The original adventure riders (and bikes!)
On Thanksgiving Day, as most of America was watching football, the Weber household was sitting around talking about bikes. We started looking though my dad’s old riding photos. These are so great that I had to share some with all of you…
My dad and some friends were Adventure Riders to the hilt back in the 1950’s. Sunday rides were the thing for these guys, with the occasional jaunt to Mexico City or somewhere thrown in for fun. First let’s introduce the characters. Here's the clan filling up for gas somewhere near Fort Collings, CO. We've got them from left to right:
Jerry Francis, 1950 Harley 74
Mike Sadusky, 1950 Harley 74
Warren Weber (my dad), 1950 Harley 74
Wendell Rea, 1942 Harley 45 CI. Notice the front knobby!
I guess the 1950 Harley 74 was 'all that', Just like the GS is (supposedly) these days. Seems pretty popular anyhow...
Here's the 'usual suspects' again taking a morning break on a nice Sunday ride.
One Sunday ride took 'em to the top of Mount Evans, elevation 14,264. This was back in the day before it was paved all the way to the top. It was, however, paved here if it hadn't been for the snow. I was recently in a similar situation on my Rally Twin coming over Pearl Pass. I thought it was touchy enough, and I didn't have a FOOT CLUTCH!!! Yikes!
Yet another 1952 Sunday ride ventured up Arapahoe Pass - it's near Eldora, Colorado and is now all wilderness. Stupid lousy rotten environmental freaks, but I digress… (sigh)
The clan started out from my Dad's house in Wheat Ridge, which is a stone's throw from Golden, CO. They usually left about 8:00 a.m. If you didn't arrive on time, they'd leave you. Hard knocks. They headed up to Boulder, CO and followed the nice, twisty, scenic Boulder Canyon to Nederland. From there they headed through the town of Eldora and up Arapahoe pass.
Now some things never change. There's always that one person in the group that either insists that they absolutely positively know where to go, or that it "not that bad". In this case, the group ended up venturing down this:
Turned out that this the wrong way (DUH!). The Harley guys actually let the english bike riders be guinea pigs on this part of the ride. Must've been one of those hot-headed british riding know-it-alls that suggested it in the first place...
After some back tracking and de-mudding operations, they finally found the right trail and made it to the top at 11905 feet elevation. Nice day!
I also think these guys could've invented the "No Fear" logo. I have fear when it associates a 750 lb hard tail with a stream crossing on a trail. These guys really deserve some respect for being able to pull this off. Or they deserve to be taken away in straight jackets, I'm not really sure.
Not that they didn't dab once or twice. OK, maybe they dabbed about 100 times, but they still made it across. Now it's time to take a break and dry out.
Here’s a portrait of my dad taken in 1951, just before the start of a nice ride. Notice the cool stylish apparel. Helmet? I don't need no stinking helmet! Of course, this was pre-head injury days....
These guys also had a lot of fun just playin’ around. Imagine getting a couple feet (OR MORE!) of air on a 750 HARD-TAIL Harley! This makes you GS-jumpers look like whimps, with your fancy rear suspension and all. Sheesh!
But the most insane (read: talented) member of the group in the area of piloting a Harley 74(7) through the air was a fellow named Kenny Erie. If Kenny was alive today and about 50 years younger, I’m sure he’d be one of the top names in freestyle!
These guys weren't shy of riding on a bit of snow, either. Here's Mike Sadusky on his 50 Harley. Man, I really envy this guy's legs. I bet he could straddle the 950 Adventure-S with his knees bent. Me, on the other hand, can't physically touch both toes to the ground at the same time. Mike used to drape his legs over the handle bars to stretch on those long road trips (no joking!). Who needs hiway pegs?
You’d think these guys would know when to stop. Apparently not…
Good thing Mike has those long legs...
These were taken up by my Dad's cabin on Mt Thorodin. Wanna park, but you're too lazy to put the side stand down? Just cram it in a snow bank and leave it like my dad did. Mike and Kenny are in the process of “parking”.
These guys were never short of play time. Once again, Mike's extra long legs save the day. Well, almost.
