Sunday, May 17, 2015

Goldstar Ron Memorial Ride.

Ron Halem, better know as Goldstar Ron, was a Goldstar and IOM fanatic.  He poured all his resources into his G/S race bike and racing it, esp. at the IOM Classic TT.  Kenny Cummings, Brian Filo, and I all raced his G/S here in AHRMA races, as well as various riders at the IOM.  Ron died last Nov. after a protracted battle with cancer.  Ron provided a model of how to die by insisting on living until he died.  Here are links to a couple of videos featuring Ron that give an idea of the kind of person he was:
So, the BSA Club of Northern California organized a Memorial ride in conjunction with the AHRMA races at Somona Raceway.  Fri., and bunch of people took a ride to the track to watch the races.

A throughly modernized Goldstar.  This bike was originally built by Mike Bungay.  Below is how it looked, in three evolutions, before Mike sold it.  Mike Bungay photos

Some of the bike that showed up at Sears Point for the Goldstar Ron Memorial

 Sat., we met in Novato and took a 100 or so mile ride through Marin County through Tomales to Bodega Bay and back to Tomales for lunch.  I had arranged to borrow a bike from my old friend Parra O'Siochain.  Parra is an Irishman who has lived in the Bay Area most of his life, worked for Dudley Perkins H-D, was Sandy Kosman's first employee, worked closely with Dick Mann and Mert Lawill, did a lot of work for Team Obsolete, and has been heavily involved with motorcycle flat track, drag racing, road racing and trials.
Parra took me from the track to his home in Forest Knolls and Sat. morning we rode to Novato.  I rode Parra's TR5T Triumph, arguably a Triumph 500 twin in a BSA chassis, and he rode his Honda FT500 Ascot.  Parra had replaced the 21" front rim with a 19" alloy rim on the TR5T and was running it with out a battery.
Parra's TR5T Triumph
Parra started the bike for me and I flipped on the headlight.  I found the bike delightful, being very torquey, steering very well and having good brakes, though I thought it was very stiffly sprung for my weight.
When we got to Novato, we met up with Don Lange, among others.  Don is an old friend of Kenny Cummings, having both been musicians in Seattle years ago.  They reconnected a couple of years ago and Don became intrigued with Kenny's hobby of motorcycle racing and started coming to the races and filming.  He got sucked in and last fall bought a CBR300F Honda.
Me trying out Don's CBR300F.  Don Lange photo
He very sensibly took a riding course and very methodically practiced by riding in an ever increasing radius from his home.  This would be his first group ride and probably his longest ride and he was a little concerned about etiquette and if he'd be able to keep up.
Me talking with Parra before the ride started.  Don Lange photo
The line up in Novato before we left.  Don Lange photo
After smoozing for a while, people started to mount up and head out.  I kicked the Triumph a number of times, but it didn't start.  Parra then kick it a bunch with no results.  Then I did the run and bump and it started.  By this time, Parra, Don, and I were the last away, but that was OK as Parra knew the area and knew where we were going.  We had a great ride through the swooping, flowing roads of rural Marin.  We caught up with the group in Tomales for a late morning break at the Tomales Bakery.
At the Tomales Bakery.  Don Lange photo
 More smoozing ensued.  When it was time to leave, again I kick the Triumph with no results and after a couple of pushes got it started.  Once running, it ran fine.  We stopped for gas in Bodega Bay, site of the famous Hitchcock movie "The Birds", though this wasn't the gas station that went up in flames in the movie.  After I gassed up, again it didn't want to start.  Another rider suggested that I turn off the head light.  He had noticed when I pushed it at Tomales the headlight flickering.  Without a battery, the headlight sucks most of the juice and it won't fire.  Sure enough, I flipped off the headlight and it started on the first kick.
From there, we took a roundabout way back to Tomales for lunch in the William Tell House.  Among the 40ish bikes on the ride, there were 7 or 8 Goldstars, BSA A-10s and A-65s, a B-50 single, at least three Norton Commandos, and an Atlas, Triumph Bonnevilles and Daytonas.
An A-10 BSA,  400 Can-Am, and Royal Enfield Continental GT 535 among others at the William Tell House
Goldstars and a Commando at the William Tell House
A KH Harley with a Gimeca front brake.
A BSA Rocket 3 and A-65, and Kennie Buchanan's 370 Suzuki
Gary Roper rode with his wife Debbie on his beautiful Commando
A BSA B-50 in front of it's predecessor, the Goldstar
A Norton Atlas, a H-D bagger, Brian Filo's FZR Yam, and a A-65
From lunch, things broke up with people returning to there homes.  Don following a few back to Novato and Parra and I peeled off for Forest Knolls along the way.  Don did great and said it may have been the most fun day in his life.  The ride went a long way towards making up for missing the USCRA's Spring Giro in Oneonta, N.Y., which has conflicted with the AHRMA Sears Point races the last three years.

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