Celebrating Desert Sleds with the West Coast Dirt Track Series

Memorial Day Weekend,  Live Oak Camp, Santa Ynez, CA

Tucked away in the foothills above Santa Barbara, the Cachuma Lake Vintage British Motorcycle Rally was resurrected in 2015 after an eight year absence.  2016 was the second rally promoted by Eddie and Jodi Mulder.  With the help of many and the loyal crowd of people that signed up to attend, the weekend turned into another fun, memorable event! Camping together, relishing the classic motorcycles, sharing memories and just plain having fun.  This year there was a lot more great kids! One rode all the way to the rally on the back of his dad’s bike from Chicago, Il.  He was glad to get to the rally and they won the “Longest Distance Traveled” (by bike) award Saturday night.

Friday night, Rallygoers shared a meal and mingled among friends old and new around the bonfire.  Attendees picked their camp sites, pitched their tents, trailers or parked their RV and prepared for a full weekend of excitement.  With 40 acres of our own private campground, there is no concern about being too close to your neighbor.  Saturday morning began with a fresh buckaroo breakfast prepared the by the rally’s caterer, “Los Padres Outfitters”.  The food they prepare is fit for a king!  After breakfast Kimmie  Gould kicked off the rally’s opening ceremony by singing the National Anthem while Eddie slowly raised the American flag to the top of the pole. This year the focus of the rally was to enjoy the camp and also have plenty of open time to ride.  On the wall hung a huge map, prepared by Cozmic Joe, showing several interesting places to visit while out exploring. Four maps with routes highlighted to different places were set out on the table to guide riders.  Campers took advantage of the Outfitters’ horses that they brought for trail rides. Many vintage bike owners jumped at the opportunity to test-ride one of the two new Triumph demo motorcycles provided by Triumph Motorcycles America,  and still more hung at camp enjoying the company of their friends.

Another delicious meal was served for lunch and again folks were chatting and preparing for the bike show.  Awards are given in several categories with the competing bikes lined up around the trunks of big oak trees in the shade.  There were some magnificent pieces of machinery including many beautiful vintage Desert Sleds.  Perhaps the oldest bike there, a 1927 Triumph sgl  entered by James Kohls, won both the People’s Choice and the Pre – Unit first place medals.   Best of show went to Craig Gebhauer with his 1972 BSA A65. Karl Krohn, longtime Triumph motor builder, took the Desert Sled category with a 1959 Triumph TR6.  Eddie led a special rider’s parade around the campground following the bike show.

Following Saturday nights fabulous Los Padres Outfitters Tri Tip and Chicken BBQ dinner was the presentation of bike show awards, raffle and special recognition of others.  Event sponsors Coventry Spares, Rabers Parts Mart, Digger Helm,  Specialty Fabrications, JRC Engineering, Motion Pro, Ramspur Winery, British Customs, Banke Performance, Barnett Clutches and Cables, Triumph Motorcycles America, Maxima Racing Oils, Cozmic Joe, Johnny Outlaw, GT T-Shirtguys.com and more donated numerous memorable gifts for the raffle and necessary support for the event.  Many thanks were offered to them and to the Los Padres Outfitters for the awesome hospitality.  Show winners and supporters were presented with customized event plaques, and the Best of Show winner Craig Gebhauer was presented with a custom metal sculpture made by Cozmic Joe.  Joe also presented Jodi Mulder with an ornate hook rack made of horseshoes and other metal for her horse tack. Cozmic also customized a rugged steel “Rabers” logo sign framed in a motorcycle chain for Bob Raber, the event Grand Marshall. Everybody went away with something cool from the nights festivities.

Sunday was the day for the Field Meets, hosted by Steve Ortiz, for both those on motorcycles and later in the afternoon for the kids.  The contests are done solo or two up on metal steeds.  They included hoops thrown over cones,  can slalom course, bean bag toss,  tennis ball on the cone, ride the plank, the “Slow” race and more.  Each event was scored separately and putting your foot down was grounds for disqualification.  Points were added together and the top contender was Randy Frint for the second year in a row.  He easily won the “Slow” race and roosted Eddie at the finish.  Following Frint in points was Matt Frey and James Kohls.   In the kids events, Alexia Dunlavey took the top honors but all trophied.  And, racer’s love to watch racing so a laptop was set up to watch the GNC Springfield Mile in the afternoon for those that cared to watch. Following the “Mexican Night Taco Bar” dinner Sunday night, the contest winners were honored with special event medals.

On display during this year’s Desert Sled celebration were two bikes ridden by Eddie Mulder. His original Desert Sled that won the 100 Mile National Championship Hare and Hound and Eddie’s newly restored Triple Crown winning Triumph Bonneville that will go to the Specialty Fabrications Motorcycle Museum in Simi Valley following this weekend’s event.

Monday morning the group shared a final farewell breakfast, wished each other well with safe travels until we meet again next year.  The event date has changed for the 2017 event.  Next year the Cachuma Lake Rally will take place during the weekend of June 2 – 4th.

Eddie, Jodi and all the event sponsors thanked everyone that came to share the weekend and encouraged all to share their event experiences with their friends.  Next year the hope is to have even more families and children join in the fun.