NorCal BSAOC All British Ride November 4, 2000
Thanks to the NorCal BSAOC for organizing and putting on a truly great Ride, with help from the NOC and a whole lot of enthusiasts who knocked themselves out to 'do it right'. They somehow even managed to deliver Tee Shirt weather, a bit of a surprise this time of year, and the fog obligingly stayed visible but distinctly offshore while the ride was wending South on Highway One from Marshall.
Over 150 riders participated, riding English machinery dating further back than Paul D'Orleans's choice Model 15(?) Norton and as new as a few Hinkley bikes.
The photo above (clickable to view 36K full screen image) shows David Kath (left) and Mr. MelRay checking out a sharp '25 Rudge, recipient of The Moldy Oldie Award, being the oldest at the meet; it was a keen bike which made the distance on the ride and still was real tidy on arrival at the picnic.
The '25 Rudge attracted a lot of attention. In the photo on right, it is checked out by Walt Gish (on left in red jacket) and Ed Meager (far right). Ed is founder and organizer of The Loop of The Lakes, a long standing real fun 2 day Dual Sport ride for vintage bikes which takes place in Mendocino County every spring and attracts a dozen or more riders. Walt rode a 500 Triumph twin on the 1999 Loop and was one of the most fun guys I've ridden at close quarters with; always smooth while maintaining a very brisk pace in a tidy, polished manner that never had you wondering whether he might change his line unpredictably. We could use more like him, but aren't likely to run across them often.
The Rudge was first seen on the Internet, purchased from a dealer in London this summer, and shipped over. Pete says "It has been real fun trying to learn how to use the two lever throttle. One's for air, one for fuel. Too rich, and the plug fouls, too lean, the motor will seize. The bike is 500cc, OHV with four valves. The pushrods, valves, springs, etc are all exposed, and the oil system is total loss. I do most of my riding downtown where I live. It is nice to get up to Novato sometimes to ride on the open roads without traffic. The all british ride was a lot of fun, my girlfriend came along again this year, riding my 1938 Velocette."
Rudge rider Pete (Left) and Peerless Dinosauer Works' Charlie Taylor look as if they're checking out Maggie Neato, but she was a no-show this time. In foreground is Charlie's rigid frame Ariel Square Four, which finished despite losing the clutch cable.
Photo Below shows Pat Highsmith, BSA Gold Star and MelRay Nottage (red helmet) on the Publisher's Mk III Interstate. Publisher's Rock Crusher Speciale is in the foreground, displaying its substantial tool kit.
Pat traveled from Ashland, Oregon for this ride and Mel from Couer d'Alene, Idaho. They weren't the longest distance traveled, that was Bill Quaccia from Kodiak, Alaska!
Mel got to be intrepid test pilot on the Mk III as this was its first outing of more than about 10 miles since it was aquired early in the summer, and it never missed a beat, starting easily, idling and all that good stuff. It had a set of carbs on it borrowed from the P11, which worked fine with no modifications beyond very minor idle mix twiddling and cable synching! As purchased, it had a number of odd, minor problems including dangerously worn out carbs which not only didn't basically carburete but also constantly wept copious amounts of fuel out the ticklers, wouldn't start hot at all and stuck open at anything over about 1/3 throttle. It's an unrestored original which is presentable enough that no one aquainted with the present owner would likely guess whose it is.
The All British Ride was held the previous 10 years doubling as The Annual Don Danmeier 50th Birthday Party. This year, the NorCal BSAOC assumed responsibility for ride and picnic sponsorship from Don, who officialy turned 51. Don is the main spark plug for not only the NorCal BSAOC but also the annual San Mateo Clubman Show and swap meet. The thriving NorCal vintage bike scene owes him a lot.
Our photo of Don is from this year's Loop of The Lakes, where he's shown making 'adjustments' to his Triumph Trophy Trail. The sympathetic fellows looking on are Steve Fischer (left) and Bill Quaccia, whose sharp '69 Triumph T120 Bonneville is in the background. Yes, he got it going again.