top of page


The 45th Annual Jampot Rallye was excellent. As we have for several years now, we gathered at the Weldon House in East Durham, NY.


Word was spread wide and we had a good turnout with many new faces, mostly riding Guzzis, Royal Enfields, and Triumphs. With border restrictions lifted, Canadians were back, riding Guzzis, Ducatis, and BMW airheads from Montreal. Products of Plumstead Road London were less well represented than we like, as Bill Cawley's G80CS was the only Matchless. Bill doesn't let the side down though, as he rides that bike the way it was meant to be ridden, with vigor. 


We might have had a Norton N15 on site, but the owner, Keith from Rochester, was tending to a primary case leak when he discovered the crankcase was broken at the front motor mount. (He rode his Kawasaki ZRX1200R instead.) Early Norton Commandos were built in Plumstead, but my 1972 model was put together in Wolverhampton. At least it shares the good old AMC gearbox.


Whatever they rode, the newcomers slotted right into the spirit of the Jampot. Friday, Rally Kahuna John Les led some early arrivals up the challenging Platte Clove Road to lunch at the Sportsman’s Alamo Cantina in Phoenicia. On return, a keg of Berkshire Brewing Company's Steel Rail Pale Ale was tapped. BBC beers are not normally available in New York, so this was a treat, bringing a taste of Jampot tradition from the days at Bucksteep Manor in Washington Mass.


Saturday was cold and windy, but unfazed, we rode 45 miles up and down through the hills to Steve Rzany's home in Voorheesville NY. He invited us for lunch and a tour of his compound of garages and shops, a small private museum of sorts.  Over the years, Steve has collected all kinds of motorcycle paraphernalia. Although he has ridden and built Guzzis, Harleys, Hondas, and others, in recent years he has focused on several uniquely well fettled BMW airheads, which were on prominent display. Twenty or more folks on nearly as many bikes filled his back 40, and everybody had a great time eating and hanging.


I led a longer route around 55 miles back to East Durham. We ran through a little mist and then somewhat wet roads. The weather tried but could not quite keep us from having a whole lotta fun. Thanks to New York State and several local highway departments, especially Albany County, for smooth clean asphalt gracing the twists and turns. The hills were alive with motorcycle music.


John did the grab bag giveaway Saturday before dinner. Deke Harris cooked, with assistance from Robin and others. He fed us better than ever (Friday evening and Sunday morning too). 


With our Canadian friends on hand, between the stories and jokes around the bonfire, there was some singing, including the sequence of the Star Spangled Banner, O Canada, and God Save the Queen. High point of the rally in my book. Ya can't beat it.


Ben English * Albany * New York * 2

bottom of page