A rainy Saturday did not bode well for our big event. All of us scowled at the showers as we arranged tents, painted the parking lot and hurried to prepare for the party. However on Sunday morning the Guzzi gods smiled and the weather was beautiful all day. Early arrivals were greeted with coffee and doughnuts and then promptly put to work. By 10:00 A.M. (our official start time), almost everything was ready and the parking lot was well on its way to being filled with all sorts of Guzzis.
Roughly, 1000 people joined us to celebrate a day of food, fun and most of all Moto Guzzis! Demo rides started promptly at 10:00 A.M. and filled quickly as Angier Chief of police, Mike Aponte led ten bikes out every half hour. Sidney Conn of Statesville, North Carolina ran his tethered hot air balloon rides for most of the morning, providing a truly spectacular backdrop of his bright red
Guzzi balloon. Commemorative photos of bikes (and their riders) were taken inside in front of an antique photo of Carlo Guzzi and his first race team. Bike show entries crowded the center of the parking lot and invited lots of walking around and admiring.
More overwhelming than all of that was the people; the parking lot, the front lawn, inside the warehouse and everywhere else was bursting with happy riders. They exchanged tips, greeted friends, laughed, told stories, admired each others bikes, lied a little (I suspect...) and just hung out. Oh, and they ate too! The feeling of community was remarkable and it was great to see all of our friends and have a chance to show them our shop.
The day culminated in the awards ceremony at 3:00 P.M. After grueling consideration the bike show judges had to pick. Jeff Bralich was the lucky winner of the trip for two to Italy for the Best Custom Cruiser with his 1998 V11 EV. A modified LeMans belonging to David Parker won Best Sport Custom and took home a ballistic jacket. Door prizes were drawn and awarded. Rider awards were tallied and presented: Alice Sexton took Long Distance Female with 700 miles and Frank Wedge took Long Distance Male with 1410 miles.
The part everyone waited for was the bike raffle. Roving ticket sellers had patrolled the crowd all day and it was time to pick a winner. Bill Voltaggio of Arlington, Virginia won a brand new red Jackal and was still doing victory laps on his new bike at 4:45 P.M. as we tried to pack everything up. Congratulations to Bill and all our other winners and thank you to everyone who took the time to enter.
All in all the day was an enormous success, everyone seemed to have a great time and it went off without a hitch or injury. It was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with all the riders who make what we do so enjoyable. Thank you all for coming. On a final note, I would really like to express my deepest gratitude to all the friends, dealers and volunteers who helped out on Sunday as well as those who arrived several days early to help us prepare for the event. We couldn't have done it without everyone's help. Thank you again.
See everyone for Moto Guzzi Day 2001!
Emily Banks and the staff of Moto Guzzi North America, Inc.
I was impressed with this event! It was well organized and everything started on time. With the rally packet everyone received a beautiful (red) rally pin, an informative printed schedule and a nice magnet depicting Carlo Guzzi's racing team, etc. That magnet is on a file cabinet in my Guzzi office.
The food was great, and the special photo with bike will be sent to everyone. EVERYTHING was free - even the tasty food and soft drinks. The Jackal raffle ticket cost only a small fee of $5 for one ticket or three tickets for $10.
As I said - I was impressed. For sure I'll be back next year! -FW]