These pictures were processed in October of 1969. I believe the rally was held the prior May. Click on any picture to see it at full size.

Great Western Bike Rally, 1969

by David Steffen

I believe these are the last pictures I have of the Modesto Roadmen. By this time, my parents have moved away from Modesto, I had become increasingly involved with college activities, and shortly after these pictures were taken, the youngest of the Modesto Roadmen I knew well had graduated from High School.

In 1968, we all drove to the Great Western Bike Rally. This year, we rode. I can't remember from where I started, but most of the group, perhaps including me, started from Modesto. From the pictures, I am guessing we rode the 302 miles from Modesto to Atascadero in two days, spending one night illegally camped along the way. Thus, this one event can be divided into two adventures, the ride to the rally, and the rally itself. From the pictures, I believe that the attendees were me (David Steffen), Roger Farschon, Jeff Cowdrey, Tom Woods, John Campopiano, Curt Thiemann, and Fred Brockman.

A rest stop on our way from Modesto to Atascadero. From left to right, Tom, John, and Curt. If you click on the full size picture, you can also see Jeff, Roger (mostly obscured), and Fred (mostly obscured.)

I silly picture I took of my bike. If you look at the previous picture, you can see the same bike, this picture is taken in the opposite direction from just past that bike. This picture does illustrate how lightly the Roadmen packed when we toured.

Our first night's (illegal) campsite. From left to right, Tom, Roger, and Jeff.

The obligatory arrival picture at the Atascadero city limits sign.

A badly underexposed picture of the high school gym we stayed at while at the rally. If there are any Roadmen in this picture, you can't prove it by me.

These rallies were all about the community. This picture attempts to illustrate the large number of cyclists in attendance.

These rallies consisted mostly of rides through the surrounding countryside. This is a picture along one of those rides.

Tom was the envy of all of the rest of us roadmen when he managed a romantic conquest at the rally. I used to think pictures through bicycle wheels were unbelievably cool, and here is one such of Tom and his girl of the rally.

The group start of one of the rides, again illustrating the large number of riders in attendance.

This is it, the last picture on the last roll of film I ever shot of the old Modesto Roadmen. It would be almost 40 years before I took another Roadmen photo (and it was digital). From left to right, Tom and Curt saying goodbye from the 1969 Great Western Bike Rally in Atascadero, California.

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