I did finally make up my mind to go on this “Pilgrimage to Barber” with others in the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Riders Club (RMMRC). Barber, just to be clear, is the Barber Motorsports Museum and racetrack outside of Birmingham, Alabama.
It’s going to be an interesting trip in a lot of ways. In fact, so interesting–at least in my conception–that I pitched it as a story idea to Mark Tuttle, editor-in-chief of Rider magazine. Mark sent me a quick acknowledgement email saying he’d get back to me ASAP on my idea.
I’m not totally sure why I’ve had such uncertainty about going on this trip. Presumably it has to do with a) taking a long trip with folks I either do not know or hardly know, b) at least one 400+ mile day, and c) doing so many miles in such a short time. But I routinely go on trips of this length with the OFMC in fewer days and I have taken at least one other long trip with strangers and had a great time. So what’s the big deal? Why was I hesitant?
Frankly, I still can’t answer that question. I just was. I finally concluded that the best approach would be to just do it and see how it goes. If we really don’t like it we won’t do it again in the future.
What I pitched to Mark correlates to those issues.
The core concept is that the RMMRC is a particularly active riding club and such groups offer an excellent opportunity to connect with others who share your passion, not to mention actually go riding. That core is then fleshed out in addressing the issues I mentioned. At least part of the idea is helping other people facing similar uncertainties to resolve their concerns.
A sidebar point I hope to address–perhaps in an actual sidebar, written by her–is that Judy has never been on an extended ride with a bunch of other people. This is something I’ve been doing with the OFMC every year for more than 25 years but she has never done it. I’m hoping her take on it all will be fresh and interesting.
Then there’s the basic idea of a “pilgrimage” to Barber. Visiting the holy shrine. If you’re into motorcycles, Barber is one of the premier places to see a vast array of different bikes through the decades. Plus, one RMMRC member on this trip is a member of the Barber Board of Directors and thus will be able to get us possibly onto the track for a lap or two and definitely into the catacombs where bikes are stored before being rebuilt and put on display. In other words, a true fanatic’s dream.
So we’ll see what Mark thinks of the story idea. Either way, we’re going and I’ll be writing about it here.
Biker Quote for Today
A hundred years from now my great grandkids will not recall my bank balance, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but they will remember I rode a motorcycle.