Lake Cachuma Vintage British Motorcycle Rally 2019

Group photo at Lake Cachuma

September 20-23, 2019, Live Oak Campground, Santa Ynez, CA

Getting out of the Rat Race with your favorite British Iron? Hiding out high in the hills above the sparkling Pacific Ocean north of Santa Barbara is where to go. A private place for communing with great minds in the industry, swooning over rare machines, exploring back roads and historic destinations, friendly competition and relishing tradition, all while being spoiled with food and fun is what the Lake Cachuma Rally accomplishes. Our hosts, Eddie and Jodi Mulder and their team were, once again, committed to bringing a fabulous group of motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages together for the 5th Annual Eddie Mulder West Coast Dirt Track Series’ Lake Cachuma Vintage British Motorcycle Rally.

Eddie and Jodi Mulder

Friday afternoon, at Live Oak Campground in the Cachuma Lake Recreation area, we came upon a large, lively group of attendees. Folks in tents, motor homes, travel trailers and backs of trucks were buzzing among the 40 acres of huge oak trees setting up camps, and parked around each campsite were British motorcycles! Lots of them!! There were modern and vintage ones, some restored and shiny, some rusty and old. Triumphs, Nortons, BSAs and Ariels. It was a welcoming site! Looking around, you see headquartered in a corner of the pavilion, Cozmic Joe’s giant display of mapped out routes called Ride Central. Explore every route, by yourself or take a group, keeping lookout for specially hidden flags to capture and trade in for one of Cozmic’s custom made, random, prizes! Cozmic also proudly displays his collection of every Lake Cachuma British Rally T-Shirt, going back to the very first Rally hosted by John and Donna Mulrean in 1989. Geoff Patrick takes over the stage area draping a curtain for screening old motorcycle films and live dirt track racing for evening’s entertainment. The counters lining the front are bulging with Sponsor donations to be chosen by lucky winners at the giveaway Saturday night. Full kitchen and BBQ area and Jodi’s registration table, which is our first stop to check in and get the lowdown on the weekend. It is a fun place to be and look forward to enjoying the weekend.

After settling in and congregating under the pavilion, we shared the first of many satisfying meals by the crew of Wild and Twisted Catering. After dinner, we got all caught up with the bench racing, eventually moving the party to the hay bales around the campfire or wherever. The weather was perfect for unwinding, reconnecting and appreciating these last few days of summer.

Saturday morning brought a little chill to the air as we gathered for breakfast. For the official start of the rally, the sun shone brightly as Eddie slowly raised the American flag while Kimmie Gould sang the National Anthem. Triumph of America provided us a new 1200 Scrambler demo bike to try so soon it and the adventurous riders of the group were seen heading out for a ride.

By the end of the weekend the bike had been enjoyed and ridden over 2200 miles by many different folks. Those that stayed behind were getting their bikes ready for the Classic Motorcycle Show and Competition that would take place after lunch. Around the campground beautiful machines were being wheeled under the roof of the pavilion that would serve as the viewing area for the show. Among the 53 machines on display was an old red and black Steib side hack originally from Germany. The story about the side hack being at the rally began at another show where Cozmic Joe met its current owner, Dan Joseph and invited him to bring it to Lake Cachuma some months ago. Cozmic never heard from Dan again until he showed up at Live Oak Campground! Karl Krohn, the well-known British engine builder/tuner recognized the side hack. Karl had been the monkey racing it with Tony Massala as his pilot all over California! He learned how to ride it in his first race, the Thousand Oaks Grand Prix. The side hack was built in the 50’s by Jerry Pierson and was raced from the 50’s into the 70’s. It was on a 58 or 59 Triumph and then in 1967 on a Triumph 650 TR6C which is how it stands today. It was recently raced in a vintage scrambles at Glen Helen by Dan. The side hack was also in a movie called The SideHackers that is available on U-Tube today. Seeing the red side hack again was the highlight of the weekend for Karl.

