This year once again, the date for the annual gathering of the Nortons was moved back such that it was not the first big motorcycle event in these parts. That mattered little, as it is still the best early season event, and one of the best of the entire year. A combination of factors make it so. First of all, it is an early outing following the great winter hibernation in these northern climes. Like Bears awakening with a ravenous appetite, the first meal tastes awfully good, and you want to eat your fill.
Second, there is good riding immediately surrounding the venue. East into western New Jersey, North into northern Bucks county, and west into western Bucks county, all present some great B and C roads. Even if there was no event, you would still have hours of great riding. You can add to that the historic attraction of Washington's Crossing, and the cool artist colony towns of New Hope and Lambertville straddling the Delaware river. Not a bad use of a Sunday.
Third, you can reunite with the clan. This event really brings out the brigades and the armadas and the gaggles and the broods of vintage bike devotees. If you love your Laverdas, or you adore your Agustas, or you are thrilled with your Thruxtons, or you urinate on your Urals (sorry), or you are bonkers for BMWs, or you are amorous with your Ascots, then this is the event to gather a few like-minded individuals and show everyone else the depths of your depravity, uuhhhhmm I mean love. This is also the event to unveil your winter's work, or to show this summer's project (which will turn into next winter's work). See the slideshow below or click here for more pictures.
Fourth, you can shop. This is not a swap meet, so it is a great place to look for a fully assembled running motorcycle. Chances are, you can also see a few other examples for reference as well. It is an informed marketplace as well. Chances are, there is a guru somewhere nearby to educate you on the finer points of the potential purchase, or to whisper "Run, Forest, run away...".
Which brings us to the final reason. The event itself. Hosted by the Delaware Valley Norton Riders, another attendance record was broken with somewhere north of 900 motorcycles showing up, with around 75 Nortons !! That may be close to every running Norton within a few hundred miles ;-) There were only a handful of trailers, and they were for non-street-legal race bikes, like the lovely red Vincent. You can stroll around for hours hearing comments like "I had one of those" or "what a beautiful example..." or "why would you do that to a...." or "that's my old..." or "I want to party with this guy..." My most frequent comment was "I want one of those..."