Hell On Wheels Scramble
Milestone MX Park
Story and Photography by Tom Corleyfirstname.lastname@example.org
RIVERSIDE, CA, JUNE 14, 2015
Rhythmic blues filled the air under a shady pit area. There was a feeling of being back in the ’60s, with vintage motorcycles that went through that classic era. Camaraderie was shown between the owners of these older bikes and those who were willing to help them get race-ready. Now there was that aspect of the racing along with many others, such as those who had pull-start minibike motors all the way to those mounted on modern machines.
Folks, it was time for the annual Hell On Wheels Scramble, held on the vintage side at Milestone MX Park.
Hell On Wheels promoter Jeff “Meatball” Tulinius (left) pitches in to help rider “Lucky” with this Triumph. “Something is going on the other side; let me get into the points,” said Meatball. Look at all of those tools on the ground. Hey, is that O’Reilly motor oil that they’re using?
Just as Meatball pitches in to help the riders, his pretty sister Karen Osborne pitches in to help sell those really cool Hell On Wheels shirts that are so popular. This photographer has an array of those striped beauties.
A “mad dog” and a genuine Englishman, Hayden Roberts gets a view of the track… and take a look at that Rickman rolling in. Hayden is part of the Hell On Wheels crew and would have loved to race at this event, but it was not to be: “I got clipped by a car on the 105,” he reported. More than likely, he will be racing at the upcoming flat-track event.
Making a welcome appearance is the always fabulous and glamorous Jennifer McClain. Although her bike looks like a Triumph, it is really a Kawasaki W650. Jennifer came in from Angeles Crest, California, where the Mods vs. Rockers did their thing on Saturday night.
One of the Freewheelers takes a paper plate and artfully draws a “348” – just like how it all started out: make your own plates and race a bike that is one of a kind.
Who is this guy in green… the Riddler? Nope, it’s Andrew Douglass Hopkins from Bixby Moto. Well, there’s nothing wrong with eating a bagel before a race. Let’s see how he does on the track…
There’s Andrew Hopkins on the left, taking the outside line and trying to slide past that Rickman rider. Check out his “Stars and Stripes” helmet and those teeth! On this day, he was racing a Kawasaki, but he often rides a scooter – or whatever they’re in the mood to build at Bixby Moto.
We told you at the beginning that rhythmic blues were in the air, as provided by Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Band. “Rock me, baby, rock me all night long, roll me, baby, like a wagon wheel” – yeah, that was Dano playing.
Heath Ma’alea Cofran is the happy father of this little guy named Charlie, who sure takes an interest in motorcycles. We first met Charlie at the IMS Long Beach Show, where he seemed partial to Triumphs. Well, today, Heath raced on a new Ducati Scrambler, which was unveiled at that event. (Check out the next picture…)
A pair of Ducati Scramblers really made the scene, as they handled the course quite well and proved that you can go on and off road with this bike. Here, Nathan Verdugo leads Heath Cofran. Jason Klements (911) just raced at Costa Mesa Speedway the night before, but he was here and in the mix today.
This rider claims to be a “Misfit”…who could that be?!
Eric Ekstrand, the 2014 Hell On Wheels Sportsman of the Year, is the one who wears the pants with “Misfits” on them. This is his bike, with the matching helmet. We didn’t get a shot of him out on the track. “My Triumph lost spark and shut off on me while in the air and almost caused me to endo!” he recounted. “I had no spare parts with me, so I helped Meatball with flagging the races. I’m not mad at all. It’s my first nonstart in years, so I can’t complain.”
It’s the British Invasion – 2015 edition! Triumphs and BSA bikes invaded Milestone on this day… oh, yes, they sure did. The next picture will show a bike that is always in the line-up each year, and of course it is a British one…
The saga of Connett Brewer’s 1965 BSA: The seat looks good, as you can see, but last year his buddy was cutting foam and trying to make something that would work for the day. “Last year, I had no seat, because the seat pan caught air on the 60 freeway and flew off,” said Connett. Today’s practice session was a real test for the bike. “One of the hose clamps came off the side, and that’s why it [the fuel] is coming out of here. When I come out of the turns, it goes babababa.” What about that belt on his seat; is it a kidney belt? “It’s a weight-lifting belt – same concept. You use what you’ve got.” That’s being very resourceful… like that board under the bike that works as a stand. Great effort on Connett’s part. Now let’s see how he does on the racetrack…
Connett Brewer’s bike has a good seat, and the fuel system is in check… Oh, no, he’s sliding out going into the finish turn…
Look out, rider from See See Motorcycle Racing! Connett Brewer has taken a spill on his bike. No problem – he will just dust himself off and pick his bike up and get under way again. The 1965 BSA endures yet another racing adventure.
