The 150 bikes attending the 13th annual All-British Ride ranged in age from Pete Young’s 1914 Premier to brand-new Triumph Rocket 3’s. The BSA club has taken over management of this event from Don Danmeier, who previously held the event as his annual 50th birthday party: perhaps the joke became untenable after ten years!  Volunteers staffed the sign-up table at our meeting point in downtown Novato. The ride cost $15, which included a back-up vehicle and lunch stop at the ride’s end, the Cheese Factory.

Mike Shiro on his lovely Matchless G12 CSR [Paul d’Orleans]
The ride moves quickly out of Novato and into the wonderfully hilly, sinous roads of West Marin county. Some of the roads are very poorly maintained, with bumps and potholes making for a rough ride – but as there is absolutely no automobile traffic in these areas, there is some consolation; plus, it’s a beautiful, rural part of our state, worth investigating.

Norton Commando special in flashy yellow paint job, as per the factory production racers. [Paul d’Orleans]
We moved north through town and across the Russian River, then wound our way out to the coast itself via the small town of Occidental. Highway 1 isn’t well travelled here, so the bikes can stretch their legs and riders can enjoy ‘getting down to it’ on the well-banked corners. Hwy 1, at least, is fairly well paved, and some stretches, as along Bolinas Lagoon or just south of Tomales, can be taken very quickly indeed!

1934 Morgan with JAP JTOS engine – one of two Mogs this year. [Paul d’Orleans]
This year’s event was light on prewar machines, but this was compensated by several tasty specials from the 1960’s. It was a beautiful autumn day, and the bikes sounded great.

Veteran cafe racer Jerry Kaplan looking stylish. [Paul d’Orleans]


Paul d’Orléans is the founder of He is an author, photographer, filmmaker, museum curator, event organizer, and public speaker. Check out his Author Page, Instagram, and Facebook.