For well over twenty years, folks have been making their way to the fields of central Ohio for this country's largest vintage motorcycle swap meet, the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. This year however, would be our first and we had absolutely no idea what to expect. We knew there would be some cool bikes here and there and tons of parts to go through, but the event turned out to be so much more than a few rusty piles for sale. After four days of swapping parts, stories, and a bike or two, we can say for sure,..we will do our damnedest to never miss another vintage days ever again.
When we drove onto the scene at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the rain was coming down pretty hard and it was difficult to fight the feeling that this weekend was going to be a bust due to the weather. Within minutes of sitting in the long line of traffic waiting to enter the course though, this feeling of disappointment quickly changed to excitement as the sounds of dirt and trail bikes filled the air. People were yelling with excitement at friends they hadn't seen since last year and more than a few folks hopped out to give a fellow rider a quick push start down the muddy road. It was kinda in that moment that we realized no amount of rain was going to stop this crowd from having a great weekend of racing, riding, and swapping.
We sat in line like children waiting for their parents to wake up on christmas morning. We couldn't wait to get out of the truck, unload our bikes, and start taking it all in. As we made our way through the gates and towards camp, we passed hundreds of bikes and thousands of bike parts, neatly organized in many cases amongst the canopies and campers. Despite the rain, people where everywhere riding, swapping, and doing their best to get ready for the weekend ahead.
Over the next couple days, the rain cleared, the vendors unloaded all their gear, and the races began. Bike vendors and attendees were everywhere and we'd be lying if we said it wasn't a bit overwhelming. Needless to say, we had hard time sticking close to our booth with so much to see and do.
With the rain cleared out, everything was now out and on display. Bikes and parts were being sold left and right, and more than a few times you'd see an old barn find being towed down the fields on it's way to a new home.
Amidst the beaters and rusty parts though, were some of the nicest bikes we've seen in some time. BSAs, Nortons, Indians, Harleys, Yamahas, and just about every Honda imaginable was at this show,..and down each row you'd find a few that were absolutely immaculate.
With each new bike, came a new story and more than a few helpful tips on how to make these old bikes look beautiful and run just as well. The knowledge we gained in just a few days talking to everyone at this show was worth the price of admission alone.
To sum it up. We had a blast, despite the rain and clouds, we met good people, heard some amazing stories, and got our heads right for what to expect next year.
This will no doubt be an annual event for Raleigh Motor.