Jim was a member of the Zebras Motorcycle Club and the first rider to be memorialized at the Husky Memorial site. The site was in fact established by the Zebras for Jim...
"Jim Ericson, a good friend of mine, was almost impossible to beat on a fire road. Jerickson was one of his nicknames. We would all meet at the Riverside Ice House on Sunday mornings and go fire roading up Bee canyon to Idylwild, have lunch and ride back. The Lamar boys and Gormo the pinstriper in Riverside, drilled holes in all the parts of the bike, so no one would steal parts from the monument. This bike was put there when there were still many 390 Huskys being ridden. Many other memorials have been put in the same area, including a memorial for my good friend Jimmy Lewis who was the MSR Sales Manager for the full time I owned MSR. All the other monuments there are for die hard motorcycle enthusiasts. I hope to be honored there, BUT at a much later time!" ~ Malcolm Smith
I was one of the riders that would meet at the Ice House early Sunday morning to head out for a weekly ride or race. As Malcolm mentions many times we would head to Bee Canyon, Bautista Canyon or in the early days, the Indian Truck Trail. Jim Erickson was good person and a good friend.
My dad introduced me to him when I began racing scrambles at Perris and Prado Park in 1963. Jim was riding a Goldstar at that time. I remember the bike broke, I asked him what happened and he said the fuel line came off. Seemed strange that he would be going home for the day because of a fuel line. Actually, he said, when the rod broke, it took out all the engine mounts, knocked the mag off, and the piston hit the head so hard it broke all the cylinder studs, the head hit the gas tank, and the fuel line came off. Racing scrambles made Jerickson a master at slidin' corners on the fireroads. You could go into a corner with him side by side and feel confident that he would stay in his lane. That usually wasn't much of a problem, because the only time you were side by side with him is when he was blowing by you.
After the Goldstar, he road Greeves for many years, then the Huskys. The Huskys didn't slide corners like the Greeves, but Jerickson made them work. I have attached a picture of Jim, and a picture of him racing at the Virginia City GP and the Soboba GP. I hope putting these pictures on the Internet doesn't offend anyone.
Jim was a great guy, and it's fitting the memorial that was originally to him, has become a memorial to many involved in the sport. I was there when we buried the husky. There were quite few people at a small gathering at Hwy 395 & 58, then Ron Griewe, Gormo, the Lamar's and others took the bike out to one of Jim's favorite spots. None of us knew if it would last of not. I haven't been back. I had stopped riding dirt bikes before Jim died, and haven't had one since. I search the internet for 'Husky Memorial' every now and then to see what is going on. I hope to get out there soon. ~ Gary Whitehead ~ December 29, 2007