Cal 24 Rally history?

keithu

Premier Member
#1
Does anyone know when the first Cal 24 Rally was held? I'm interested to know how it got started.

The first time I heard of the Cal 24 was in 1993 or '94, after reading about it in one of the California regional mags. I entered in 1995 when it had been reformatted slightly into the Cal 1+1. Peter Heesch was the rallymaster, and I think Gary Kunich was the route designer. I also rode the 1+1 in 1996, and the Cal 24 in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2016.

I considered asking in the Cal 24 forum, but it's not very active right now.
 

kwthom

=o&o>
Premier Member
IBA Member
#4
Wow, that's quite a list! It'd be interesting to hear stories from anyone who participated in 1989 or other early years.
I want to think there's a lot of information that may have been part of the original version of the IBA forum. It's unfortunate that the information isn't readily available at this time for perusal, but I do recognize that the license for that software has expired (in favor of keeping this modern version of the forum alive...)

Some of those riders from those early rally versions could still be around - identifying them today would be the mystery.

This *does* bring up a very valid point. Many of those rallies on that list are relics of a long lost time. Did anyone out there bother to save that history? The IBR has quite the history, and that has been rather well recorded, but many of those other rallies (started in the 80's and '90's) also have some intriguing history as well.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#5
Reports from the earliest rallies would have been in magazines if they were published at all. There used to be small regional motorcycle mags around the country, especially in California. That's where I first learned about endurance rallies. I read about the Cal 24 in Independent Biker or City Bike I think.

The internet came along and we suddenly had access to more event calendars and ride reports. But online information is far from permanent. People change platforms and servers, and info goes away. For example, in 1998 Jeff Earls and I ran the Timberbutt Rally. We had a website with photos, reports, etc. Where is all that data now? I was the organizer and I don't even know.
 

kwthom

=o&o>
Premier Member
IBA Member
#6
Agreed on the non-permanence of on-line data. Even if those magazines had been saved/scanned from back in the day, as ephemeral objects, there was no sense in saving that.
 

dmcqueeney

Staff member
Premier Member
IBA Member
IBR Finisher
IBR Staff
#7
Does anyone know when the first Cal 24 Rally was held? I'm interested to know how it got started.
Greetings, Keith ...

First year for the rally was 1989. I rode that year, but was not involved in its administration. As I recall, the rally began in Fairfield, CA, and Lee Hughes was the Rally Master.
My certificate of completion for that year includes the following wording:
=====
1ST ANNUAL CALIFORNIA 24 HOUR RALLY
The motorcycle enthusiast challenge to benefit Alzheimer's Disease
SEPTEMBER 17, 1989

=====
The event was last held in 2016. In a personal email from Mark Crane in Jan-2019, he mentioned discussing the event with the current organizer, and wrote: "Hopefully, we'll be able to do it in 2020"

Regards ... Dave
 

kwthom

=o&o>
Premier Member
IBA Member
#10
Saw something a couple weeks ago on the LD Riders mail list. The 2021 IBA Wall Calendar will show CAL24, June12-13, 2021.

I have no further information; their web forum only has a placeholder message at this time.
 
#15
Interested here. I am new to this forum and was just searching for it. Is there a place to sign up for notices?

I did it once before, in 2010. We did a 2-up ride, my wife and me, and we had fun. Good conversations along the way. But now I am preparing to sell my bike and hang up my helmet for good*, and would want to do one more before doing that. 2-up, again.

BTW, IIRC the URL back then was www.cal24.org. @kerrizor asked upthread.

* — after 35 years and 210,000 accident-free (so far!) miles of riding, I figure I’ve had a decent enough run. I realize that those numbers aren’t much among this esteemed group, but they’re good enough for me.

Oh and I might do an SS1000 before hanging it up, just for the certificate and license plate frame. I’ve done 3 of them but never bothered submitting the documentation. The first was in 2007, San Francisco to Denver for the World Series. My stop was in Grand Junction, just over 1,000 miles from SF. I just wanted to see if I could do it. It wasn’t that bad. And that Glenwood Canyon on I-70 in the fall has got to be among the prettiest stretches of interstate in the country. Especially in the fall.

1,000 in 24 is relatively easy. It’s you true iron butt riders who do longer rides and the rally, you are the true hardy and tough ones.

This is my first post here. I’ve been a long time admirer of the IBA and the riders, since the late 1980s after my first LD ride which was SF CA to Lawton OK. On a Yamaha 650 Special, no less (3.1-gallon tank).

Anyway, I’ve rambled long. Hello to all here, and thank you.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#18
I was going through the archives and found some photos from the 1996 Cal 1+1.

042407-30-L.jpg
A day 1 checkpoint off US-395 in the Sierra Nevadas somewhere. I'm not sure who is in the red/black leathers, but the others are Mike Heran, Ron Major, and Gary Kunich. I rode the red ST1100 in the foreground, a loaner from the Honda press fleet.

042407-18-L.jpg
Mike Heran, Peter Heesch, and Gary Kunich at the day 1 rest stop in Alturas, CA. All three were rally staff this year.

craig-02.jpg
Start/finish was at the Golden Pheasant Inn in Willows, CA. Pictured are Mike Heran, (not sure, Jeff Johnson maybe?), Gary Kunich, and Craig Hightower. The Tiger was also a press fleet loaner. Craig and I both wrote for Street Bike Magazine, and we decided to do road tests during the rally.

craig-03.jpg
Here's Peter Heesch with the podium finishers. Craig Hightower was third place, Ray Roy came in second, and George Barnes was the winner. I hear George went on to win some other rally later on, too.
 

keithu

Premier Member
#19
Here are a couple of photos from the 2003 Cal 24 Rally. Start/finish was in Antioch in the east Bay. Sorry for the low res, all I had with me on that one was a VGA-res digital camera.

cal24_01.jpg
Rallymaster Tom Melchild hosts the pre-rally rider's meeting.

cal24_02.jpg cal24_03.jpg
I rode the yellow/black TT600. Everyone thought I was crazy riding that thing in an LD rally, and many people expressed doubt that I would finish. I came in 2nd place. Paul Peloquin was the winner IIRC.

cal24_05.jpg
Post rally, my TT600 sits next to Chris Bishop's K100RS, which he bought from me.
 
Last edited:

keithu

Premier Member
#20
Here are some shots from the 2004 Cal 24. Start/finish that year was in Dunnigan, CA.

04cal24_01.jpg
04cal24_02.jpg
04cal24_03.jpg
Mike Heran hands out rally packs. I can't remember the rider's name, but she was the editor of a SoCal magazine (called Friction Zone, I think) and was doing an article on the rally.

04cal24_05.jpg
A familiar rally stop. This was my first attempt at aux fuel but the design was flawed. The welded frame for the fuel cell broke about 100 miles before the finish. I was able to secure it with some straps and arrive at the finish not engulfed in flames.

04cal24_07.jpg

04cal24_10.jpg
I think Mark Crane rode the VFR? Not totally sure.