Baptism to Motorcycles

Stories From the Road: Baptism to Motorcycles

Stories From the Road

The year 1970 was significant for me. I was 12 years old and, having acquired a used Honda Trail 70, I was a few months into my budding passion for motorcycles. I was content to just docilely tool around the streets and vacant lots of Pacific Palisades, CA. That was until the day my uncle called my dad and asked if “the boys” (my two brothers and me) would be interested in attending a motorcycle race that weekend.

Come Sunday, we arrived at my uncle’s house before dawn. My uncle was Swedish and had a friend staying with him from the old country. We piled into their Chevrolet station wagon and, an hour later, arrived at the gates of Saddleback Park. It was then we learned my uncle’s friend was the president of Husqvarna. The event was the Inter-Am (precursor to the Trans-Am), a series created to introduce the European sport of motocross to America.

In the early morning calm with the thick fog reluctantly lifting from the track, before any engines were turned over, I walked up the long Saddleback start hill. Straddling the snow fence, I marveled at the perfectly groomed track and the freshly strung banners. There was a palpable anticipation in the air.