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2010 All British Ride, Novato CA.

November 7, 2010

Yesterday was the 21st annual All British Ride, celebrating Don Danmeier’s birthday and almost closing out the riding season here in Northern California.  (next weekend has the Dirtbag Challenge and 4Q Max’s ride).  These late summer (November!) days are great, with sunshine and 65 degrees F.  Two rain drops did hit me during the ride home from lunch, but the sunshine came back as soon as I crested the next hill.  Days like this remind us all why we came to California from cold & rainy climes.


We rode from Novato up to Tomales and Valley Ford, and around Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds territory in Bodega Bay, Occidental, Freestone,etc.  In addition to all the rusty and polished metal, we spotted wild turkeys, wild hippies, red tailed hawks, pelicans, and farm turkeys getting ready for thanksgiving.  Lots of excitement for the 5 year old in the sidecar and the 8 year old riding pillion on my Velocette.  Here in the city we only see the turkeys after the fact, but we have fresh hippies down the block…  The smell of gun powder was in the air as we rode past the Circle S ranch and shooting range, and the ocean breeze smelled nice along Tomales Bay.  You won’t catch those smells in an SUV.  But luckily you’ll miss the fresh manure spreaders along Chileno Valley Road.


click the pic to see the larger version.


Green on green BSA A10 looked very nice after the run.




Velocette Venom and Vincent Rapide.  There were 5 or 6 Velos, plus 5 or 6 Vincents on the ride this year.  No Broughs again this year though.  ;)  Draw your own conclusions.


1940 Packard straight 8.   (he left his Vinnie Rapide at home this time).




Barry Porter and the raffle bike for the 2011 Clubman’s show.  Buy a ticket for $1, and this bike might be yours come March 26th. IMG_5709 IMG_5727

Morgan type with a Guzzi motor. IMG_5730 IMG_5731

This two tone blue Triumph looked great, but the sun was hiding when I tried to get a good photo.


Jeff Scott’s Velocette Venom.


circa 1952?  Norton International.  Plunger rear, all aluminum OHC motor.  An original California bike, it has never had a front number plate on the front fender.  3 owners from new, the first two were farmers in the central valley!  Unrestored, pretty much all original barring the K&N air filter and a few other bits.


Ariel 500cc single in claret red.  Burman GB gearbox, iron head and barrel, note the tool box just in front of the oil tank.


Old Ed Meager’s Greeves.  I-beam front downtube on the frame.

 IMG_5707 IMG_5725




adios amigos

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jim Abbott permalink
    November 7, 2010 8:56 pm

    Pete: I once heard that the more powerful Vincent’s had a problem with the mono shock for the rear in that when under hard throttle they would flex in the middle. Is that true? Of course I once had a 700cc vert. twin ’59 Royal Enfield Indian (death trap) that would also do that.

    Jim A. Tucson, AZ Sorry your riding season is petering out. Ours has just started and will run through to June or July. But then I don’t ride if it’s raining or dark.

    • Pete Young permalink*
      November 7, 2010 9:12 pm

      Hola Jim. I’ve heard that story too, about the ‘hinge’ in the middle of a Vincent. I’m probably not the best guy to answer the question though. I’ve ridden a couple of Black Shadows, but not for any long distance rides. My chief complaint was the seat height and riding position. It seemed too high and too removed from the rear wheel & pavement. But remember that I only ride short, rigid frame bikes which give a very immediate feedback and a sturdy feeling to the rider… Certainly the guys who enjoy Vincents put a lot of miles on them, so the handling can’t be that bad.

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