18th dawned bright and clear, a beautiful Saturday morning. The kind of
day that makes you glad to live in sunny southern California even with
the crowds and the traffic. We met up in Chatsworth at Craig Dillman’s
house; Craig had snacks and refreshments waiting for us as we gathered.
While some prepped their machines, others took the chance to view Craig’s
impressive stable of classics. Which includes more than one fine example,
of Springfield’s finest. Craig Dillman and Mike Doom put on the run again
this year and as always, it was a great success. It is because of members
like this that our chapter and hobby itself are so much fun.
We had a disappointing turnout, only seven machines – that was however the only disappointment of the weekend. For the weekend, that we experienced was as good as any I have yet had on two wheels. Sometimes it seems even our own weather works against us at times. Very often there are just too many events going on, on any given weekend to take it all in. I believe that was the main reason for the low turnout. Our little group was high on enthusiasm though and very near to 10:00 am, we shoved off. Seven machines and riders, trouble truck, with two extra passengers – Buffy and Teddy. Jim Falk our clubs newsletter editor had his two beloved pets along and Mike Doom volunteered to haul the two in the rescue truck and thus let Jim ride one of his trusty BMWs.
Our journey took us through the very scenic back roads of Santa Paula and Ojai. Though our group was small, we made quite the scene as we rode by and many a head was straining to get a better look, or trying to identify the machines from their exhaust notes as we approached. It would not of been easy either, for the unaccustomed. We had a good mix, as usual though. Indian was by far the most common brand name. We had three very sharp and fine running late forties Chiefs, Max Bubeck and his 39 Four cylinder, a 56 Triumph, a 60’s BMW and my 27 Henderson Deluxe. I was bringing up the rear as usual on my Deluxe and I appreciated the group ridding at a leisurely pace. For though the Henderson might have been willing, my nerves surely were not. On some of those twisties, with those wheelbarrow style handlebars, no front brake and clinchers, yes sir – I appreciated the relaxed pace!
It was a wonderful experience running along those scenic roads. All our machines running quite well for most of the run. Beautiful Fall color’s turning in the tree’s, a crisp blue sky, rolling hills. The Suns warm rays and then as you went into the shade of a hill, just a bit of a chill. I believe all the riders and their machines enjoyed it, I know my Henderson sure seemed too. What a thrill, to be purring along scenic back roads amongst a group of fine running antique motorcycles and trusted friends. For lunch we stopped at a neat little roadside restaurant in Ojai valley named Boccali’s, a popular motorcycle spot. While enjoying a very good lunch, we were talking a bit about how rideable the old Indian Chiefs are even today. Much to our surprise in rode two of those brand new Indians. The actor George Clooney piloted one of the bikes. Fresh from his latest movie the Perfect Storm. It was fun talking with him and he seemed like a nice fellow. He got a kick out of our old machines and we were interested to hear what he thought of the new machines.
Next stop was the house of some dear friends, Lee and Dayl Standley. Lee has been riding, building, restoring and racing mostly Indian’s longer than most of our members have been alive. He likes Sport Scouts the best and he can really make them run. Lee is a super neat fellow and his love of Indians is contagious. Dayl also is a real treat to be around, both have many fond tales of motorcycling days gone by. Dayl was a Motor Maid for many years. Not only that, they also have some of the neatest photo albums I have ever seen. Lots of old photos of motorcycling from the 30’s on. Lee showed us some of his toys and some of his special tools for working his magic. One was his 42 four cylinder, Dayl and he toured the country on years ago. Now rebuilt, ready to go again. Also quite neat was Lee’s cam grinder, driven by a barbecue motor. Any chance of stopping by the Standley place should be taken advantage of; you will be richer for it.
A beautiful ride past Lake Casitas and into Carpinteria to the Motel 6 for the ending of the first days ride. But wait! For then Rusty Kay showed up on an antique looking Harley, sporting a coon-tail cap on top his helmet! He led us to his place in Montecito via some winding canyon roads. Once there we were treated to some wonderful hospitality and were able to check out his fine collection. Including several beautifully restored Indians and other makes. We did not get back to the motel until after dark, surprise, surprise the antique lighting did the job. Even the mighty Lucas electrical system performed proudly onboard Mike Menezes hot rod Triumph. Dinner was a self-grilled affair at the Palms restaurant and it was very good.
Sunday dawned just as nice as the day before
and after a hardy breakfast at IHOP. We stopped at the home of Glenn Bator,
another noted restorer and collector. Glenn showed us his fine collection
of truly antique machines. To name a few, an 1897 Leon Boleé 3 wheeler
and a very original looking 1912 Indian twin. In addition, a 1914 Harley
Davidson twin, being brought back from the grave – incredible work! After
that, we started back to Chatsworth, which was again a very enjoyable ride.
As we pulled back into Craig’s place after about 180miles all our old machines
were still running fine. The rescue truck pulled over several times to
assist, but each time minor adjustments got us back up and going smoothly.
A push start here, clean the points there and fix a jammed kick lever over
here – what fun! A sincere thanks goes out to all our friends who welcomed
us and showed us such hospitality. In addition, to Craig Dillman and Mike
Doom for putting on the run and being two of the chapter's greatest strengths,
Thanks again guys, till the next time get those old machines out and enjoy.
That’s what their for, tell a friend ride a toy!
on pictures for full size