CALVMX Profiles club racer, Craig Walker. Here's his moto-story :
I have lived in San Diego all my life, Pacific Beach, Claremont, Allied Gardens, Poway, Olivenhain, Encinitas, Cardiff, Casa De Oro, and that was from birth through high school, 3 elementary schools, 3 junior highs, 2 high schools. Then there were the adult ramblings, still in San Diego though. I have worked for the local cable company for 33+ years as a technician, supervisor, & technician support engineer.
My dad helped my brother and I get a couple of new Yamaha AT-1 enduros, in 1969. I think he was trying to steer my interests away from the dark side. It worked, sort of. In 1970 I bought a used 1969 Penton from the Torbett brothers. With parental support, mom and dad, I started racing the CMC circuit in 1970, Carlsbad, Saddleback, Perris, Fontana, and some others. I did well but never won anything. I had what came to be known as the 5 minute Penton. It didn’t always finish each moto. I would often place top 10 with many 3rd-5th place finishes, but always dnf at least one moto. BTW, the “Mom Rule” was if I was going to race I had to wear a Bell Star full face helmet. So I bought one. Guess what color it was ………………. orange of course. So that all goes back to 1970.
Shortly after high school, I graduated in 1971, I was married with child and couldn’t race very much. I did buy a CZ though because I always fantasized about having one and my very good riding buddy had one. I thought they were the coolest. I raced it a few times, but mostly rode it locally, but often. I was officially a CZ nut though. As a racer, I never made it out of the novice/junior ranks.
We had a track out in Proctor Valley where a bunch of friends would go to play, Phil Hall, Bob Dykmans, and others. We would stage races with trophies, wood base, beer can, plastic motorcycle topper. Anyway, Greg Harris, local pro, would come out and play and just annihilate us, except this one day. He and I jumped out to a lead in the 1st moto, 10 people or more, everybody rode the motos (no classes), and then we proceeded to lap the field, some several times. I think they were 30 minute motos and Greg and I were swapping the lead back and forth. It was insane. I was just having a career day, everything was working perfectly. My CZ was flying. I was flying. We lapped everybody (at least once) except Phil in third place, but we were coming up on him at the finish. Greg won both motos but I had the best riding/racing day of my life, slicing, dicing, slipping, jumping, one wheel, two wheels, it was awesome. It all came together on that day. To this day I get giddy when I think about it. It was a magical day for me.
Another quick one, being a CZ nut with a welder, it was my duty to help CZz keep pace with YZs, RMs, CRs, etc. So I modified my CZ and a few others for long travel so we could compete. So I remember this one race at Carlsbad, remember, I didn’t race much in the mid 70s, Jeff Bishop & I were lined up with our CZz against the sea of yellow, There were more than a few sneers and giggles at our bikes. So we both holeshot the field and held it for several laps, eventually getting passed by one or two yellow bikes near the end of the race. The second moto wasn’t quite as easy but we held our own, Jeff doing better than me. It was a good day for the CZ camp, both of us. Now if the factory could just start sending some “New” CZz …………………..
My first moto hero was Jim Wilson on a Greeves. He would come out and win multiple expert classes in a single day at CMC events. He was fun to watch.
Roger Decoster was my favorite hero because he was the complete package, the best rider, gentleman, engineer, and of course a former CZ guy. Watching Roger (Suzuki) and Rocket Rex (CZ) at the Carlsbad GP, where Rex was leading the field, Americans and Europeans, and they were coming through the “S” turns just before the finish line drop off. Rex was full lock right, full lock left, on the gas and on the hairy edge. Roger came through barely altering the bikes stance, just dissecting the section in total control, almost completely upright the whole time. He was so smooth, but then he was behind Rocket Rex and the CZ …………. for the moment.
I watch super cross and root for Dungey and Tomac. But I really enjoy watching the outdoor series a whole lot more, still rooting for Dungey and Tomac, with an eye on Baggett too. Dungey is Mr. Smooth and in control, as well as really fast. Tomac and Baggett are both on the hairy edge of control and capable of winning at any time. That makes them a threat and fun to watch.
CZ has always been my greatest motorcycle passion. Wash once in a while, race it often, leave your tools at home unless you need the heavy tool boxes for easy up anchors. They are fun, reliable and just plain cool.
I have never owned a new race bike, but I have had some cool ones.
69 Penton 125
72 CZ 250
76 RM 250
77 KTM MC5 250
85 YZ 250
71 CZ 250
73 CZ 400
69 CZ 250 Side Pipe
Love them all
I love CALVMX and look forward to the next race where Dana and I can go head to head battling the whole way. That’s good stuff there. Thanks for running a great program for us.