By Tom Hart
I was able to make this year’s four-chapter ride only by making some last minute changes in my plans and I feel fortunate for having done so. I strongly urge other members to try and make next years ride. It was a blast thanks to great company, beautiful scenery, mild weather conditions, good food stops, elephant seals, and did I mention really great company. I’ve always had a strong desire to ride the Central coast on the old one, my Chief that is, and it was all I hoped it would be. The event brought out a good number of spouses, similar to our Borrego run. My wife would probably ride with me if I didn’t have the bad habit of running into every fixed object placed on this great green earth by God or man. I don’t care what anyone says anymore about how I look; I’m going to start wearing my glasses when I ride.
Tom Lovejoyand me were both pressed for time, so we trucked our stuff to the Atascaderomeet spot (Motel 6) Friday night. We had to leave immediately following the Saturday ride; otherwise I’m sure I would have lots of Uncle Tom’s lies to tell. Such as it is, I still found as couple worthy targets to zero in on. Thanks to newcomer target George Hood and good oleTom (the grinder) Lovejoy. I pause here to give honorable mention to Marc Gallin for his Hawaii 5-0/ Indiana Jones impersonation while riding his ‘50 Chief with a valve noise that could wake the dead. Mrs. Gallin and Mrs. Menezes both looked cool as always.
Tom Lovejoyand I arrived at the motel in time to squeeze in about 4 hours of sleep before Saturday’s ride. We woke to a hearty breakfast of grease and grits at a local diner before returning to the motel parking lot where we found Mr.Tom Bodet Hood working on his checkerboard painted Harley. It seems that George visited a nearby service station to gas up before the ride (as all good riders should), but he fell prey to a mishap which apparently required some mechanical genius of sorts. I interviewed George and he stated that as he was departing the service station, a speeding vehicle (traveling at 90 to 100 MPH) caused him to turn sharply and drop his bike on the left (clutch) side. The impact with the pavement caused the damage noted above, according to George anyway. I examined his bike and saw no evidence of contact with the road on the crash bars or anywhere else for that matter. I interviewed other eyewitnesses, who wished to remain anonymous, and they told me that George had actually been engaged in a drag race with a local youth on a Suzuki trail bike 125 at the time of the alleged crash. This competition resulted in George getting his doors blown off. George was heard saying something to the effect that “It must have been the clutch, I’ll fix it at the motel and be back for a rematch, you little #@%&# *”. Once again, I only report the facts, as I want to see them. Personally, I think George might do well to check with Kevin Spear about obtaining a set of those new and improved super-duper pistons Kevin uses in his JD.
Anyway, around the group of 35 bikes from the
, SoCal., L.A. and the Fort Sutter area chapters left the motel for San Francisco . We encountered a little moisture enroute to the coast, but that gave way to a pleasant, although somewhat cloudy, afternoon as we traveled north to Lucia for lunch. We impressed many a local with a strong line of antiques (both bikes and riders). Our club entries included Vic and Harry Sucher, Moro Bay Jim Falk, Marc and Patty Gallin, Dudly Pollard, Craig Dillman, , Mike and Beverly Menezes, Kevin Spear, Gil Armas, Tom Loveyoy and myself. Phil Shore
Our route took us through, or near, the towns of Cayucos, Harmony (with all of its proud 17 citizens),
Cambria, Gorda and finally to Lucia for lunch. While traveling north on Highway 1, Tom Lovejoy, on his ‘40 Sport Scout and Phil Shore, on a 60’s something Triumph tried to outdo each other with varying degrees of excess speed (remember that “excess “ is a relative term). I bring to your attention the fact that the highway they were traveling on had 10 to 15 MPH turns. When we stopped for lunch at Lucia, Tom checked his floorboards and found that he had ground off a rather important ¾ in. nut on the frame. Phil, a skilled dirt bike rider in his own right, was greatly impressed with Tom and tried to compliment him on his ability to push the edge of the envelope with an antique bike. Tom had difficulty paying attention as he was still in shock from his close encounter with Mr. Guard Rail and Mr. Cliff. What Phil saw and praised as “Extreme hot-dogging”, Tom viewed as a near death experience (while being totally out of control). “If” Tom could have talked, I think “awesome“ is a word he might have used to describe the moment. The antics of these two might sound like a reckless and dangerous stunt, but consider this; I was video taping the two Kamikazes while driving my Chief in first gear and continually braking to avoid rear ending them.
The clouds gave way to intermittent sunshine as we made our way back to
Atascaderovia Highways 1, 46 and 101. We stopped for a Kodak moment somewhere near San Simeon when Tom spotted several dozen elephant seals playing in the surf and taking up a lot of real estate on the beach. Those babies were really huge (and ugly). They were so ugly that they went all the way back around to being cute again. Kinda like my wife’s English Pug.
Kevin Spear supplied some additional material to share with you. You know how meticulous he is about his 27/29 (whatever) JD. Sometime prior to our arrival, Kevin dropped the front end of his bike off a curb at the motel and broke the brace securing the front brake and fender assembly. A nearby shop welded the brace and fender, but the brake was no more. Kevin, being the easy going, laid back, kind of lad that he is just accepted the new damage and rode the bike anyway. Kevin’s bike has many scars to boost about. No one (including Kevin) can explain why the bike still runs at all. Prior to our club’s Carpinteria ride, Kevin’s bike took a fall in a tire shop and ended up with a bent handle bar, a leaky gas tank and an electrical short. Before that, Kevin squeezed the life out of his rear wheel, fender and tire assembly with a steel cable on the
ride. On this ride, he discovered that his bike’s rear sprocket was not fully attached to the wheel and that it made absolutely no difference what so ever what he did with the carburetor metering system. He even closed the jets completely and the bike still ran. The broken exhaust brace, holding the right side of the bike together, is hardly worth mentioning. Las Vegas
I believe there were about six breakdowns, which totally disabled various bikes on this run, Kevin was not one of them. Endeavor to persevere is Kevin’s credo. Considering all of the above, I find it just a little strange and inconsistent that Kevin wanted to borrow my measuring tape to get the exact pin stripping measurements, off the gas tank of another well used JD, so he could get his bike’s paint scheme jusssss right.
Remember to keep those wheels turning, that means you are still upright and doing fine. That’s all folks, Tom
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