This winter has been unusually mild in the northeast, so there has been a fair amount of riding so far this year already. This has robbed the annual Gathering of Nortons of its status as the first riding event of the spring. It has not robbed it of the status as one of the biggest gatherings of vintage bikes in the region all year. As such, it is eagerly awaited and enthusiastically attended. This year I traveled down to the event with fellow vintage bike asylum inmate, Todd Trumbore and a few buddies.
We had a nice jaunt through some Bucks county roads before making our way to the venue. Machines from everywhere converge on Washington Crossing State Park in PA for gawking and bench racing and bench touring and bench talking and bench concoursing. This year, the threat of rain early may have trimmed the early crowd, but things grew rapidly as midday approached. I bumped into many people not seen since the fall or even longer. New machines had been added to stables, and old machines were present with new owners. I finally met Bob Lonergan who has organized the last several Vintage displays at the BMWMOA Rallies. I have seen his good work in Oregon and Tenessee and Pennsylvania, but it turns out that he lives only a few miles away.
We have covered this event before (see Gathering 2010 and Season Opener), and it remains a favorite. Even digital cameras can run out of disk capturing all of the interesting bikes in attendance. After a few hundred bikes, the parking lot becomes overrun and a few hundred more machines park in the grass and on the surrounding park roads. CLubs and groups come and go, so you need to make many laps of the place to take it all in. Even with plenty of riding early this year, the even somehow still signals the official beginning of the riding season in these parts.
There is a lot more that could be said about this event, but pictures do it better.