It was an awesome day on the road yesterday! Again...I am writing this from a very warm cafe and will send it when I get to WiFi spot.
We went to where one of his favorite wrecking yards was...it is now just a very clean, graveled over, parcel of acreage. I mean...clean! One of the folks that lives across the road came over and told us the EPA shut the guy down several years ago and then came in and totally cleaned up the acreage and then laid gravel over it all...several acres of it! Perhaps old wrecking yards were not so nice to our environment?
We then rode into Chehalis and looked for his old hillclimber freind, Mike. We pulled into the place he lived with a cool old shop at the end of the driveway...and out comes Mike! He is 70 something and a bit beat up looking but greeted Don like they just saw each other last week instead of 20 years ago.
He had the coffee pot going in the shop and we sat around for a couple of hours and shot the breeze. Don caught up on who was still alive and who had moved on. Mike looked over our bikes carefully and then took us into a portion of his shop that has his race bikes in it.
He was/is a hillclimber and had 3 really neat hillclimber bikes to show us.
First was his original Triumph 6T ridged frame hillclimber that ran on gas.
Second was a late 50's Indian Chief 80+ inch motor in a Scout frame. Chains on the rear tire and wide bars for control. He called this a "Chout". Part Chief/part Scout. This was a somewhat common mixture for the race guys.
Last bike was a 1966 Triumph Bonneville with an extended ridged rear frame and a Routt 800cc kit in the motor. Mike told me he ran this motor on "fuel"...either alcohol or nitro...depending on the race venue and what they would allow in the unlimited class. Very neat looking bike....all business.
Mike still plays around with bikes and told us he still enjoys wrenching on them but does not ride anymore. We left him a gift of a Union Jack flag that Don had made up to give to his old friends.
Don's Velo started 2nd kick...Old Blue refused to be kick started and I had to push start the old Goldie. I stuck him in 2nd gear...backed him up a couple of feet and pushed off.I think he fired off inside of 6ft and off we went. Anybody ever tell you that Gold Stars are a docile/low maintenance/everyday bike...you have my permission to give them a good horse laugh!
The bike shops Don remembered are still there.....just not motorcycle shops anymore. One is a muffler shop and nobody ever remembered it being a bike shop.
Another is now a power equipment repair/sales shop.
We walked into the power equipment shop to look around and the owner comes over to look out the window at our old Britbikes. He told us he did not do motorcycles but that his dad had done it. We introduced ourselves over coffee and while he talked to Don about his dad he told me to go have a look around his parts storage building out back.
It was a pretty big old pole building that was packed full of mowers and parts and shelves full of lawn mower engines and stuff. Way in the back I started seeing motorcycle stuff. I saw quite a few 16inch rims/tires , some ridged frames, some plunger frames and fuel tanks hanging in the rafters. I would say that this was all Indian/Harley stuff and I did not see anything that looked British to me.
When I went back inside Don was holding a NOS AMAL Monobloc
389 carb in his had. Still in the original brown box and all. The young man had an extensive parts department and remembered "some bike parts" he had. The man asked Don if he might be able to use it and Don pointed to me and said he was sure I could and laughed.( I run a Mikuni on Old Blue)....very funny. Don left him a gift of the Union Jack flag and young man gave Don the AMAL
389 and thanked him for the memories they had shared about his dad.
We spent the night at an old hotel near Tokeland Washington on the coast. Very quiet..no TV....we just hung out and talked till late...it was awesome.
I cannot wait to see what today will bring. Don is yelling at me so time to pack up the laptop and hit the road. I will send this as soon as we get to a town with Wifi.
On the road with Don/Velo MSS and Old Blue,