So, You Say You Like Vintage Bikes?

 

Me too. But not enough to own one. I like the reliability of modern bikes. I like not having to worry about breaking down on the road in the middle of God’s elbow somewhere. I like electric start, powerful brakes, ABS, traction control, ride modes, and yes, dual clutch transmissions like I have on my Honda NC700.

I don’t wax nostalgic over vintage bikes. I wasn’t riding a 1960’s triumph when I was five years old. When most of these older bikes were new and on the road, heck, I wasn’t even interested in girls yet!

But I love the design of vintage bikes, the artistry that goes into those designs. I like the historical factor, each bike showcasing the history of motorcycling through the decades. The beauty of these machines is what excites me, whether in preservation mode or fully restored.

The venue for this vintage show was Antique Bikes on Main in Chesnee, South Carolina. Enjoy the photos and wax nostalgic if you must!

Cool, Quirky, Strange and Interesting……………..

A FEW PHOTOS OF VEHICLES AT THIS MONTHS CARS & COFFEE

MICHELIN CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA

THE BIG GUY AT MICHELIN SCHMOOZIN’ WITH THE CROWD

 

THIS ISN’T A GANG, JUST A GAGGLE OF MOTORBIKES

THE SAINT BERNARD OF THE AUTOMOTIVE WORLD

THIS MASERATI COUPE AND ITS SISTER ROADSTER WOULD BE THE ONLY MASERATIS I WOULD CONSIDER IF I COULD AFFORD TO. I CAN’T, SO IT’S MOOT.

THERE’S TWO OF THESE RUNNING AROUND TOWN THAT I’M AWARE OF!

FORD GT

DOGS LOVE CARS AND BIKES TOO!

HONDA’S URBAN TRAIL COMPLETE WITH RIFLE AND SCABBARD

TRIVIATIME! WHAT POPULAR 1980’S TV SHOW HAD THE LEAD ACTOR DRIVING AROUND IN THIS FERRARI 308 GTS?

MAGNUM P.I.

UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED, BUT VERY COOL!

THE ORIGINAL

SUPERCAR SHOWDOWN

LAMBO

VS

MCLAREN

SEE YOU NEXT MONTH!

Yes, We are Bragging and Rightfully So………

We live in a region of the US that, in my opinion, has the absolute best motorcycle and sports car roads east of the Big Muddy, if not the entire country. The Southeastern region of the US, specifically the areas of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain chains, offer up the kind of roads that motorcyclists in other parts of the country would give their first child to ride. If you’ve ridden here, you know. We know. They are the best.

That’s a pretty big boast. Yes, it is. But consider this: hundreds of motorcyclists plan their “big” annual moto trip here to ride these roads that read like a motorcyclists who’s who of moto roads to ride. Because they are: The Tail of the Dragon, The Snake, The Diamondback, The Rattler, The Hellbender, The Cherohala Skyway, The Blue Ridge Parkway, The Foothills Parkway, The Back of the Dragon, The Claw of the Dragon,  The Watusi (Beatles #9 fans anyone?).

So here we are, Roo and I, taking pictures of my bike in Little Switzerland, North Carolina within spittin’ distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, where our Moto Club puts on it’s annual weekend rally.

The host motel, The Big Lynn Lodge is situated right on one of the above mentioned roads: NC226A, The Diamondback Motorcycle & Sports Car Route is marketed by the Village of Little Switzerland just like that, and sees hundreds of motorbikes and sports cars every spring, summer, and autumn.

Look at all those squiggly lines!

You cannot go wrong riding in this area. Not only are the infamous roads mentioned above exemplary, but the unnamed, little known roads that abound are sometimes more exhilarating.

You will encounter stunning scenery like this, but keep your eyes on the road.

Oh the tangled webs we weave………….

Early AM and bikes and riders getting ready for the day as soon as the fog lifts

The lone Italian

Listening to a great rock band with an adult beverage after a tiring day of riding

There are great roads to ride most everywhere in the US. But if you are looking for a higher degree of difficulty, challenging, technical, adrenalin inducing tarmac, you would be hard pressed to find it elsewhere. Come visit. Then you will know the best.

A CLASSIC INDEPENDENCE DAY

What is more American than Classic Cars? Not much if you are an automobile enthusiast. American Muscle and America’s sports car. Big, bodacious, and outrageous land yachts from the 1950’s and ’60’s. Hot Rods and Rat Rods. Sedans from the 1940’s that weigh as much as a tank. Steel is real, man. It’s All-American, and we feasted our eyes on these machines from the past in Brevard, North Carolina, July 4th, 2019 America’s Independence Day.

