It was yet another slice of vintage motorcycle heaven at this year’s Lake Cachuma British Bike Rally. Folks of all ages and backgrounds came out to enjoy the three full days of pure fun up at the beautiful Live Oak Campground in Santa Ynez, California, hosted by Eddie and Jodi Mulder!
Rally attendees revel in the quality and variety of British machines at the rally
From the moment you arrive to the beautiful campground on Friday, you learn very quickly to be aware of how much you’re drooling over all the outrageously cool classic bikes, and the incredible food provided by Los Padres Outfitters. Three delicious meals every day ensure that you have nothing to worry about except having a good time with your new friends.
Luscious Santa Maria style BBQ and fixin’s was just one of the meals served
And when you’re done, hop on one of a dozen pre-plotted routes with your riding buddies from a map found over at Ride Central, brought to you by ‘Cozmic’ Joe Filardi. Take off the for the day, or an hour. Stay on your own ride or try out one of two new Triumph of America’s demo bikes on hand for the campers enjoyment. Keep an eye out for markers Cozmic planted on various routes! Find one, bring it back and redeem for a special prize! There’s a ride for everyone, and they’re all fantastic. In a nutshell, the surrounding area is like a theme park, except for motorcycles!
Cozmic Joe mans Ride Central
By about 3pm on Saturday, before any dust has a chance to harm these sweet machines, they’re all put on display for the classic bike show! If you brought something with an engine, you qualify. Come on down! The judges won’t bite. There is a class for everyone. Best of Show award went to John Sides. People’s Choice was won by Scott Dunlavey.
Lots of amazing machines to look at during the bike show
Awards for this year’s bike show are as follows. Nice job, everyone!
1st Place: Jim Wagnon
2nd Place: Bob Smith
3rd Place: Steve Ortiz
1st Place: Craig Gebhauer
2nd Place: Dan Gehrs
3rd Place: Dan Gehrs
1st, 2nd, 3rd: Kevin Sisterson (he brought some killer stuff!)
Best Off Road
1st Place: Dave Miller
2nd Place: Johnny Brown
3rd Place: Jessy Krohn
1st Place: Jeff Molinari
2nd Place: Jeff Jackson
3rd Place: Tony Martin
1st Place: Herb Wolff
2nd Place: Bob Lyons
3rd Place: Dave Miller
Best of Show
John Sides accepts his custom “Best of Show” trophy made by Cozmic Joe from the skilled judges: Bill Getty, Bob Felter and Bob Raber
What’s more? Field events! We don’t just look at these classic machines, we put ‘em through their paces with obstacle courses and the legendary ‘slow race’. Everything from balancing a ping pong ball on a spoon in your mouth while riding through cones to playing a game of cornhole while piloting your bike in a circle without putting your feet down, it’s an absolute blast of a Sunday. First through are the adults. One or two up, you decide. After lunch, the kids run their races on bicycles or motorcycles. Fun had by all!
Fun and games on two wheels. Good times!
You won’t go unnoticed if you do well, too! Later that night, dozens of awards are given out to those that brave the challenge. Awards for this year’s field events are as follows. You guys rock!
Field Events – Adults
6th Place: David Madigan
5th Place: Dominic Froesch
4th Place: Dave Miller
3rd Place: Charlie Caspary
2nd Place: Mike Nadeker
1st Place: Randy Frint (Defending champion!)
Randy Frint defends his title in the Field Meet organized by Steve Ortiz
Field Events – Kids
5th Place: Colton Vidmar
4th Place: Mairen Wagnon
3rd Place: Hugo Goodfield
2nd Place: Darlah Goodfield
1st Place: Mick Breslin
Oliver & Lulu
Mick Breslin takes home first place in the kids Field Meet
But like all goods things, they must come to an end at some point. At least, until next year rolls around. If you missed out this year, be sure to stay in touch and ready to pounce on tickets when they’re announced! Possibly early October 2019. Follow the rally on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/CachumaLakeVintageMotorcycleRally/
A big Thank You goes out to the rally sponsors: Coventry Spares, JRC Engineering, Rabers Parts Mart, Mark and Randy Zimmerman, Rod Lake Racing, Barnett Clutches and Cables, Motion Pro, British Customs, Triumph Motorcycles America, Maxima Racing Oils, Todays Cycle Coverage.com, Banke Performance
The rise of the Cachuma Lake Phoenix
Live Oak Campground, Cachuma Lake, CA
Memorial Day weekend 2015
Making the long trek from just south of Lake Tahoe to the Cachuma Lake Live Oak Campground, this journalist was pleased to finally arrive at the Vintage British Bike Rally at Lake Cachuma north of Santa Barbara. After an eight year hiatus, like a phoenix, so well coined by Cozmic Joe, the metal sculptor, the rally rose once again to be a weekend of greatness. With some one hundred and fifty participants aboard bikes of many ages old and new everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the weekend celebration.
