Mid-Atlantic Italian MotoFest 2010

Sometimes sticking it out pays off.  I was randomly messing around online one day a few weeks ago when I found out about a bike show in West Virginia yesterday.  I marked both my mental and physical calendars and waited for the day.  The night before I was partying with a few guys and someone broke out a bottle of liquor that smelled like soy sauce, and that’s the last thing I remember until I woke up and realized the bike show had been going for an hour already, two hours away in WV.

Boots on, and I was out the door…into the rain. Nevermind, I thought, this will go away soon.  Almost the exact second it stopped raining, I was tucked, going 70mph on the highway on my little 200cc thumper, and ran out of gas.  Nevermind, I thought, I’ll just flip the petcock switch to the reserve and find the next gas station.  I reached down and flipped the switch, but it went the wrong way: I was already on reserve, and therefore very, very out of gas.  I pushed the bike to the top of an off-ramp and coasted downhill into the parking lot of the first building I found, a church.  I went to the door to ask directions to the nearest gas station, very conscious of the bike show’s duration slipping away.  Luckily enough, the last person leaving the church was a very pleasant lady who offered me a lift to the nearest station, where I went inside to buy a gas can.  They had just sold the last one, no kidding.  “Nevermind,” the attendant said, “I have an empty gallon antifreeze jug you can take with you, just spray some gas in and swish it around to get the last of the antifreeze out.”  One puddle of neon green “gas” later, and I hiked the 3/4 of a mile or so back to my bike, and hit the road.  About 10 minutes later my directions flew out of my pocket and disappeared into the wind. Nevermind, I thought, I remember them well enough.  Fortunately, my grandparents had lived in Shepherdstown for a while, and so I surprisingly did actually know where I was going once I crossed the line into WV.

As I neared Shepherdstown, I started getting passed by Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, and Aprillias. Not a good sign: if these fine Italians were on the road, they weren’t at the show.  I almost gave up when I saw a trailer full of ancient machines headed the other way. After a few calls to supplement my lack of directions, I found the show, or what was left of it.  Even as I spotted the fairground I was treated to a line of Ducatis nervously making their way down the gravel entry road on their way out.  There were only a few bikes left, a far cry from the hundreds that had been there only an hour earlier. So there I was, wet, tense, and surrounded by a group of 10 bikes with an average age somewhere around 50 years old, if you ignored two of them. But as far as I was concerned this was the cream of the crop.  My eyes were fixated on a late 50’s Ducati 175, which is IMHO, the most gorgeous bike ever made, Vincent Black Shadows notwithstanding.

Ducati Cucciolo and another (Guzzi?) unidentified relic.

Here are a couple more Duc singles. As I chuckled to the owner of both, completely opposing exhaust strategies.

Best in Show was this MV Agusta, which looked concourse-ready, like it had just rolled off the assembly line:

Turn-of-the-century Bimota DB4R, with the NCR Millona R behind it:

My full-bike shot of the NCR came out as a blur, but here are the detail shots:

As I was taking these shots, all of these bikes were getting loaded into their respective trailers for the ride home, so I left, after only being there for maybe 15 minutes, and got a terrible burger in Harper’s Ferry on the way home.

Final tally: a tick over 160 miles, with some solid bike porn thrown in.


~ by horizonmanifest on September 2010.

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