Back in the day…

When you could go out riding in the mountains and deserts with your friends, ride a Hare and Hound or an Enduro. Few fences, no Sierra Club and only a few endangered species of plants and tortoises. Times have changed, haven’t they?

The other day while reading through postings on one of the mailing lists I subscribe to I came across a great photo gallery that brought back a lot of special memories. Vintage photo’s of desert racing and enduro’s from the fifties through the seventies. It’s really great stuff. Great racing, trail riding, sand dune riding, friends and family. All the best of riding a motorcycle. Looking at those pictures got me to looking at my own history.

I started my racing career in 1968 in the Mojave Desert with my step dad. At the time he was riding a Triumph 500 twin. Basically a stripped down street bike with semi knobby tires, a skid plate and straight high pipes…commonly known then as a ‘Desert Sled’. Big, heavy, fast and ridden by manly men, ninety pound weaklings need not apply. Now, I wasn’t a ninety pound weakling but, those things were beasts. Fortunately my step dad wanted me to have fun. So instead of torturing a sixteen year old novice on a big heavy bike, something lighter was on the shopping list. I started on a Bultaco 250cc Matador. . That Matador was great fun. With the lights attached, it was street legal and I could ride it anywhere, pull the lights and it was my race bike. Bultaco’s weren’t what you would call the most reliable bikes in the world…I mean hey, it only stranded me in the desert, uh…four times,um, maybe six?? but I loved that bike.

If you love or even like Vintage off road riding you are going to love the slide show. I hope it brings back memories for you too.

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