Summer 2002 Event
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SoCal AMCA Borrego Road Run
By Tom Lovejoy

This years Borrego run was one to remember, for many reasons. To start with, the weather was perfect, about 80 degrees for the high with very little wind. Many fine machines started gathering in the small town on Thursday. The weather was so nice; Tom Hart and I decided we have had enough of the truck and trailer. We off loaded and rode in from Temecula, with Diane and Jon Hart following. We battled the wind for several miles, but as we started down Montezuma’s Grade. The wind suddenly stopped, both of us were very pleased and surprised, we could see all the way to the Salton Sea!

Just as we pulled into the resort, our illustrious leader, Tim Graber, was leading a small group of faithful out to Mecca. We quickly remounted and headed out with the rest. This is when my Sport Scout suddenly decided it was not sure wether it wanted to be a total loss oil system or, as I am accustomed to it being, a recirculating oil system. For the next 100 miles or so, it was touch and go. As the oil would return and then not return, my Scout was throwing oil like never before and for those of you that know my Scout – that is really saying something. Good old Tom Hart saw my troubles and fell in behind me to keep watch and help if needed. Tom paid for his act of heroism though, as my Scout gave him, his Chief, his truck, his trailer and anything else he had with him a heavy coat of oil.

My Scout was a sorry sight when we pulled back into the resort. Oil everywhere! , But it had made it. Thanks to the advise of many much more knowledgeable folks than myself in the ways of Indians, my Scouts problems were fixed in short order and I enjoyed the rest of the run trouble free. Dinner was on our own and most ate at the airport, which was very good, just a bit of a wait. The spirits were flowing at dinner and after, this brought out the pranksters. Machines positions were shifted, stones put under tires and finally a whole bunch of toilet paper engulfed two Chief’s. Luckily the pranks stopped before they got to where the talk was going. Nothing was harmed and it was all in good fun.

This year's T-shirt design

Club Pres Tim Graber on 101 Scout

Club Treasurer Tom Hart on 39 Chief

Friday morning dawned beautiful indeed, and what a showing of machines. The thrilling sounds of Knuckleheads, flatheads, F- heads, square fours, an inline four, vertical twins, vee twins, opposed twins, boxer twins, and singles. All could be heard echoing off the valleys and hills from a distance. All kinds of great machines from the past ridden by riders from many different states. As we approached Julian, we were buzzed by a jet fighter, flying very low – that scared the heck out of some of us, sorry for my language Shorty. We actually made it to Julian this year and we were comfortable in T-shirts! We broke up into many groups for lunch; all the reports I heard were good. I know our lunch was very good. We then made our way down a great road Dave Niederhaus had scouted out on one of his trusty Indians. To a neat little hide out for a snack or a drink, this road was a real treat with some pretty scenery and many curves – good job Dave!

We then headed back for the completion of the days ride. A special treat when we returned was Chuck Vernon bringing out his awesome 1912 Indian 8 – Valve racer. Which he actually fired up in the parking lot, 90 years after it was made – that machine is still very impressive and it looks, sounds and is no doubt, very fast! The Harts did a fine job with the field meet and though attendance was down, all who took part had a good time. From what I saw, it appeared that Homer Knapp dominated the competition, way to go Homer! If the weather is nice again next year, we want to encourage you all to get out there and show your stuff, in the dirt – have some fun.

Dinner was again on your own; most went to the airport or the Coyote Grill or something like that. Which is where the group I was with went. We had to wait a very long time and indeed several of us had lost our appetite when they finally sat us down. Not that we minded, as we had been quite happy at the bar, pleasantly inebriated I think was the phrase. Again, the food was excellent though. 

Saturday dawned just as nice as the day before. More machines arrived, 69 machines was the final count. We headed out for Ocotillo, with lunch again at Ocotillo Wells. Much of the group rode all the way to Ocotillo and then back for lunch. Unfortunately, most who did – missed Chuck Vernon’s, bringing out the 8-valve racer for some running. What we would have given to see that. Chuck had to cut it short however, because it was running with the spark too retarded and heated up, it needed a bit more fine-tuning. 

The riding was super good though and enjoyed by all. I was cruising on my Scout at about 50 to 55 mph when I saw poor Dee Cameron in my rear view mirror, with his hurting leg, cane sticking out the back of his shirt and his very sore leg sticking straight out. I only saw him for a second or two though, cause he sped past me in a blur at something close to 80 mph with a big grin on his face. Dee is making a lot of us Velocette fans, I tell you!

Allen Adkins' 41 Chief

Tim Graber and Homer Knapp in the slow race competition, Tom Hart in charge

Paul Graber on early 30's Chief bobber

Chuck Vernon and his 1912 8-valve racer, with Vahan Bandoian, Jon and Tom Hart all admiring the machine

Craig Dillman's Powerplus

Craig and Powerplus headed down Montezuma's Grade

Jerry Unis and 37 Scout-

Jerry in action on his 1937 
Sport Scout
Everyone made it back to the resort, though the rescue trucks were in action. There seemed to be quite a few brake downs this run, several of a serious nature. Complete with scary noises and engines locking up, it is enough to unnerve a fellow. As it turned out, all that toilet paper from the other night would come in handy, because Saturday evening Grace Mckean’s Chief would have just about the mother of all wet sumps. Tom Hart would once again rush off towards the source of trouble, a huge cloud of white smoke. That we had all began to look at, wondering what was the strange phenomena we were seeing.

The banquet was once again a great success, thanks to Janis Graber and all her helpers – Patty Gallin, Kim Spear and Melinda, to name a few, Way to go ladies! Marc Gallin also did great service in helping to set up and get all the visual aids working smoothly; it was all very impressive and enjoyed by all. We tried something a little different this year, there was no roast. Instead, we celebrated each other and had some fun with motorcycle or chapter related questions. With cash prizes no less, which led to some spirited fun. Awards were given out to a lucky few, Craig Dillman cleaned up with both oldest machine ridden both days and people's choice – way to go Craig! His Powerplus was running fine the whole run, it was great fun riding beside him at about 50 mph. Gill Armis took home the oldest rider at 85 years of age on his fine running Harley, way to go Gill!

Sunday morning it was off for the Salton Sea once again. A nice ride and breakfast, was over all too quick and it was time to say our good byes. The weather still being so nice, Tom Hart and I rode back out to Temecula and loaded up there. All and all, it was a fantastic run. Special thanks to all who attended or helped to put it together. Three more points of special interest, Ralph Krogh’s Ariel Red Hunter seized up on Saturday. Until then, that had been about the most dependable antique I ever saw. Then there was Kevin Spears' J model, fresh from being all but torn in half on the last run. It was running close to perfect and boy was Kevin grinning + happy. Then there is Tom Hart's Chief, not only did it not use almost any oil, it did not even want to use much gas! What was up with that Tom? I think it must have been some of Homer Knapp’s magic?. Till the next one, Tom

Janis Graber and her 101 Scout

Four happy Chief riders at the banquet - from left to right, Hobo John, Allen Adkins, Mike Tomas (Kiwi) and Ron Link

Iron Redskin author - Harry Sucher, along with family members, Vic and Marjorie Sucher - all getting into the fun on Saturday night's banquet

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