Friday, July 15, 2011

VELOCETTE OWNER'S CLUB RALLY, COLUMBIA RIVER, DAY 4

Did John intend the Velocette Vogue to match the endless wheat fields of his native Oregon?
Get your Jesus, get your tires, wash your truck
The Columbia river in eastern Oregon emerges from the dry high desert volcanic bluffs
Red, white, blue, white, blue, green, black, yellow
A pause within the endless horizon, before we drop, twisting, into canyons below fields of golden wheat
Not a flatscape, but full of hidden hillside bends and rises
Jessup, OR; an invasion of leaky British metal
One of many incomprehensible signs along the route...
Gathering at the Mountain Identifier; only Mt.Jefferson was visible in entirety - the rest of the Cascades volcanic chain being obscured by clouds in the west.
I discovered this '59 Venom Endurance amongst a pile of Velocettes and parts in the SoCal desert; it had sat nearly 30 years, untouched, and had a bird's nest under the seat, amongst accumulated filth.  I completely dismantled the bike, to the nuts, replaced the gearbox internals, but everything else - big end, main bearings, piston, valves, wheel bearings, etc - was in perfect condition. After reassembly, Jeff rode the machine over 2000 miles in two weeks. He's still riding it, three years later.
The wheat fields are rotated throughout the year, as the climate is mild and the growing season long; some fields are stubbly and brown, some golden and ready for harvest, some still green, with a month of growing yet.
Jim Abbot on his Endurance
Lots of abandoned farm houses and barns, collapsing to earth over decades, as mechanization and massive corporate holdings have replaced family farms, which are left to decay physically and in our cultural memory.
Tres Pablos; Adams, Zell, d'Orléans
Theresa and her sunflower yellow Norton Commando
God has not fled this place, only the communities which celebrated the Spirit are gone
The Mountain Identifier; on a clear day, 7 volcanoes are visible. The People Identifier; Uncle Brian from Wales, Judith and Dai from London, Mirek from Toronto, John from San Fran.
As the shadows grow, the hunt for an elusive problem with the Gold Star continues
Lunch!
The end of the Sturgeon Cycle; the fish changed hands for a modest sum, a rallyist with a stove in his camper cooked the beast, and nearly everyone on the rally was fed with 1-hour-old fresh sturgeon! Unexpected, but a welcome development.
The original transport across this countryside.  Give me a motor!

3 comments:

Darbone said...

Jim Abbott is The Man !

Anton Dee NL said...

Thansk again for a wonderful set op photos from this event, wish I was there.
Did the Vogue do the whole route, together with the faster bikes?

The Vintagent said...

Anton, the Vogue was ridden two of the 5 days; he also rode his Indian Velo. The Vogue isn't really built for some of the mountain passes here; it can make them, but very slowly...