THE HOUSE ON CANAL ROAD & ISDT, 1964 | LEGENDARY TALES AS TOLD BY DAVE EKINS

DAVE EKINS

Dave Ekins, 1954 class win at Catalina Grand National Race, on a 250cc NSU Renn Sport Max. Photo courtesy of Bud and Dave Ekins Collection. “Blister goop, castor oil, and blood were soaked into what had been a new pair of gloves. I never rode that motorcycle again. They sent it back to Neckersolm, Germany.” 

The anniversary of Steve McQueen’s passing is on my mind, as well as the Ekins brothers and the incredible motorcycling history that they forged separately and together. May their tales and achievements be retold and marveled-over by many generations to come. It’s that rich. Stories like this one (via budanddaveekins.com) from the lips of Dave Ekins himself, unpacking in firsthand detail what it was like to be on the first American ISDT racing team with Steve McQueen, Cliff Coleman, John Steen, and his brother Bud Ekins as they traveled, prepped, and raced together are utterly priceless.

“When the Erfurt trials was over and the British had finished second to the all conquering East Germans because some ‘Yanks’ had outdone the Limeys in a few of the special tests, an English journalist aired his views of the U.S. Vase team: ‘Those Yanks just came to have fun and were not a bit serious about winning. They were a bloody nuisance to our boys.’ But from Sid Chilton, public relations manager of Triumph of Coventry, came the reply: ‘I think the Yanks had the right idea. After all, nobody paid them to ride the International so why not make a holiday out of it? Even so, two of them won Gold Medals and one a Silver. The only objection I have is that they are all so bloody handsome!’ –Dave Ekins

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NEALE BAYLY RIDES | CHECK IT OUT ON SPEED NETWORK JUNE 9TH, 9PM EST

I had the pleasure of finally meeting Neale Bayly a couple weeks ago in Brooklyn through mutual friends and got to hear firsthand about his very cool new show Neale Bayly Rides (that he’s been busting his ass on for quite some time…), and now all Neale’s blood, sweat, and tears is about to finally payoff when the show debuts on Fox Sports’ Speed Network on June 9th, 9PM EST.

This isn’t just a show about tearing across the planet on a BMW– which would be cool enough for me to watch all day long. Neale has a real humanitarian heart, and the causes he believes in are truly the end game for him. The tagline for the show sums it up well– Adventure. Travel. Adrenaline, Storytelling. All on motorcycles. (BMW’s, at that.) 

“Neale Bayly, renowned motorcycle journalist and philanthropic adventure rider, takes three average riders on the trip of a lifetime to Peru. They face unbelievable challenges through the deserts and mountains…but find it’s all worth it when their journey leads them to an orphanage…”

neale bayly rides peru speed show

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THE ONE MOTORCYCLE SHOW NOT TO MISS THIS YEAR | ARE WE GOING?

onemotoshow poster tsy

This is the one bike show NOT to miss, so get ready to head to Portland and have a blast. Featuring bikes by Chabbott Engineering, See See Motorcycles, Deus Ex Machina, Roland Sands, G&H Cycles, 4Q Conditioning, and more… James Hammarhead had mentioned he’d be there too, hope that’s true! Also, there will hand-painted Bell helmets by over 21 artists, food, drink, merch, music, and more.

instagram tsy Follow the fun on instagram – @THE1MOTO & @THESELVEDGEYARD

Find out more about the show here…

LONG LIVE THE KINGS | AN ORIGINAL FILM FEATURING BLITZ MOTORCYCLES

Yep. I’m late to the game on this one – but this film is so beautiful and positive that I have to get it out to any of you who may not have had the pleasure of seeing it yet.

“Long Live The Kings” is an original short documentary by Frenchmen Clement Beauvais and Arthur de Kersauson featuring a bevy of beautiful old Beemers courtesy of Blitz Motorcycles. It’s shot on super 16mm film, and is about “relating the hopes and desires of those who go for a motorcycle road trip.” It’s a feel-good flick that’s very well-edited and super-easy on the eyes with breath-taking scenery and badass bikes. Edwin Denim supported the making of this film, and good for them for not jamming product down our throat, and allowing the film to remain pure. Enjoy.

