Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘motorcycles’

AMA – Motorcycle Hall of Fame Springtime is the Perfect Time to Get Out and Ride

AMA Museum Sign

This sign along I-70 directs motorcycle enthusiasts to the AMA Hall of Fame.

April’s “ AMA Get Out and Ride! Month” seems the perfect time to visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. What stories the bikes tell and history they hold.

AMA, American Motorcycle Association, serves a membership of over 200,000 with an average experience of 28 years. They own 615,000 motorcycles, which are ridden over a billion miles each year.

In 1990, AMA Hall of Fame first opened in Westerville, then moved to its present Pickerington location in 1999. Here it can easily be seen from I-70.

AMA Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame plaques surround a circular room. You’ll find familiar names there even if you’re not a motorcycle fan.

A special round room holds a plaque for each member inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. They recognize individuals who have contributed to the motorcycle sport over the years. At the entrance is a Glory Days Statue.

AMA Dirt Bikes

Dirt bikes are especially popular with the younger generation.

The displays at AMA Hall of Fame are arranged in sections according to motorcycle type: Dirt Bike, Road Racing, Motocross, Specialty and Off Road. Each one holds memorabilia from many familiar names, who are fearless, imaginative and awe-inspiring.

AMA Ashley

Ashley, AMA Associate Editor, enjoys motocross. Her favorite motocross racer is Ricky Carmichael, the winningest motocross racer of all times.

Ashley Price, Associate Editorial Director at AMA, gave an excellent overview. She had a passion for motorcycles, having gone to Motocross training daily at the age of 14 while being home schooled.

Her days were carefully monitored regarding food, gym and riding time. She only slipped up once on her food. At Walmart, she purchased a box of Wheat Things. Punishment – another six or seven miles of bike drills.

Those years of competition have given Ashley determination in life situations. “The camaraderie of family and friends has given many memories. I’ve learned life lessons in working hard to accomplish goals.”

AMA Adventure bike 2

Adventure bikes are the most popular today as they can ride in the street and off road.

Riding a bike in racing takes more strength and determination than it appears. It is one of the most difficult sports in the world. At the end of a race, riders are exhausted. It takes a great combination of man and bike to win consistently.

AMA Mechanics

Let’s not forget the mechanics, as their role in a race is crucial.

If you like motorcycles, you’re sure to find something of interest at AMA Hall of Fame, which is packed with motorcycle history. With 117 bikes, there’s a great variety. It’s not possible to describe all of them here, so you’ll have to visit yourself. Most were donated by names familiar in the biking world.

AMA Oldest Bike

Currently, the oldest bike at the museum is this 1914 Harley-Davidson, one of the earliest dirt bike racers.

A 1914 Harley claimed the honor for the oldest bike at the museum. Most popular now are adventure bikes. They can go on the street or easily off road due to their special tires. They’re not for competition, just enjoyment.

AMA Toy Bikes 2

Downstairs at the AMA Hall of Fame, there is a nice selection of motorcycle toys.

Downstairs, Motorcycle Toys and Collections stir up some memories, or watch a biking video. “Why We Ride” played during a recent visit and centered around family fun involved with making great memories. “It’s a most interesting, amazing adventure,” quipped one lady aged 78, heading for 100.

AMA Wooden toy bike

This wooden motorcycle overlooking the patio, gives children a chance to sit on the seat or in the side carrier.

Riders feel this is a great way to make friends. Children join in at an early age on their dirt bikes. Charity work frequently happens with motorcycle groups. Everything from Cancer Runs to Christmas Toy Drives occur around the world.

The AMA sets up a Gypsy Tour series for their members. Its purpose is to have a rally and provide a memorable experience for everyone involved. Motorcycle friends are a close knit family, where men, women and children enjoy the thrill of riding and racing together.

If you are passionate about motorcycles, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame would be a great family outing. Then, Get Out and Ride!

The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found just off I -70 at Exit 112, Route 256. Take a left of Blacklick Eastern Road and another left on Yarmouth. Watch for their posted signs to 13515 Yarmouth Drive. Enjoy the ride!

Walt Taylor: Creative Inspiration to the Community

walt-student

Walt instructs one of his students in the proper way to use a pottery wheel.

One of the areas where Walt Taylor excels is passing on his love for art. That’s why he enjoys sharing his knowledge with adults and especially young people, as they’re our future artists.

