A Guest Post by Friend of the Blog, Todd Trumbore
Ten years ago, I got together with my good friend Karl Duffner and kicked around the idea of rounding up a group of fellow vintage riders and setting aside a day for a nice scenic tour of the local countryside and ending with a luncheon or BBQ. Karl liked the idea and so plans were made.
That first year, the event was held in the middle of October and the weather was sunny, but a bit chilly. We could only muster eight riders: Karl Duffner on his ‘54 BMW R68, Bill Zane rode his BMW R60/2, Dave Dilworth on a ‘76 Moto Guzzi T3 , Dave’s son riding a Moto Guzzi Convert, Eric Heilveil on his silver R75/5, Roddy Erwin borrowed my ‘55 BMW R90/2 conversion with a Steib S501 sidecar, Rick Kramer on his ‘66 Triumph Daytona and Laura and I rode on my ‘67 BMW R60/2 with our Aussie, Sidecar Larry, riding in the Steib TR500 attached at the hip. Jack Riepe and Dick Bregstein were our tail gunning SAG crew members providing moral support along with amusing commentary. This became a tradition for Jack & Dick for many years to come.
We had a wonderful four county ride, but Dave Dilworth and his son got sidetracked briefly when Dave blew out a clutch cable on the Moto Guzzi,… not to worry they carried a spare. We ended up having lunch at Mal’s All American Restaurant in Skippack Village, PA where I handed out some Flying Merkel Hats and framed FM photos. Every year thereafter a “Flying Merkel” award was given to the person riding the oldest motorbike.
When planning an outdoor event, it’s always a roll of the dice when it comes to the weather. Several events I planned this year or events I planned to attend were rained out. That was not the case for this year’s Vintage Motorrad Festival. This year was our 10th Annual and the weather could not have more perfect. We all awoke to clear blue skies, bright sunshine and 70 degrees…sometimes lady luck is with you and the Motorrad Gods are smiling from above.
I wanted this ride to be special, so I laid out a course with some of the best roads this area has to offer. Some twisties of course to keep our interest and attention, but many long sweeper after sweepers. This kept the pace moving quickly and also helped to keep everyone together. Over the years the group has increased from eight to twenty-five and that’s about the limit for group riding.
I tried my best to gather a rare collection of old iron for this special occasion. But, even the best planning doesn’t always pan out as intended. Rob Caso’s Mike Hailwood Replica Ducati needed just a little more work to be trustworthy, Albert Bold had his MV Augusta 750 America ready to roll, but a conflict with a championship bicycling competition got in the way of those plans. Stony Read’s rare R50S BMW restoration was not quite ready for prime time, Eric Heilveil was planning on bringing his rare ‘52 Vincent Black Shadow, but a family affair also had him on the sideline and Ron Rohner’s ultra rare Red Cross side hack rig was just too precious to chance on the highway.
Not all was lost, many beautiful vintage machines were in attendance, mostly classic BMW’s. The R75/5, R100S and R90S models are always popular with the vintage riders, but we had a couple unique Hondas, Harleys, a Ducati, Moto Guzzi Lemans and a Triumph Bonneville. Wayne Woodruff brought his really sharp 1956 Matchless G11, Tony Karas recently picked up a very nice R100RS Motorsport, 1 of only 200 made and brought that bike to the event. Lou Stellar rode a real nice R90S Silver Smoke and Rich Nagy rode his stunning Daytona Orange R90S, BUT…Klaus Huenecke stole the show and took all honors hands down, with his ultra rare and incredibly jaw dropping gorgeous Munch Mammoth. One of only 360 or so and this is by far the best of the best in my opinion.
Over the years our luncheon at Mal’s quickly turned into an impromptu BBQ at the Upper Salford Park Pavilion, then later became a catered event with Master Chef Alphons Schubeck at the grill working the coals. What a blessing! “Chef Bob” worked his magic along with his crew ( Dave, Susan, Laura and Anneliese) and timed the Bavarian BBQ so that the meal is ready to go as soon as we return from our ride. Many Thanks !
Wayne Woodruff’s 1956 Matchless G11 won him the “Flying Merkel Award” this year, for the oldest motorbike on the ride even though he missed the very last leg due to an ignition and charging problem…Hey it’s British, need I say more. The good news is, the bike did not leave Wayne stranded and it didn’t take him long to fix the problems.
Wayne wasn’t the only one having some problems that day. John Melchor’s R90S also had either a bad battery or a charging problem, but he too managed to arrive home safely with the aid of duck tape, bailing wire and a spare battery from a hobby shop.
Also…I want to give a really big thank you to those who made donations, someone gave a VERY nice donation (not sure who), but I appreciate that very much. It really helps defray the cost of putting on this event. Can’t wait until next year…see you then!