AHRMA/ Preston Petty Products Vintage National Series
CALVMX/ 100% SoCal Regional Vintage Motocross Series
Cahuilla Creek MX Park
Story and Photography by Tom Corleyemail@example.com
ANZA, CA, FEB. 25, 2017
“Years go falling in the fading light…
The years run too short and the days too fast…
The things you lean on, and things that don’t last…
There’s something back there that you left behind…
Hear the echoes and feel yourself starting to turn…
Don’t know why you feel that there’s something to learn…
It’s just a game that you play.”
– from the song “Time Passages” by Al Stewart
For the 120 racers who gathered together to form nine events on this day, this song is rather fitting. CALVMX members mounted bikes from the 1970s, which doesn’t seem all that long ago. However, for others who were AHRMA participants, the steeds that they rode were as old as or older than they were. This included classic bikes such as the Ariel and also a 1954 Velocette ridden by Hayden Roberts, and we know that those were from before his birthdate.
Enjoy the following portfolio about these men and their machines… who just might be bringing the past into the present…
These two BSA bikes were the best of the best here on this day. Len Anderson is the proud owner of both. The one on the left is a 1957 500cc, while the one on the right with smaller jugs is a 1965 250cc. When asked how everything went and whether there were any challenges, Len said that it all went great, despite his old back.
Who is this guy on the BSA who just realized that the track is roped off here? Why, it’s Jeff Tulinius, the promoter of Hell On Wheels racing.
Okay, so Jeff Tulinius did make it to the starting line, and he was all set to race his BSA. Also called “Meatball,” Tulinius reported: “It was a very nice day, with the weather finally clearing and the fellas coming to burn some laps. Of course, the CZ guys were going fast, and there were lots of British four-strokes, including Hayden Roberts’ Velocette Scrambler.”
Getting a good launch off this jump, Jeff Tulinius (03) was on his way to placing third in the AHRMA Premier Lightweight Expert class, in which Jeff Mullins was the champ. Tulinius expressed his appreciation saying, “Thank you CALVMX for putting on a fun show.”
A good formation of riders around this turn finds Yamaha jockey John Hueyes (27) leading the two older bikes of Matt Parsons (3P), on a Rickman Metisse), and Andrew Blackburn (206), on a Montesa Cappra.
Here’s a closer view of two of the cleanest-looking vintage bikes on the track. Almost side by side as they approach this mild jump are Rickman-mounted Matt Parsons (3P), who was the winner of the AHRMA Classic 500cc Expert class, and Montesa Cappra pilot Andrew Blackburn (206), who took second in that contest.
CZ Madness! Oh yes, plenty of these bikes’ riders fancied this vintage-friendly track. Look, we’ve got Mike Korgan (235) and Robert Finnegan (138) going over this fun jump. For the day in the CALVMX Vintage Sportsman 500cc Intermediate class, it was Korgan taking second and Finnegan finishing fifth. Adam Turner was the class winner.
“Rocket Rex” Staten (24) helped make the day special by coming out, and of course he is always happy to meet the other riders. Rex topped the CALVMX Vintage Over 60 Expert class. “I’m just going to go riding, not racing,” he said.
Race five finds Rick Daniels (X21) and Rex Staten (24) taking the first turn with different footwork. “Just trying to ride to get my leg loosened up,” Staten confided. Daniels topped the AHRMA Over 50 Vintage Expert class and Staten won the CALVMX Vintage Over 60 Expert class.
Looks like Randi Schaller (13) has to wick the throttle in order to keep Women’s class rider Donna Blackburn (54F) behind her. “Honestly, I didn’t know that there was another lady rider until we were on the line, and I was so excited!” Randi exclaimed. “She made me work my butt off for the win. She took me in the second-to-last corner in the first moto, so in the final moto, I had to push myself, and it paid off. Such an awesome day of Vintage moto!”
With good riding style and a flamboyant helmet, Jim Buckalew (5T, front) leads a lot of talented riders in this picture of race eight. Buckalew claimed the AHRMA Vintage Over 40 Expert title with a 2-1 tally. Mike LaPaglia (54) took a pair seconds for that position in the Open Age Expert class. Now, there was actually another racer who was leading all when this frame was taken – and who was that, you ask…?
The racer who was leading race eight was none other than “Gregorious Greg” Landers (27G)!
Stylish racer Greg Landers reported both the ups and downs about his race day.
“Overall, the day was good,” he said, “but it didn’t start out that way. I thought I had fixed my clutch issues from last round, but I realized early on that the fibers were in need of being replaced. I also started fiddling with my needle jet and somehow I didn’t get the clip back on all of the way and the needle fell down in the float bowl. It stopped running in the exact same corner as Nick LaPaglia had issues with the round before. I’m beginning to think that corner is cursed!
“It was good in the end, though,” he concluded, “because it made me make some jetting changes that were really good for the altitude, and it ran well the rest of the day. I even pulled a couple of holeshots, which are rare for me.”
Greg Landers (27G) takes one of those holeshots that he spoke about. When bike troubles came his way, he was assisted by two riders. “I’d like to thank Rickert Haag and Dana Yenawine for helping me push my CZ!” he stated.
Nick LaPaglia is experienced, focused, and passionate about his racing. Certainly he will have top billing for winning the upcoming Don Matthews World CZ Championship; after all, he won the inaugural event! On this day, Nick won both the Sportsman 125cc Expert and the Sportsman 250cc Expert classes.
Hot Doggies – it’s time for lunch! Debbi Vrettas serves Donna Blackburn, and behind her there was a long line of hungry riders.