In attendance, to open the event on Saturday morning with Eddie Mulder was long time event organizer Donna Mulrean who read the “In Flander’s Field” poem of deep appreciation for the veterans through the years that gave so much of themselves for all to enjoy the freedom of weekends and life like this in the United States and elsewhere. Kimberly Gould sang The Star Spangled Banner while Eddie Mulder raised the stars and stripes on the flag pole and everyone wore remembrance red poppies that were donated by the Veterans Association to commemorate the men and woman that lost their lives serving in the military inspired by the world war 1 poem read by Donna. The meaning of the red poppy is recognized in the U.S., parts of the former British Empire, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Also joining the day’s events were long time West Coast Dirt Track Series and now Cachuma Lake event sponsors, Mark and Susan Zimmerman, Randy and Lynne Zimmerman, John and Susan Healy of Coventry spares and original founder of the rally in 1989, and Digger Helm, Jason and Matt from British Customs, builders of the Eddie Mulder Pike’s Peak Triumph and Bob Raber of Raber’s Parts Mart. Raber and a group of about ten riders rode in from San Jose aboard their bikes. Ramspur Winery, Terry and Nancy Otton and Motion Pro other long time WCDTS supporters also offered sponsorship for the Lake Cachuma Rally and provided gifts that were handed out during the evening events. The BSA Nor Cal Club was represented at the rally by Don Danmeier.
The campground, dotted with beautiful oaks and usually a mecca of beautiful green grass, was lacking any grass due to the California water shortage. Bill and Marla Getty of JRC Engineering chalked the course and organized games on motorcycles called a field meet. One up or two up, the competition was fierce maneuvering weighted down cans for the slalom course, collecting the straws in the bottles, tossing bean bags into a tire, a spoon race carrying a waffle ball the entire length the course on a spoon without it falling off, and an exciting slow race with a two hundred dollar purse. The rules were only that the rider could not put a foot down on the ground during their challenge to avoid elimination. Points were gathered throughout the competition that would be tallied for the evening award program.
Beautiful motorcycles adorned many camp spots including many that dated back to the very early 1900’s and had been ridden from destinations far north and south to join the rally. Saturday afternoon many enjoyed riding their iron horses on one of the four self-guided rides with maps courtesy of Ride Central coordinator Cozmic Joe Filardi, tours mapped out to see the sights around the area. Saturday evening everyone joined together for a meal of BBQ tri tip, beans, salad, corn on the cob, cupcakes and all the other goodies of a great meal prepared and catered by the Los Padres Outfitters. The Outfitters prepared 3 delicious meals each day for the group. A wonderful award presentation took place following the meal. Eddie Mulder and John Healy of Coventry Spares and publisher of the “Vintage Bike” magazine who traveled with his wife Susan from Massachusetts to join the rally led the presentation. Many gifts donated by Raber’s Parts Mart, Coventry Spares, JRC Engineering, Triumph of No America, Barnett and Motion Pro were given to the rally participants. By Sunday evening most everyone had received a gift that included, parts, autographed event T shirts, other rT Shirts, Cups, water bottles, books and so much more. Winners of the morning field meets for both the adults and the children were recognized individually with medals and some ribbing from Eddie, John and the other participants. Being a family affair, the children ran the same course challenges on their bicycles as the adults did on motorcycles.
After a pancake breakfast Sunday morning the group of 97 bikes headed out on a ride into Solvang, a lovely small Danish town to visit the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum that houses some outstanding two wheeled motorcycles and a world of motorcycle history. Each bike is displayed with a placard of available information relative to that machine and its history. Included were several custom one of a kind, proto types, and first edition motorcycles from the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries. A building full of exceptional equipment built for transportation, competition, dirt tracks, ice racing, road racing and much more; eye candy to those that have a passion for motorcycles and their history.
Back at the campground John Healy was orchestrating the placement of bikes around and under the oak trees for the upcoming afternoon bike show. Judging would be done in several categories that included Competition, Unit Construction, Pre Unit Construction, Custom, Committees Choice, Best in Show and People’s Choice. Again after dinner another award presentation was held to honor the winners of the bike show. The People’s Choice award, chosen by all of the rally participants was awarded to Nathan Matteson for his 1950 Triumph 6T Thunderbird, Best of Show for a 1939 Ariel Square 4 was awarded to Ralph Nevarez. The Best of Show winning bike belonged to Ralph’s father for many years, was handed down to an uncle and many years later handed down to Ralph. Ralph was awarded with a custom made, hand sculpted, one of a kind work of art created by Cozmic Joe. Other class awards were: Unit Construction to Alexia Dunlavey for a 1967 Triumph TR6, Pre Unit Construction to Craig Fontaine for a 1956 BSA, Competition to Greg McBride for a 1949 Vincent Black Shadow, Custom to Bob Ferry for a 1960 BSA Gold Star and the Committee Choice winner was a 1963 Matchless G12 awarded to it’s owner Chris Smith.
Cozmic Joe also created a 3 foot sculpture with the initials JB and “Cubman” formed from motorcycle parts and chain to honor the efforts of Johnny Brown. Brown was a scrambles rider when he was young. As the result of an accident at the age of 18 he was paralyzed from the waist down however, that didn’t slow him down much. He owns 200 plus Triumph Cubs and was the initiator of the 2015 Vintage British Motorcycle Rally, obtaining the permit and gathering the help of Eddie, Jodi and others to make it happen. Brown has never missed a rally at Lake Cachuma.
At the end of the night on Sunday the group was asked if they would like to do it again in 2016. An unanimous “Yes” was echoed from the crowd and the call was made at the start of the day when business resumed on Tuesday to request a reservation for the 2016 Vintage British Bike Rally. As of this writing the request had not yet been answered.