Once again, October is the time for a yearly pilgrimage down to Alabama for Barber’s 11th Vintage Festival. It’s a few days of motorcycle overload and a little bit of mental vacation for me. So, I packed up the GS for a few nights of tent camping and headed out towards Birmingham.
I’d originally planned to ride with my buddy Josh but he totaled his bike the day before we left. Luckily, he wasn’t really hurt, but decided to catch a ride down in a car anyway. So, I rode solo. That was probably for the best as I had a little electrical break down on the side of the 31, south of Columbia. BMW bikes have torx, reverse torx and standard metric hex bolts…so you can bring a small amount tools and work on the whole bike. Except I’d forgotten about my fancy new aftermarket lithium-ion battery, which had a Phillips head screw on the terminal bolt. Turns out, it’d vibrated loose and melted. And a Phillips was the one tool I didn’t pack. D-oh! My old leatherman had one but it was too small…so I used it’s non-locking flat blade to make it turn. And after 1.5 hours of frustrating as hell screwing with that terrible excuse of a ‘tool’, I finally scraped it clean, got the screw to bite, and put it all back together again. Killed ~2 hours of my trip…but I repaired it myself. Which was pretty fucking epic because I think I’d have cried if I had to call my wife to come get me.
As I passed into northern Alabama, I detoured off the routes I’d taken before and ended up riding thru some very small towns and taking long gravel roads. Much prettier and relaxing. Got down late but not too late to get in on the Thursday night crowd’s chili. Thanks Ray!
Probably a bit easier for the pictures to do some of the talking:
Our campsite under the stars. Check the high res.