Taken from the December, 2006 Newsletter


RIDING INTO THE SUNSET ON TWO WHEELS: Memories from the Baumgarts

On November 25, 2006, TBSA lost a longtime friend and member, Mr. Jay Whitehead. It was Jay’s wishes that we all remember him the way we knew him. A few of us "older" members were blessed to have a few more wonderful moments with him in his last few days. I would like to share some of our TBSA memories with those who did not have the opportunity to know Jay, and for those of us who have known him for many years.

Jay and Sue Whitehead joined TBSA many years ago, bringing with them their zest for riding and the importance of family. Whenever Jay was around, you could always be assured there would be wood for the fire, an extra chair for those who had forgotten theirs, a place to stay if you needed it, a HOT cup of coffee, and a warm and loving smile.

Jay organized many bikeannas. Of course, that included his famous hot dog swing. He loved to tie up that piece of meat and see who had the skills to go up against his strategic placement of the swinging rope. You always knew your riding skills were good if you could get the hot dog from Jay. He showed one "hot shoe" how hot he really was by spicing up a special dog just for him. That is, he put a chili pepper inside of it.

Fout Springs was one of Jay’s favorite places to camp. He would load his truck up with hot dogs, drinks and Sue, and off they would go to feed all of our hungry riders when they arrived at the top of Cracker Box. Sweetwater Summit always brought with it Jay’s culinary genius - beer batter pancakes. Everyone would start lining up to eat before he could get the griddle hot.

Jay was a family man. He loved his wife Sue and was devoted to his kids, Jeff and Lynn, and, of course, his grandkids. That includes the adopted ones who came to visit and never left. There was, however, a very special light in the life of Jay Whitehead - his grandson Andrew (aka DUCKIE BOY). He was privileged to receive some of Jay’s wisdom and knowledge - " If you want to ride that bike you have to start it yourself." Of course, I think the lesson was Jay’s. Don’t underestimate a grandson’s desire to ride grandpa’s BIG BOY bike instead of his little boy bike. One of my favorites has always been, " You used the stuff; pick up after yourself."

So, Jay, keep an eye out for some good riding and keep those trails in good shape for your friends to join you on that long ride. You were loved and will always be remembered the way you wanted to be - with a twinkle in your eye, a smile on your face and love in your heart.

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Three rigs met Wednesday night at Spangler Hills - the Heplers, the Baumgarts, and John Cox.

THURSDAY - a short ride out through the sandhills, around Charley’s Place, back to camp - about 40 miles; then we all relaxed and had Thanksgiving dinner.

FRIDAY - Jay Keating came by after finishing a two-hour ride with his buddy but declined to join us for another three hours - we took a ride that went around the technical part of the hills, overlooking Ridgecrest, back to Charley’s Place, where we found the Masons camped with their Southern California friends; then back through the mountains, around the valley, through the sandhills and home - 45 miles total.

SATURDAY - we set out towards Burro Schmidt Mine, crossed down through Fremont Valley, up the mountain to the microwave towers, along the Ridge - then down to Cal.City/Camp B riding area, across 395, around Red Mountain - we tested out the maximum speed capabilities across the dry lake bed below Red Mountain - JC’s is the only KTM that seems to indicate a "160 m.p.h." capability (everyone else has max speed of 98 mph) - we then went around the wilderness area, followed Trona Road back to Searle’s for leftover turkey, returning to camp after 6 hours and 103 miles (which is when most KTM riders are ready to switch to their reserve tanks).

SUNDAY - getting a late start, we took a casual ride, checking for new staging areas (since the holiday weekend crowds are now huge at Searle’s Station) - found a place along Trona Road that is easily described, would not take any longer to drive to, but would offer more elbow room than the spots we’ve used in the past.



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