Today we bring you a story from listener Scott Cloninger.
Chris and James,
I’m finally catching up on a couple of months’ worth of back episodes of The Pace and while listening to Episode 188 Chris’ Bergman story brought to mind an excellent illustration of the Bergman’s prowess….so here goes:
One of the groups I ride with occasionally is a small collection of former Clemson University students from the ’60s and ‘70s who call themselves the Clemson Café Racers. This group has an annual weekend event called Ride-In-Camp-Out where associates gather in metropolitan Walhalla, South Carolina (I forgive you if you’ve never heard of it) and camp on one of the members’ farm. From Walhalla the group rides most of the day Saturday and Sunday throughout western South Carolina, north Georgia, western North Carolina, and eastern Tennessee.
The members of the CCR ride an eclectic collection of motorcycles, mostly of a sporting nature. They tend toward European marques like Ducati and KTM, but there is always lots of Japanese hardware present, as well. These gents are all excellent riders with decades of riding experience. They know the local roads since they’re mostly locals, and they tend to ride at a VERY spirited pace when they gather together. The most lauded member of the group is a Gent named Tom Allred.
Tom generally shows up on whatever his latest purchase is, and it’s generally the latest, greatest sporting hardware, though he has shown up on everything from a Ducati superbike to a well-worn KLR. A few years ago Tom pulled in Friday afternoon aboard a Bergman 650. He proceeded to tell everyone how it rides comfortably, handles well, accelerates well, and is an overall blast to ride…in fact, Tom had just ridden his Bergman from South Carolina to Alaska and back! We all doubted his assessment despite his excellent riding chops.
Saturday morning our plan was to ride from Walhalla northward to the Blue Ridge Parkway, then head east for lunch at the Pisgah Inn. Tom lit out to show us the way. He set a pace that was slower than that group’s typical silly speeds, but was nonetheless quite spirited and an absolute blast to ride! This ride was punctuated by a story that’s one of those you just can’t make up……..
I’m sure you’re aware that the speed limit on the Parkway is 45 mph along most of its length. Let’s just say that the CCR’s pace exceeded that slightly. While riding toward the Pisgah Inn the group came up behind a rider aboard a spanking new Hayabusa. As Tom passed you could see him looking over in disbelief as the Bergman slid past, footboards dragging as the scooter leaned over into a right hand turn. He shook his head as the rest of the group slipped by with a gentle wave.
Later as we were eating lunch the Hayabusa rider walked up to our table and started a conversation. “How am I ever going to tell my buddies I got smoked by a scooter?”, he queried. Tom simply responded “Don’t tell ‘em.”
I can’t say that was the most fun I’ve ever had on a CCR ride, but it was definitely the most memorable. FEAR THE BERGMAN!!!!!
Keep talking. I’ll keep listening.
Desert Desmo LLC