A ray of sunshine on a cloudy day
Timonium, Md., Feb. 9–11—The sky had grown increasingly darker by the time we pulled in to the parking area at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. But wait… no parking fee, discounted tickets, kids under 10 free? I started to get the feeling this was going to be a great day. By the looks of the crowd making their way to the ticket window, I didn’t think I was alone.
The 2018 version of the Timonium Motorcycle Show, billed as the Mid-Atlantic’s biggest and best, was underway and off to a great start. As we walked into the Center Hall, we could see things had changed since our last visit in 2016. The vendors and displays were set up differently, and it flowed nicely. Bob’s BMW in Jessup, new for 2018, was our first stop. Owner Bob Henig walked us through his display of rare BMWs, one from every decade, starting with the 1920s. His ’25 R32 is one of only 64 in existence. The featured custom bikes were an amazing mix of imagination and color, and the collection of Nortons from the Nation’s Capital Norton Owners was really cool. In the South Hall, Pete’s Cycle Co. had a large display of the latest models from Triumph, Honda, Kawasaki and more, while Baltimore Harley-Davidson brought more than 90 models with them as well as a wide array of MotorClothes and accessories. In addition to the bikes, Leo’s RV supplied a great selection of toy haulers and an assortment of vendors brought all the “must haves” for the upcoming riding season.
Walking in to the North Hall I felt like a kid in a candy store. With over 80 vendors in this hall alone, the travel and touring area, the bike show entries, and the North Stage providing continuous entertainment, I started to shake and drool with motorcycle overload. We checked out the over 100 bike entries first and were awed by the variety and quality of the machines. Vendor selection was fantastic. Biker’s Outfitters, Tennessee Leathers and Millennium Footwear all had super-large booths, and Pitbull Motorcycle Lifts, Gerbing, and Biker Nation all supplied a varied collection of new bike accessories. Eastern Performance Cycles, Bagger Boyz and C&C Cycles had great displays, as well as demonstrations of installing their new product lines.
We stopped and chatted with Rob Gibson, owner of the World’s Fastest Darkroom. Rob, a master tintype photographer, travels the country with his 1950 Harley FL Panhead/Package Truck sidecar rig, using a 1909 Graflex camera practicing wet plate collodion photography, a process that dates back to the 1860s. He’ll be at The Race of Gentleman in June in Wildwood, New Jersey. Stop by and check out his work; it’s phenomenal.
Next we settled in at the North Stage to watch the GOT Girls (Girls Of Thunder) Daisy Duke Fashion Show. Afterwards Justin from 98ROCK hosted Crazy Adult Games, featuring the One-Handed Bra Bandit, Frozen T-shirt Contest and more. Later in the day would be a tattoo contest and a bikers’ Newlywed game. The shows and entertainment changed daily on the stage, culminating with the bike show awards, hosted by TV personality Michele Smith, a 10-year Timonium veteran, on Sunday.
Now I never do a show without food. Although the lines were long it was well worth the wait. The regional offerings were delicious, with the crab cakes and pulled pork being my favorites. They have plenty of seating picnic-table style and it gave us a good chance to talk with some of the other folks attending the show. Another great feature unique to this show is the Travel Presentation Area. Different travel groups gave presentations about tours around the world, and adventure motorcyclists spoke about their adventures as well. We listened to and spoke with Simon and Lisa Thomas of 2 Ride The World fame. After selling all their possessions 14 years ago they’ve traveled through 78 countries, amassing over 500,000 miles. Lisa’s latest project, Dirty Dining, is a cookbook filled with her go-to recipes from the road, and it’s a great read. The presentations are about a half hour and are provided all day.
Sunday before we hit the road we checked out some of the winning bikes. Richard Wiebking’s 1916 Indian Powerplus took first in the Antique Three Wheeler class, with Al Derosa’s 2004 Harley-Davidson patriotic bike taking first place honors for Bagger/Touring Dresser Full Custom. One of the show favorites, Bill Dixon’s 2010 Savage Resident Evil, grabbed a first-place trophy for Radical Chopper. Prizes totaled more than $20,000 for all the winners.
Each day the show had large crowds, and I’m sure they hit their estimate of 40,000 visitors. The 300 vendors seemed to be doing a brisk business, and we saw nothing but smiles from the enthusiasts who attended. With its carnival-like atmosphere, this is the must-see show for the season. There’s something here for everyone, it’s a great deal, and hey, the food’s awesome, too. Who could ask for more?