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Author Topic: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2019, 10:29:22 pm »
The tragic tale of the most stunning motorcycle graveyard ever

Too good to be true? Hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles sitting in this abandoned warehouse?

Austin Coop
25 November, 2014

When rumors of a mythical vintage motorcycle graveyard hit the internet in 2010, the sharks immediately began circling. Motorcycle and car blogs alike came alive with the same chatter… Where is this graveyard, and can you visit it? A man by the name of David Cuff set out on a mission to find the motorcycle graveyard at the center of so much attention…



Thanks to a random “leak” of the location on a sport bike forum, David and his friends knew the place was in Lockport, New York, a town just east of the mighty Niagara Falls, so they hopped on their motorcycles and rode 9 hours to find out if the place was truly the rusty vintage bike rusty heaven the message boards had made it out to be.



Cuff and his friends took a little path to the back of the supposed building (which, they note, is more like 3 buildings, all connected) and went right on into the abandoned compound where instead of seeing a plethora of motorcycles they saw the evidence of the homeless and rebellious kids. In terms of the place being cycle heaven, there wasn’t much more than a few motorcycle tanks and a couple old bikes laying around… Then they found the basement.



The basement was wet, damp, and nasty, but absolutely packed to the gills with old rusty bikes. I mentioned it was damp, so you already know what we’re about to say… Sadly, these bikes were mostly rusted away to nothing, but was there more? There was. In fact, there were multiple floors of motorcycles. It was, indeed, the massive motorcycle graveyard they’d hoped for.







Long story short, Cuff and his biker buddies returned home to do their research on this bizarre place. They found the building had been repossessed by the city for a failure to pay taxes and the owner, Frank, wasn’t allowed back inside without accident insurance.
While Cuff waited till Frank had clearance to re-enter the building to access his collection, he learned a lot about how the place came to be filled with vintage motorcycles. A motorcycle dealer named Kohl had apparently amassed the huge collection by buying up the inventory of defunct dealerships, and he eventually sold the building and collection to Frank in the late 90s.



Frank operated from the building under the name “Kohl’s Cycle Salvage,” but there were back taxes owed and the building needed more work than it was worth. Frank eventually let the city take the building, but sued them over getting possession of the still-massive motorcycle collection.
Frank won his lawsuit but was given a tight timeframe to get the collection of frames, bikes, and parts out. Just so happened, the deadline loomed about the time Cuff and his friends found the place (and the owner).

As you can imagine, Cuff and co. wasted no time swooping in to grab up every frame, tank, part, and piece they could, knowing Frank planned to just scrap anything left over. They made multiple trips back and forth with little to no sleep until finally they’d picked the 4-story building through and through. The rest was put in dumpsters and scrapped.





















The building then sat empty for a few years, falling in on itself, until Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 when it caught fire and burned. What once housed a collection of motorcycles and motorcycle parts like no other is now no more.


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Offline tulips

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2019, 03:16:36 pm »
Great Reads
Thank you Kobus
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Offline XT JOE

Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2019, 09:54:23 pm »
stunning stuff - love the pics/write up of Blackwater 100- and the  graveyard-eish
thanks
check with uncle youtube on black water races - good stuff

« Last Edit: July 30, 2019, 09:56:49 pm by XT JOE »
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2019, 07:41:02 pm »
"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

-David Livingstone-
 

Offline Sabre

Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2019, 09:25:33 pm »
Kobus, if you ever add a story like the one on the shed full of old bikes, please add a warning in the title. Something like "Warning, not for people who will shed a tear at the sight of abandoned classics"
Shucks, I am sick to the bone
Only saw this now  :'(
"Riding a motorcycle is technology's closest equivalent to being a cowboy. Our modern horse has two wheels instead of four, but it's nervous system is appropriately rated in horsepower" Robert Edison Fulton jr. From his book "One Man Caravan"

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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2019, 05:47:40 pm »
Kobus, if you ever add a story like the one on the shed full of old bikes, please add a warning in the title. Something like "Warning, not for people who will shed a tear at the sight of abandoned classics"
Shucks, I am sick to the bone
Only saw this now  :'(

Will put a warning out next time.


