by Donna Mulrean

Highway 154 from Santa Barbara winds up from the coast through rolling foothills with breaks of deep ravines and dark ancient spreading oak trees. It widens into 4 lanes driven by bustling commuters and RV owners anxious to hurry someplace and relax.

As we turned off 154 to Live Oak Camp, we were welcomed by a covey of California Valley quail and a panaramic view of the golf course. The last vestiges of Highway 154 were forgotten as we watched a young black-tailed deer browse among the oaks, oblivious to our presence. We drove the mileback to the campground, through the gate that made the camp ours alone for the weekend, and began the Cachuma Lake Rally.

We arrived Thursday followed by a few early guests, anxious to enjoy every moment of the weekend. Two Ryder trucks were unloaded and the provisions for 9 meals stored in the huge kitchen complete with commercial stoves, ovens and walk0in coolers. After introducing our two llamas Mac and Bosco to their weekend accomadations, we took hot showers, chose an oak tree site with electricity for our Silverstreak trailer. We enjoyed a walk through the quiet campsite, looking for shooting stars and admiring the hills silhuetted against the rising moon.

Friday brought a steady stream of guests, teardrop trailers, and vintage motorcycles. The crew of 30 from Rabers Parts Mart in San Jose rode down using the back roads for a 5 hour trip. By dinner time about 100 people had arrived and, after picking their favorite oak tree site, enjoyed a dinner of BBQ’ed pork and beef ribs, hot dogs, beans, macaroni salad, and all the trimmings. Everyone slept soundly and woke to a breakfast of French toast, fresh melons, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, and fresh coffee.

From 7-9am, mountain appetities were appeased then registration and practice for field events began. Bill and Marla Getty of JRC in Perris, CA organized the field events. This year, they even had a map to guide the riders through the staging areas for the Slow Ride, pinning ten clothes pins to a line, ring toss over a cone, dropping a straw in a bottle, and several other events.

After a sandwhich bar lunch with red potato salad, various breads, meats, cheeses and all the fixin’s, everyone tried their best to unseat last years’ field events winners Jody & Eddie Mulder, but failed.

Great fun was had by all including the kids who had their own fieldevents on bikes. After a rest and maybe a hot shower, everyone wandered over to the dining area for a feast of grilled sirloin steaks, chicken, corn on the cob, beans, a huge salad, Texas toast, and their choice of bakery cakes.

Beautiful event clocks were awarded to the sponsors, plaques and clocks to the first three placed winners of Field Events, and lots of Door Prizes were awarded. Full of food and cheer, some returned to their camps, others gathered around a bonfire to chat and make S’Mores with the kids. Others danced to the blues band that played into the wee hours.

Sunday mornings fare resembled that of Saturday except there were stacks of hotcakes instead of French toast. Gallons of coffee were needed to shake away the sleepy guests for the ride after breakfast. Some chose to go on the dual-sport ride with Jim Holbrook, while most joined Dan Gehrs for a curve-filled tour of Foxen Canyon climbing the foothills of Santa Inez valley. They stopped at two wineries, one of which belongs to fess Parker, before arriving back at Live Oak Camp for lunc.

Soon the polishing rags were busy spiffing up vintage bikes for the show. So many pretty bikes, the marque was BSA’s of course, but also matchless, AJS, Triumph and on and on. Judging was generous and non-threatening, and everyone got to vote for Peoples Choice.

Sundays dinner was an Italian spread of spaghetti with sweet sausage, vegetarian or meat lasagna, garlic bread, European salad bar wit artichoke hearts, olives etc. Ride host Dan Gehrs offered his own local wine for those who desired, and pudding cups with Viennese wafers filled with hazelnuts and cocoa cream were served for dessert.

Trophies were given for the show including one to SDAMCs Marvin Worra. Also presented were the special founders trophy to John Healy of Coventry Spares who began the rally 10 years ago. A special trophy for Best Street Special was given in the memory of Gene De Woody, who died this year.

The fun of the evening was augmented by a guest from Norway named Peter Kalvaag. Friday, this happy couple with the lilting accent drove into camp looking for the Lake Cachuma Campground. John gave the directions, told them what our rally was about and smiled when Peter said that he had a BSA. A while later, Peter and his lady returned, saying that Cachuma Lake had given away his reserved campsite to someone else and asking if they could pay for the weekend. That evening, Peter informed us that he is the editor of the national BSA club of Norway! As proof of his BSA attachments, he dropped his shirt sleeve to reveala large full- colored BSA tattoo of the piled-arms logo! Many ladies were hoping that he would show other attachments but the very good-natured young man left them wanting, and the rest of us in stitches.

The BSA cake that evening was cut by Barry Smith—-BSA of Southern California, Dan Danmeier—-BSA of Northen California and Peter—-BSA of Norway. What a great time.

Monday morning saw nearly everyone at the goodbye breakfast. Many addresses were exchanged and reservations for next year’s rally made. Everyone had a safe trip home to our knowlegde, and the only complaint so far has been from local San Diegan and SDAMC’er Bob Felter who says he can’t get back to business because his head is still teeming with thoughts of vintage bikes and his plans for next year’s rally. Sorry, Bob!

Donna Mulrean

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