“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

"Everybody dies. Not everybody really lives."

The saddest sound in the world is a man saying, "I wish I'd have done that."

Friday, January 18, 2013

Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival

Set aside the second week in October for a trip to Birmingham, Alabama and the Vintage Bike Festival at Barber Motorsports Park. 

It's a weekend long celebration of old and older and the oldest two wheeled mechanical beasts with three full days of races, swap meets, vendors, air shows and good times set amidst Barber's natural beauty and the racetrack, one of America's best. Add in the Barber Motorsports Museum, the largest private motorcycle collection in the world and you have a biker's paradise.

Races are run based on engine size and age so you will see 1950's era 500cc bikes like Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs in one race and the next one may feature 750 cc Hondas, Suzukis and Kawasakis from the 1970's.  It's like a time capsule, pick your favorite bikes and eras and settle in for some hard core racing--because these guys don't baby their bikes around.  You'll see knees scraping on 60 year old bikes (and 60 year old riders).  One race features some of the oldest bikes in existence--motorcycles from the turn of the century--the 20th century.  Harleys and Excelsiors from 1903 speed around the racetrack.

The races are only part of the attraction.  Acres and acres of vendors and sellers offer everything from vintage parts to rare motorcycles. Spend your weekend walking among the booths and find that one-of-a-kind vintage bike you always wanted when you were a kid.  Brit and Italian bikes seem to predominate and production and custom Ducatis, MotoGuzzis, Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs are everywhere.  The famous Ace Cafe and Dime City Cycles have tents set up for visitors.


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