Somehow, we managed to squeeze in a week+ long moto trip into 2016 after all.
The Barber Vintage Festival is an annual gathering at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama. Word has it that the festival has become quite the event, and since Barber is also home to the the famous Barber Motorsports Museum (more on that later), we’ve had it on our radar to attend the festival and see the museum for some time.
We committed to the trip earlier this year by buying our tickets and camping passes (which sell out quickly!). With so little seat time this year, I was really looking forward to this trip, and just elated as we loaded up the bikes, and rode south in beautiful and sunny October weather.
10/5/2016 – Obligatory start of trip photo, loaded up and ready to go:
Butler Maps leading us astray:
I love Butler Moto Maps, and we’ve used them extensively in the past. However, exploring their Southern Appalachian map led to more inaccuracies than we’ve had from Butler previously. The photo above was a highlighted road (indicating a a good moto route). This was not a “back country discovery” map (specifically for unpaved roads), and not marked as gravel. I would have been ok with the the graded gravel road, but when we saw the “end state maintenance” sign, and the road turned to 2-track, there was no way I was going to try that on my big, loaded bike with street tires. No thanks. Turning around didn’t cost very much time.
The ride south from NC was generally amazing. We basically took all back roads, and had an absolute blast (as we always do) in the mountains of western NC and North GA.
We saw this forest fire from the road in Georgia, somewhere south east of Lafayette. You can see the helicopter in the second photo.
We camped at the highest point in Alabama (2400 ft:) the night before reaching Barber. The weather was quite warm at this point, and for once I was glad to camp a bit higher.
We ended up arriving at Barber the next day a little later than intended. Kevin’s front tire decided to wear a lot faster than expected, so we went into Birmingham and had it changed. (Yay America, the big moto dealer had the exact tire Kevin wanted, and we showed up and had it mounted within a couple of hours).