings and return to the oil tank, a recirculation oil system - that's some neat stuff !!! Some very talented folks for sure, a couple very sharp and fine running Harley 45'S from Northern California. Max Bubeck was out and looking ready to go, as he sit on a Chout project he and Jim Robinson are building, in an effort to beat Max's old record - which stood for so many years. If anyone can, my money is on them! To many neat machines to mention here, but it was as good as it gets for folks that love this stuff. I was quite pleased to see several new faces on the run and some new machines, not to mention old friends - many who's health had been a big concern. Glad were we to see them back amongst us again.
A memorable time was enjoyed by all at the banquet and this year we again roasted a member as in years past. This years their was "Mardi Gras" and Dee Cameron was the honoree. Some fun was had at Dee's expense and there was some touching moments supplied by Dee's lovely daughter and Deeana really stepped up and had us all laughing. Seeing both Dee and Deeana with their crowns on it was classic, surrounded by family and friends, its was quite nice and went off well. There was a poker run and a poker game, both seemed to go well and a couple folks won some cash to add to their fun. Jeff Moore supplied a very cool display of motorcycle spark plugs, going back 100 years! quite cool, thanks Jeff. Janis and Melinda and more I am not aware of, had the hall decorated really nice, as usual. But the ladies deserve at least a big hand for yet another great job - WELL DONE !! All to soon it was Sunday morning and most folks were headed for home.
The Hardy ones were off to the Salton Sea and back for a last fling of fun in the sun. As for myself, I loaded the Scout up gave it a kick and back in the saddle for home. I really enjoyed the ride out, as much as I had the ride there. Of note this year - we had several brake downs, by far the most common, dead Batteries. That cracked me up because I am still running the same battery that was dead on Tom's and my run to Yosemite. We had at least two blow outs at speed, but luckily no mishapes. Triumphs stood out, Bob and Carolyn Musgrove's had the carb bowl and float fall off at speed. Well that would of been the end of the ride for most of us. But not Bob, no way no how. Bob routed his fuel line to the main jet directly. Then started kicking, son of a gun - he and Carolyn made the rest of the run in fine fashion, without the float or the bowl on their carb !! I did not know that was possible! Pete Peterson's Triumph passed me at about 60 mph on Saturday and made the run in fine fashion, running good and looking good. To my amazement, I found out that Pete had found a hole big enough to put your thumb through in his cases - he was wondering where all the oil was coming from! Those Triumph's are something, I think I will have to get me one of those. It was a great time, hope the next ones as good, till then ride safe, Tom.
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