As a small child he lived on a farm in Lebanon, Ohio where  he attended a one-room school that was very typical of schools in those days: no running water, out door toilets, a pot bellied stove, and a paddle hanging on the wall behind the stove.

Walt had a story to tell about that paddle. A school bully pushed him around one day and Walt swung his lunch bucket, and hit the bully in the head knocking him to the ground. Both were taken inside and leaned over a desk for a paddling. First, the bully received a stern thrashing while Walt quaked. When it was Walt’s turn, the teacher swung the paddle one time so hard it hit the side of the desk and broke in two. No paddling for Walt that day. Doesn’t sound like an accident on the part of the teacher to me.

vases-with-applique

He enjoys creating one of a kind vases with floral applique.

The family moved often. His father said, “A rolling stone gathers no moss, but it gains a great polish.” At one time they lived near Fort Ancient and Walt followed his dad around the field when he was plowing, and found many arrowheads. 

Woodcrafting has been a hobby since he was a young man. His building skills still go on today as he makes cabinets, chairs, and recently a communion stand for a local church that had just rebuilt.

walt-cabinet

This talented man made these oak chairs and the cabinet behind them.

For the past few years, he has been making one new chair for their dining room each year. But he said he has been procrastinating about finishing the last two. He even joined the Procrastinators Anonymous, but they haven’t had a meeting yet.

He also enjoyed working on automobiles so developed mechanical skills as well.  That came in handy as he and his wife, Sheila, motorcycled all over the country. His favorite places to ride were in the mountains out west. It was in those mountains of Montana, where they saw the work of western potters, that an interest for making pottery began.

They also discovered many things on those back roads that you just can’t see from the interstate. He thought he noticed something that looked like Stonehenge on one such road, but it turned out to be Carhenge. Here cars were buried front first in the ground. Then there was the House on a Rock, a motel on an Indian reservation, and the list goes on.

walt-first-piece

Walt holds the first piece of pottery he ever made…out of kitty litter.

It wasn’t until 1992 that Walt tried his hand at pottery. At Octoberfest, he purchased his first kiln and making pottery has become his passion ever since. The first bowl he made was out of ‘unused’ kitty litter! He learned that kitty litter had a clay base and when mixed with a little bit of water could be worked into shape. That bowl still sets on his bedroom stand today.

walt-sheila-001

Walt and Sheila  have attended many festivals in the area to display and sell their creations.

To begin with, he made pottery items just because he enjoyed doing it. Then he began giving them to his friends, who told him that he should be selling them. That began a business they ran until last year, Taymoor Pottery…a combination of his last name and his wife, Sheila’s maiden name.

walt-at-salt-fork-festival

Walt has a smile on his face while working with youngsters at Art in the Park during the Salt Fork Festival.

Walt and Sheila, hope to teach youngsters to enjoy art as much as they do. They’ve helped teach children’s art classes at the Salt Fork Festival for several years. Wherever Walt is making pottery, children can usually be found watching. Talking about children always brings a smile to his face as ,“They are fun to work with. If you treat them as equals, they accept you as you are.”

father-christmas-and-wife-2

Walt greeted visitors as Father Christmas for ten years, with help from Sheila.

For the last ten years, Walt has portrayed Father Christmas for Dickens Victorian Village. He would meet buses on the street or in the Welcome Center and probably has his picture in many family albums as a result. He’s not sure if he’ll be able to do that this year at the age of 91.

Even though the business is closed, they still enjoy making pottery. Now they make just what they like. Right now Raku, a Japanese style is a favorite. It was first used by the Japanese Emperor and was known as a ‘throw away pottery’. The emperor would drink his tea, then throw the cup against the wall.

walt-raku

His current favorite project centers around Raku, a Japanese form of art.

Raku is a ‘quick fire, quick cool’ kind of pottery so it would be fired and ready for supper quickly. Today in the United States a glaze is added and it’s no long a throw away. Actually it’s so attractive you wouldn’t want to throw it away.

walt-fishing

Walt still enjoys a day on the lake with his fishing pole.

Walt is just ‘a good old boy’, who has taken an interest in the community in many different ways. Thoughts of travel still skip through his mind and he often dreams of living in Hawaii or Tahiti…or at least visiting. Our world could use more of those ‘good old boys’.

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