Day Four: Dennis Gage on the ferry heading across the St. Johns
River in Florida, heading for St. Augustine.
Our man in the field Neale Bayly logs his final report from his 1,000-mile ride with SPEED TV’s Dennis Gage and Dennis’ son, Sam. The trio rode classic bikes from Indiana to Florida for the 10th Annual Riding Into History classic motorcycle show, for a trip that’ll morph into episode six of Gage’s award-winning show Trippin' on Two Wheels and will also be featured in the pages of Motorcycle Classics.
“So we wake up to a rainstorm in Savannah, and Trip Master D makes a corporate decision to stay in the lobby drinking coffee and shooting the breeze. Well, the fact that he didn’t want a mutiny on his hands as none of us wanted to load the Mommy van in the rain is closer to the truth. It made sense though, cause we have such a lot of sensitive electrical gear that wouldn’t appreciate being soaking wet.
“Waiting out the rain actually made for the next adventure as we now had to haul the mail. We needed to make an appointment Dennis had set to meet the Riding into History guys on the other side of the St. Johns River. So after a quick fuel stop we stayed in the saddle for 131 miles without stopping to make our appointment.
“It was all Interstate, so we got to really put the old bikes to test. Hitting 80mph at one point, Old Mother Goose had somehow lost her speed weave, we made the distance in just over two hours. It was a real hoot and at one point we passed a Honda Goldwing and a big Metric cruiser. They didn’t stand for it for long, as a few miles later they passed us back At Speed, but we had a great laugh watching them go by. It really pissed it down at times, so full wet gear was the order of the day. Sam was suffering a bit from some bad sunburn and staying up too late, but adult ADD boy and I were grinning like a pair of fools and keeping the throttles pinned.
Almost at the end: Dennis and the boys meet up with some of the
crew from Riding Into History for a final blast into St. Augustine, Florida.
“Meeting the guys on the other side of the ferry was fun, and we all rode to the World Golf Village in formation. The guys had a fantastic collection of different bikes, from a Honda VF500 to a Café Race BMW, a Moto Guzzi V7 and more. They all know Dennis so it was now even more smiles as we made our way through the traffic of Florida … bring back our empty mountain roads, please.
“It was non-stop on arrival with dinners to attend, and lot of watching Dennis signing autographs and posing for pictures. Kissing hands and shaking babies … or however that goes. Then it was back to the hotel room to shoot interviews, download pictures and get our work done.
Ahh, the price of fame: Dennis and fans at World Golf Village.
“Day 5 of our epic adventure saw beautiful sunshine, over 300 classic bikes and 16,000 people strolling around in the sunshine enjoying the best vintage show we have ever attended. We met a few hundred more of Dennis’ best friends, signed autographs, ate lots more and had our heads spun around at the depth and quality of the bikes on display.
Lovely Magni-equipped MV Agusta at Riding Into History.
Very odd two-up Marsh motorcycle. Marsh's were built in
Brockton, Mass., from about 1902 to 1906.
Interesting machines were the order of the day, even if some of them,
like the "XR350" in the foreground, were never actually offered.
A pair of beautiful Triumph Hurricanes, a model designed by
American Craig Vetter for Triumph, originally as a BSA.
“Evening found as at the ball, where awards and speeches were given and I got the pleasure of spending some more time with Craig Vetter – an adventurous experience for anyone who gets a chance to talk to him. And then it was time to go get a few hours shut eye before we go do what we have to do tomorrow.
“Trippin 6 is in the can. The crew has to go its separate ways, and now it’s time to sit and wait for the phone to ring and Dennis’ voice to come booming over the airways. ‘Neale, how ‘bout …’”