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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2019, 06:02:57 pm »
Please feel free to add some classic stories you come across.

"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2019, 11:53:30 pm »
Sal dit nie great wees as hulle n klas toelaat vir die ou bikes in die Dakar? Ons noem hulle sommer die Malle Moere!! :lol8:
Jy moet twee dinge hê om te kan deelneem, ou thumper en n fris paar sidies!! :lol8:
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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2019, 12:25:31 am »
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Offline Sabre

Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2019, 09:39:57 pm »
Sal dit nie great wees as hulle n klas toelaat vir die ou bikes in die Dakar? Ons noem hulle sommer die Malle Moere!! :lol8:
Jy moet twee dinge hê om te kan deelneem, ou thumper en n fris paar sidies!! :lol8:
Safari pak en kam innie kous ?  >:D :biggrin:
"Riding a motorcycle is technology's closest equivalent to being a cowboy. Our modern horse has two wheels instead of four, but it's nervous system is appropriately rated in horsepower" Robert Edison Fulton jr. From his book "One Man Caravan"

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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2019, 06:51:18 am »
Zen Honda moves to Smithsonian



One of the most iconic bikes from the 1970s is the 1966 Honda Super Hawk ridden by author Robert M Pirsig in his 1974 classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

He died in April 2017 at the age of 88 and now his bike will be forever remembered when it goes on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, less than a mile from the White House in Washington.

Robert’s book became a philosophical handbook for many motorcycle riders in the 1970s and continues to be a bible for many riders.

He turned a nuts-and-bolts piece of equipment into something that is transcendent from this world.

Zen: The book



The book is basically a travelogue of his thoughts while riding a 1964 Honda CB77 SuperHawk 305 from his home in Minnesota to the Black Hills of Dakota.

It’s not the wild and thrilling joy ride that Hunter S. Thompson describes in Hells Angels, nor an actual guide to maintaining a motorcycle as its title would suggest.

Instead, it is a thought-provoking journey into the mind of a rider.

We might not all grapple with schizophrenia as did Robert, but he made us aware of the isolation tank effect of a motorcycle ride and how it promotes mindfulness.

Even if you have never read the book, you have probably experienced much of the same thought processes while riding.

One of the more practical lessons from the book that I learnt was about mechanical sympathy, routine maintenance and a tortoise-and-hare approach to riding long distances.

Likewise, it took Pirsig four years of persistence to write and he was rejected by publishers 121 times. But over the long distance it has sold more than five million copies and been translated into 27 languages. Obviously motorcycles and philosophy are universal!

It is never too late to read the book which is still available today in hard cover, paperback, Kindle, audio book and audio CD.

Honda: The bike

Robert rode the Honda 5700 miles (almost 9200km) from the Twin Cities of Minnesota to San Francisco and back.

It has been stored for decades in the family’s New England garage and was recently mechanically restored.

The motorcycle is a gift to the museum from his widow, Wendy.

She also gifted Robert’s leather jacket, maps, shop manual, tools and other gear from the 1968 ride, together with a manuscript copy and signed first edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Museum curator Paul Johnston says the bike is “the most famous forgotten motorcycle in American history and literature”.

“Pirsig was a trailblazer in motorcycle touring and documenting its celebration of freedom and the open road,” he says.


Courtesy of motorbikewriter.com


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Offline Welsh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2019, 07:16:33 am »


Watching scrambling in the 1960's I laughed at the workshop assembling the kit form bike, very non PC pictures on the workshop walls.. :biggrin: :biggrin: the track outside Shrewsbury would be Hawkstone Park, it had an evil hill section, I watched a few British GP's there back in the 1970's.  :biggrin: :sip:
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2020, 12:32:55 pm »
The Black Woman Who Biked Across the US Alone During the 1930s Jim Crow Era
Despite pervasive racism and the weight of the Great Depression, Bessie Stringfield found freedom on the open road.

