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Old 12-07-2006, 05:08 AM   #1
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Ned Marandino, 2nd place MC, Alcan5000

I got jimmy650's permission to post his note from the Alcan5000 list here concerning Ned Marandino.

Originally Posted by jimmy650
I am really sorry to say that Ned has passed away as a result of an
accident on November 25th. He had just gotten clearance to ride and
his pre-Alcan wound was finally healed. He was eagerly looking forward
to a motorcycle ride since he had been off the bike since the
Alcan5000. So He, myself an two others went for a nice day ride
towards Clear Creek south of Hollister. Ned was beaming all the way.

We were all driving conservatively just enjoying the day. For some
reason in a slow twisty section Ned crossed into the wrong lane in a
blind curve and hit a big 4WD truck head-on and was killed instantly.
We are not sure why.. he may have dropped something, or the sun got
in his eyes.

Ned was extremely proud of his Alcan accomplishments. And I want to
thank everyone involved in the Alcan.

For me, I rode about 10,000 miles with Ned during the last 4 years,
and I will miss him for sure. I will post a notice as soon as I find
out when the memorial will be.


While I didn't know Ned very well, I have a great respect for his riding abilities & tenacity. At 70 years old, he rode the entire Alcan5000 w/ a bum leg. He hobbled around, but I didn't hear him complain once. He was smooth on the bike & had a wry smile that was very cool.

I hope that when I'm 70, I will not only be able to ride, but will still have a real passion for it like Ned.

Godspeed Ned.

Equal to all of you of roads and good luck! - krokodil al-kashi

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Old 12-07-2006, 06:24 AM   #2
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My thoughts are with his family.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thinking of Ned...

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

I knew Ned twice in my life. The first time was in the early 70's when he was my boss at Grand Prix Cycles in Santa Clara. I was a student at San Jose' State and worked for Ned between classes. It was a great time for me. Ned help me learn to race motorcycles. Because I was so timid off the gate, Ned called me 'Holeshot'. I later fixed my starting gate issues, but that sarcastic handle stuck and I even came to enjoy it.

We had cool jersey's even:
pantah > Old Gear photo

Ned raced open-class Maico's in those days. I couldn't even kick start those beasts, but Ned loved 'em. I remember when he decided to go road racing. He picked out a green H2 750, mounted some expansion chambers, clipons and number plates, and headed to Sears Point. I heard he was fast for awhile, but they both came back pretty banged up...

Ned fascinated me. He was obviously very smart and knew about many things. He had a great wit and I enjoyed his missives. In fact, he was a Lockheed Engineer on some sort of self imposed sabbatical in order pursue his motorcycles. For all those reasons and more, Ned stood out in sharp contrast to the backdrop that was Grand Prix Cycles.

The second time I knew Ned was recently. In reading about the Alcan 5000, I noticed Ned's name as a 2004 entry. The article told a story about a Ned Marandino that attempted the race, but was foiled by a motor failure. He rode in the sweep truck until he managed to buy a used KLR in order to finish. That had to be the Ned I knew and after an inquiry, sure enough it was him. He sent me an email that started out ..."HOLESHOT"!

Ned and I emailed for 18 months while we waited for the start of the 2006 Alcan5000. We gathered at the Bayview Hotel for day one. I spotted Ned sitting on a planter box with his gear on. I walked up and sat next to him. He did a double take and gave me a big hug.
pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

I followed Ned and Jim for most of the next 4500 miles. It was a great experience for me, and Ned was still into teaching me as he towed me along. Here are some pics of him from the Alcan:

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

pantah > Alcan5000 2006 photo

I am so glad I got the chance to reunite with Ned and ride with him after all these decades. He was a special guy.
Straight ahead and faster -Bo Weaver 1970
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:22 AM   #4
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i didn't know ned well, but had the pleasure of spending some time with him on this years alcan 5000. he was one of the most amazing riders i have ever seen. the man not only completed the alcan after having his leg mashed between bike and truck weeks before... he came second place! i bet the only reason he didn't beat jim was due to sabotage… (jim forced him to drink and party with us young pups into the wee hours a few evenings.)

on day two i somehow managed to get close behind ned on the 150km blackwater trail (he must have stopped for a lunch break.). i was riding as fast as i possibly could. wrestling my ktm through somewhat gnarly shit to try keeping up. that old guys ass never left the seat! he just rode. his 650gs kept a perfect line and was faster than shit! i backed off eventually as there was no hope of catching.

rest in peace ned. you’re an inspration to us. wish i could have learned more from you.

a couple shots i took of the old guy… ned the way i remember him:

- jug of beer in hand and a great smile at the alcan5000 awards dinner
- all geared up on his machine at the arctic circle.

