It's time to finish up your motorcycle for Riding Into History! Don't miss your opportunity to enter the motorcycle that you've been restoring or take your vintage bike out and dust it off and give it a polish. Remember, entering your motorcycle(s) is free and we are renown for our goody bag and gifts. This our 17th Annual Motorcycle Concours and this year our Grand Marshal is Malcolm Smith, the motorcyclist of the century. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Malcolm, the iconic racer from the movie On Any Sunday.
If you’ve ever wanted to meet motorcycling legend Malcolm Smith, or get an autographed copy of his amazing new autobiography Malcolm! The Autobiography, this year’s 17th annual Riding Into History event on Saturday, May 21 is your chance.
It’s a great honor to have Malcolm as our Grand Marshall this year, especially with his new book out and generating excellent reviews. Broadcaster Dave Despain loved it, as did Racer X magazine’s Davey Coombs. Even the Los Angeles Times weighed in with a stellar review.
It truly is an epic book: 400 pages, 11 x 11 inches, nearly six pounds in weight, and containing more than 100,000 words and 451 amazing images of Malcolm’s entire life, most of them never seen before. As one of motorcycling most popular and beloved people, Malcolm has a grand story to tell, and the autobiography, written with help from longtime moto-journalist (and previous RIH Grand Marshall) Mitch Boehm, does that story proud.
Saturated with personal storytelling, rich in detail, and containing many never-before-seen photographs from Malcolm’s personal archive, Malcolm! The Autobiography is a must-read for any motorcyclist or off-road enthusiast. From his early days along Canada’s Pacific coast, to his childhood in Southern California, to his first bikes, his racing efforts in the U.S., Baja, Europe and Asia, to his business life, the iconic movie On Any Sunday and his family life, it’s all here, and all told by one of the world’s legendary motorcycle and off-road racers.
“I’ve done a lot in my 74 years,” Malcolm says, “and I even managed to remember a lot of it despite falling on my head a few times!”
“It was a fascinating project,” says Boehm. “Malcolm and I would sit and talk about a period of his life, my recorder going the whole time. Later, I’d transcribe what Malcolm said and weave it all together. Then we’d go over it together, making sure it was just right.”
“I’m excited to see what this Riding Into History event is all about,” says Malcolm, “as I’ve heard a lot 0f good things about it. I’ll be signing books while there, so if you want a copy with an personal inscription, come say hi.”
Only 100 copies will be available at this year’s event, each at $60, with a portion of the proceeds going to — K9s for Warriors, our charity partner. So bring your wallet, bring a carry bag, and spend a few minutes with a true motorcycle legend — Malcolm Smith!
Riding Into History-sponsored K9 Duke (Ducati) and warrior Luis graduated their three-week training from K9s For Warriors. Luis was so happy with his new best friend and Duke is completely devoted to his warrior!
Before the graduation some of us went on a tour of the K9s For Warriors facility. It has a top-notch, 27-dog, capacity climate-controlled kennel with five large outdoor training parks. The complex is 17,000 square foot that includes a full kitchen with dining, lounges and exercise areas. There is housing for up 16 warriors and even a bone-shaped pool. They have just broken ground on another 27-dog, climate-controlled kennel. This will help keep the supply of dogs trained and ready for their new warriors. There are 1,200 volunteers that help with walking, playing and fostering the dogs, along with providing home cooked meals every night for the warriors in training.
At K9s For Warriors $0.86 of every dollar goes directly to the warrior and the dog. The dogs at K9s are 95 percent rescue dogs and dogs that do not make it through program are always lovingly placed. Over 200 dogs and warriors have graduated the K9s For Warriors since its beginning in March 2011. There is over a two-year wait list for the program. K9s’ goal for 2016 is to serve 12 warriors every month.
On our tour we were able to meet and socialize with Rocket, another of Riding Into History's sponsored dogs. Riding Into History hopes to sponsor at least two dogs from proceeds of our 17th Annual event on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Please help us support this worthy cause by participating in or donating to Riding Into History.
Our K9, Triumph, and his Warrior, Joseph, will be attending Riding Into History this year!
Riding Into History is proud to have the only Motorcycle Youth Judging Program.
Riding Into History introduced the first ever Motorcycle Youth Judging Program in 2014. We approached Hagerty Insurance about sponsoring a motorcycle judging program since they have had so much success with their car youth judging program.
The Youth Judging program helps promote interest in classic, vintage and antique motorcycles. We are always looking for young motorcycle enthusiasts to participate in this very worthwhile program. The judging only takes about one hour. Participants receive entrance to Riding Into History Concours d'Elegance, easy to understand training, and some goodies from RIH and Hagerty Insurance. Best of all, they learn about all different types of motorcycles and give an award to their favorite. Participants must be between the ages of 8-16. Click here for the Youth Judging Application.
The mid-1970s saw the birth of Superbike racing. The Japanese companies were building ever more powerful 4-cylinder bikes to compete against the BMW and Ducati twins.
Kawasaki introduced the KZ1000 as their weapon of choice. With some assistance from Kawasaki US, the St. Augustine dealer went racing. Phil Ridgdill was their rider of choice. He rode many regional races, including Gainesville where they used the drag strip and return road to make a temporary track. Phil rode the Daytona 200 in 1977, despite some bike problems finishing 30th (though in front of 1976 winner Steve McLaughlin).
In October the team went to Palm Beach Raceway where things did not go well. According to the Oct. 31 issue of the Palm Beach Post, “Phillip Ridgdill of Jacksonville proved it (racing) can be dangerous. After leading the Class 5 Cafe Race his cycle went into a high-speed wobble at about 140 mph, ran off the course almost striking the guardrail, then became airborne a few yards down the track. The cycle, with Ridgdill still clinging to it, catapulted end over end and hit Ridgdill a few times before the rider was thrown about 200 feet. Ridgdill suffered two broken legs and possibly a broken arm, and was being treated at Community Hospital.”
That pretty much ended the season, and Phil's time with Kawasaki. He would go on to race a Ducati, but that’s a tale for another time.
After the season, Phil wound up with a new KZ1000 street bike. But the dealer team had a lot of special parts so the boys decided to set up the KZ. They ported and polished the head, installed Schooler cam, ditched the standard air filters, and rejetted the carbs to work with an RC Engineering pipe and K&N stacks. As a final touch the original, heavy Kawasaki wheels were replaced with a pair of bespoke aluminum racing wheels anodized a beautiful gold to match the KZ's pinstripes.
Phil is still a very rapid rider, as those of us who ride with him can attest. He is a great friend of Riding Into History, and realizing that he would probably never get around recommissioning his old KZ, He donated it to RIH to auction off for charity. Chris Alley and Alex McLean of A.C.E. Vintage Motorcycle Specialists donated their time and skills to get it running as sweet as ever.
Now, who wants to own this old rocket ship with 1970s history?