There's simply no shortage of epic motorcycle events for any of us to choose from. If anything, it's a hell of a challenge determining which roads to travel and this was high on our agenda for 2013.
This past week began with five fellas, squeezed, almost embarrassingly, into a Chevy extended cab for 25 hours on the open road; wrestling with the weight of our own necks as they nodded off in the upright position while processing one dudes love for 80's hair metal and coming to terms with the movements, sounds and feelings of being trapped in what smelled like old hockey bag for the entire duration. Pitstops to convenience stores for bad food and fuel fill-ups provided extreme relief. But not as much as dropping vintage motorcycles out of our truck bed for runs of a hundred miles at a time through the Smoky Mountains at a perfect 75 degrees. We had hit the open road to head south once again from New England to the year end event that anyone who has even the slightest appreciation for vintage motorcycles understands - Ace Corner 2013 and the Barber Vintage Festival.
The brain child of Jason Paul Michaels of Dime City Cycles and Mark McKee of Ace Cafe, Ace Corner Barber is a special place within a special place. It begins as you enter the gates to the Barber Motorsports Park, located in Birmingham, AL - one of the world's most special race tracks. Beautifully encompassed within the concrete speed circles is an amusement park for lovers of two-wheeled machines of previous generations. Your nose can barely contain it's enthusiasm for two-stroke smoke and your neck strain from the trip is exercised back into shape quickly from the endless head turns at meticulously restored classics from every brand under the sun.
A year has passed and our sophomore effort inside Ace Corner at Turn 17, had begun. Cafe racers, brats, bobbers, desert sleds, vintage performance exotics, and classically restored machines surrounded friends new and old for a weekend long celebration of custom motorcycling unlike any other. This years event easily topped last years through the hard work and commitment from repeat and new supporters - our partners, sponsors, builders, friends, family and motorcycle community. It was simply great to see you all and enjoy the bikes, the beers, the music and the friendship.
An extended piece on Ace Corner 2013 is in the works as we sift through our overstuffed memory cards, but for now, we've turned ourselves around, gladly packed ourselves back into that old hockey bag of a truck, and made our way back home. We're still wiping the sleep from our eyes, but relishing in the experience of an amazing weekend with you all. Our intention was to do what we love…surround ourselves with the world's best people and the world's best motorcycles. It happened, yet again. For those present, you know what I mean. For those who missed it, don't make that mistake next year.
We'd like to close with a thank you to everyone we could think of who helped make it a special time. We continue to be humbled in the presence of our fans, while listening to your feedback, your stories and what Iron & Air means to you. We thank those that took the time to meet us, grabbed a copy of the magazine and supported independent media by doing so. We couldn't do what we do without that support.
Please take the time to check out each company listed below. All of these folks have played a part in supporting Iron & Air and Ace Corner. Follow them on Facebook, check out their contribution to motorcycle culture. Patron them where it makes sense. They're all run by good people like you and I. Support the community we're all a part of and let's just keep it going.
(If we missed you - we're very sorry!)
Dime City Cycles | Ace Cafe London | Triumph Motorcycles | Progressive Suspension | Biltwell Inc. | British Customs | Cafe Racer TV | Continental Tires | Workshop Hero | Vanson Leathers Inc. | Legendary Motorcycles | Old Soul Young Blood | Choppahead | Analog Motorcycles | Hageman Motorcycles | Loaded Gun Customs | Ahbe Racer | Revival Cycles | Do The Ton | Neale Bayly | Yve Assad | Erick Runyon | Troy Helmick | Junior Burrell | National Moto & Cycle Co.
Stay tuned for a full gallery and wrap-up of our trip.