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!