I guess there were a total of eleven or twelve of us who made it down to the 2014 BMWRA Rally at the Barber Motorsports Park and Museum in Birmingham, AL. This was my first ever rally so I made my way down and back with several new friends from the Ocean State BMW Riders Club.
I left on Sunday morning by myself (May 25th) at 4:25AM and arrived at my son John and his wife Christine’s home at 3:30PM Sunday afternoon. It was 650 miles in eleven hours with an average speed of 59mph. I made four stops for gas and had breakfast at DD somewhere along the way.
Wednesday morning I connected with Jim Carter, his son-in-law Matt Koskela and Bruce Stevens at the Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway for the next leg down to Asheville, NC. Day two was a much more fun ride as we went back roads almost all the way, going over mountains, through indian villages, and traversing rivers (using bridges) as we rode. When we arrived later in the day we were greeted by a large black snake who escaped by climbing the tree next to Bruce and my room at the Motel 6. Dinner that night was at the Gondolier; a rather nice local Italian restaurant.
Thursday morning we connected with two guys who were college buddies of Matt and rode down to Birmingham. The most difficult part of the trip was a forty-five minute monsoon that attached itself to our journey just after we crossed into Alabama. The good news is that it cleared up nicely and we all arrived in Birmingham “relatively” dry.
The Rally highlight for me was the Barber Motorsports Museum. Most of the images in the gallery are of the motorcycles in the collection. The Museum displays about 750 of the 1000 bikes and other motorsports artifacts that exist in the Barber Collection.
Highlights include: The snake, a panorama of the “basement” workshop which was opened for RA Rally attendees, a display with the two BMWs ridden by Jim Rogers and friend Tabitha Estabook around the world (both left to right and top to bottom), several images of my riding buddies, and several shots of the ride down and back.