The 18th Leroy Winters Memorial ISDT Reunion Ride was held October 24-26 at the John Zink Ranch near Skiatook, OK, site of the 1994 International Six Days Enduro (ISDE). The ISDTRR was started in 1997 by Six Days legend Leroy Winters and motorcycle racing legend Dick “Bugs” Mann to honor and celebrate the riders and history of the International Six Days Trial (ISDT) and ISDE. From its beginning as a fun reunion weekend, the annual event has now grown to be an integral part of the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association’s (AHRMA) cross country schedule and attracts riders from all corners of the US, from Canada, and occasionally from as far away as England, South Africa and Australia.
The usual ISDTRR “formula” includes two days of timed off-road racing, a Saturday evening awards banquet, and Sunday afternoon grass track racing. The course used is aimed at making it easy on “old guys on old bikes” and is more easy trail riding than technical stuff that would challenge today’s top riders on modern bikes. The trail pace is relaxed to allow riders to arrive at known controls, or checkpoints, with time to relax, shoot the bull with riding buddies and Six Days heroes, and maybe do a little trailside maintenance on that old Penton, Hodaka or Husky. Several timed terrain tests are included in each day’s route and that’s where guys can wick it up for that gold medal or just for bragging rights against their buddies. In addition to individual honors, there is also a team category, so the competition can get pretty hot at times.
The first ISDTRR had less than 30 entries, but as it has grown each year it now has a starting field of 150-plus riders, including many former Six Days veterans. Riding this year were guys like 24-time ISDT vet Fred Hoess, 20-time vet Drew Smith, Jack Penton, Carl Cranke, Don Cutler, Bobby Bean, Canadians Helmut “Speedy” Clasen, Gary Richards and Turk Perepalkin, Mike Rosso, Frank Gallo, Dwight Rudder and many others. John Penton, at 89 years of age, comes each year to visit with old friends, and this year we had 1964 gold medalist Cliff Coleman hanging out with us. Cliff rode on the US team with Steve McQueen and the Ekins brothers, Bud and Dave, while Steve was filming “The Great Escape” movie. With Cliff was Bobby Foxworth who was head wrench at Bud Ekin’s Triumph shop for many years and who built championship desert sleds for Bud, Steve, and many other desert racers back in the day. Bobby and Cliff went on to do stunt riding in Hollywood, working on movies such as “Animal House” and the long-running television series “Miami Vice.”
The ISDTRR is all about history, be it the way cool vintage bikes you’ll find there or the stories you’ll hear if you visit with America’s Six Days riders. Generally held in the Midwest, the 2015 AHRMA schedule will give east coast guys some chances to have some fun, too. The first two AHRMA 2-day “qualifiers” will be held in Michigan and New York, and the ISDT Reunion Ride will be held in late September in McArthur, Ohio sponsored by the Enduro Riders Association. Dust off that old Ossa, Rokon, Bultaco, IT or PE and come join the fun. It is like a step back in time with a lot of fun thrown in. There are classes for just about any year bike, rider or ability. See the AHRMA website www.ahrma.org and check out the cross country section for more information on dates and entry information. Results from this year’s Reunion Ride can also be found on the AHRMA website. You can find the ISDTRR on Facebook also….search for Leroy Winters Memorial ISDT Reunion Ride. Get out and have some fun riding and meet the guys you looked up to when you were a kid!