The Trailblazers Motorcycle Club Banquet Under The Big Top

After a delay of over a year (due to a pesky virus), the 76th Trailblazers Banquet took place on Saturday August 28th under the big top tent of the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California. The Trailblazers Motorcycle Club is 40 years old and their banquet/Trailblazers Hall of Fame induction attracts motorcycle racing legends (active and retired), motorcycle industry dignitaries (active and retired) and racing fans (always active). The event is overwhelming for me because so many long-time friends attend, it is impossible to say hello to everyone. It would not…

Remembering John “Alabama Flash” Walker’s 1920 Speed Record of 115.79 Miles Per Hour

Wacky Explorer, a fascinating and fun website created by Samuel McCall, posted a story about John Eugene Walker, a motorcycle racer who survived a brutal childhood to become a nationally celebrated motorcycle racer and went on to set a motorcycle land-speed record. You can read the story here. If you enjoy the story on the Alabama Flash, you will love The Speed Kings book by Don Emde. John Eugene Walker, who went by Gene, is number 18, on the far left.

Hopetown Reunion 2021: Racing Out Of Lockdown

The 2021 Hopetown Reunion took place Sunday June 27th under clear skies and hot temperatures at Simi Valley’s beautiful Hummingbird Nest Ranch. The turnout, both in number of spectators and bikes on display, was down from previous years, but that was to be expected. Many people are still getting used to the idea of social gatherings after a year of lockdowns. While their concerns are understandable, they missed out on a great gathering of motorcycles and motorcycle racers. Best in show: I’ll get it out of the way right now.…

The Inherent Problem With Press Junkets

I’ve always believed that “press introductions” or “press junkets” are a horrible idea for both the companies promoting a product and the consumers planning to buy it. Watching the Adventure Rider Baldy Review of the Harley-Davidson 2021 Pan America 1250 reenforced that belief. Harley-Davidson treated a group of carefully-selected moto journalists to a pampered press junket in the California Mojave. The goal was to get them aquatinted with H-D’s Pan America. No, Jimmy Mac On Two Wheels did not make the cut. The Baldy Review (who did make the cut) does…

Godspeed, Master British Bike Restorer, Don Harrell

The first time attending the Mecum Motorcycle Auction in 2018, I froze in my tracks gaping at a group of exquisite BSA and Triumph motorcycles. These restoration projects were amazing and all of them looked better today then they did when they were first sold in the 60’s.  The bikes were the work of Don Harrell, a retired contractor and former dirt track racer living in Visalia, California. He may have been retired, but he was busier than ever restoring British motorcycles to perfection. I looked forward to seeing Don’s…

Cycle World Pulls The Plug (Updated 9-17-20)

UPDATE 9/17/20: Revzilla is reporting that Cycle World has pulled the plug on their quarterly print magazine edition. Octane, a powersports finance company, announced that it has acquired the digital assets of the former Bonnier powersports print magazines: Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Dirt Rider, Motorcycle Cruiser, UTV Driver and ATV Rider. I find it strange that as of this morning, there is no mention on Cycle World’s website about the acquisition and plans to stop the last print publication of the magazines formerly owned by Bonnier Motorcycle Group. While times are…

40-Year-Old Team Suzuki Images Saved

While I was working at Suzuki in 1979, a few motocross team mechanics asked if I would shoot photos of them with their riders’ bikes on the grass in front of the Suzuki pagoda in Santa fe Springs. When the slides came back from the lab, they were pitch black. I had totally screwed up the exposure. I was tempted to throw them away but for some reason, I held on to them. The slides popped up again recently so I sent them to my pal Pat Carrigan. If there…

Your Support On Friday Helps The Vicious Cycles Thanks To Bandcamp

I’ve wanted to write a review of the Vicious Cycles’ 2019 album, “Motorcycho” for a long time. But there’s been a problem. A friend wrote album reviews for Trans-World Skateboarding and I could always tell when she had met the band. The reviews of artists she knew personally were more positive, and I guess, less objective. That’s the problem I had writing up any Vicious Cycles release. Did I like music because I liked the band members or because I liked the music? I don’t believe anyone can write an…