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Saddleback Park

Webcokid

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Posts: 197

Joined: 6/22/2009

Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/22/2009 10:03 AM

This topic is broad and pertains to the birthplace of California motocross. Well, Carlsbad should be mentioned, but Saddleback was the premier location. I was never that fast, nor was I a former mini star, but I still take great pride in my accomplishments as an 80cc Novice class racer. For example, the Saturday CRC 45 minute motos were radical.

We showed up one sat. in 79 and they decided to run Banzai that day. Banzai on an 80 was pretty treacherous. Not to mention, the 80's always ran after the 250 class, so the track wasn't always in the best of shape. I won the novice class this day, since I was a local and had practiced the starting line and banzai the previous wed. after school. I took the holeshot on both motos and checked out. This was my day, my bike ran perfect, I did not get tired, no arm pump, and no hand"claw" from hanging on to a mono shock swapper for 45 minutes; oh and no get offs. I was also really stoked for a 11 year old, as I was so far in front, that I could hear the announcer talking about my lap times as I made the downhill trun after the webco corner. Remember, that was a hard left and took you down by the back track. I still remember hitting the Banzai dropoff, telling myself not to get squirly when I landed at about 70mph and can see it like yesterday. I often wonder how I would feel now after running a 45 minute moto on a 1979 YZ 80. I ran a luft shock, and the frames on these bike use to break from the pressure. To this day, I had never seen anyone run a YZ harder and faster than Eric Kehoe. Man, thoes 80 expert battles between Holland and Kehoe are forever engraved in my memory. Those were awesome times. I use to copy Kehoe on the start. He would start at the far right and make a sweeping cut off left turn to the corner at the top. Enough said, Kehoe and Holland, and Burnworth were the premier guys this year of 79. This is just one of my many recolections of Saddleback and cherish all.

anniebertmojo

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Posts: 422

Joined: 10/12/2008

Location: El Segundo, CA USA

10/22/2009 11:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/22/2009 12:05 PM

I too was a Saddlback teenager... the experiences I had from that place shaped me as a adult. And I was very lucky to be part of the early years of PC as a support rider. Those were fun times!

I experienced and saw things as a 16 year old that could only be written in books and magazines -LOL- with those guys. The stories are legendary. I wouldn't change them one bit... It's too bad today's teenagers / riders can not experience something like this in today's modern-fast paced world. But maybe they are?.... don't know. I do know that I enjoyed mine Wink



Saddleback today -



WEBCO HILL is in the background







START HILL in the distance







SUICIDE MOUNTAIN in the background







My teenage years... the exit of WEBCO HILL







chipnice

C100_119457440_1229879919.

Posts: 134

Joined: 12/21/2008

Location: Huntington Beach, CA USA

10/22/2009 1:37 PM

Hey Tony i don't know what you do for a living, but you tell a hell of a story. Ever think about writing a book? You had a magic day, at a magic place,and just about any kid whose thrown their leg over a bike and lined up on the gate has had that feeling. (Hopefully more than once) You tell yourself that you cant be beat, and try to repeat every thing you did on that special day the next weekend only to end up in the meat wagon. Here's to you my friend and all the guys who hold that special memory of the perfect weekend.

Webcokid

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Posts: 197

Joined: 6/22/2009

Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/22/2009 3:19 PM

Thanks Bro! That's pretty cool. We need to get together. Reply to my e-mail and hopefully we can find the time. I can call Simon, and whoever else you'd like to link up with. Remember how we use to go to Denny's after Corona Raceway on Friday nights. Those were the best times. Remember that hat Harry always wore, it cracked me up! Me and Dave Taylor always laugh about that Denny's when we go riding that way.
I have thought about writting a book about Bruce and Ponca City, but know little about Rick and Kyle. Maybe I could find more info on them. btw: I sell computer software and have been in the high tech industry for about 15 years now.

Chip, you were one of my favorite harry's cycles riders and always looked forward to Corona Raceway on Friday night. Remember that old rubber band start they had on the flat track before the reverse starting gate was installed. Guys would get the band stuck around their neck during the start. I can remember one night I won both my motos and you were there at the staging line helping me out to the gate. You held up a #1 finger as I dropped my goggles down and got the bike in gear, and yes, I was number 1 that night. Thanks bro! I will never forget that night!

Webcokid

C100_108242000_1245688334

Posts: 197

Joined: 6/22/2009

Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/22/2009 3:25 PM

anniebertmojo wrote: I too was a Saddlback teenager... the experiences I had from that place shaped me as a adult. And I was very lucky to be part of the early years of PC as a support rider. Those were fun times!

