Man, things have slowed down a bit as of late here in Central IL. With holidays around the corner, cold grey skies and darkness by 5 pm, it really has drained the motivational sap from our collective pool. I've been tearing a bunch unnecessary junk off of the Matic I picked up a few months back. The carbs, air box and entire wiring harness have been removed along with the stock hand controls. Gonna slap an old set of round top CB750 carbs on 'er with a breadbox and wire using the simplest wiring diagram I've got. I just received the gas tank today via USPS, so that has rejuvenated my interest. Need to drain the oil and add fresh, wire 'er up and see if I can get fire. The Gent's Cb750 'kong' build has been on hold for a few weeks due to cash, parts and now the fact that he's in OH for Thanksgiving. But I've gotta list of shit I need to do to my two runners, then there's my cafe project and my 70's influenced hardtail. Now if I can just find the time to spend in the shop, it'll help me shake these winter blues!
Well the SCR2 finally rolled around and I’m not sure how but this years’ was bigger and better than the last for sure. I think part of what made it better was the fact that I got to ride out with some very good friends this year. My friends Pete (Gratefuldog from Hondachopper.com) and Jack made the 150 mile ride out from San Diego with me. Pete rides his badass CB650 chop through the battleground that is LA traffic daily and Jack rides her sportster everywhere, including a recent trip from SoCal to Canada and back…solo! My fiancée Adria also followed along in the truck with our gear and spare gas making for a ‘no worries’ kind of ride. We left out from my house at 9 a.m. on Saturday to meet up with a larger group of riders in Ramona, about 35 miles north on the 15 free way. This was our only stretch of major interstate on this ride.
After the short meet up and gas stop in Ramona we were off. A group of maybe 50 or 60 bikes ranging from new crotch rockets to old Ironheads and everything in between headed out to ride some twisty back roads through the mountains and down into the desert with the goal of free beer and punk rock at the end of the ride.
We made our way with little incident, the group making stops every so often to top off with fuel. At one point the main group pulled off due to some front end issues with one of the bikes, at this point Pete noticed a missing exhaust stud so Pete, Jack and I left the group and continued on down the road in hopes of locating a parts store and a bolt the hold Pete’s pipes on with. After a few stops, and no luck Pete said the pipe was fine with the one stud, since he runs a 4-into-1, it should hold up ok since the other pipes were tight so we hit the road again. We rolled into Slab City around 1p.m., and for anyone who’s never been, it is quite the sight. Slab City is basically a squatter’s camp on the grounds of a WWII Marine base. There’s nothing left of the base except the slabs of concrete where buildings once stood, hence the name “Slab City”. I suggest you look it up sometime. It’s pretty trippy.
The first order of business was to set camp, which can be tricky as there are no campsites or rules in the slabs. Our first choice turned out to be no good as it was too close to a locals’ trailer and fenced in barking dogs, so we moved on down a ways. After a suitable camp was formed it was time to get some of that free PBR we were promised by the organizers, Biltwell Inc. The walk from our camp to the center stage area and the Biltwell tent was short but interesting. There were kick ass chops as far as the eye could see. There was even a campsite where the crew had brought a pallet of sod with them and laid it out so they didn’t have to camp in the dirt, haha.
Jack & Randy
Randy & Jack
As it got darker, bon fires were lit and the party was in full swing. The bands started up on the stage, which is flanked by 2 old buses used for equipment storage and green room. The seating around the stage is made up of salvaged seats from old cars, airplanes and theatres with fire barrels scattered here and there. As the sun sets in the slabs the sheriff heads into town, I’m not sure if they are a nightly presence to keep an eye on the locals or if they are there just for us but they suck! They spend the night writing tickets for guys riding without helmets from one campsite to another, not on roads but in the dirt. That’s the only downside to this event, the cops, but isn’t that the same for any motorcycle event anymore? They don’t ruin the party though as there are only around 6 Sheriff’s units there and hundreds us for them to keep eyes on. Throughout the night the bands play, old cars and boats were set on fire, the fire department comes and puts them out and a bit later someone lights them up again.
In the morning it’s time to leave. Everyone packs up and hits the road home. We stuck around a while to check out the skate park. It’s the old base pool that has a few ramps and rails added over time by visiting skaters. Jack skated a bit and then we had one more place to see before leaving slab city, Salvation Mountain. Salvation Mountain is a monument to god built over the last 20 something years by one of the slab city locals. Its 3 stories tall and covered in hand painted bible verses. Google it. After that we were off on our quick two hour high speed run home down the 8 freeway with nothing but the gas stops, dictated by my 2 gallon gas tank to slow us down. Another Slab City Riot over and now I’m counting down the days till the next one, which is rumored to be a two night event!
Honda CB750 powered, Ness frame chop built by Dave Perewitz long before the "Biker Build Off" shows and the like. Check it out! (Click each pic, then click it again when it opens in a new window, for full size readable pics)