I left the Twin Cities today at 5am because I wanted to get to the 7th annual east central Iowa sidecar rally in Anamosa, IA before noon.
The rally was hosted by the National Motorcycle Museum. This was the first time I’ve left for a long ride before dawn. It was nice! I enjoyed the traffic free roads, and the sunrise over the corn fields outside of Rochester, MN.
It was also the first time I’ve ever put in over 200 miles before 9am! The first two hours of the ride were a bit chilly since it was 50F outside of the cities. I wish I would have put on my electric coat. I was very happy to see the sun and with it some warmth.
I took the most direct route possible which meant taking 52 to 63 to I380 to 151. I made a brief stop in Cedar Rapids, IA to look around.
I really enjoyed looking at all the different kinds and styles of sidecars.
I enjoyed looking at the different options like gas tanks in the sidecar and mirrors for the passenger.
I also enjoyed the early BMWs that the Ural was based off.
This Flexi sidecar allows the motorcycle to lean, and the sidecar as well! It has a pivot mount. This one was on a ST1100 and was for sale for $5300 including sidecar. I wonder how it would do in the winter…
I’ve never seen so many in one place before – more than 42! Apparently, they do a big rally every year with hundreds of sidecars. I will have to think about that for 2011. There were only two Urals
, and the most common sidecar seemed to be a Harley hack
with the Gold Wing hacks second.
During the rally, I attended a talk called “The Golden Hour” by Slider ‘Dick’ Gilmore.
He talked about the first hour after a crash being the golden hour, the most important hour to save a persons life. He gave us some tools to help save some of that hour and hopefully lives. The two main things were staying calm and thinking. I won’t try to go into more detail; he is a great speaker. You should try to attend one of his talks.
While the sidecars were out on their ride,
I took the chance to enjoy the museum while it was virtually empty.
I took TONs of photos and a lot of video. After talking with another guy from Minneapolis on the way out, he mentioned there was an unofficial contest for photos. I talked to the front desk, and the current record was 380 something. I didn’t think I had beat that, but I checked anyways. She let me count the photos from the sidecar rally in the parking lot, so I ended up with over 500 before counting the videos! The new record!! I got a free sticker as a reward (the stickers are free for everyone :) ). The video will have to wait a few days since my netbook can’t edit HD video.
I really enjoyed the museum. They just moved into their new building, and have over 225 bikes.
They are still putting things together in some places.
The exhibits were great. They have so many different kind of bikes. I found the National Motorcycle Museum much more interesting than the AMA Museum in Pickerington I visited last month. They have a bigger variety, and the displays are bigger. I really liked the board track racing display, and the wall of death
It really made the bikes come alive. Here are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy!
They also had a lot of motorcycle signs, art, and extra stuff that filled in all the extra spaces. I found it really made the trip, and I will be coming back soon (with my wife next time!). I just love that it is closer to Minneapolis than the AMA one too. They had dedicated motorcycle parking too! Which should be a requirement for any decent motorcycle museum.
A K75 for Jack with his favorite fairing.
I stayed the night at the AmericInn in Anamosa. They have motorcycle parking! They give a coupon for the museum, so check-in before you go not the reverse like I did.
The entire place, including the room, is decorated with motorcycle art.
Full Flickr album for the museum here (380+ photos)
Full flickr album for the rally here (170+ photos)
I hope to have the videos posted in a few days. Tomorrow, I will likely take the slow scenic route back along the river. We’ll have to see.