Borrego Springs Winter Run 2001
By Tom Hart
What can I say? Borrego Springs gave us it’s all. Warm weather on Wednesday with the rest of the week cooling to rain, wind and snow. Awesome to say the least. We had over 80 riders on the runs and 127 at the banquet. 37 people attended from out of state and one couple from the
. I think we had only about 25 or so from the local chapter that could make it, with the balance from just out of the area. A great ride and tribute to Gary Breylinger, who ten years ago, was responsible for the first Borrego run. Netherlands ’s wife, Barbe, got into the action at the banquet and assisted in roasting her old man. Gary
Tim and (especially) Janis Graber did their usual excellent job at setting up the banquet event and concealing the person to be roasted this year to the very end. Chuck Vernon made all of the arrangements for the use of the facilities, which were outstanding. At our March meeting, following Borrego, Chuck advised us that not only did our host resort thank us for using their facilities, but our former host resort, down the road, had an interest in bringing us back to their place. It’s nice to be wanted isn’t it?
I enjoyed all aspects of the Borrego event, including but not limited to, the hospitality room, the banquet, the lunch run, the outstanding views provided by the park and finally getting my wife to go out with me. I had as wonderful a time seeing old friends and meeting new ones as I did scooting down the highways. I must admit that I did not do as much scooting, as I would have liked, mainly because some people (Tim) have refined breaking down into a fine art form. Nonetheless, I got my fair share in. I will now give you the “The Rest of the Story” or “The Far Side, Truth or Fiction?”
The rides through Borrego consisted of smaller groups to allow for the safe passage of the four wheelers. This was a good idea because guys like
Tim Graber, Larry Ramos, Chuck Berberness ( ) and a few others like the twins, Gil and Les, needed extra road space and time for repairs. Larry’s girlfriend, Jennifer, thought she was going to get warmed up in the trouble truck when Larry broke down, but Johnny Eagles came to the rescue. Jennifer, who has been mistaken for my daughter, did not consider it a rescue. Here’s a little insight on the daughter thing. On another ride, long, long ago, in a far, far away land, we stopped for gas on a coastal outing. While Larry fueled his machine, the very same one that was now inoperative, Jennifer and I went into the service station to pay for the gas. A wise guy attendant asked if I was also paying for my daughter’s gas, referring to Jennifer. I don’t know if I look that old or she looks that young. OK, so I’m not new, so what! Most of you aren’t either. Either way, I figure that I have earned some creative license in my writings concerning my “daughter”, mostly because she thought it was so funny. So hear me now and hear me well, stand by and make no mistakes around my mighty pen. I see all and write things, as I want others to see, not always as they happen. Oregon
Thursday’s ride was fragmented into a few groups going off in different directions around Borrego. A small but powerful band of knuckleheads, including myself, pressed our luck and rode to
about 25 miles up the hill. The clouds were dark and angry that day my friend and the air had a certain chill to it. We, the uninformed, understood what that chill meant a little better the next day when it snowed up there. We made it back to Warner Springs without incident for the Field Games. I, with the able help of my sister, “DIANE the Door Destroyer”, Ron Link, and Ralph Krogh set up a couple field events in the area next to our host hotel, with the blessing of our hotel’s owner. We had a lot of fun showing off on Thursday and Friday with various slow riding events (no particular winners or losers as I see it, just some fun stuff). camp Borrego
Some of the female Graber clan did give us a good demonstration on the fine art of “How to crash in the dirt and still look cool” while Dee Cameron showed us how it’s done on a paved parking lot. Not to be out done, Bob Musgrove took a dump on his bike to demonstrate the easy of breaking off a foot peg in the soft soil. Vic Sucher and his dad, the unstoppable Doc Sucher, just plain cheated whenever and wherever they could. I don’t know exactly how they pulled it off, but I became suspicious when they turned in a score of 110%. Personally, I suspect Vic took a percentage of someone else’s score when he parked his side-hack on the “Slow Race” racecourse. I extend my thanks to all of those daredevils who took part and taught us that there truly are some things one should not do on a motorcycle. What can I say, as usual, I did absolutely nothing wrong.