I experienced and saw things as a 16 year old that could only be written in books and magazines -LOL- with those guys. The stories are legendary. I wouldn't change them one bit... It's too bad today's teenagers / riders can not experience something like this in today's modern-fast paced world. But maybe they are?.... don't know. I do know that I enjoyed mine Wink



Saddleback today -



WEBCO HILL is in the background







START HILL in the distance







SUICIDE MOUNTAIN in the background







My teenage years... the exit of WEBCO HILL







Great pics bro. I appreciate you posting them. I especially like the one of suicide hill. We had a secrete track outside of the park and the entrance was at the top of suicide hill on the other side of the rode. We had a whole in the fence and we could squeeze through. It was knarly back there, and it helped me gain skill in the steep sections. It's pretty radical how everything has grown back. especilly the start hill. Great pic of you comming around Webco!

anniebertmojo

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Posts: 422

Joined: 10/12/2008

Location: El Segundo, CA USA

10/22/2009 10:48 PM

Webcokid wrote: Great pics bro. I appreciate you posting them. I especially like the one of suicide hill. We had a secrete track outside of the park and the entrance was at the top of suicide hill on the other side of the rode. We had a whole in the fence and we could squeeze through. It was knarly back there, and it helped me gain skill in the steep sections. It's pretty radical how everything has grown back. especilly the start hill. Great pic of you comming around Webco!

Thanks for the props...

As an adult, everytime I drive by, I pull over and take a look at the place. It's still there, and it's AMAZING how much mother nature has taken over. I spent my youth there grinding laps racing a practicing... and making memories of a lifetime.

I was at the gate waiting in line to race the day when they didn't open the park.... and it closed for good, really sad day.



chipnice

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Posts: 134

Joined: 12/21/2008

Location: Huntington Beach, CA USA

10/23/2009 11:55 AM

Hey Annniebertmo you want to do something that's really kinda cool ,have a buddy drop you off right before the toll road bridge and hike the trails on the back side of the park. Allot of the play ride trails are still there, walk to the top and look down at the track, theirs ghost in thar hills,the ghost of fun.

anniebertmojo

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Posts: 422

Joined: 10/12/2008

Location: El Segundo, CA USA

10/23/2009 7:58 PM

chipnice wrote: Hey Annniebertmo you want to do something that's really kinda cool ,have a buddy drop you off right before the toll road bridge and hike the trails on the back side of the park. Allot of the play ride trails are still there, walk to the top and look down at the track, theirs ghost in thar hills,the ghost of fun.

Copy that... been meaning to do that. Thanks for the 411.

Ed.FTR92

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Posts: 4

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Location: Winter Springs, FL USA

10/23/2009 9:03 PM

I drove from florida to race at saddlebck and indain dunes in 1977, its somthing I never forget

ninety3

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Location: Saddleback Park, CA USA

10/25/2009 4:42 AM

mmmmmm Saddleback =)

I like knobby tires

wownd out

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Posts: 524

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Location: Corona, CA USA

10/25/2009 10:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/25/2009 10:48 AM

Me late 81 The Magoo double.

01 Saddleback

Proud American

LawBrkrRcn

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Joined: 4/1/2008

Location: Orange, CA USA

10/25/2009 5:08 PM

I practically grow up at Saddleback and Bob & Jeans... Lived in Orange Park Acres and we rode all over the orange and avocado groves... Rode at Saddleback all the time and started racing there every Saturday from 77-79... Went to all the major races there including off-road... Saw DeCoster and all the other Europeans race there in the Trans-Am and will never forget Jim West as I was ten feet away when he crashed and died... Jim Gibson was my neighbor... So many good memories... I go up there about every other month and walk around with my dogs... You can walk up the road to where the pay booth was Parts store and the entry road... I walk up what’s left of the start hill over to Webco hill and down to the flat track... If you know the place you can still recognize a lot... L8R Mark

ocscottie

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Location: Redding, CA USA

Administrator

10/25/2009 6:57 PM

This clip has been going around for quite awhile, i am sure most have already seen it, still worth watching again:

-OC
"Feed The Bull"
Twitter: @ocscottie

OW38B

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Posts: 1860

Joined: 8/17/2006

Location: Coto de Caza, CA USA

10/26/2009 11:08 AM

Myself at a CMC race in 1982. Bottom of Suicide Mt. in the background.

