Thursday, August 30, 2007


The 2007 Velocette Owner's Club of North America held its annual Summer Rally in the hamlet of Hot Springs, Montana. It was indeed hot there, as the whole area has been experiencing a drought, and many wildfires burned out of control in parts of the state, diminishing visibility of the Rockies. About 65 bikes participated, half a dozen being ridden from SoCal (1500 miles), with a couple ridden from NorCal (1000 miles). That's committment on a 40-plus year old motorcycle.

Our rally hub was Symes Hot Springs, a funky 1930-era hotel with many cabins nearby, and a big lawn for all of our campers.
Top pic shows Monday's lunch stop at Rosie's Cafe in the small town of Superior. The cafe was in a converted schoolhouse, and I think we overwhelmed them! Still, a nice lineup outside for those who cared, and a shady spot for us to park. Second pic outside Rosie's shows my Clubman next to Keith Hoglund's immaculate Thruxton, replendent with blue fairing. My ride ended 10 miles later when my front brake locked up in a corner... mechanical failure causing me to exit the bike rapidly and meet the asphalt up close and personal. Next pic shows me after a short visit to Mineral Community Hospital for x-rays etc - nothing broken, just knocked and scraped. Smile courtesy of a nice shot of painkiller.
Next pics are of the rally grounds, where as always there is work to be done. White MSS belongs to Larry Luce, and as you might guess, it had been ridden from LA. Perhaps he's checking his front brake....actually he's installing a new tire, which Mick Felder brought with him from LA. When you ride thousands of miles, you need fresh tires!
Next pic shows a little fuel tank repair; any repair draws a crowd of mostly distracting but good-natured kibbitzers, and this simple operation was no exception. Note hand entering from right, attached to kibbitzer telling a tale of fuel tank woe no doubt.
The scenery in Montana is big - the landscape has a curious quality, as the scale of space

between major features creates and outsize impression. The mountains, although not necessarily tall, feel wonderfully craggy.
Next pic shows outgoing president Matt Young conducting the Rider's Meeting on Monday morning.

Last pair of pix show Jeff Scott's Endurance; I found this bike on the edge of the desert in SoCal - see second pic. I completely stripped the machine, cleaned it, replaced what was worn out, and put it back together. Jeff rode it from San Francisco to the rally and back, a total of 4500 miles. Mechanically the bike proved sound, although it burned through three magnetos!