Monday, July 26, 2010

Motorcycle Racing History, The Cuttenkid, and Home

As some of you know, The General was born and raised in Cutten, California on the outskirts of Eureka. After spending several days last week at access-related meetings in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, The General wants to challenge the old saying…”that you can’t go back to your childhood home.”
PHOTO: Jimmy Walker in his 1970s era Chevy
(click on photo to expand)

While visiting at the home of local off-road and access leader (and a fast rider too), Dale Warmuth, we reminisced about a seminole moment in motorcycle racing history. That event was the 1973 race to see what vehicle was fastest around the 3/8ths mile dirt track at Redwood Acres Raceway. Both of us were at the event. Dale was there because his dad who owned Leon’s Mufflers was a main sponsor of Jimmy Walker’s Chevy stock car. As a kid, The General was there because he loved to see the motorcycle and stock car races that took place at Redwood Acres.

Northern California dirt-track racing legend, Stormy Winters, ended up fending off the other riders on his HD 750 for the honor of representing motorcycles in the stock car v. motorcycle challenge. If my memory serves me correctly, Stormy beat Ray Beck, Gary Thompson, Clarence Oliver, Pat Richter (yes, that Pat Richter who became famous for being the first Moto-Cross Fox rider ), and Dennis Palmer. I also think, Dennis “The Chicken” McFarland was there on his Ossa. For exhibition, a guy named Louie did a wheelie around the track on his BSA 350.

The best part was that after our journey down local racing’s memory lane, Dale handed me a black and white photo (for me to keep and you to see) of Walker’s car with Leon’s Mufflers proudly displayed on the front fender.

Some of you may ask what does this story about childhood memories have to do with land-use. The short answer could be that sometimes HQ will offer a story that is just of human interest. The real answer is that because of support from Leon’s Mufflers - for my work at BRC to champion responsible access to public lands - and other small businesses, clubs, benefactors in the area that The General is able to successfully challenge closures on the North Coast.

I don’t know if you can really go back to your proverbial childhood home but after visiting with a number of local access leaders in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties last week, HQ believes that you just might be able to.

Jimmy Walker won the stock car v. motorcycle face-off with a best time of 20.900 on the 3/8 dirt mile at Redwood Acres. Jimmy is still racing today at selected events. HQ hopes to honor that commitment by doing its best to represent the OHV community in that area and elsewhere.

Thanks for taking time to join me on memory lane. Sometimes it’s a journey worth taking.


  1. Ya know, I skipped over this article at first because it didn't appear relevant. Glad I did finally read it though. Reminds me of the stories my uncle, a history teacher in Willow Creek CA, used to tell me when we were out wheelin in the Sierras. Used to love how he could bring history to life. Seems even more important these days to remember our roots and what we're fighting for. Thanks for sharing that General, hope to see more.

  2. Don If my memory serves me, my first lap was missed and I bailed on the entrance to turn one on lap two. I tried to get into turn one without shutting off. . Oops, it didn't work.
    Keep up the great work on property rights. We have lost so much since we were kids.

  3. But you tried and that's the main thing! I have not seen that match anywhere else. It's those memories from my youth as the Cuttenkid that keeps me going in the fight to keep our trails open.

  4. In the mid 80's while in my mid teens I use to ride my bike to Stormy Winters garage in Eureka to watch him work on his bikes,ask way to many questions, and always be thrilled when he would let me move one of his Harley race bikes to the other side of the garage.

  5. I traded my great BSA 350 mentioned above to Louie Brero in 1958. I had rode the bike for several years making many trips back and forth from Ukiah to Arcata. I had bought the bike from Billy Allsup in Ukiah. My end of the trade was a sweet midget rail job #88 which I raced at Jack Beal's Indianola Speedway. 88 ran on straight menthol. had two high rise 81's on a Ford 60 block. Offenhauser heads and manifold. Fully ported/relieved, mag. No clutch, gear box in or out straight off the engine to I don't know what ratio of rear end. It was beyond quick even by today's standards. Raced with Slim Jokela, Bill Ferrier and others I don't remember. Louie also rode the BSA exhibition at Indianola. I was 16 and a senior at Arcata High at the time. I hyad to get a note from mother! :^) Leon Pierce was my pit crew.