Dodging Tornadoes on the SOHC/4 Forum Motorcycle Relay Ride


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(Ed. Note: The Single Overhead Cam Four/Forum, an online community devoted to Honda SOHC/4 bikes of the late 1960’s and 1970’s, loosely organized a relay/rally ride that triple-transected the lower 48 states and all Canadian Provinces. The ride began in mid-March 2011 and continued at elast into the early fall. Learn more and join the ride when it passes your area and beyond. ) 

You might remember the record setting number of tornadoes that ravaged the south in spring 2011. In the midst of it all, SOHC/Four Relay/Rally riders headed into the storm and kept the ride schedule on track. While no tornados were encountered during their seven-hour trip from Nashville, TN to Birmingham, AL, torrential rains were the order of the day. The payoff? A memorable visit to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum outside Birmingham.

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Forum members and relay riders Tugboat, Spanner1 and MidTNJasonF left Nashville at 6 am Friday, April 15 with no idea of the heavy weather they’d encounter. Rain, sure, but torrential rains and winds, not a clue. And little did they know that vicious tornados were touching down all around them.  

It was quite a different story from the prior weekend when the Nashville crew met the Lexington, KY crew at Lake Cumberland, KY handing off the ride mascot, banner and log book. Fair weather and good times marked that ride.

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From left to right: Irish Johny, Chicago Ben, Bill, Silverback (Chris), Spanner1 (Ray), Joe, Joe's buddy, Me (Tugboat), Doug. 

The drenching ride to Barbers “was the worst 200 miles” Tugboat had ever ridden. But arriving at Barbers and the tour proved to be a truly memorable experience. Sure, the planned and much-anticipated pace lap around the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum track didn’t happen, but a  behind the scenes tour made the visit special nonetheless. The tour was lead by museum executive director Jeff Ray.

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