Motorcycling in California's Central Valley

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The heart of California’s Central Valley—from Lodi, Stockton, and Tracy through Modesto, Oakdale, and Turlock—embraced motorcycling from the beginning of the sport and lifestyle. Eleven riders from the region are in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Hall of Fame, spanning every decade from the 1900s. The popularity of bicycling in the 1890s led to early motorcycle shops, riders, and champion racers in the 1900–1910s. Area motorcycle club recreational rides and field meets started in 1914. Central Valley police departments were among the first to develop motorcycle traffic units in the 1920s, before the California Highway Patrol. Early racing venues such as repurposed bicycle velodromes, college stadiums, and horse tracks were expanded when the Lodi Cycle Bowl was developed in the 1950s; it gave newcomers such as Modesto’s Kenny Roberts and Stockton’s Alex Jorgensen, Chris Carr, and Fred Merkel—all now AMA Hall of Famers—a track at which to compete weekly.
ISBN: 9781467108911
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: California
Series: Images of America
Images: 214
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
The 200-plus photographs in this book—90 percent from private collections—were assembled primarily by Stewart Barber Sr., who is an active member of the Stockton and Lodi Motorcycle Clubs and the AMA and has been involved in regional racing for more than 50 years. He worked for more than three years with coauthor David R. Stuart, who recently retired as the director of the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum.
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