 

LONG LIVE THE KINGS’ BLOG

BLITZ MOTORCYCLES

AMERICA’S BONES CALL TO THE RIDER | “GHOST TOWN, U.S.A” — A FILM BY SCOTT TOEPFER

Yep. Back-to-back Scott Toepfer action. It’s that good. Ghost Town, USA is a short film that Toepfer did for the Harley-Davidson RIDEBOOK campaign that brought together folks from different artistic / lifestyle backgrounds to celebrate life on the open road, and the history of American motorcycle culture. Here photographer & filmmaker Scott explores America’s past through the lens of ghost towns and the haunting lessons they hold.

“The visitable ghost towns across the Western U.S. are few and far between today. Most have either decayed beyond recognition, or have turned into gift shop trinket towns selling $10 keychains and fake gold. Thankfully, Bodie, California has a different story. A gold mining town established in the late 19th century, it quickly became one of California’s largest cities – and as any famed mining town would, it was filled with saloons, brothels, and other establishments of ill repute. Much of the town burned in the fires of 1892 and 1932, forcing most of its remaining residents to leave one of the toughest towns in the west. When the last of the residents left in the 50’s, the California Park Service took over in ’64 to preserve the structures and share its history… with us, and a few hundred other tourists daily.”   

–Scott Toepfer

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FINALLY — “IT’S BETTER IN THE WIND” | A FILM BY SCOTT TOEPFER

“For the last two years I have been taking still photographs for a personal project entitled ‘It’s Better In The Wind,’ all the while collecting video footage from each ride as we traveled around the Western United States together.

I have been slowly editing the footage into a visual scrapbook of sorts for those who partook, and those who followed us via the web. No preaching the triumphs and failures of the motorcycle industry, no divisive commentary between manufacturers and styles…just a collection of imagery that will hopefully inspire more people to take to the road and discover what there is outside of our respective communities.

Chuck Ragan was kind enough to collaborate with me to write an original soundtrack for the film, to give me some anthemic tunes to edit with, and I can’t thank him enough for the kind gesture towards a fellow traveler.

Please, enjoy the film, everybody who took part in it is family, we are all grateful for your support these past two years while we tried to build a concept around the positive nature of motorcycling.”

–Scott Toepfer

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AIR-HEAD AROUND THE WORLD | ELSPETH BEARD ON HER BMW R 60/6

Three decades ago, 24 year old architecture student, Elspeth Beard, set out to ride her bike around the world– a trek that would take 3 years and over 48K miles. The young Englishwoman, who’d been riding since she was just 16 yrs old, had already taken a few solo journeys to Scotland and Ireland– and now was ready to take on more before she finished school and settled down into a career.

Beard’s bike was a used 1974 BMW R 60/6 flat-twin, already with 30K miles, that she bought from a friend of a friend. Her around-the-world bike trek began in New York– “It cost $340 to send the bike and $197 for my own air fare,” she recalls. From NYC she rode up through Canada, then headed south through Mexico and Los Angeles– racking up 5K miles. From LA Beard shipped the bike to Sydney, while she first headed to New Zealand for a visit while her motorcycle was en route.

That’s when her luck started to run out…

elspeth beard bmw motorcycle

Elspeth Beard and her ’74 BMW R 60/6 that she rode around the world over the course of three years. “I worked for months in a pub saving the money to buy my BMW 600. That gave me the bug for travel on a bike. It’s the best way to get around – cheap, efficient and I enjoy the freedom.”  –Elspeth Beard (photo of Elspeth shortly after returning home by Peter Orme) (via) She also made her BMW’s lockable top-box and panniers out of riveted aluminum sheets while living and working in Sydney during her around-the-world trek. It was a necessary stop when the funds she’d scraped together as working student ran out– she’d end up spending a total of seven months apprenticing with a firm in Sydney.

young elspeth beard bmw motorcycle

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WHERE THE HELL IS MURPH… | WELL, HE’S OUT GRABBING LIFE BY THE BALLS

What I love most about TSY is meeting good souls like Murph.  Currently Murph is on the road, solo. Just him and his BMW GS. I have to say, I’m eatin’ my heart out a little over here, and before we dig into the story, I also have to say– I’d love us to support Murph on his trek anyway we can.  Check out his travelogue / photo-journal of his travels chronicled on WHERE THE HELL IS MURPH… and while you’re at it, buy one of his prints and/or make a donation however big or small– just do it. Let’s keep Murph on the road, gas in his tank, and food in his belly.