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Old 12-07-2006, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AceRph
I hope that when I'm 70, I will not only be able to ride, but will still have a real passion for it like Ned.
Pretty much sums it up.
RIP, Ned...
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:22 AM   #6
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RIP Ned.

This accident was reported on SBR (South Bay Riders) forum the day it happened.

See the post --> HERE
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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Great write-ups you guys! Thanks.

Re the Alcan5000:

Ned signed up first in 2004. (I followed as a partner)
Ned determined the best enduro computer to do the job.
Ned figured a way to program the computer to handle both TSD's and transits.
Ned collected all the right GPS maps for the event.
Ned set up many TSD's for practice before both the 2004 & 2006 events.
(I set up a few too... it's hard to learn from your own TSD since you know the way)
We did these a lot and it made a big difference in our TSD performance.
Ned provided a huge competitive boost that made all the difference.

Thanks Ned!

Boy! He was really determined to win! We were close enough in the points chart that it came down to the last day. If I had bad luck for a moment he would be the winner. But luck was with me that last day. I almost crashed in the rain going to the last TSD on the slick newly paved main road... got to the start of the TSD with only 30 seconds to spare. Somehow made it through ok in the pouring rain. So did Ned, so I won barely.

My chain and rear sprocket were totally shot.. way worse than Ned's. Not sure I could have made another day. We changed them in Anchorage before the awards in anticipation of the 2400 mile trek back to Seattle. (his foot injury interferred and we decided to truck it back)

I got a flat rear tire only a few hundred miles later due to installation of a wrong size tube in Dawson... that could have easily happened anytime during the last few days of the Alcan. So I figure I was very lucky to finish the Alcan at all.

Ned was so determined that he basically ignored his crushed foot that he got when an SUV crossed over and pinned him against a hill a couple of weeks before the event. He spent 9 days in the hospital in September and a couple of months of therapy recovering from that wound. It was only on the day before the start of the Alcan that he was able to get his boot to fit over the swollen foot.

Ned was very gracious and proud of both of us at the end. I don't think I would have been a contender if it wasn't for Ned. So I owe a lot to him and am honored to have been his friend.

Thanks Ned!

Jim R
Jim R.
Engineer @ Zero Motorcycles
'07 KTM 990 Adv
2006 Alcan5000 Winner
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:07 AM   #8
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Nice storied guys of what sounds like a damn nice guy...may we all find the peace that he now enjoys..
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:09 AM   #9
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I see alot of myself in a guy like him. I hope to be riding at 70.
It seems that while he had a full life there was still a little room left for more.

This is very sad news.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:59 AM   #10
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:23 AM   #11
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Sounds like a fella that had his priorities right, sorry I never had the priviledge Ned.

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:12 AM   #12
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So I log onto ADVrider this a.m. and browse the front page, and the first thing that catches my eye is "Ned Marandino." Huge flashback to the early '70s when I was living in Santa Clara and racing a Yamaha R5 in AFM club races. Ned was the parts guy at the local Yamaha shop. He rode a thundering Norton P11 in the AFM, and with a change of wheels and brakes in AMA dirttrack and scrambles, too.

One time at Vacaville in an open production race Ned passed me on the straight with about 40mph to spare. Suddenly his bike wobbled, almost fell, and then got upright again. A footpeg had fallen off, and Ned had almost fallen off, too. I watched the footpeg bounce and bounce down the track ahead of me, getting closer as it lost speed, and it finally punched a hole clean through my front number plate and smashed the taped-up headlight behind it.

After the race Ned came by to apologize. I said it was hardly his fault, that's just racing, but he still felt bad, and offered to buy me a new plate and headlight. That's the kind of guy he was. I'm sorry I lost track of him. But it sounds like he used all of every day he had.
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:59 AM   #13
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Old 12-11-2006, 06:07 AM   #14
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Godspeed Ned...

It was great chasing you to the NW Territories Boundary up the Canol Road. It was great listening to the bench racing stories around the fire at the camp ground that night. I am honored that I had the opportunity to meet you.

Godspeed Ned...
ADV: It's kind of like that Verizon guy - when the shit gets thick just look over my shoulder at that crowd behind me -- ADVMax

oh, that's really good -- AceRph, Alcan06
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Old 12-11-2006, 01:03 PM   #15
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Ned's Memorial

The memorial gathering will be this Sunday, Dec 17th, in the afternoon at Ned's home in Watsonville.

His sister wants me to let her know about how many of his motorcycling friends will be coming, so if you are interested PM me for details.


Jim Robertson
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Jim R.
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