The bike show was as fabulous as always filled with some beautifully restored British Motorcycles. Scott and Alexia Dunlavey won both the Triumph class and the Best of Show award with their 1970 TR6R. Geoff Patrick was the winner of the People’s Choice with a beautifully restored Triumph T100. The winning BSA was a BSA Spitfire owned by Dan Gehrs. The Off-road award went to John Sides with a polished Rickman that includes a great father and son story that John tells. Karl Krohn took the desert class showing a 58 Triumph TR6. All were presented with plaques at the celebratory award presentation Saturday night. This ceremony was special in many ways including Jodi being crowned “The Queen of Cachuma” and Grand Marshall, Steve Ortiz, receiving a special custom jacket by Sandra Esposito and brilliant piece of metal art created by Cozmic. Everyone involved were acknowledged for their contributions and support, especially Johnny Brown who is responsible for getting the Mulders to bring the Rally back. The usual “give away” of goodies from sponsors Coventry Spares, JRC Engineering, Triumph of America, Motion Pro, Barnett Clutches and Cables, and Classic British Spares is overwhelming! Other supporters include Specialty Fabrications, Inc., Rod Lake, Maxima Racing Oils, Rabers Parts Mart, the British Iron Association San Diego and Perros Viejos Motorcycle Club.

Sunday morning, Steve O. and his crew were out early, enthusiastically laying out the course for the Field Meet. Traditionally, the field meet is very competitive. It is games of skill riding a motorcycle and whoever has a score with the most points, wins. Toss rings over cones, clip five clothespins on a line, balance a tennis ball on a cone – five times, toss bean bags while circling – into a tire, slalom through cans and the best of all; the slow race! All without putting a foot down. Philip Smith on a Triumph TR6 acquiesced his overall victory cuz he was just in it for fun, making Dominique and Colie Froesch “Team JRC” the winners, John Sides took second place and Dave Miller was third on a Montessa. Monday morning it was time to pack up and head back. Breakfast bids farewell and appreciation to another fulfilling rally. Many good memories made plus Jodi got her first trip out to Knapps Castle and everyone got to watch the AFT Minnesota Mile live Saturday afternoon. All in all the weekend was a wonderful adventure with several new people in attendance and only a few regulars missing.

Notes of significance: Rally originator, John Healy and his wife Susan of Coventry Spares in Massachusets were able to attend, longtime friend, Bob Bellino was there too,  as was a huge supporter of the West Coast Dirt Track Series and the Lake Cachuma Rally, Specialty Fabrications Randy Zimmerman and family. Look for the 2020 Lake Cachuma Rally to be held tentatively May 29,30,31 June 1, 2020 on our Facebook page, Lake Cachuma Vintage British Motorcycle Rally, or on the Eddie Mulder West Coast Dirt track series website.

Bike show results

Triumph

1. Alexia Dunlavey (1970 TR6R)
2. Mack Walters (1968 T120)
3. James Kohls (1927 Triumph)

BSA

1. Don Gehrs (BSA Spitfire)
2. Craig Behauer (1972 BSA Custom)
3. Steve Ortiz (B50 Custom)

Other

1. Malcolm Ede (1964 RE)
2. Larry Morins (Matchless)
3. Craig Fontaine (Norton M18)

Off Road

1. John Sides (Rickman)
2. Marc Lyons (Triumph TR6)
3. Mark Wallace (1966 Tracker)

Street

1. Karl Krohn (1958 Triumph TR6) Desert
2. Bob Smith (1962 TR6)
3. Bill Redman (1967 Triumph Cub)

Comp

1. Scott Dunlavey (Cheney)
2. Geoff Patrick (1953 T100)
3. Johnny Brown (60 Triumph)

Best of Show

  • Scott Dunlavey (Cheney)

People’s Choice

  • Geoff Patrick (TRI T100)

Field Meet

1. Dominique and Nicole Froesch
2. John Sides
3. Dave Miller
4. Charlie Caspary
5. Mikyle Ede
6. Marc Lyons

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.