By Giselle Defares
Mar 28 2018, 5:25pm



She zoomed over forlorn dusty roads, responding to the beckoning call of new adventures. The airborne sensation and the freedom of the road ensured that she climbed on her trusty Harley-Davidson time and time again. Long before the hashtag #CarefreeBlackGirl was coined, Bessie Stringfield was living her life freely on her own terms—riding her motorcycle across the United States solo.

Born in 1911, Stringfield got her first motorcycle, a 1928 Indian Scout, while she was still in her teens and taught herself how to ride it. As chronicled in the 1993 book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road by Stringfield’s protégé and eventual biographer Ann Ferrar, at the age of 19, young Stringfield flipped a penny onto a map of the US then ventured out on her bike alone. Interstate highways didn’t yet exist at the time, but the rough, unpaved roads didn’t deter her. In 1930, she became the first Black woman to ride a motorcycle in every one of the connected 48 states—a solo cross-country ride she undertook eight times during her lifetime. But not even that satisfied her wanderlust. Eventually, she went abroad to Haiti, Brazil, and parts of Europe.

“When I get on the motorcycle I put the Man Upstairs on the front.” Stringfield told Ferrar, referring to God. “I’m very happy on two wheels.”

As retold by Ferrar in an interview with the New York Times, no matter where Stringfield was in the world, she said “the people were overwhelmed to see a Negro woman riding a motor cycle.” In the 1930s and 40s, because of racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws, Stringfield wasn’t welcomed in most motels. So, she often slept on her bike at gas stations or, if luck was on her side, she could stay with Black families she met on her way.



The rising American motorcycle culture wasn’t inclusive, either. The American Motorcycle Association, which was founded in 1924, only started allowing Black members in the 1950s (and even then, most of them were male).

But by the start of World War II, Stringfield became an asset to the United States government as a civilian motorcycle dispatcher—the only woman in her unit. With a military crest attached to her blue Harley-Davidson Knucklehead, she carried documents between domestic US bases.

Later, in the 1950s, Stringfield settled in Miami, bought a house, and became a nurse. In her early days in Florida, she clashed with the local police. As Stringfield is quoted recalling in a 1996 issue of American Motorcyclist, when she tried to obtain her motorcycle license, the police made it clear that they weren’t about to let a Black woman ride a motorcycle around their city. Determined, Stringfield demanded a meeting with their captain, a white motorcycle cop in the Black precinct. He took her to a nearby park and ordered her to perform several difficult motorcycle tricks. Of course, she nailed them with ease. “From that day on, I didn’t have any trouble from the police, and I got my license too,” she said.

Stringfield later performed during local races, founded the Iron Horse motorcycle club, and became publicly known as the “Motorcycle Queen of Miami.” Even in her seventies, she still rode her motorcycle to church, according to the The Miami Herald.

Stringfield died in 1993 at the age of 82 from the complications related to an “enlarged heart,” but she rode right up until her death. According to Ferrar, she told her doctor that she kept riding despite her illness: “I told him if I don’t ride, I won’t live long. And so I never did quit.”

Today, she’s remembered by the Motorcycle Hall of Fame and by the American Motorcycle Association’s Bessie Stringfield Award for individuals who introduce motorcycling to new audiences. Plus, Ferrar has a memoir about her relationship with Stringfield forthcoming.

In the time that Stringfield lived, her lifestyle was utterly taboo; only ten years after white women gained the right to vote, she was breaking conventions by forging a wildly independent path as a Black woman. Ferrar notes in Iron and Air Magazine that “it takes tough mental grit—foresight, planning, and craftiness—to do what Bessie did in the Jim Crow era and get away with it.”


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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2020, 12:39:25 pm »
Cool stuk geskiedenis!! :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Re: The Blackwater 100 & other good reads
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2020, 10:50:33 am »
Thanks for sharing!
This is not life or death. It is an internet forum.