You’re not a real rider unless you can power slide…
And they liked a bit of dirt tracking to boot!
And I have yet to try this one:
So, as it goes on Thanksgiving day you’re supposed to think what you’re thankful for. I’m thankful for my dad being a nutcase in the 1950’s, buying my brother Wayne and I Z-50’s in the 70s, and riding every chance I get with my friends and family!
Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Man, now we know where the Weber boys get their genes. Awsome photos, keep em safe and thanks for posting them.
This is the coolest thing I've ever seen!
Screw the GS & KLR....I'm getting a 47 panhead!
Very Cool!!! :clap
Man, it's so nice that those pics got saved! take good care of them ~ Thanks for posting them!
That is what riding is all about.
Those were some awesome pictures. I agree with the others, keep those pictures safe and sound. It is obvious you are thankful for the past......we all should appreciate those who make us what "we" are.
Incredible! Awesome photos.
Makes me feel like a whiner for complaining about the GS single trackin.
wes what a Amazing History Lesson
Thanks again for remain us the spirit of ADVenture is being there from day one...
and people being dealing with the lack of 12' inches of suspension and 100 Horse power engines just fine for a long long time..
Who knows maybe in a hundred years for now people will be making this same report ussing photos of this ridiculous Big GSs that people use to ride..
well i'm sure if the stuff keep going the way is going,,the dirt only will be available for viewing at museums and in old movies.
Holy SHIT!!!! :bow
Wes said "One Sunday ride took 'em to the top of Mount Evans, elevation 14,264. This was back in the day before it was paved all the way to the top. It was, however, paved here if it hadn't been for the snow. I was recently in a similar situation on my Rally Twin coming over Pearl Pass. I thought it was touchy enough, and I didn't have a FOOT CLUTCH!!! Yikes!"
Yeah I had the same vision when I saw that!! good compilation bro!:clap :clap
Imagine Mt Evans back then looked like Pearl Pass now? Depressing! Progression sucks, I'd rather have a '50 harley and no rules than a 950S and all this crap! They had it in the day, a time to remember for all of us...
I;m so glad people like you two
Belong to this site....:freaky
belive me is great to have you around.
Incredible photos !! Thanks a million !! Never even stopped tot hink that in the old days folks would be doing what we're taking for granted, but with equipment that's not made to do it.
Personally, I think these photos merit a special section on the site, since they were indeed the original adventurers.
hot damn! thanks for the photos! :clap :clap
i'm inspired to find some photos of my brother, father and me riding 23 years ago. and we're still riding together :1drink
thanks fo rthe awesome post
kind of makes the 950 forumn look a bit silly with all that talk about pipes, jetting, tires, GPS, bags, fork oil, kevlar, ----- blah, blah, blah or even those wackos in the extreme games or stunts doing wheelies or flips.
No, I have much more RESPECT for a rider who will take a 700lb + V-Twin through mud & snow to a 14,000' peak beacuse they like to RIDE, not to impress anyone with the size of their wallet & the useless accessories they can buy.
My helmets off to the true adv riders in the pics
I cant believe those photos. I dont think I would attempt some of that terrain on my GS! let alone a Harley.
is all matter of the four Dimension aka the passing of time.
We are the ADVeture riders of today...
let me give you a example in 1994 I race the mammoth kamikaze Downhill race on a hartail Klein at that time ten years ago was nothing uncomun,today ten years later,you will not be competive if you don't have 8"/10" of suspension and awesome disc brakes..my basic point is that people will push the boundries of the current techology as much as they can,i bet you does guys use to "hoop up" their engines,worry about tyres,add better headlights and play with the springs to try to make the bike a little better(they did not have anything to compare,no reference point so the bike was just fine for them)
another example look at the 950 and the GS,,the KTM came about and render the GS obsolete for dirt riding. maybe in a few years from now,the KTM will look as dated as a penton...
one thing is for certain,you will always find people trying to make the stuff a little better and looking for new way to break their bones..
Long life to the ADVentures of all time,past ,present and future
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