Blood, Sweat, and Gasoline
"When you got out on the track, the green flag dropped, and the bullshit stopped," Eddie Mulder told us in a matter of fact tone, but through his trademarked mischievous grin.
There’s a glint in Eddie's eyes that shines like steel when he grins. He started riding at the age of 8 on a Triumph Cub, and entered his first official race when he was 11 years old. At the height of his racing career, he was the first man to win the AMA's Grand National Triple Crown: the iconic Peoria TT, Castle Rock TT, and Ascot TT. At 71, he still carries himself with the swagger of a champion, and since 1998 has won the Vintage Motorcycle division of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb a staggering eight times.
"A lot of good racing, a lot of good people, a lot of fist fights...”
Born in 1943, Eddie Mulder grew up in the motorcycle heyday of California, a state of wide open space perfect for two-wheeled wanderlust. Eddie’s father worked for legendary rider Bud Ekins, whom Eddie beat in the 1959 Mojave Hare Scrambles at the age of 16. Bud Ekins was so awestruck by young Eddie’s performance that he introduced Eddie to the Triumph factory racing team, where Eddie soon gained sponsorship, and thus set the budding legend on the path to success, fame, and greatness.
Eddie was a leading member of the Checkers MC, the winningest off-road motorcycle racing club to have ever existed. He was so good among such revered company that he was known as "Fast" Eddie Mulder.
On the track and off, Eddie was — and still is — a force to be reckoned with. Through keen racer instincts and a dogged will to win, Eddie towered over his competition and terrified the other riders whenever he walked into the pits. His motto was to eat nails and shit rust. He demanded respect, and earned it through pulling on the throttle when lesser men would roll off.
“Once riding gets into your blood, if you really love it, there’s nothing better.”
During his iconic career, Eddie raced only on Triumphs. And for a reason. It wasn’t just the heritage, the looks, or even wanting to stick it to Harley-Davidson, who dominated the flat track scene at the time. It was everything a Triumph stood for.
After retiring from the racing scene, Eddie worked in Hollywood for many successful years as a motorcycle stuntman. Some of his more famous roles included being Clint Eastwood's stunt double in Magnum Force, jumping bikes from one aircraft carrier to the next before finally flying off the edge of one ship in a mock-fatal crash into the ocean.
Now, Eddie lives with his wife on a secluded ranch in the high desert of southern California, where he builds custom motorcycles that he calls "Eddie Mulder Specials," modeled after his winning Pikes Peak bike.
In collaboration with him, we built the Triumphant, featured in the image above. He liked it so much, it's now "his" bike, and he can be found ripping CA-2 Angeles Crest W.F.O. on it during any given Sunday.