New Year’s Ride 2013 by Bill Huth

New Year’s Day 2013 started off a little bit forboding. At 5 AM, it was sprinkling out, but the weather man was saying they would soon pass and it would be a fantastic day. By 8 AM, it was dry and the ever optimistic Yerba Buena riders were headed to Los Gatos for breakfast. About 15 riders, and about 20 total were at the restaurant for breakfast and to socialize. Doug Feinsod had sent out a note to the group suggesting we stop by his place in Watsonville. We took a quick show of hands, and it was unanimous that we would take a detour from our usual trip to San Juan Bautista. The weather gods were really smiling on us, but it turned out to be an unlucky day for Brand B. In the parking lot, Kevin’s Panhead had a flat rear tire. Kevin decided to pump it up and see if he could limp the bike home. So we were 1 bike down before we left the breakfast stop. Curt had volunteered to drive chase truck, and had his bike trailer in tow. Little did he know how busy a day he would have. About an hour into the ride, Dave lost the chain on his ultra accessorized Knucklehead along Uvas Road / Watsonville Road. A “short” time later, Tony’s Panhead had electrical issues and quit. Curt’s trailer quickly had 2 bikes on it. We all met up at the intersection of Watsonville Road and Hwy 152. We were thinking that now we might need to get a master link from Doug to get Dave back on the road and also get some time to check out Tony’s bike. While starting all the bikes at the intersection, Manny went out into the street after kicking over his bike. The kicker arm on his Knuck that had been chromed snapped in half and would need to be replaced. We already had 2 bikes on the trailer. Manny smiled and said, “Hey, the bike started.” The kick that broke his kicker arm off had also started his bike!!! Some good luck came when we really needed it. Manny was hoping to get access to a welder to keep his bike going after its next shut down. No stalls, I told him as we pulled out. When we got to Doug’s, the guys started working on their repairs. Doug looked at the kicker arm and didn’t like the way it had cracked after the chroming. Instead of welding it, he came up with a replacement kicker arm for Manny, who was able to bolt it right on. What luck! We’d avoided trying to get a 3rd bike on the chase truck, and had made a side trip to Doug’s parts mecca, aka Santa Cruz Vintage Cycle. Most of us had our jaws drop when we saw Doug’s collection and parts inventory. He has a fantastic shop, tools, and inventory, and above all, space for everything. He had floor to ceiling racks literally stuffed with parts. All the bikes got back on the road except the Panhead with the electrical problem. It rode the trailer all the way back to Pacifica. Unfortunately, the chase truck pickups, detour, and bike repairs had shot us way past lunchtime. We departed Watsonville about 3 o’clock. One group skipped lunch to make it home for some other commitments, but part of the group decided to catch a late lunch. Thanks to Curt for spending so much time helping the guys out with repairs and to Doug for providing a tour, parts, and hot coffee. I had a great day and really enjoyed seeing Doug’s shop.

Picture Gallery

2013 New Year's Ride Gallery