Whatever! – Not the Quail

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By John Burns . Luckily, I’m not terribly upset. I seem to have a pretty low tolerance for standing around looking at rich guys’ motorcycles, though at the Quail I hear there is at least a good ride to break things up. (You have to sign up early and pay like $350 to go on it, but lunch is included!) Getting to Carmel and back is usually better than being there, unless the reason you’re there is to go to Laguna Seca. Or if somebody else is picking up the tab.

Hope springs eternal, but I may have already had my peak Classic Motorcycle Gathering a few years ago at the Ritz just up the coast in Half Moon Bay, where I drew the fantastic assignment to ride up with Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Eraldo Ferracci to write a story for a competing publication. MV Agusta sponsored the event that year, and spared no expense in putting on quite an extravaganza. (I wish I could evolve into the kind of person who doesn’t let the occasional bankruptcy keep me from enjoying the finer things.) The best part was listening to Read and Ago rehash the old days, though it was Read doing most of the hashing. Still a bit testy after all these years.

Ago and Phil at the Sea Lion Breeding thing on the Pacific coast. Phil is either about to make an important point regarding the 1966 Swedish GP or just did.

New old bikes are still being found in barns and being restored I suppose, but I think I’ve already seen one of each, thanks. There is some interesting engineering in old motorcycles, but frankly most of them are pretty rudimentary. Say, look at those funky plaid spark plug wires! I register the nostalgia but mostly I feel …read more

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