By mid-April, things in Texas had finally started to loosen up a bit. Folks were getting jabbed and events that were cancelled in 2020 were slowly coming back on the calendar in 2021.
Springtime in the Texas Hill Country brought perfect riding conditions with cool breezes, warm sunshine and roadside bluebonnets. The Cherokee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America hosted the 2nd edition of the Texas Vintage Motorcycle Fandango at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas over the second weekend in April. It’s been called “The Best Little Vintage Bike Event in Texas” and included a swap meet with 140 vendors, tech sessions, 130 flat track racers and two shows with 116 classic bikes and 98 choppers on display.
The event was first held in April 2019 and had to compete that weekend with Austin’s Handbuilt Show and the MotoGP circus for attention. Fandango was skipped last year for obvious reasons and came back in full force this year with over four thousand folks attending. The marque from Milwaukee was best represented but, with so many bikes in attendance, there was plenty of vintage British iron in addition to classic European and Japanese models.
In addition to being a Spanish dance, a Fandango is defined as “a foolish or useless act or thing.” Call it what you will, the event was a huge success. In the words of the organizers: “In the grand scheme of things, our event didn’t change the world, but it did put a smile on the face of everyone who attended.” The next Fandango is already scheduled for April 1-3, 2022. For updates, see the Cherokee Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.
By happy coincidence, the Lone Star Chapter of the Vincent Owners Club gathered the same weekend in nearby Kerrville, Texas just a short ride from the Fandango event. It provided a rare opportunity to enjoy a spectacular collection of the iconic British motorcycles. The Chapter has about fifty members and many showed up, bringing a total of two dozen bikes badged as either Vincents or HRDs. The oldest was a 1936 Comet 499cc single and the newest were a pair of made-in-France, Godet Egli-Vincent Specials. Most of the bikes were 998cc Black Shadows and Rapides from the 1950s, including a rare Chinese Red Rapide. By the time production ended in 1955, the factory had produced four families of machines (Series A, B, C and D) and examples of each were present in Kerrville.
After a year of isolation and not being able to fully relax and hang with friends, these two celebrations of classic motorcycles made Spring truly feel like a time of emergence and renewal. Dang, y’all; it felt just like old times! MC