"Where? How much? Are you nuts?" These are just some of the questions we damn near shouted at our friend Al when he suggested we roll northward to Half Moon Bay, California, from our zip code in Los Angeles for the second Legend of the Motorcycle Concours.
Half Moon Bay is located a few miles directly south of San Francisco (right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean), approximately 380 miles north of Los Angeles. OK, the distance isn't that bad; we were being dramatic. Then Al mentioned admission was $50 in advance and $65 at the door. Wow, we thought, it must be some kind of show. Al went on to remind us that last year's show was bitchin' and that it would be "so wrong" to miss it this year, especially with the featured marquees being Excelsior, Henderson, and Vincent motorcycles, with a special tribute to bikes of the famous Isle Of Mann races, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2007.
As unlikely as it may seem, events went according to plan and we rolled into Half Moon Bay the morning of the show, just a few minutes after 9:00AM. Even at that hour, parking was a few miles away, but easily serviced by constantly running trams, which were hosted by courteous drivers. What we found when we stepped off the tram onto the sidewalk at the entrance to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the shores of the Pacific Ocean was stunning water views on grassy knolls. Depressing some of the grass on those knolls were a few hundred of the most prized motorcycles known to have scrubbed rubber on the road. The setting of probably one of the finest motorcycle concours in the world lay before us. The carefully manicured lawn of the upper-terrace was the setting for the Excelsior and Henderson motorcycles of single, twin, and four-cylinder configurations. Each motorcycle was a jewel in its own right.
Walking down a slight slope to the 18th fairway, where the rest of the motorcycles were stragically displayed in staggered rows, we saw a complete row reserved for the mighty Vincent motorcycle. The multitude of gathered Vincents contained excellent specimens of this legendary brand. Topping off the Vincent display was what we believed to be the largest gathering of the Vincent Black Lightning models in one scenic spot on the surface of the planet-nine in total by our count. Don't get us wrong, the display of Vincents did not overshadow the rest of the two-wheeled dreams, but instead complemented the 60-plus other manufacturers that were represented. All motorcycles on display vied for one of the awards in 16 individual classes and 10 special awards, such as the Steve McQueen and Elvis awards.
The Legend of the Motorcycle Concours d' Elegance, in its second year of existence, has firmly established itself as the motorcycle show event of the year, on par with the likes of the Pebble Beach and Amelia Island shows.
The Legend of the Motorcycle is permanently marked on our calendars.