Wanted Dead or Alive! The Search Is On For the 100 Stunning Classic Bikes That Will Be Presented at the 4th Annual Martin Motorsports “Modern Classics” Show, March 1, 2014.

?????It’s just over four months now until the Fourth Annual Martin Motorsports “Modern Classics” Bike Show. In just three years this one day, indoor show has has gained a hefty regional following and has even begun to attract some national attention. Check out what the local papers had to say about last year’s show HERE. Then take a look at the coverage in Modern Classics magazine.

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Do you want to even consider missing this year’s show? Uuhhhh, don’t think so!

So here are some important details. The showroom doors open at 9:00AM and the show runs until 5:00PM. As in past years, Modern Classics is an invitational show – entries are nominated to the show planning committee which then determines the 100 bikes that will be this year’s “Modern Classics.” “Modern Classics” is an unjudged show but there are Peoples’ Choice awards in both the primary group – classics from the 60s, 70s, and 80s as well in the featured supplemental class. For the 2014 show the featured supplemental class is Two Stroke bikes! The planning committee is soliciting the nominations of Two Stroke Classics from the same era, meaning the 60s through the 80s. The bikes that the committee is looking for are 2-cycle engined motorcycles offered for sale between 1960 and 1990. Historically significant bikes from slightly before and after this time frame may be considered if they are helpful in telling the story of two strokes and their place in motorcycle history. The show is primarily focused on “street” models but a limited number of off-road and racing models may also be considered. Thinking about nominating your bike? For all the information you need go  HERE.

2 stroke wantedposterHere are a few of the Two Stroke Classics we’re seeking for Modern Classics 2014. If you have one of these bikes or know where there is one that might be a candidate for the show, the by all means give us a shout. You can either go directly to the “want to show your bike” page or contact jack@martinmoto.com. Here ya go…….

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Possibly the Zenith of Two Stroke history? Of course we’re looking for a Suzuki GT 750 Water Buffalo. Or Steam Kettle if you prefer.

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Yamaha Catalina or Big Bear? Among the first of the “big” Japanese Two Strokes and we’d love to have a great example of either one. 250 or 305cc? Doesn’t matter.

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Was the Suzuki X-6 Hustler the first 250 capable of going 100mph? The debate rages. Nonetheless, if you have a nice example then please nominate it for our show.

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Kawi H2. Mach IV 750. “The Widowmaker.” By any name or alias, we’d like to see one. A nice Mach III 500 would be welcome too – especially a first year white one! Yeah we like 350s too.

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From the late 60s well into the 1970s two stroke enduros were a huge contributor to the explosive growth of motorcycling. Suzuki TS’s all welcome – 125, 185, 250 – we love ’em all. Of course the Yamaha enduro series is on our hit list too. Where is that one stunning white1968, first year DT1 we’ve been waiting years for? Kawis too – How about a nice Bighorn?

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It’s easy to forget Bridgestone was a major player back in the day. A 350GTR would be a great show addition as would any of the smaller Bridgestone offerings. 90s. 175s. Who learned to ride on a Bridgestone?

We're not just on the lookout for Japanese Two Strokes. Europeans figured mightily in the Two Stroke story. And a hefty part of that story was was scooters. Vespa? Lambretta? Harley Davidson Topper?

We’re not just on the lookout for Japanese Two Strokes. Europeans figured mightily in the Two Stroke story. And a hefty part of that story was was scooters. Vespa? Lambretta? Harley Davidson Topper?

Silk. The Ultimate Evolution of the old Scott 2 strokes from England. This would be a cool add!

Silk. The Ultimate Evolution of the old Scott 2 strokes from England. This would be a cool add!

All American Brand Harley even had two strokes badged as their own. They were really an Italian-American hybrid cooked up by partner Aermacchi.

All American Brand Harley even had two strokes badged as their own. They were really an Italian-American hybrid cooked up with partner Aermacchi.