One of the champions in Hell On Wheels gets his gear on and is ready to roll. We’re talking about Greg “Zeke” Landers. “It’s a great hobby; too bad I can’t make some money at it,” Greg said. There isn’t a payback for this day’s racing, but they do have some nice awards, as you will see. Let’s get a close-up of that cool helmet that Greg wears…
The lid that 27G Greg Landers wears has such a good paint job that it’s too pretty to fall on. Landers is all set to hit the track. How will he do?
Greg Landers (27G), with “House of Handlebars” emblazoned on his chest protector, exhibits pro style and leads the competition through this turn. This bike is a Yamaha 360. “I bailed last week in a sweeper and I had to rebuild the whole thing.”
Miss Hell On Wheels Sherri Tran was the official starter, and she made just pulling up to the starting line special.
Some CALVMX regulars came to join in the fun today. Yamaha rider Hal Voznick (left) wasn’t alone, as Jeff “Little Fauss” Snyder (center) has been coming out to most of the Hell On Wheels events, and he left his Hodaka at home to ride his Yamaha. To the right is John Wolsey, who was going out on his number-74 Yamaha.
Aaron Fitzsimmons (86) is always a top competitor. He was returning after recovering from a broken collarbone, and he was ready for action! There’s another Fitzsimmons who likes motorcycles just as much as Aaron does…
…and that happens to be his son Sean Fitzsimmons. Here, Sean is holding up his little motorcycle, which he was racing around the miniature dirt track that he’d made. Looks like he just watered the track. Aaron’s race is about to get under way, so it’s time to focus on the first-turn action…
They are off and running, with some intense first-turn action. Hey, that’s Aaron Fitzsimmons (86) going handlebar to handlebar with the rest!
Jeanette Griggs has it made in the shade, with Monica Gil holding that umbrella. Monica is quite a flat-track racer but said, “I don’t like moto.” Well, this track today was a scrambles, which is a mild form of moto. Rudy Gil, Monica’s dad, was in the line-up, and he took a Yamaha out that had carb problems that were later fixed.
“The world is mine!” declared Bob Tocco. Yes, the man who has 5,000 friends on Facebook was present to roll on his two-smoker Suzuki. Bob could have been rolling down a river but decided to join the Hell On Wheels today.
Bob Tocco wears the helmet that everyone wants but can’t have – because it belongs to Bob.
Posing next to the starting line is Nicole, who is wearing a jersey with a “YJ” – which stands for the Yellowjackets Motorcycle Club. Where’s the rider that she’s supporting?
Let’s see… a yellow-and-black-striped tank and sleeves… Yep, we’ve found Nicole’s Yellowjacket rider.
A really cool pull-start minibike and a Harley Sportster 48. Quite a contrast in size of bikes… but what do they both have in common? They are both racing on this day.
Look at this! The mini-chopper is taking the scramble track with the greatest of ease, and it looks like fun!
Now we have a view of the Sportster 48 as smacks this berm. The front tire on this bike is much wider than on most Sportsters.
A motorcycle, a photographer, and a young boy watching the races.
He’s known for racing a Harley with a hot orange pipe. Jason Klements (911) is also fast on a modern bike, as you can see.
This is how the modern bikes do it in Hell On Wheels racing. That’s Jason Klements sandwiched between the leaders.
One last racing picture shows the crew on vintage bikes getting down on the start. Jason Klements (911) has his wheel off-line, but he soon straightened it out.
Time for the awards presentation. These plaques show a classic racing scene.
Little Sean Fitzsimmons will be proud of his dad, Aaron, for winning this plaque, as awarded by Meatball.
Wearing a big smile and his cowboy hat, Greg Landers didn’t win any money, but he sure won a nice plaque!
Jeff Tulinius awards this plaque to Jason Klements and his son.
Andrew Douglass Hopkins and Brody Cox both accept this plaque, as they are the dynamic duo from Bixby Moto.
Yes, Andrew and Brody both share a cold drink at the end of the day, too!
For more craziness, come experience the annual Hell On Wheels flat-track event that is coming up on August 29 at Perris Raceway!