Once again Team Mork, consisting of Captain Fred, IceBreaker Ron, mate Jeff and myself traveled in style to the site of the annual Velocette Owners Club Rally, at Diamond Lake, Oregon. On the drive, I tried to predict the theme of my 2015 VOCNA Rally. The title of this year’s ride, “Rim to the Rogue,” didn’t work for me. It could be the title of a modern Romance novel, but I have enough hooligans in my life already. So what was going to be the unifying theme for me?
The Northern California landscape we drove through demonstrated drought and it’s dramatic cousin, fire. In comparison Oregon seemed lush and green. Diamond Lake was full of water (unlike the last time we were here). The Oregon Fireweed was blooming and attracting lots of honey bees.
Fire and water. Elemental forces. hmmm…. was that my theme?
As usual the first order of business after arriving and setting up the tent was to see who else had arrived and to learn who was not able to make it to this year’s rally.
Many of the usual suspects were absent. You know who you are. You were missed.
Fortunately there were plenty of old friends to see and new people to meet. Most excitingly Keith and Colleen were back in the United States and riding, after their terrible accident a couple of years ago. Steve too returned after his epic tumble in Idaho. In camp, we got to meet first timers: Jody and Bonnie from Ontario, Canada; and Gary and Debbie Roper from Oregon; as well as Kodiac Bill.
Chairman and active ride organizer, John Ray got right down to business. He combined the Welcome Dinner with the Rider’s Meeting. Aside from the usual reminders to be safe, he went over the Chase Truck protocols. Remember, the clock is ticking. If the chase truck finds you, you have 15 minutes to fix your bike or refuse help. (Chase truck driver Glenn is a great addition to the club.)
John also suggested we remember Sam Jowett by doing two things, eating porridge for breakfast and spending the day riding under 40 miles per hour, and on another day, honor the memory of Ron Thomas by doing two things, consuming two six packs of Coors Light and riding all day over 70 miles per hour. I don’t know of anyone who managed to accomplish both of these.
Meanwhile back at camp we had a couple of visitors who came round to look at the bikes. One of these visitors was Richard Vincent. He not only bought a couple of Velocettes from Lou Branch, but also raced a Velocette! These bikes meant a lot to him! He had the original paperwork from the first Velocette he bought – he was so young his grandmother had to sign for him. Richard visited us again in Gold Beach and showed off his racing numbers and two of his bikes.