"Welcome to Southern California......the mecca of motocross racing." ~ Jason Wiegant

Webcokid

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Posts: 197

Joined: 6/22/2009

Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/27/2009 3:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2009 3:03 PM

It use to rain! Back in the late 70's it actually use to rain, sometimes for weeks on end. When that happend, the park would take on a whole new look, feel, and rideabilty factor. Sometimes, they would open certain sections of the park and sometimes the park would stay closed for weeks; but on race day the gate still dropped. Basically, if you could drive in and park without sinking or getting stuck, the race was on. One Sunday, We made up to the webco flat area and went for a pre practice lap walk. This was always fun for me, as all the mini rats would walk the track and keep an eye on where the big guys went. As I made it around the track in my new high point boots, I knew this would be a day to remember. I use to watch Ward make his way, and he use to stop in certain sections and kick the dirt to check for traction. I liked the mud and always felt comfortable in it, as I grew up riding in it and embraced the slip and slop. At Saddleback, the main obstacle was always Webco, and it held a huge water puddle/mud spot right after the corner, and usually stayed wet all day. Watching the 250's blaze through was quite a site, and when the water and mud settled, there were always a few bikes stuck up to their engines in the slop. People would be scrambling to free the stuck bikes, as the top of the pack would come around for lap 2. Well, to roll through that on an 80 was a feat in it's own time, and you were lucky to find the right line so your footpegs wouldn't get stuck in the ruts. The start and downhill was usually ok, but all the low lying sections of the track got swamped. Tear offs, what were they? The only tear offs I had back then were my scott goggles, they were tear offable.The mud would fill up in that old Joffa face protector I use to where and you could taste the Blenzoil mixed in. My hands would get so slippery, because those JT gloves were actually made of leather and would slip right off the grips like ice. Imagine that! The glove were actually made of leather back then. On this day I bailed so hard at the bottom of the tree section, that my bike was completely underwater and I could'nt see throught the mud in my eyes. I lost control coming down the hill and my feet slipped off the pegs. I could here people laughing at me as I was going down. Bastards! Shii, just getting to the finish line after that was a feat in it's own right. My tire were so packed, it looked like I was riding one of those Honda trail 50's with the big tires. I took a DNF this day after a flat front tire ended my second moto, but was in front for most of the moto. After this day, I knew what the true meaning of mud racing was and that it was pretty important to keep fresh tires on the bike.

Webcokid

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Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/27/2009 4:11 PM



1982 Golden State Series- Baily and Johnson

wownd out

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Location: Corona, CA USA

10/27/2009 4:53 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/27/2009 4:54 PM

That's not Bailey or Johnson.
I'd say it's Maybe, Burnworth and Micky Dymond

Proud American

wownd out

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Location: Corona, CA USA

10/27/2009 4:55 PM

Looks like stu peterson had you guys running the track in reverse!.

Proud American

project racer

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Location: FL, USA

10/27/2009 5:38 PM

Webcokid wrote:

1982 Golden State Series- Baily and Johnson

That is Bailey in the first pic leading on the #23 Honda. The second pic looks like the Four Stroke nationals from '83-'84, Warren Reid on the #6 and Rick Johnson on the #8.

wownd out

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Location: Corona, CA USA

10/28/2009 10:23 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2009 10:24 AM

Yea, i meant the 2nd pic, i can't tell who anyone is in the first picture it's way too dark.

So are they riding the ATK thumpers there you think?

Proud American

Webcokid

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Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/28/2009 4:11 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2009 9:23 AM


The back gate is still there! We spent many days out on this track and I think it was Sat. CMC race day. Jeff Ward was always here on Sat. for a practice day. He was super fast on this track and use to jump all the way down the hill off the ski jump next to the road. Remember, the flat track was to the right with the big jump in the middle. This was a fun track and had a hard right hand trun after the start in contrast to the sharp left corner on the international track. They use to run the track in revearse on occassion, which made for some knarly jumps.

project racer

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10/28/2009 5:11 PM

wownd out wrote: Yea, i meant the 2nd pic, i can't tell who anyone is in the first picture it's way too dark.

So are they riding the ATK thumpers there you think?

Those are TT600 Yamaha's. Probably the old Pro-Tech bikes.

Mini Elsinore

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Location: Hb, Oc, CA USA

10/28/2009 5:22 PM

LawBrkrRcn wrote: I practically grow up at Saddleback and Bob & Jeans... Lived in Orange Park Acres and we rode all over the orange and avocado groves... Rode at Saddleback all the time and started racing there every Saturday from 77-79... Went to all the major races there including off-road... Saw DeCoster and all the other Europeans race there in the Trans-Am and will never forget Jim West as I was ten feet away when he crashed and died... Jim Gibson was my neighbor... So many good memories... I go up there about every other month and walk around with my dogs... You can walk up the road to where the pay booth was Parts store and the entry road... I walk up what’s left of the start hill over to Webco hill and down to the flat track... If you know the place you can still recognize a lot... L8R Mark

Mark Howard?

