Once a year the BSA owner's club in northern California organizes the Clubman's All British Motorcycle Weekend in San Jose. This is for many reasons one of my personal favorites in vintage motorcycle events.
This year my travel was a little further. I had a six hour drive from LA to San Francisco so I decided to make a weekend of it and planned a short two wheeled adventure while I was up there.
For those you unfamiliar with riding in the bay area, I can tell you that it is perfect for motorcyclists. The beautiful mountain roads are as close as a twenty minute ride across either bridge depending on where you are in San Francisco. My route this trip was to head south to San Jose from SF using as many bay area back roads as I could.
On the 5 Northbound I noticed I was already passing attendees making their way up to the show. Rare cargo, shining under the sun, slowed traffic as it distracted every passing vehicle for miles.
In my head, I played the guessing game, "What's in that trailer?", to keep busy on the long straight freeway. Only hint would be stickers on the back or sides giving clues as to what might be hidden inside.
I arrived in San Francisco Friday afternoon and went straight to pickup my rental. A 2012 R1200GS was waiting for me as I walked in. The guys at Dubbelju were awesome. Set me up and had me on my way in no time.
The selection of rentals was wide but I had to go with the GS. I'm familiar with the BMW from riding it Malaysia and in my personal experience it is the best all-rounder. Good power, sure-footed on the twisties and yet comfortable in the saddle for the long hauls.
Woke up Saturday morning with my good friend Angel at the door, soaked from the rain. I looked at him and said, "That's why we have the GS right?" I suited up and we made our way out of the clouds of fog covering SF. Breakfast at Alice's on Skyline Blvd and we were back on the road headed south to San Jose.
There were some wet spots on the way down but it was such a nostalgic ride for me that I didn't mind it at all. Riding at slower speeds the blurred peripheral turns into beautiful cliff sides and lush redwood groves. I can't remember the last time I did a ride like this. Especially in the rain.
The Clubman's show was well on its way when we arrived. I was happy to see them bring back the Japanese and Italian sections this year.
This was the "Salute to the Vincent" year. Vincent owners from all around the country came to show their treasured machines; from daily riders to race bikes. It was quite a turn out. I have never seen so many Vincents in one place.
The other good thing about the Clubman's show is the swap meet. There's always cool stuff to see and buy. The idea of riding down this year was also deliberate so that I would not be tempted to shop.
Although, pointed out by my friend Paul (The Vintagent), a cool 70's BSA chopper with original paint was sitting in the corner with the owner taking offers. It was very tempting indeed. I am not a big chopper guy but I can't resist original survivors of any kind.
I knew Paul had his eye on it and sure enough, an hour later, I see him loading the psychedelic BSA into his van with a big smile on his face. "I bought my first chopper!"
I am glad it went to a cool guy. I am sure we will see more of that bike soon enough.
So many bikes to see, so little time. Spent a few hours at the all British section and ran to the Japanese and Italian sections to have a quick look. Smaller exhibits but very much worth the stop over.
A Ducati Super Sport "Green Frame" and some imaginative custom Ducati's mixed with some TZ race bikes, just to mention a few. A bike worth a closer study was the one and only ever built by Honda, the 1963 CR72 DOCH prototype. Amazing to see it in person.
Still very much an enthusiast driven event. It's all about the bikes at the Clubman's show. Plain and simple and I love it just for that reason.
In its 26th year I hope the BSAOCNC continues to host this annual event. For some it's just a vintage bike show but to many it is a chance to meet and spend time with people you might only see once a year. With five years under my belt I hope to continue to make it my yearly tradition.
For now, more twisties awaited us. Back on the road northbound.
Amazing weekend! Thanks to Angel for accompanying me on this little adventure up and down and through the fog and also to Paul for the wrist band swap.