Wandering Asheville, and I headed to an auto parts store where the owner keeps his vintage motorcycle collection on display in the front. Between that and the hacked up BMW out front, I was already happy with the bikes I’d seen that day, with my own being tucked away a few hundred miles North of me.
It was at this point, drooling over the Rickman Triumph, that I was informed of the bike show happening that very afternoon!
It wasn’t for a few hours, so we kicked around town for a couple hours before heading over.
There may have also been a massive music festival going at the same time, but who knows. Bikes:
…and that was just outside. Inside the bar sat four worn and beaten racers, lined up in all their glory.
…and a parting shot, to counter the Indian racer.
I love being on my bike before the sun comes up, and, while it is best just to wander at that time of day, there is something to be said for having a destination. In this case, it was the big boys and girls showing off their toys. There is something wonderful to be said about a cup of coffee and aisles of classics, hot rods, exotics, and bikes. I was wired all day after just one cup, and it usually takes me a few!
Aisles of awesome everywhere I looked!
Then there was the guy who went home mid-meetup to switch Lamborghinis:
Some rides were older than others
Plus some classic 4x4s
A few mustangs, my childhood favorite:
Oh, and Ferraris. There were one or two of those:
Overall? 10/10 would gawk again.
I had begun speaking to a photographer next to me, whose mounted lens was worth as much as I spent on my vacation. He told me how he had come to every MotoGP race at Laguna Seca since ’88, and I was stricken with how awesome it must have been to grow up near such a cool track AND have the gasoline gene. I asked him what secrets or tips he had for me, and he gave me the best advice I could have dreamed of. To photograph riders in the iconic Corkscrew, or turn 8/8a, go watch the warm ups, watch the practices, and get my prime location photos then, and skip the area on race day like Tysons Corner at rush hour. I didn’t do the latter, just to see if he was right, and he was. I had a feeling he would be, so I did do the former, and got my prime-Corkscrew location all to myself. OK, just me and a few hundred of my closest friends, but it was still better than race day.
Everything between there and the end of the race is a blur. I know I went back through the pits, and drank plenty of beer to, uh, stay hydrated. There was a party in the campgrounds that culminated in about 15 police cars responding, and an RV-driver being escorted out for his own safety. There was a pursuit of some drunken sots, in the night, up a grassy hillside, during which two teenage lovers were discovered romping in the tall grass by flashlight-wielding police. I remember taking two laps of the track in a Robinson R44, and trading tickets to get a bandstand seat just in time to watch the checkered flag drop.
But then it was all over, and I was one of the last in the campgrounds, with nowhere to go. Well, almost. I had a month to kill before the race in Indianapolis… what to do? I packed slowly, and made my way to the coast.