"To learn who rules, you simply find out who you aren't allowed to criticize."
-Voltaire.

AZ35

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Location: Glendale, AZ USA

10/28/2009 7:04 PM

ocscottie wrote: This clip has been going around for quite awhile, i am sure most have already seen it, still worth watching again:

Wow, that really brings back some memories! I was 15 years old and drove from AZ to this race with my Dad, first national I had ever been too. Little did I know it would be the last for Saddleback, seeing this video (my first time I have seen it) was amazing. After the race they had an auction to raise money for an injured Team Tamm rider (John Welchel?), and I bid on the Answer kidney belt (remember those?) that Johhny O' wore that day. I won the bidding with a final whopping $20 bid. I actually wore that kidney belt for pretty much all my racing days for the next 3 years and still have it (now very worn but still great memories). That leap up Suicide was so much more than can be seen on video, it was so steep and I still have many pictures from that second plateau of riders jumping it in practice. I think Eric Eaton (he or Micky Dymond- they were the first 2) was the first that day, he stopped at the bottom and just pinned it and the whole crowd just exploded as he sailed over. Incredible day that I will never forget.

bultokid

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Location: Houston, TX USA

10/29/2009 4:28 AM

let's see those pixs !

What is your "fair share"of what someone else has worked for?
-Thomas Sowell-

G-man

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Location: Mesa, AZ USA

10/29/2009 7:13 AM





observer

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10/30/2009 1:28 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2009 1:41 AM

Being we're on Saddleback...what happened to Randy Hess, Gary Denton, Gary Ogden, David Taylor?? Maybe I'll think of some others later...
I use to see these guys' names in Cycle News race results out in So Calif CRC, CMC races.
I raced in the So TX area, and wanted to go to So Cal SO bad to race back in the late 70s.
I was amazed at how many times you So Cal guys could race very week! I thought..."my God, no wonder those guys are so fast, between night races/wkend races, they can race 4-5 times a week!" :-)
Thx. Btw, I can't tell you guys how much I dig this site!
Talk about digging up treasures! {:-D

bigmaico

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Posts: 528

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Location: Kingwood, TX USA

10/30/2009 5:12 AM

observer wrote: Being we're on Saddleback...what happened to Randy Hess, Gary Denton, Gary Ogden, David Taylor?? Maybe I'll think of some others later...
I use to see these guys' names in Cycle News race results out in So Calif CRC, CMC races.
I raced in the So TX area, and wanted to go to So Cal SO bad to race back in the late 70s.
I was amazed at how many times you So Cal guys could race very week! I thought..."my God, no wonder those guys are so fast, between night races/wkend races, they can race 4-5 times a week!" :-)
Thx. Btw, I can't tell you guys how much I dig this site!
Talk about digging up treasures! {:-D

Last I heard Gary was flying helicopters, I'm not sure but I think it was for a Life Flight type of operation.

JPT

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Posts: 6098

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Location: Las Vegas, NV USA

10/30/2009 5:27 AM

When you lived in Iowa in the early 70's, Saddleback was sort of the promised land. We used to set around and talk about how we'd love to go there. Never made it.

My wife calls you guys the Yahoos.

Webcokid

C100_108242000_1245688334

Posts: 197

Joined: 6/22/2009

Location: Aliso Viejo, CA USA

10/30/2009 10:50 AM


Who remembers this race? My dad dropped me off on the highway and I walked in through the pits. There were cars parked on the raod and a huge crowd gathered in the hills. I remember I met up with friends at the top of Webco and made it into the VIP section. Guys like Chris Taylor and Bruce Bunch. Marianne Storer, Sam's mom was really cool, and she slipped me a pass, then I slipped the pass on and so on. I always like her! They had a game shack in the section and we played Astroids for hours! This was an awesome day and think Hannna won the 250 class. It was him and Marty Tripes dicing it out. My pal Todd Peterson was there that day as well and did good. As I walked by the top of Banzia, I saw this bike come racing up to the picket fence and stop during practice. I was shocked, as it was Todd Peterson who had stopped to say hello to me. I couldn't believe it, and the crowd around me definatelly looked at me in a different light as I walked away. That was cool! A pro rider stopped to say hi to me; I felt so important! Ha! I grew up down the road from Todd and he was great frineds with my older bro. The best part about these nationals, was that the park would leave track alone the following week, and you could go ride it. The DG doubles, Banzai, and Suicide. Dangerous, but awesome!
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