Monday, May 06, 2013


Shay Zak aboard a tasty Velocette Thruxton
It sells out quickly, so the 120 motorcyclists (plus guests) who shelled out for the Quail Ride must consider it worth $290 for a light breakfast, a CHP-guided tour of Central Coast back roads, a few hot laps of Laguna Seca racetrack, a catered lunch, a fantastic banquet dinner (with speakers like Cook Nielson, yours truly, and a preview of the upcoming feature film 'Why We Ride' - more on that later), and two passes to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering the next day, which also includes an excellent free lunch and booze.  With room rates at the newly-reopened Quail Lodge averaging $160/nite, its no wonder at all that the entire hotel was booked, too, as the Quail is ridiculously nice for the money.  But its not all about the dough, is it?
You don't see many riding shots IN the 'Corkscrew'... so thanks to my intrepid passenger Susan!
Last year's Quail Ride dodged the rain, but we trod on cat's feet across the narrow, wet, and tree-shaded lanes of Carmel Valley and beyond.  This year was full sun all day, with the temp peaking at 85 degrees heading down Laureles Grade Road, after creating our own heat around Laguna Seca.  In a nutshell, it was perfect, with a little bizarre thrown in for entertainment - I'll let you spot the strange, and let the photos do the talking.
A show winner at last year's Qual; the Magni-chassis BSA triple sounded fantastic while hammering around the track
Actually, this is a Chopper.  But not that kind; the rear section can be attached to the rider's 'cage' with the engine vertical, and yes, that's a rotor in back of the rider.  He's promised next year he'll 'Ride to the Quail, and fly home'.  Brave.
Sweet Commando under the oak trees
This year's iteration of the Crocetti Special Triumph
Deb ditched the Dream for this new RE
Hot Dunstall Norton with distinctive alloy 810cc cylinder barrels (years before the factory made an 850cc) and early disc brakes; all Dunstall equipment - rare!
Some were happy to pay $11/gal for 110octane race gas!
Ride organizer Gordon McCall blew past me at 90mph on his local-roads playground
Nice to see the show bikes, especially the Customs, come out to play.  This is a well-done Panhead
Other kinds of horsepower
'Fass Mikey' Vils with Irma and his Cannonball Harley JD inside Talbott Winery
Journalist John Stein and his nifty ex-Catalina GP Yamaha
Ken Arman on his Commando, just about to drop into the Corkscrew, a blind-left-right-downhill combination: fun!
Immaculate Suzuki 'Kettle' GT750 watercooled two-stroke triple 
Our host Rob Talbott at his winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands, with his high-mileage touring BMW GS.  He'd just returned from an 11,000 mile round-America tour
Preparing to re-enter the gorgeous Salinas River Valley
Sometimes 'The Man'...isn't!
My humble ride, two-up; the 'Project Desert Rat' Triumph TR5T, proudly covered in Mojave Desert dirt 

Turn 2 at Laguna Seca
In the 1970s, Craig Vetter built the 'Mystery Ship'; he should have waited.  This is his high-gas-mileage special, now clad in aluminum
Two Zero electric sports bikes joined the ride; silent and swift... least, they passed me going up the big hill to the Corkscrew!
Chasing the silver fish


Anonymous said...

What a great ride that was!! Susan has nerves of steel riding two-up with you! Already looking forward to next year...the Dream will return!

Speir said...

Im sure I spotted you in this Pantah ad. Pic # 3

Charles Statman said...

chopper! where is the chopper! :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Pal thanks for the shot, thanks for making it a great time as well. More thanks for talking with my Pal Leo Sowers, with the Honda, on stage Saturday we all got a real kick out of it and it really made Leo's day. Your are my Hero!

- Ken

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,

Great event this past weekend. You did a magnificent job on all fronts. And you were on ALL fronts. Thanks for pulling me aside and showing me the shot of me and the Velocette in motion. Lovely pic. Please tell me how to get my hands on one.



Gordon McCall said...

Hi Paul,

Great coverage of the ride, as always. Great work on the stage and field, as always. Great talk at the dinner, as always. Great friend, as always. Many thanks for all you do! Always, Gordon.