America’s Sports Car

No matter what generation of Corvette you see coming down the road, it’s a showstopper.

Show me your muscle!

The All-American.

Sit down, shut up, HOLD ON!

A new take on an old car. Hot Rod American style.

Think the cabin in your SUV is big?

Whoa! How would you like to see that in your rear view running up on your plastic bumper?

Boop-a-Doop

See ya!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

 

Speed and Adrenaline: MX5 Miatas at Bristol Motor Speedway! Zoom Zoom!

THE INTIMIDATOR

BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY. BRISTOL, TENNESSEE

  • Third largest sports venue in America
  • Seventh largest in the world
  • Holds up to 162,000 people!
  • Banking on curves is 26 to 30 degrees!
  • Track is a mere one-half mile in length.

Despite it’s short length, Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the most popular tracks on the Nascar circuit because of it’s distinct features: extraordinary steep banking, all concrete surface, two pit roads, and stadium style seating. So here we are, a whole gaggle of smiley faced sports cars, getting ready to do battle with the Intimidator, in a stadium known as the Last Great Colosseum.

We had a police escort right to the front door.

Then it was on to the “garage”

Once in the garage, each car had to stop and check in

Exiting the garage is a super steep drop down to pit lane and the track. Cars are required to wait until the car in front is down the slope and in pit lane.

Once on the track, we did a parade lap back into pit lane to line up in our respective track groups.

All lined up and ready to go……….but Mother Nature had other plans.

Three-thirty in the afternoon and all the cars are lined up and ready for some hot laps on this all left turns Nascar track. But it was raining. Everything was put on hold as we all gathered in the media building to wait out the rain. BMS staff took out their track drying equipment to no avail. At the staffs recommendation, some of our group got behind the Pace car to try and use engine and tire heat to dry the track sufficiently.     Uh-uh.

By now it was six PM, and the BMS track officials were talking to our group leaders. It looked like we were going to be relegated to doing parade laps or nothing at all.

But then, Divine Intervention! As if the racing gods felt our plight, the rain stopped, the clouds parted, the suns rays beamed down onto the track, drying it in minutes. Thumbs up from the track officials and we were a go!

The racing gods smile on Miatas!

“Matchbox” is all smiles and rarin’ to go!

The first group out was the beginner group. This is the group we were in. No matter what your previous track experience on other tracks, if it is the first time on this track, you are automatically put in this group. Fine with me. We followed an official Nascar Pace Car ( a super trick Camaro) that set the max speed for each group. Ours was set at 75 MPH. The pace car could adjust the speed faster or slower depending how the group was driving. Seventy-five doesn’t seem that fast, until you’re doing it on banked curves that make you feel like you will drop right out of the car!

The Pace Car

The pace car took us on two progressively faster parade laps to familiarize ourselves with the track and banking, then led us back into pit lane. At this point anyone who wanted to bail was able, and passengers who thought we were just idiots for doing this, could also flee the scene. Roo exited reluctantly, only because she gets a bit of vertigo. Besides, she was the track photographer for me.

Here we go! Me and “Matchbox” on the move! Zoom Zoom! (photos by Roo)

The Last Great Colosseum

This place really does resemble a Roman Colosseum. I am told the noise here is incredible during a race. It also boasts the highest number of bumps and collisions of any track in the country due to its short length, steep banking and high speeds. A modern day venue for 21st century gladiators.

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What a day. Autocross in the morning, track laps in the afternoon. Mother nature gave us a pass. Running hot laps on this track was a bit nerve racking, exhilarating, and yes, intimidating. I am not a Nascar fan, preferring road courses like Indy Car, Road Atlanta, Moto GP, Isle of Man TT, Laguna Seca, etc. However, I drove away with a new appreciation for what these guys do on this track. I can’t even imagine doing 200 MPH on this track, or any track for that matter, with 30 other cars doing 200 MPH trying to pass you! Wow!

We all headed back to downtown Bristol for some food, a beer or two, and re-hash the days adventures.

A cool place to park it in Downtown Bristol

This was our first time at this MX5 event, and it is a keeper. It’s on the calendar for 2020. If you own a MX5 Miata, come join us next year. You won’t be disappointed.