A velocette on the BSA Frazier Park Ride.

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A velocette on the BSA Frazier Park Ride.

Post by Thruxton71 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:27 pm

Sunday, May 28, 2017

If you own an old British bike it is extremely helpful to live on or near a hill, which I used this morning to prod my 1952 Velocette MAC to life. It was mad at me, I suppose, for letting it sit, unridden, with a bald rear tire for weeks. New tire fitted, ready to roll out, it was not going to kick to life. Up the starting hill, fully suited up, then a quick bump and we have combustion!
On this day the BSA club sponsored the ride out of Frazier Park, and seven local riders plus one more from Lockwood Canyon road decided to ambush the unsuspecting crowd. The weather was ideal, a touch of chill in the air, soft white clouds drifting above, and absent the blistering heat we sometimes experience.
The creeks are drying up, the hillsides are gold rather than green, and the fields of wildflowers have, for the most part, faded into the past. Spanish Broom lined the road side as we climbed out of Ojai on Highway 33, making it possible to trace the contours of the road hugging the hillsides above us by the bright yellow flowers. My MAC finds it hard to haul me and itself uphill at the posted speed limit, so I enjoy the road at a leisurely pace, allowing me to avoid sudden surprises, such as fresh rock falls from the cliff faces in the middle of corners, a common occurrence on this back country road.
We regroup at the fire station at the base of the pass, then turn up Lockwood Valley road for the run to Fraizer Park. In the best of times this road presents multiple challenges to a motorcycle rider, sharp decreasing radius turns, dry crossings with sand and silt in the middle of 15mph corners, rough and patched pavement, and it was a little worse for wear after a winter of much appreciated storms. In fact, there were still places where water flowed across the road, both appreciated and feared. Then, as we approach the eastern end, long straights tempt the rider to rush forward into the ever present arms of the California Highway Patrol. Our group doesn’t succumb to this temptation, and we reach the Flying J without incident.
One of our riders noted that the participation of old bikes seemed lighter this year, and proposed that the usual riders are ‘aging out’ of the hobby. That may or may not be the case, but I was still impressed with the quality and enthusiasm of the bikes and riders. Burt and Barbara were in place, Burt showing off his recently resurrected A65, and there were a number of other equally impressive BSAs and other Marques. As usual, my thanks go out to the core of the club that keeps organizing and promoting these local rides for people with an interest in seeing these crocks on the road.
As we had just ridden up Lockwood Valley road, and this was the first leg of the planned route, after a hardy breakfast at Big John’s we parted company at Lake of the Woods and headed up to Pine Mountain Club, running the course in reverse.
Cuddy Valley Road climbs up to Mil Potrero Highway, which subsequently drops in a series of well-engineered sweeping corners into Pine Mountain Club, where we gassed up with very reasonably priced fuel, a change from past years.
Then comes the fun part, well, if you are riding a 1952 Velocette, and that is a final gentle climb followed by a series of seductive downhill curves of what is now called Hudson Ranch Road, all the way to 166. Does riding get any better on an old rigid with good tires? I don’t think so.
Following 166 to 33, we head towards home, stopping only for a root beer float at ‘The Place,’ which will be the site of the 2017 Melo Velo Rally October 14th and 15th. If you enjoyed the BSA ride, then mark your calendars and relive the roads in the Fall.

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Re: A velocette on the BSA Frazier Park Ride.

Post by xbacksideslider » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:29 pm

Another fine ride report. You should write for one of those MC mags. :ugeek:

Yes, less and less of the old iron makes it out but then I recall, in the 70s, when Ariels and Scott Flying Squirrels were regularly seen. Life goes on. Now, it's noteworthy to see a Yamaha YA6 or Honda CL77 or a 250 Hustler, a DT250, or a CB350, let alone a Thruxton, Panther, Gold Star, or Diana

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Re: A velocette on the BSA Frazier Park Ride.

Post by jhwalker » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:38 pm

Now that we are in 2018 I need to clear the 'unread' posts. A good post, enjoyable.

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