National Norton Owners Rally, Ohio, July, 2004

July 20, Kate and I trailered the bikes out to Ohio for the International Norton Owners Rally. Ten hours on I-80 later, we were driving through an absolutely blinding cloudburst not far from the campground, so we decided to stay the night in a Motel 8.

Wednesday morning we headed over to the campground and checked in, both at the campground and at the rally headquarters. We quickly threw the tent up, then offloaded the bikes, and headed out to ride.

The rally organizers had prepared route sheets for a bunch of local rides. First, to get our sea-legs back, we did the little 40 mile loop, gassing up on the way. Then we got ambitious and rode 60 miles over to Mansfield, Ohio, to visit the Ohio State Reformatory and take the tour. Highly recommended if you're in the neighborhood. OSR was the site for the filming of most of the movie "Shawshank Redemption" and also part of "Air Force One", and there are still parts of movie sets there, adding to the interest.

We returned to the campground for the cookout and blues band, and then retired to our tent.

Thursday, we had breakfast at the campground store/kitchen, and then waited out another heavy cloudburst while we watched "The Wild Ones", 1954 with Marlon Brando, on the TV that the rally organizers had provided.

Once the rain stopped, we headed down to Pickerington (near Columbus) to visit the AMA headquarters and the AMA museum. While there, we dropped in on Frank Covucci, who runs the AMA tours, and got the "behind the scenes tour" from him. Then we did the AMA museum, which is quite impressive. We killed most of the afternoon there, and then took the scenic route back to the rally site.

That night was the "big dinner" with awards, door prizes, and announcements and discussions of future rallys. We decided to skip out on some of that, and it was so hot and muggy, we packed up early and ended up driving all night to get back Friday morning around 8AM.

1920's Norton flat tanker
What a complete Dunstall kit on a Commando looks like.
The Manx Racer. A 500cc single that won many races throughout the 50's and 60's
An International, the street bike version of the Manx racer
cafe Commando with aluminum work by Evan Wilcox
Ohio State Reformatory
OHS: The executive summary.
OHS: Kate contemplates life in the slammer
OHS: luxurious, no?
OHS: Kate walking through the cell block.
OHS: Kate on the group W bench.
OHS: the back
board track racers at the AMA museum.
Harley streamliner at the AMA museum.
Honda at the AMA museum.
A cafe'd Vincent
A more in-focus shot of the aluminum cafe racer, soon to go for a ride home in a truck.
Us, about to leave the campground.