Four Chapter Road Run 2003
August 8-10, 2003
By Richard Ostrander
What started as a brief conversation between myself and a California AMCA chapter President, 4 years ago, has evolved into this annual fun fest. We thought it would be great to have all the California chapters (at the time, 3) get together at a central location in state to ride and enjoy each other’s company.
Craig Taylor, President of the L.A. chapter, got on board and was instrumental in getting the 1st and 2nd runs up and running. They were both based out of Atascadero and included a Saturday ride up scenic Hwy 4 almost to Big Sur and back. Short runs to the beach on Friday night and Sunday morning rides to breakfast through the ranchland east of Atascadero finish the weekends.
After the 2nd Atascadero ride (on which we now had 4 chapters with the new Yerba Buena chapter (YBC) in attendance, it was decided to move the event around the state every year or two to a different location, one that would be in neutral territory for all the chapters to enjoy. Hence the hosting of the 3rd run by the YBC at the Cloverdale KOA, just above Napa Valley. This was a familiar location for them as they hosted their first big event there the year before to rave reviews.
The Cloverdale KOA is well off the beaten path. It contains a lake where kids were catching bluegill, a nice swimming pool, cabins, RV camping as well as tent, and a banquet hall. There was a short ride of 45 miles down Geyser Road Friday after check-in and everyone did their own thing for dinner.
Arvil and I lucked out and were invited to a fine gourmet meal served up by Bobbo and Larry Nizuk (both YB members). It consisted of venison steaks and wild boar sausages with just the right wine. I can remember when a can of Bud and a hot dog would do.
Saturday morning after breakfast we proceeded over scenic HWY 128 through Boonesville to the ocean and the north coast. After Navarro, the last 20 miles to the beach is through a beautiful redwood forest that blocks out the sun and the road is lined by huge ferns,. Some riders like SoCal/LA member Marc Gallin almost had a religious experience seeing the northern redwoods for the first time. It is almost overwhelming.
We then rode up the coast to the town of Mendocino (background for the Murder She Wrote TV series) for a BBQ of hamburgers and hot dogs with the works in a little park with the great name of “Friendship Park”. About 50 machines were in attendance. Molly Pierson with Vince Spaddaro and Vince Jr. took care of the grill and we furnished the appetites.
Just a note here about Molly and her boyfriend Mike Irish. Mike lost his sight a while back and couldn’t pilot his restored Panhead and sidecar rig any longer. Molly stepped right up and learned to ride it herself thus allowing both of them to stay in the wind with Mike holding down the side car. Both are a great addition to the antique motorcycle fraternity. Both are members of the hard riding YBC.
After lunch we crossed back over the Mendocino River and headed east to Ukiah over Comptche Road which eventually turned into Orr Springs Road about half way. What a ride, up and down, around. One stretch rose a couple thousand feet over the coastal mountain range in just a couple of miles. It contained at lease a dozen first gear, read your license plate, switch backs.
After Ukiah, we traveled down the east side of the valley on East Side Road (nice) then switched over to the west side and Mountain House Road for a great ride through the mountains to Cloverdale. Total mileage was around 150 for the day.
That evening we had the banquet in the KOA dining hall with close to 70 members and family in attendance. After everyone had eaten, YB President Rick Najera thanked everyone and introduced National Director Jim Moore who talked about the upcoming Regional Road Run in Tahoe in September hosted by the Ft. Sutter Chapter.
Rick then presented some awards. To his son went the youngest rider award at 17 yrs of age. Oldest machine ridden went to Arvil and 1926 original JD. Marc Gallin got the hard luck award for his “tip over” on Geyser road on Friday afternoon. Longest distance ridden to the event was captured by Curt Hansen on his restored 1948 Indian Chief (130 miles) a close second was yours truly at 125 miles on my original 1930 “101” Indian Scout. The oldest rider award went to Norm Beam whose next birthday will put him at 80 years young. Norm can really put his late ‘30’s Indian 4 through its paces. All the awards were hand made by Mark and really unique.
The rest of the evening was spent trying to locate the “bad” bottle of Corona we had heard about and didn’t want anyone to suffer from. After we sampled a lot of the beer in question, we determined there weren’t any “bad” bottles in the area. Sunday morning after breakfast the hoard started packing up for the trek in various directions for their own Casa de Casa’s. We thank the YBC for a job well done and for keeping this great idea in motion. They also produced some nice run T-shirts that were distributed by Jennifer and Kim Young along with the run packages at the sign-in table. Big thanks to Paul d’Orleans, Pete Young and Bill Huth for all their work on the run.
Ricky’s group will be hosting a National Road Run next year just a little south of Cloverdale. For all you who enjoy the Napa wine country, great ocean vistas and the valleys and mountain passes of northern California, be sure to attend.
The Ft. Sutter Chapter will take up the torch next summer and host the 4th annual 4 Chapter run just outside of Yosemite National Park. Ft. Sutter members Gary Smalz who lives in the area and Arvil Miller and Dr. Sprocket are already on the case. We hope the SoCal Chapter will continue the tradition and agree to host the 5th 4 chapter run in 2005 somewhere like Kernville, Big Bear, Ventura or who knows…Stay tuned.
P.S. It was nice to see Erhard and Judy Hirschfelder with their cool Zundapp sidecar rig all the way from Southern California. They seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
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