This is not about Vince, he's a rider I know and I'm absolutely positive that he's not riding across America, though I'd have to assume that he'd really like to be.
No, this is about a brave, ambitious and well-prepared group of folks that are riding their Vincent motorcycles from the East Coast to the West, their goal the National Rally in Ventura, CA. California can be a long ways from Portland Maine.
Blog friend VSL informed me that her friend had just started a blog about an endeavor that he was involved in and that I should take a look at..... You too should take a look, Phil is attempting the valiant task of riding all day and THEN finally after everything else documenting each day's happenings. I could try and summarize but that would be foolish when Phil has already done it all so much better.
Only just a few short days ago, one thing quickly led to many others, those being communications including emails, texts and finally an introduction. To cut to the quick, the intrepid group would be in Rochester, MN the evening of August 30th, new friend and member of the riding group Phil invited me to stop by and visit with the crew. It was touch and go with my work schedule but in the end, Priorities Prevailed and I was there Wednesday afternoon....early and was able to witness both the setup of the (very capable and well equipped) Support Crew and the arrival of the bikes on their day's trip from upper Michigan. What a treat!!
Way down at the far end of the parking lot, there it was.....the Team Norton trailer, a sure sign that I was in the right spot.
I have to say right off the bat that while lurking only a short time, I was welcomed to come over, sit down and enjoy the shade. Wearing my Moto Guzzi Hat ("Going Out Of Business Since 1921") cap and VJMC T shirt, the conversations started immediately. Mark and Ryan were busy but not too busy to graciously invite me in. That is Gracious, upper case "G". Everyone, all evening made me feel welcome and connected, food, drink and of course their/our motorcycle histories and stories. Not only an extremely capable and dedicated group, but a warmly open and sharing one as well. Motorcyclists....how could they be anything else? I was humbled you guys, truly!
Right away, the stands were setup and Ryan was busy repairing a wheel bearing (check out Phil's story in the blog), a quick Uber ride for a local replacement was called for.
I was hearing numerous "......how far out are they....." comments and then, suddenly there they were.
My evening ended far too early with the group, I had an hour's ride home in the deer-infested dusk and I don't ride at night any longer for a reason, maybe a few reasons. As it was, there were only 9 deer and they were seen in the Serious Zone, the 3-4 miles nearest home. I must admit though how absolutely wonderful it is and was on an end of summer late evening ride.
Mark, Ryan, Phil, Ian (thanks for the photo!), Richard and.....your sharing time and words with me, your welcoming smiles after a long day appreciated more than you know. A memorable evening not forgotten, I promise you.
Wishing you all safe and fun travels to and during the Big event in Ventura!