Motorcycle club thrives in Park City
Bob Jones pedaled his bicycle coast-to-coast across the United States of America in 1984. His biking days have never been the same since.
"I decided it’s more fun to have a motor," said Jones, the president of the Park City Motorcycle Club.
Now, at 62, he owns 10 bikes the motor kind and most of them are vintage machines he’s restored.
Among his toys hibernating in his basement is a limited Ducati-Paul Smart 1000 Sport Classic, representing the Paul Smart’s first vintage winning Ducati, and a ’71 Norton Commando that was customized into a café racer. Café racers come from England and according to Jones, they were typical of the era when people would race them from café to café.
"You can tell a rider because his left shoe is scuffed from shifting," said Dale Boschetto, vice president of the Park City Motorcycle Club. "Bob has both of his shoes scuffed because he rides the English bikes and their pedals are (opposite)."
Also in his basement, Jones is restoring a Harley XR 100, a ’71 Triumph Rickman and a ’74 Norton that is being restored piece by piece. In his garage sits a ’70s Triumph and a BMW that he recently drove in an endurance ride where he traveled 1,200 miles in 24 hours.
Jones is typical of the members of the Park City Motorcycle Club. He, along with 80 other dues-paying members, shares a love for the strong horse-powered cycles.
"It’s the ride," Boschetto said. "Instead of a drive, it’s the ride. You’re in tune with the weather and surroundings. You’re not isolated with the car and air conditioning."
By no means does the group consist of only the typical Harley crowd dressed in leather. The club runs the gamut of motorcycle styles from cruisers, racers to off-road bikes.
"It’s an individualist sport," Boschetto said. "Everybody’s got their own bike and some might be different. There are a lot of sport guys, cruisers, and a small contingent of dirt bikes. It’s all inclusive."
Jones is a blend of all of them.
"I started off with Kawasaki then I rode a Harley, then Vintage bikes then sports," Jones said. "I have 10 bikes and no two are alike. We support all brands of bikes and riding styles."
Jones’ hobby really started after his kids grew up and he was left with more time.
"I wasn’t interested until I raised my kids. It sort of evolved," he said.
He was always interested in restoring cars but found he was more suited to bikes.
"Cars are too big of a project to take it down to bolts and pistons, there is more money for the parts and (motorcycles) are all much more manageable," Jones said.
Boschetto stopped riding a bike after he lived in Hawaii for a time.
"I had motorcycles all the time," Boschetto said.
Because of the narrow roads and the drivers on the island, he quit his "sport." In 2001, he took a motorcycle safety course and returned to a sport he forgot he loved. Boschetto believes it is necessary for anyone to take a motorcycle safety course before they decide to take on ma motorcycle.
"The safety course is a real eye-opener, especially for younger people," Boschetto said.
Jones agrees. Both of them say the club is dedicated to promoting bike safety.
"Just like skiing," Jones said, "It’s best to learn the basics and we will also be sponsoring beginner and advanced courses."
Motorcycles are often thought of as a more dangerous mode of transportation. With the right training though, motorcycles may develop a better image.
"We promote safe riding. The courses help you understand your limitations as a rider," Boschetto said. "It made me much more aware. My machine is more agile and more powerful than I am."
With many people of affluence in this community and an ideal topography, Jones believes Park City is a natural fit for a club like his.
"It tends to grow as more people find out about it. Motorcycling is a natural thing to gravitate to here. People are looking for other people to ride with," Jones said. "We have some of the best roads in the country."
Throughout the year, the club conducts socials and group rides along with fundraisers for local charity events. Last year it contributed $1,200 to charities. This year it has planned to participate in Racing to Save Lives and a program to benefit the People’s Health Clinic. They also sponsor races at the Larry H. Miller track. Some of the club’s past road trips include journeys to Jackson Hole and Cody, Wyoming.
"It’s group oriented," Jones said. "We ended up at Grand Targhee and 30 people from our club filled up the dance floor."
The group even includes a Park City family that travels with the club.
"There are all kinds of bikes and all kinds of ages," Boschetto said.
The Park City Motorcycle Club is having its annual Winter Social Meeting Jan. 10 at Nacho Mama’s Restaurant, located on Sidewinder Drive in Prospector Square. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. The summer ride calendar will be presented and there will be a membership drive. For more information, call Bob Jones at 647-5713 or Dale Boschetto at 649-7561.
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A crash between a pickup truck and passenger vehicle on Wednesday sent a woman to the hospital and shut down S.R. 32 for about an hour.