We'd very much like to snag a Scott Flying Squirrel. Though produced considerably earlier than our target 60s through 80s time frame, these Brit Classics are important in telling the two stroke history story.

We’d very much like to snag a Scott Flying Squirrel. Though produced considerably earlier than our target 60s through 80s time frame, these Brit Classics are important in telling the two stroke history story.

So there you have a few examples of the kind of things that we are on the lookout for. Two Strokes. Smoke ’em if ya got ’em! You can review the entire list of two stroke candidate bikes for the 2014 Modern Classics by clicking HERE. If you know where these bikes are, or you have one, please nominate your bike!! And if you think there’s something we’ve forgotten, we’d like to hear about that too.

Just a reminder though – Two Strokes represent just a portion of the magic that is the Modern Classics. We are also trying to run down a new and exciting collection of all the rest of the 60s through 80s bike population. Here are just a couple of the bikes were looking to score for this year’s show.

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Long before there were Hayabusas and ZX14s there were Kawasaki Ninjas. Arguably the first hyperbike (Tom Cruise thought so in “Top Gun”) the first Kawasaki Gpz900 Ninja was introduced in 1984. Can it really be 30 years? And when will we score a first year Ninja for Modern Classics? Hopefully 2014.

A bike that we've had on our search list for all four years of The Modern Classisc - the Munch Mammut. Had kind of forgotten about this rare breed until we saw one recently. If there's one, there must be more. Help us find one for Modern Classics 2014!

A bike that we’ve had on our search list for all four years of The Modern Classisc – the Munch Mammut (Mammoth.) Had kind of forgotten about this rare breed until we saw one recently. If there’s one, there must be more. Help us find one for Modern Classics 2014!

So there you have it. Hopefully a preview of the sort of stunning bikes you’ll be seeing in just about four months. The 4th Annual MartinMoto “Modern Classics” Bike Show. It’s coming sooner than you think! If you can help us in any way find the classic bikes we’re searching for don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re as close as modernclassicsbikeshow.com

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Like Triumphs? Yeah, We Thought So. Us Too. In That Case You Probably Don’t Want to Miss The Triumph Come Home Rally. Oley, PA June 28, 29, 30.

Logo1-O-BIt seems that summer is actually here and, among other things, that means a major escalation in the number of cool motorcycle events. One of our very favorites is cranking up in just over a week’s time and right in our own backyard. It’s the 20th Annual Triumph Come Home Rally, in Oley, PA (near Reading) over the weekend of June 28,29, 30. Regardless of whether the sound of classic parallel twins gets you amped up, or maybe you’ve come to love the more contemporary offerings then this event is for you. Fact is, while it does say “Triumph” in the event name, this is an event for just about any Anglophile and for British Bikes of every description, old or new.

2013 marks the 20th Annual edition of the Triumph Come Home Rally. First staged in 1994, the rally spent it’s formative years at the site of the White Rose Motorcycle Club. wrmc-gate
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in Jefferson, PA near York. In the ensuing years the event has outgrown the Jefferson site and was moved to the Oley Fairgrounds ((Lat/Long 40.386784, -75.785243) for the first time in 2012. It continues, bigger & better for 2013! Poster TCHR

Why go? Where do we start? There are bike shows –
Take a look:

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Or check out the bike show video from last year HERE

Then there’s a swap meet / moto-jumble –
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For those of you participating on vintage British bikes there is a nighttime “Lucas” ride as a tribute to the alleged “Prince of Darkness.” No fear. Right?
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Top it all off with tons of other special events, Triumph Demo Rides courtesy of Martin Motorsports, technical forums, and great food and you’ve got the makings of a “not to be missed” event.

To get all the details and latest “scoop” go to http://www.triumphcomehome.com/

We’ll be there. Hope you will be too!

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Moto Photo. A Dedicated Photo Studio Just for Motorcycles.

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In recent years being a motorcycle dealer has not been an undertaking for the faint of heart.  In a tough market everyone in retail knows that a key element of success is simply generating floor traffic. Get ