Super Hunky Memorial Ride to the Husky Memorial [Editor’s Letter]

I have two ironclad rules in my life—I don’t go to funerals or weddings. I have been in both and determined that they’re not my thing. The last funeral I attended got ugly, so I swore them off in the 1990s, and that’s it. People who know me have heard me talk about it, so they don’t have any expectations otherwise. On my end of things, I managed to get married without anyone in attendance other than my wife and the justice of the peace, and there’s not going to be anything to attend when I die.

Super Hunky Memorial Ride to the Husky Memorial: Rick Sieman

However, this was something different. When I heard there was going to be a ride in Super Hunky’s memory to the Husky Memorial in a remote location in the Mojave Desert, I had to go. I had never been to the Husky Memorial and had long wanted to check it out. Also, there would be an installation of a tribute memorial to Super Hunky, and I wanted to see what his close friends and relatives had cooked up. If you’re unfamiliar with the legendary and revolutionary motorcycle writer, I’ll refer you to my January 2024 Editor’s Letter.

It was a warm and windy May Saturday for the Super Hunky Memorial Ride to the Husky Monument that was organized by his daughter Cindy. The highlight of the ride was going to be the installation of a Super Hunky Memorial.

When Associated Editor Kelly Callan and I arrived at Camp B in California City, there were dozens of people prepping for the ride. Super Hunky t-shirts were available, and the previous night’s campfire was still smoldering.

Super Hunky Memorial Ride to Husky Memorial: Yamaha AT-1 MX

Vintage motorcycles mixed seamlessly with modern rides, as did the young and old riders. Many people who attended had never met Super Hunky. However, they weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to honor a guy who was an absolute legend to the off-road riders who grew up reading his work in Dirt Bike, Modern Cycle, and beyond.

At 1 p.m., the panel truck hauling the not-yet-revealed Super Hunky Memorial headed for the Husky Memorial. Keep in mind that the destination is about 20 miles of sandy/dirt roads from U.S. Route 395—the nearest pavement.

Appropriate for a ride of this type, there wasn’t a lot of organization. Everyone headed out to 20 Mule Team Parkway, and off we went. No one was designated as the ride leader, and I don’t think there was a chase rider. You were on your own, though there were lots of people.

Super Hunky Memorial Ride to Husky Memorial: Cuddeback Lake
Cuddeback Lake.

The group paused at Cuddeback Lake, which had reverted to dry for the occasion. The group started splintering as we took off across the lake at various speeds, and the leaders were gone.

A group of riders, maybe 20 or so, consolidated at the lake’s edge. No one was claiming to know the way to the Husky Memorial and no one wanted to lead. A passing rider who wasn’t there for the event pointed a road out to me and said, “That road will take you to the Husky Memorial.”

That was enough for me, and suddenly, I was leading a group of 20 riders through the Mojave Desert, even though I didn’t know exactly how to get to where I wanted to go. I had seen the Husky Memorial on a map, so I had a rough idea, but that’s all. Regardless, everyone seemed happy to follow me, and off we went. This was starting to sound like one of Super Hunky’s From The Saddle columns—perfect.

Eventually, I came to an intersection and stopped, as I felt we were getting close. Lo and behold, I looked south, and there it was. We had overshot it by a short distance, but I still had managed to pull a jackrabbit out of the helmet.

There was a nice crowd of people milling around, including quite a few that came from other directions and were not part of the ride, including a pair of classic Triumph desert sleds—a favorite bike of Super Hunky.

Among those attendees who weren’t part of the “official” ride were current and decades-long Dirt Bike Editor Ron Lawson and three-time AMA Motocross National Champion Gary Jones. I’ve had the privilege of knowing both for a long time and was happy to see them. Ron has been part of the Husky Memorial from the start, so it was great hearing his perspective on its origin and growth. He even found a friend’s plaque, though it took some searching among all the other memorials.

From right: Three-time AMA Motocross Champion Gary Jones, Dirt Bike Editor Ron Lawson, and Ultimate Motorcycling Editor Don Williams

The crowd kept growing, but there was no sign of the truck hauling the Super Hunky Memorial. That wasn’t much of a concern, as everyone was milling around. I was checking out the Husky Memorial for the first time, and others marveled at how much it had grown since their last visit. What started in the 1980s as a single motorcycle in a remote desert location has morphed into an expanding circle containing over 100 monuments to people who loved the desert and riding there.

The truck eventually pulled in. The monument was unloaded, along with bags of Quikrete to secure it in the sandy soil.

When the monument was compared to the hole prepped for it, it became apparent the hole wasn’t nearly deep enough for the monument, which looked to be about 15 feet tall, of which about three feet needed to be in the ground. Again, this was perfect fodder for a From The Saddle column.

Shovels were brought out, and more digging commenced. Different opinions were offered about the depth and width the hole needed to be, but no one was arguing—cooperation was the theme of the day.

Eventually, the consensus was that the hole was finally large enough, and it was time to install the Super Hunky Memorial. Water was mixed into the Quikrete, and two professional levels were attached to the memorial to ensure it wouldn’t list. There were plenty of hands on deck.

Eventually, the memorial was securely installed. Cindy Sieman added her handprint to the concrete as a fitting touch, though even that required various discussions and adjustments to the water/Quikrete ratio. After multiple attempts, the imprint was made.

Cindy Sieman pressing her hand into the concrete of the Super Hunky Memorial.

Words were spoken on Super Hunky’s behalf, including a contribution by Ron Lawson, who has done so much to keep Super Hunky’s creation of Dirt Bike alive. Steve-O Lee, who collaborated on the text on the memorial’s plaque with his wife Sue, offered a heartfelt tribute.

This was a lively affair, and it wasn’t one of those gatherings where you would say, “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” Instead, people were celebrating Super Hunky’s impact on their lives, and enjoying the perfect day in the desert.

As it turns out, the Super Hunky Memorial really is something special. Side covers from vintage Maico, Yamaha, and Triumph motors adorn the memorial, highlighting some of Super Hunky’s favorite brands. However, the best part of the Super Hunky Memorial, which was designed and fabricated by Chris Moore at World Wide Welding in California City, is a caricature of his mustachioed face that spins in the center of a hub-mounted rim. As the wind blows, Super Hunky will be forever surveying the Mojave Desert and those who ride there. It was a genuinely brilliant touch.

Sure, the text on the plaque could have used a proofreader and editor, but that just makes the event that much more like a From The Saddle column. It was apropos of Super Hunky. He loved to make life larger than life, and what a life he led.

Photography by Kelly Callan and Don Williams

Super Hunky Memorial Ride to the Husky Memorial Photo Gallery