Mad Dogs and English Bikes -Racing Vintage Dirt Bikes with Hayden Roberts Scott Toepfer and Joy Lewis

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Manage episode 281650611 series 2768449
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Happy New Year! Thanks for tuning into Slow Baja. As I prepare for the upcoming Baja XL Rally, I wanted to share one of my favorite podcasts initially released in May last year. This podcast is very dear to my heart and was transformational for me in many ways. I want to thank Joy and Hayden for opening their home to me, and I was delighted that Scott braved a rainy morning on his old BSA to join us. As you will hear, the conversation was free-flowing and full of laughter. Joy owns the second half of the show, and I’m sorry that she wasn’t there for the entire conversation. My man, Christopher Keiser of Kaffeinated Films, deserves an Academy Award for Sound Mixing for his work on this recording.

Hayden Roberts and Scott Toepfer race vintage British Dirt Bikes in endurance offroad events like the NORRA Mexican 1000, NORRA Baja 500, and The Mint 400. Roberts, originally from England, is a fixture in the Southern California Motorcycle scene. He crafts and customizes bikes at his shop Hello Engine, in Santa Paula, California. Toepfer, a lifestyle-photographer with a specialty in motorcycles, met Roberts on a motocross exposition in Japan. They have been fast friends -racing, wrenching, and traveling on their desert-sleds ever since.

In this conversation, we learn the meaning of “Only mad dogs and Englishmen.” Hear stories of swapping motors on the beach, sleeping in the dirt, and surviving a sting from a dreaded stingray. Joy Lewis joins the conversation midway and recounts an epic night of worry from the 2015 NORRA Mexican 1000. Hayden’s GPS position had stopped suddenly. Did he crash? Was he injured, or worse? They were hours away and had no way to contact him. As she searched for information and tried to summon help -one grizzled Baja racer (jokingly) suggested that he was “shacked up with a local senorita, and in nine months -another Baja rider would be born!”

The next morning, Joy found him, tired but well-fed. He had slept on the dirt right where his motorcycle broke down. In the middle of the night, somebody covered him with a blanket and left a plate of food. He woke to “half the village checking to see that he was all right.” Soon he was nursing a carton of milk and teaching a group of elementary school children about England.

After rebuilding his engine during a sandstorm in Bahia de Los Angeles, Hayden jumped into the water to clean up and was promptly stung by a stingray. Joy became his nurse, and they fell in love over a cup of hot tea. Prompting Joy to say, “the stars are brighter, and the tacos are better in Baja.” I heartily agree!

Check out Hello Engine here.

Check out Scott Toepfer here.

Joy Lewis Instagram

NORRA Mexican 1000 here.

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