We the Topz…
In October 1986, the “scene” here in Sacramento was nearly non-existent. Little by little we started banding together, and before long we had secured a nifty little hide-out in the back of Tower Ice Cream (now Tower Cafe). During this time, the novel idea of a scooter club sprang, and were it not for the boredom of the original founders Dave Kopf, Carlton (Cardi) Ashley, and Alex Zangeneh Azam, there would not be the clandestine spinning fury known as The Burgundy Topz…
Since October 1986, we have stuck together and survived based on no structure at all. During our first meetings, we tried a “democratic” approach, usually reaching dead ends with a lack of leadership, disorganization, and flirting with our interns. Later, our structure evolved based on regular members and we cemented a life-long brotherhood composed of people more interested in hanging out and riding than just pissing away time trying to elect presidents and kings and sergeants and whatever else. In our world, and still to this day, simplicity has always reigned supreme. We knit, we drink, we discuss the news and we ride.
In August 1987, we put ourselves on the map with the first Scootouring, and created a legacy in the foothills of California that kicked off the arrival of spring. We compliment our springtime folly with an autumn scooter show humbly called “Worshipping the Beast”. What started as a custom scooter show has evolved into a thematic event, showcasing Sacramento’s sights and scenes. In recent years, we have taken Worshipping the Beast to beautiful Lake Tahoe. In December we take part in the Annual Sacramento Toy Run, a motorcycle ride through the streets of Sacramento proudly riding our scooters among thousands of Harleys. Following the Toy Run, we proudly host the Northern California Scooter Council meeting to discuss upcoming events and other club business.
Aside from this, we ride. Nothing beats club rides. Cold, wet, hot, dry – all we need is the road, two wheels, a bit of fun, and the rest follows. First one to break down buys the next pitcher!
Our current roster boasts 15 active members. Though many members have come and gone, we still hold a spot for brethren as “Inactive Members,” for whom the door will always be open. During our history, we have had the misfortune of seeing a few of our dear friends pass away. We will never forget Kim Pease, Lorna Clark, Matt Williams, Paul Corrallo, Ben Johnson, and Mike Hoerl and will always think of them fondly.
Yes, it takes a long time to become a Top… usually a year. We have seen some come and go, and have thus enacted a common rule to only accept new members under a unanymous vote and after building a strong kinship. So far, it’s worked just fine…
See you at the next run!
The Burgundy Topz
*This article by Alex Zangeneh Azam originally appeared in Scoot Quarterly Magazine – Summer 1999.