Sunday, September 30, 2012

Field Trip

Given I was away from home Flathead Rob took me out for surrogate Sunday coffee. We rode Rob's 1938 HD U, 1942 HD WLA and Nate's lovely Burgundy Mist 1955 Panhead from Rob's house to Georgetown. We stopped for breakfast at a place called Jules Maes directly across from the abandoned Rainier Brewery building. Pretty cool spot.

The following are some photos from the backside of the brewery.

We stopped by a machine shop to checkout this marine crankshaft.

Flathead Rob employs his freakish Jedi engineer skills to assess for acceptable tolerances

I've posted photos of Nate's Pan here before but it's rad. It's been in his family for three generations. It's got all the coolest 50's dress up doodads including the perfect period custom color. The coolest part is the bike has been "dressed" this way for 50+ years. When Nate restored it he literally restored it. Every time I look at it I notice new details. I'm not normally a huge fan of "dressers" but this bike is too cool. I love the black painted wheels, they are a super cool touch.

Checkout those futuristic Buco bags

All in all a really fun time. I'd really like to ride a foot clutch bike enough I could do it without thinking about it.

Resources 2.0

Flathead Rob, Nater, Nate's Dad (Dennis) and I dropped by Classic Thunder Cycles to mount the tires on Rob's flawless newly laced Chief wheels. There's always entertaining stuff looming around Fuzzy's shop.

How many Seattle Cossacks does it take to mount a tire?
Hey look. The circus is in town.
When was the last time you saw two VL's in a shop's build queue? There's a 45 behind those two.
The more complete VL's. Pretty cool bike.
Sidecar chassis for VL #1
Thanks for tolerating a bunch of noobs hanging around Fuzzy.


Sometimes you don't recognize how lucky you are to have certain resources trivially available. Every time I visit Flathead Rob I'm reminded how luck he is to some great resources we are lacking in ABQ. I won't even waste your time complaining about how the big chain hardware stores have driven every useful Mom & Pop store out of business in my area.

 He is super lucky to have Bent Bike only a few minutes away as well. Ever wished you could dig through a pile of forks, wheels, carbs, bolts, whatever to just find the right odd piece to do the job? Being able to touch and measure a part is a huge advantage. Then you can actually just buy the damn thing without waiting 3 days to get out bid... It would totally change the way you build a budget custom whatever-you-are-building.

They have an equally good selection of new parts inside too. You never know, that Hodaka petcock might be the perfect substitute for that $200 British petcock only... it won't leak.

The one drawback I saw is parts don't "weather" in Seattle quite as gracefully as they do in the dry Southwest.

Now the resources I might not give enough credit... I have loads of "old motorcycle" friends as resources in NM I'd be in no hurry to trade. Our vintage motorcycle community is unparalleled even if it's small by comparison. I owe all you guys a cup of coffee and likely loads more.

Rockinghorse Poop

Thanks to my buddy "B" at British Ironworks for pointing out the 1939 Triumph T100 Bronze cylinder head on UK eBay. Rockinghorse Poop is may well be less rare...

A '39 T100 it one ultra-exotic I actually hope I could own one day. IMO they are about the most esthetically pleasing motorcycle ever built. Everything is just right.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Vintagent Tetons

Cannonball photo by Michael Lichter. Beautiful. I wonder if Michael made the whole journey sitting backwards on the back of a Panhead again.

The Harder the Conflict, the More Glorious the Triumph

I've seen David Lozeau's work before and always thought it was pretty cool. My wife is a big "Day of the Dead" and I've tried convince her we should buy something. Routine expenses have always gotten in the way. This is a new piece he just posted on JJ. Check out his site. Loads of cool stuff.

1951 Velocette MAC 350

1951 "Silver Bullet" Isle of Man racer.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Albuquerque BMX

My seven year old recently dragged me to to the state-of -the-art Olympic quality Albuquerque Veloport BMX facility here in ABQ. He is starting to have serious aspirations of racing. I'm hesitant to let him. It's clearly a subversive sport that is ruining our youth... What sort of adults do BMX racers grow up to be?!?

Visiting the track made me extremely nostalgic. The first track I raced at (P.A.L. - Police Athletic League) is easily within walking distance of the new facility. Want some insight into just how frickin" old I am? This is what PAL looks like today. Ironically I can almost see it out the back door of my work office.

...and a pic from the tracks glory days. I have some pictures and keepsakes I really have to dig out one day.

While digging for stuff I found this one lone picture of Blue Sky, the track that sat near San Mateo & McCloud. Most people probably remember it as the location of Midnight Rodeo.

The guy who originally posted this shot mentioned how some guys used to jump out of the rather sizable first turn berm in between races. I saw some seriously ballsy stuff pulled outta that berm. The track was adjoined to a skatepark also called Blue Sky, owned and managed by the Muhlenberger family. As I recall some of the first BMX riding ever done in ABQ in skateparks and half pipes happened there, despite of the fact that it was not quite being kosher with there insurance provider... 

OK, I feel old now. That said I did see the 41-55 class run the day my son and I scouted the track. I honestly believe I could take it to those guys. If I have to be at the track with my son anyway...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Albuquerque Motocross Track History

A coworker buddy and I got in a conversation about old ABQ Motocross tracks today. The bulk of the discussion involved two old guys struggling to recall the name of the track out semi-near Petroglyph Park, Volcano Cliffs Motocross Park. I had no idea that track had existed since the 60's. I don't think I was ever there prior to the early 80's.  

 I was a diehard Big Dig (now known as Montesa Park, pretty cool name) guy before that .

The following is some old Big Dig stuff I've posted here before.

Lots of people think the movie industry started in the South end of ABQ with the Mesa Del Sol Studios. They are wrong. The 1977 masterpiece Sidewinder 1 was shot in large part at the Big Dig. 

Anyone know of any earlier MX/Scrambles tracks in MX?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

1915 HD Racer

All British Swap Meet

For the second year in a row I'm super jealous I can't make this.

Norton Racer

Cormit Speedway

Cormit Speedway - Albuquerque 1948.

Ran When Parked

1938 Harley Davidson UL How you could get this close with a bike and not quite get it mystifies me. I love the paint and buck saddle but much of this bike is just proportional odd. Super tall Hollywood bars and risers, super stubby rear fender combined with the 16 wheels and modern tires. I don't know. '38 is one of my favorite years, it's hard to do wrong. Harley guys. What's with the right hand shift?

Ran When Parked

1942 Harley Davidson WLA with cabin sidecar. This might be the perfect bike for some of my friends in the Great Nortwest.