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If You See Kay: March, 2013

By Kay Cardwell

What do you know! The Hollister Gypsy Tour is back in business. For the uninitiated, “gypsy tour” is a motorcycling term from the 1920s. It is a destination event and riders come from all over (like gypsies) to attend. Nowadays we commonly refer to a “gypsy tour” as a “rally” or “run.” These events are not new, and they are usually organized and sanctioned by a national motorcycle association. The first national motorcycle association was formed in 1903, and the first gypsy tour was held in 1913. The most prominent of these associations today is the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), which was founded in 1924. Throughout the 1930s and continuing to the outbreak of World War II, the Hollister Gypsy Tour was sanctioned by the AMA. The event has included flat-track racing and hill climbing at Bolado Park, vendors and booze. After the United States entered World War II, the Hollister Gypsy Tour was cancelled until 1947, and we all know what happened in 1947. Hollister was a small town with a population of around 4,500, and on July 4, the “Wild Ones” rode in for the rally. But, what did actually happen? There were many contradicting stories in 1947. Some said the bikers tore up downtown, while others, including the local police, said that the bikers did more harm to themselves than they did to the town. Nevertheless, Larry Ketzel, founder of the Salinas Ramblers MC, drove to Salinas and rounded up members of the Sheriff’s motorcycle posse to assist with crowd control. I believe this was the beginning of the animosity between police and bikers in Hollister. The rally was cancelled until 1997 when the city resurrected it to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “the invasion of Hollister.” They even renamed it as the “Hollister Independence Day Rally.” In 1997 and ’98, police presence was prominent. Despite police domination and rising costs the city continued to hold the Independence Day Rally and bikers continued to come. Finally, around the year 2000 the city began oscillating between sponsoring the rally and cancelling the rally. The date was changed from the 4th of July and was no longer known as the Independence Day Rally. Once again, claiming financial stress, the city put an end to the event in 2009. You have to hand it to Corbin, though. Corbin is a local motorcycle accessory manufacturing company and, throughout all of the city’s endless drama, Corbin has thrown an annual party that has attracted thousands of bikers. This year is no different; Corbin is going all out for their 4th annual Rider Appreciation Day. No longer on the 4th of July, the Hollister Rally will be on July 5–6 for 2013. For a schedule of events, check out www.hollisterrally.homestead.com. If you go, be sure to drop by Corbin’s and spend a few bucks!… Happy birthday to all Harley riders who celebrate in March. Happy birthday to Teno “Rowdy” Cardoza and Rick Hunter Rush, both members of USMC MC. Happy birthday to Iron Steed H.O.G. members Lou DuPont, Mary Reynolds, Allen Clements, Joe Owens and my good friend, Terry Hurst. Happy birthday to Norm Kelly in Hubbard, Oregon, and to Dave “Hammer” Rauen in Santa Cruz. Happy birthday to celebrity riders Vince Vaughn and Eric Estrada. Here is a great big shout out for Peter Donovan from the Intermountain H.O.G. in Boise, Idaho. Happy birthday, Peter, and a special happy birthday to Peter’s wife Sheryl, too!… Don’t be confused by the news that Powersports of Joplin, Missouri, has closed. Powersports is not the Harley-Davidson dealership. The Harley shop, Cycle Connection, is owned by Scott and Nancy Hutson, and it is doing just fine. Stop by when you are out that way. It is an extremely nice dealership… What are the odds? Of all the H.O.G. chapter members in the world, they picked someone from Northern California’s Iron Steed in Vacaville. Yes, indeedie! Chuck Matheson’s picture is on the cover of the 2013 Harley Owners Group Adventure Guide. Chuck said it has been fun. He has gotten calls and e-mails from friends all over the country. He said, “I never would have thought that one picture would be noticed by so many.”… A Fairfield motor cop had a day of bad luck/good luck. Officer Jimmie Williams was riding on West Texas Street when a car pulled out of a parking lot and directly into his path. The bad news is that Jimmie’s motorcycle slammed into the left rear side of the car, and the impact sent him flying over the car. All of us know riders who have been killed in a crash like this. Jimmie’s good luck was that, despite some hard knocks, he was able to walk away. Commiserations for your bad luck, Jimmie, but congratulations for your good luck… OK, we are now riding under threat of SB435. This is the “exhaust” law that was sponsored by Senator Fran Pavely from Santa Monica and signed by Arnold as he was leaving office. Beginning January 1, 2013-model-year motorcycles with non-compliant exhaust systems can be ticketed. Not only that, but the law also applies to older bikes with non-compliant exhaust systems purchased on or after January 1. But, you know what? We cannot blame Fran, and we cannot blame Arnold. Well, maybe we can blame Arnold a little since he, too, is a Harley rider. We all know that this law is not aimed at emissions; it is a noise bill. I have warned you for years. The blame lies directly upon the shoulders of all the arrogant buffoons who just had to rap their pipes in residential districts to show how big and bad they are. Thanks to them, we will all be sounding like rice rockets in the very near future. G-r-r-r!


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