Mid-Ohio’s Vintage Motorcycle Days

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Every year, Vintage Motorcycle Days at Mid-Ohio Race Course has a different theme. This year is was Rockers and Mods. I think that’s because lately the theme of everything is Rockers and Mods. They had Rockers and Mods day at our local animal shelter last week (the hamsters were the Mods). Of course, at these things, nobody really wants to be a Mod, so it’s usually Rockers and Other Rockers.

But really, the theme is secondary. The real theme is Interesting, Old, Weird, Classic, Hodge-Podge Machines and People of All Kinds. The atmosphere is very cool and friendly, without a lot of the macho bullshit that can frankly be a drag at a lot of rallies. People there love to talk, and if you go more than twice, you’ll start to run into people you know.

The thing you have to know is that this is not a reunion of old flapperfucks waxing nostalgic about the old days and exaggerating their feats of derring-do. And if you think that it’s square because an official AMA event, I’ll just tell you this: it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

The other thing you have to know is that it is huge. The swap meet alone is so big it has to fold over on iself Inception-style just to fit, and you know – you just KNOW – that that one damned thing you need is in there somewhere. I failed to find a set of Whitworth wrenches, but I know somebody there must’ve had them.

And if you’ve never watched vintage racing, it’s like a squadron of B-24s taking off. Not knowing which bikes are going to konk out adds a level of excitement that modern motorcycle racing simply lacks.

Not to mention the showcase bikes, demo rides, seminars, motocross racing, campground, the endless parade of all kinds of crazypants people and machines, and just shooting the shit. It’s something you can’t not love.

  • protomech

    Knew who wrote this before I got to the byline at the bottom : )

    Picture #7 is Fred Hayes, he’s won the last couple of Vetter fuel economy challenges (140 mpg on the last challenge).


    • ~RUSH~

      I met Craig at Baxter Cycle (Marne, IA) during their annual rally. Interesting guy…lots of info in that head of his.

  • Triman023

    I need one of those Triumph foot pegs, mines bent.
    Those are probably bent too…

    • Mr.Paynter

      BEnd it straight with a torch and some care…. if it doesn’t work out, track down those ones and be where you started?

      If you get it right you will feel like a Sir.

  • Brad

    No racing(sadly)but the “Rhinebeck Grand National Meet” in upstate NY every spring
    is like Woodstock for the motorcycle crowd. Bikes and bikers of every persuasion. Endless swap vendors. Great for kids.

    • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

      absolutely, if you’re into antique American bikes. M&S Cycle was the only British vendor there. Good luck finding anything Japanese, besides the few bikes in the show. It’s been going downhill in terms of numbers, unfortunately-this year was the first time they weren’t open on Sunday.

  • Gene

    Vintage racing is also great because it’s one of the few places you can still see 2-strokes haul ass.

    Dave Aldana style skeleton leathers, woot!

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    I went for the first time this year. I was blown away. The swap meet IS the show. Too bad the AMA has been pissing off the vendors over the years and a lot of the British crowd stopped showing. A lot of Japanese bikes-no problem here, but very few British vendors, unlike past years (according to my buddy who’s been going for over 20 years).

    The AMA has been fucking up lately. All they do is squeeze as much money out of the event as possible, line their pockets, and tell vendors to go fuck themselves if they don’t like it (they raised the entry prices for vendors this year for whatever reason). They pissed off the AHRMA crowd a few years back, now the turnout for racing sucks. Apparently the show has ‘gone commercial’ and is killing the swap meet culture. Vendors aren’t supposed to leave until noon on Sunday, or they lose their prime spot for next year. Sunday morning, people were packing up and leaving at sunrise-and the AMA did nothing to uphold their own regulations.

    Fuck the AMA. Vote for Nobby!

    • pplassm

      Thanks for the info. I was going to go on Sunday next year. I’ll have to plan on Friday/Saturday.

      Not interested in Brit parts, so that’s OK with me.

  • Scott-jay

    Taste of same medicine in October at Barber facility near Leeds, Alabama.
    Plus, a way-cool moto-museum on the grounds, instead of the commute to Pickerington to visit AMA’s.

  • Knife

    Been attending for the last five or six years. Always a good time.

    By the way, I have some Whitworth sockets I haven’t used for over forty years since I had a Royal Enfield. Doubt I’ll ever need them again.

  • Jon B.

    Photo 14. <3

  • Campisi

    I’d sacrifice (someone else’s) organs for an original Powell shock. Those damn things must have been made from pixie dust and the dreams of youth.

  • Scott-jay

    How’s ’bout posting a gallery link, too?
    That’s instead of a gallery image that doesn’t work?

    • pplassm

      Please. I can’t see it either.

      • pplassm

        Oops. Works now.