The dream, I suppose, would have been to thunder up the Coast Highway and arrive at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering on some glorious beast such as a Brough Superior or a Black Shadow.
Alas, we were not astride one of those legendary bikes because, well, that would have taken a lot of money and careful planning. Instead, Barb and I rode a BMW R 1250 RT.
I wasn’t sure if a civilized high-tech bolide like the Beemer would be quite in the spirit of the event, but when we finally pulled into the Quail Lodge parking lot it looked as if the world’s most exquisite collection of vintage motorcycles had been infiltrated by a BMW GS owner’s club. There were lots of modern sportbikes as well. We parked next to a Ducati 950 Multistrada and checked in.
After breakfast Friday, we took off on the 110-mile Quail Ride with about 100 bikes of every description—including a Lambretta scooter. One of the key features of the Quail gathering has always been its unsnooty, ecumenical approach, where everything is welcome. One of the founders and the key organizer of this event, Gordon McCall, told me, “We try to make this everybody’s show.”
As I rode back south after the show, all I could think was, “Next year I’ll bring…”
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