Friday’s ride started out pretty close to when it was suppose to. The ride that day was going to be to the small antique mountain town of
, but the snow was only a couple of inches deep up there. Not nearly enough snow and foul weather for our hearty group, so we opted for a ride to the lower desert where we could enjoy some gale force winds and sand blowing hard enough to clean any biker’s teeth. It’s really refreshing to commune with nature in this way and once again learn how to pray to God for the strength to make it back alive. We made a brief fuel stop at the midway point of the ride to reassess our options. Ahead of us we had the Julian Salton Sea, almost lost in the dust storm. Behind us we had an approaching weather front, which could contain thunder, lighting, rain, hail, snow, or some real serious dangers, like Bobcats. Some less hearty folks took off for the now invisible Salton Sea, with a wind at their backs strong enough to make even a British bike go fast. Sorry about that guys (Ken, Joe, Dee and others) but stop me when I lying. Timmy G saved the day for me by breaking down, again. We had to park along the side of the road long enough for the storm to pass. Darn it all. The repair itself was minor. All it took to fix the ill machine was for the warlock, Homer Knapp, to remove a tool from his purse (sorry guy, but that’s what it looks like) and threaten the bike with his witchcraft. Homer had a similar approach or technique to motorcycle repair as that of a wise mother who might open a bottle of castoroil in front of an ailing school age child, claiming to be sick. Tim’s bike, much like the sick child, found a new spark and lit up like a Christmas tree when Homer walked toward it with a smile on his face and a wrench in hand. I’ve seen Homer do this on more than one occasion and it really scares me. The break down turned out to be both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. We waited out the storm and had a relatively comfortable ride back, which was good, but now we were the “Wimps”, which was bad. We had no tall tales to tell, so we lied and by now all of you should know how good I am at that.
Saturday came early, following closely behind Friday and just before Sunday. Tim organized two groups with start times designed to allow the early, tough guys (and guyets) enough time to ride all the way to somewhere farther than the second, less tough group, was going. The idea was to get everyone to the lunch stop at Ocotillo Wells at the same time. The short ride was directly to Ocotillo Wells for lunch. I, being a tough guy, started out with the early group so I could ride all the way, just like the big boys. I ran into a problem when it got really cold, really fast. I then devised a plan that entailed following someone I felt would break down soon, thereby giving me a reason to stop, render assistance in the form of saying something like “Oh, that’s too bad” and to get warm in the truck. I remembered how well Larry Ramos had been doing in the break down department, so I kept close to him. I knew I had made the right choice when I noticed he was having problems going over the first pass. It wasn’t long before he came to a stop with a clutch problem. Jennifer had as big a smile on her face as I did, but at least I tried to look concerned. Jennifer, on the other hand, went a little nutty and did not show any concern at all. She might have been a bit subtler about it and not run to the trouble truck yelling “Oh happy days, Oh happy days, open them doors and get out of my way, ‘cause I’m coming home”. Her joy was shattered when John Eagles came by and quickly put an end to the warmth she might have otherwise have known by fixing Larry’s ailing HD. We were on the road again in no time and enjoying a frozen lunch at Ocotillo Wells.
Chuck Berberness claims to have broke down just before the lunch stop. My wife, Mrs. H and my sister, Diane the Door Destroyer, explained to me that when they stopped to pick Chuck up, he complained that his 55 HD had a very serious electrical problem. He stated under oath that he thought the bike was about to burst into flames if he continued to ride it, so he stopped. My wife, Mrs. H and my sister, DDD, said there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support Chuck’s claims and they thought he just wanted out of the cold. All of this cold weather riding and complaining was going on right in front of Dave Neiderhaus who forgot to bring his jacket because it looked like “Such a fine day”. Dave said he would consider putting on a scarf if it did get cold. The man has no blood in his veins, just antifreeze, and I mean the real stuff, not Jim Beam.
We all made it back for an outstanding banquet thanks to Chuck Vernon, the Grabers and their little helpers and a whole lot of really fine people from everywhere. The end.
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