The first ever…
LEGEND OF THE MOTORCYCLE
International Concours D’Elegance
Held on May 6’th 2006 at the Half Moon Bay Ritz-Carlton.
When I first heard about this event I knew that I really wanted to go.
I have been fascinated by the history and variety of motorcycles from their beginning.
When I heard that the ticket price for this show was $50, the frugal person in me (read -cheap), decided to pass on the show and just go for a ride instead.
However, Brian Halton of CityBike was kind enough to give me a ticket to get into the show.
Thanks Brian! I owe ya!
When I arrived at the access road to the Ritz-Carlton, about 2 miles south of Half Moon Bay, security was turning cars away from the access road and guiding them to outside parking lots. They were however letting the motorcycles down the street until about a block before the hotel entrance.
The motorcyclists were guided to park along the road in what would usually be a no parking, bicycle type area along the sidewalk.
I could only see the top of the Ritz-Carlton from where I parked around the corner.
I must have been about the 150-200’th bike to park, nose out, along the sidewalk.
Myself and a lot of other riders, as well as folks who had walked a little further from their cage parking lots walked to the Ritz Carlton entrance.
The first bike I saw as I approached the ticket area, set up in front of the Ritz-Carlton, had landing gears on it.
It also had seatbelts for rider and passenger … would that still be called a pillion? Guess so.
I then proceeded up the path around the south side of the Ritz, walking along the sidewalk next to the rooms and noticing that each of the ground floor rooms has a gas fire pit on their ocean facing patio area.
I continued on and walked around the corner of the ocean end of the Ritz and snapped this picture …
The two featured marquees of the show were the Crocker and the Brough Superior.
These two marquee brands took up most of the area closest to where I’m standing here.
That would be the upper level just to the right of the gazebo.
The row of people, down a little lower but still in front of the building, were near where the really old bikes were on display. By old I mean 1903 and later.
Further down, beyond the gazebo, were the more modern bikes as well as choppers.
Somehow I resisted the urge to rush down to the bikes and instead took a right and went down the path into the Cigars and Spirits area.
Here I met Leo Peraza, a Cuban cigar roller, who told me he has been riding for 37 years. I let him know he had me beat there by 5 or 6 years there.
It was interesting to watch him take his pre-made cores (not it’s “official name, I forget what that was) and finish them up by rolling it with a piece of fresh trimmed tobacco. He would then use the cutter seen in front of the rolling stone to snip off one end. He was giving these fresh, hand rolled, Cohiba cigars out… for free!
I was then pushed/guided (yeah, sure) into the line of folks getting a grapple beverage. (Yeah, OK, I didn’t resist the “guidance”) Grapple is fresh smashed green grapes shaken with Hennessy Cognac. (I got a chuckle from the gal squishing them when I asked her where her blender was)
Still inside I walked around the corner and checked out the historic board tracker they had on exhibit there.
This is a 1915 cyclone.
There was also some art depicting the riders/racers of the early era.
Also in this room was a 1920 Indian Powerplus with “Daytona” frame that once belonged to Steve McQueen and was provided by Barbara McQueen Brunsvold.
Leaving this room I walked a ways down the hall and by another conference type room and was drawn inside when I saw this…
This is a bike that Mert Lawwill is building and selling to any buyers.
The cost is about $32,000. Only thing keeping this one from being fully street legal is a missing front fender.
He said he has taken orders for 17 so far and has 4 backordered.
He also said most will probably be in museums or collectors stable’s.
Here’s the builder of this fine motorcycle, Mert Lawwill, himself.
(sorry about the poor photo quality. I still had the camera set up for sunlight)
OK… enough inside stuff.
Let’s get out and see those bikes!