~ 38th Annual IMOC Rally ~
(Photo’s by Steve Cote)
Back in the day, we motociclisti used to put up with what were called Veglia gauges. Which we frivolously referred to as “vague-lia,” due to their inherent inaccuracy. Most recently they’ve been replaced by electronic instrument clusters, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been liberated from uncertainty within the Italian motorcycle scene.
Because when it comes to events like the 38th Annual IMOC Rally, it’s now the imprecise…if not apocalyptic…weatherman that we have to contend with to monitor our wellbeing and plan our destiny! Yeah, OK. It’s a steamy late Summer in New England and there are some spotty thunderstorms floating around. They could flare up. Then again, they might not. Who knows?
Does that mean that members need to be scared out of their wits in the event of a cloudburst? The incessant, ominous forecast for Sunday, September 10 seems to have led some to believe that the world as we know it was coming to an end. After about (coincidentally) ten phone calls with the question…“what do we do if it rains?”…the answer remained the same. “We get wet.” It seems that motorcycling ain’t what it used to be. This too shall pass…I hope.
So there we were on the idyllic grounds of the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club (est. 1921, like Moto Guzzi) in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. With vivacious V-twins and more decelerating down the Hamilton Road hill among the Pines, inciting an exhaust crescendo which reverberated off the Gun Club Pond. That’s the type of thunder we enjoy…who cares what the weatherman says! Because like an old Veglia tachometer…yet again, he bounced around and wasn’t totally accurate.
A light early morning sprinkle made way for partly cloudy conditions with bright blue sky peaking through on occasion. As usual, the Ducatisti assembled on one end of the field while the Guzzi gang commandeered the other. In between was a glorious array of what we refer to as the “Etceterini.”
The odds are always good that you’ll see a good assortment of odd…though quite interesting…bikes at IMOC. Those “other” makes which defy specific categorization, such as…a 175cc CF (Catelli and Fiorani), Fratelli Ferrari, Devil O.C.M.A., a pair of Gileras and more. Not to mention more mainstream (if you can call them that) marques like Laverda, Morini, Cagiva…etc.
As usual, the $10 per person/$15 two-up admission included a commemorative Ducati Meccanica rally pin, because Bologna Bevel bikes were this year’s feature. A wide assortment of IMOC shirts were also available, along with handy Club parking pucks. And the Gun Club Kitchen/Bar was rockin’ and rollin’…with breakfast sandwiches being a welcome new addition.
Like last year, People’s Choice Judging went beyond just the Overall winner to also include Moto Guzzi and Ducati. The other categories were selected by Club Judges. Which included:
Best Aprilia Tom DeLorica 2014 SR 50
Best Ducati Matt Phillips 65 Turismo
Best Etceterini Chris Mauro 1933 CF 175
Best Laverda Louis Frazier 1978 1200
Best Moto Guzzi Bob Mauceri 1990 Mille Café Custom
Best Moto Morini Lance Littlefield 1982 500 Sport
Best Scooter Chuck Peterson 1976 Moto Demm Smiley
Best Ducati Bevel Matt Phillips 1968 Mk. 3D
People’s Choice Bob Mauceri 1990 Moto Guzzi
Mille Café Custom
After 38 years of IMOC enjoyment, we thank those who came out despite the dire predictions. It sure is nice to know that you value the Rally that much because there certainly would be no bike show without show bikes. And we know that a lot of you got wet on the ride home and no surprise…the sun was shining when we pulled into the driveway back in Connecticut. Either way, we appreciate the loyal support.
So we’ll see you on Sunday, September 8, 2024 for the 39th Annual IMOC Rally at the Hamilton Rod & Gun Club in Sturbridge, MA. Thanks to those who had the will and resolve to attend this year, we were able to just scrape by financially. Next year’s Contract was signed and paid for in full this afternoon. The feature will be Moto Guzzi Singles. Fair warning…get those Falcones, Airones, Stornellos, Lodolas, Zigolos, Gallettos, et al in motion! And keep your eyes on www.imoc.website for more details.
Finally, we’ll leave you with this thoughtful sentiment. The only motorcycle rides you regret…are the ones you didn’t take. Even four wheels are better than none, when it comes to supporting the cause. Hope to see you next time…