A ground-level perspective of Randy Webber and his CZ. That tank really works on that bike. “My OEM tank looked so pretty that I put this yellow one on,” Randy explained. Let’s see how he does in race nine…
“Woo-hoo, I got you!” shouted out Randy Webber (87B) as he swooped past Jeff Mullins (4X) on this second turn in race nine.
Roosting as they go over the next jump are Jeff Mullins (left) and Randy Webber (right). Webber won the AHRMA Early Sportsman Stock Expert class overall, and Mullins won the Early Sportsman 500cc Expert class.
Randy Webber gets out in the clear, and it was time to do a nice ’70s-style cross-up for the camera.
Intense action in race six, as riders funnel into the second turn. Steve Gesselman (55T) leads this crew, which includes Norm Wright (90N), Rickert Haag (48) and Stan Clayton (139).
Wearing the same style jersey and both riding Yamahas are Richard Rosada (117) and Randy Okada (182).
Here are some riders getting serious at the start of race four. All American Racers’ John Forsythe (5) breaks the rear tire loose in order to take the inside line. To the outside is Nick LaPaglia on his CZ. Everyone else would just have to follow these two. Forsythe took the Sportsman 125cc Intermediate win, and LaPaglia won the Sportsman 125cc Expert class.
We mentioned that there were some nice CZ machines on hand – and here are two more! Robert David (58) and Rickert Haag (48) approach a jump that any vintage bike can handle and any modern machine can still get some good air off. By the looks of Rickert’s front tire compared to the fender, it appears to be already bottomed out…?!
What is this man holding that no doubt fell off of his bike? Why, it’s his exhaust silencer and the tail section of his pipe, which appears to be from a British classic machine. Well, it turns out that more than just this man had trouble with the pipe on this day…
You can just hear Jim Barker saying, “What happened to my confounded pipe?!” Honda rider Vincent Laker told this reporter, “Elsinores are notorious for losing their pipes.” And guess who was next in the saga of the pipe curse…?
In race eight, going over this jump are Maico-mounted Jeff Mullins (4X) and Vincent Laker (192), the latter riding an increasingly noisy Elsinore. Oh, no – sure enough, his pipe is falling off. “I got a good start and thought everyone was cheering me on when Tim McIntyre waved me off the track,” Vincent explained. “I realized I was another victim of the day’s pipe draggers.”
Yes, Vincent Laker was definitely another victim of the day’s pipe draggers. When his mechanic Tim McIntyre inspected the situation, he found out that the pipe-bracket bolt had broken. McIntyre not only turns wrenches, he also races. Let’s see how he did in the next picture…
Race-five action with Tim McIntyre (13) on a CZ and Jimmy Wright (126) on another Elsinore.
Was Jimmy Wright yet another member of the Pipe Draggers Club? Nope; instead, he lost his number-126 sideplate, which this reporter handed him as he rolled off the track.
“The track was great after all the rain,” McIntyre recounted, “and since the modern bikes were set to run on Sunday, it stayed in good shape all day. The second moto of racers [for the Over 50 and Over 60 Vintage Experts] was the most fun I’ve had on this track. I was in a group of four riders that were battling hard for the first three laps – Rex Staten on a CZ, Doug Grant on his AJS, myself on a CZ, and Kelly Shane on an Ariel. We were wheel to wheel until Rex missed the rear brake.”
For the day, McIntyre finished second in the Vintage Over 50 Expert class, behind Mike LaPaglia.
AHRMA rider Chuck Deran (74V) on his Yamaha in race seven, in which he won the Vintage Over 70 Expert class. Behind him is Dennis Pollacia.
There were a few Fasthouse jerseys out in the front of the pack, and in race eight it was CZ-mounted Craig Bouman (262). Those guys on the far right look like they are headed into the bushes.
You saw Donna Blackburn chasing Randi Schaller out on the track, and yes, that was her being served a hot dog for lunch. Now Donna is accepting a medal for winning the AHRMA Women’s Vintage Intermediate class.
Who are these two cool guys with the medals? That’s Adam Turner (left) and Greg Landers (right, with the retro Electro Helmets jacket and holding the cold one).
“It was a great event,” declared Adam Turner, who won the Open Age Intermediate class. “Track conditions were awesome from the rain we’ve been seeing. Good to see a lot of AHRMA guys from out of town, and I think they were surprised by the talent of the CALVMX guys. Any day at the track with your buddies is a great day!”
Greg Landers took the victory in the Open Age Expert contest.
“I’d like to thank Rickert Haag and Dena Yenawine for helping me push my CZ!” Landers said, and he also mentioned that he is looking forward to racing at the next scheduled CALVMX race at Perris Raceway.
Jimmy Wright might have lost his number plate on the track, but that didn’t hurt much because he still won a first-place medal in the Sportsman 125cc Expert class.
You saw Len Anderson in our first picture, standing next to his beautiful BSA bikes. Now it was his turn to get a medal for winning the AHRMA Premier Lightweight Intermediate class.
We’ve got a couple of moto legends right here: That’s AJS ace Doug Grant (left) and Rex Staten (right). One must realize just how many Pro wins these two have earned. On this day, Grant won a medal with a first-place finish in the AHRMA Vintage Over 60 Experts contest. Staten grabbed the medal for his win in the CALVMX Vintage Over 60 Expert race.
Vincent Laker gets support from his dogs after being a victim of the day’s pipe-draggers curse. Axle (top) is the little rat terrier (and lunch thief) and Marv (bottom) is the brute of a lab who easily pulled Vincent’s bike.
This motorcycle tire was placed on the side of the track. What bike did it go on and did it race? Guess we will never know…
[For more from this event, including race coverage, results and more photos, please see “Thompson and Amaro Heat Up Icy Cahuilla Creek VMX” by Steve Caro and Kathryn Caro… Editor]