I knew I couldn’t do Murph’s story justice myself. You truly have to hear it from the man himself, and you’ll see why this is more than a bike ride.  It’s an inward journey as much as an outward one–


Born in Dublin, in the early ’60s– trials rider, enduro rider, then road racer. There’s a lot more in those eighteen years I spent there, but that’s another bottle of Johnny Walker Black. Left Ireland for the U.S. in the early ’80s. Lived in NYC (is there any other?) and loved it, but as fate would have it, a series of events had me move to Florida. At the time, blue skies, beaches filled with bikini clad nymphettes got me hook, line & sinker. I was soon to realise that all that looks good on the surface is not what it appears to be when you dive down a few feet.

Made a lot of money in Florida in property in the last ten years– in fact, was a multi millionaire. But then the Irish disease that afflicted my father got me. Booze. Alcoholism. I drank my way through a three million dollar apartment building I owned, a few houses, and three condos. Lost it ALL.
The last two years have been sober. January 17th will officially be 2.  But before that I went down as far as anybody could go, the depths of 24hr drinking. It really was a horrible place I led myself to. So in December I bought the bike, and tried to stay afloat by staying in the rat race, but being extremly independent and always having worked for myself– a $10 an hour job and being treated like a slave didn’t last. Meanwhile my house has been in forclosure for the last two years, so I really just exploded and said– FUCK IT.
A retread on an old relationship didn’t work (go figure), I hated Florida, I always loved traveling, so got on the bike in April thinking– Lemme go and see some friends around the country, take some pictures, ‘n post ’em on a blog…

A LOST ART OF DAYS GONE BY | VINTAGE CURT TEICH LINEN POSTCARDS

I’m crazy for vintage Curt Teich linen postcards. The warm, fuzzy, softness of color, printed (sometimes slightly off register) on the linen-weave stock, of scenes when America had a youthful glow. It makes me yearn for a life and times that I was born too late for, by golly.  I find myself gazing at neighborhoods and cities, trying to chronologically piece them together.  I ask myself– what was it like here 100 yrs ago… which houses came first… which were layered in later, and when?  A lot of the scenes in these incredible windows to the past are places where I’ve lived, or passed through that are in one way or another core to who I am.

Imagine living again in a time with no cell phones, internet, and the other so-called modern conveniences that “save us time.” I could go back in a New York second.  Technology and consumption is moving at a scary pace, folks.  I wonder what we’ll be looking back at with nostalgia-glazed eyes 25 yrs from now… Planet Earth?

Ford Model T – 1908-1909, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

Statue of Liberty on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, New York City

Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City

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THE RUGGED ROAD | AN AMBITIOUS MOTORCYCLE JOURNEY FOR THE AGES

In 1934, two incredible women, Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron, set out on a 600cc single-cylinder Panther equipped with sidecar and trailer and rode from London to Cape Town, South Africa. No modern roads, no back up plan, just a giant set of balls that any man would envy. Both women were already accomplished competitive racers, who were savvy enough to raise corporate sponsorship– which just goes to show how seriously they were taken as motorcyclists. The pair shot straight across the Sahara through equatorial Africa, and South to the Cape, on the long and brutal trek without so much as a compass.  A feat that no man had dared to even attempt.

Here’s the AMA’s account of their story, and the incredible account of Theresa Wallach’s lifetime on two wheels.  No wonder she was inducted into their Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Warning: If you’re anything like me, reading this may make you feel like an epic under-achiever.

Motorcycling pioneer ~ Theresa Wallach

Theresa Wallach was a pioneering motorcyclist whose lifelong involvement in the sport included being a racer, motorcycle adventurer, military dispatch rider, engineer, author, motorcycle dealer, mechanic and riding school instructor. Wallach overcame numerous obstacles that confronted women motorcyclists of her era to become an enduring advocate of the sport. Wallach’s willingness to turn from traditional roles led to a lifestyle full of exploration, adventure and a never-ending dedication to motorcycling. Wallach was in the vanguard of redefining the role of women in motorcycling.

The Panther Redwing Model 100 motorcyle that Wallach & Blenkiron used was fitted with extra heavy-duty Webb forks, heavier gauge wheel spokes, wider mudguards to accommodate Fort Dunlop 3.5 inch car tires, and a Moseley block pillion saddle. The sidecar was a standard Watsonian touring model with long, heavy-duty flat leaf springs at the rear and coil springs at the front. Go read “The Rugged Road”, by Theresa Wallach.

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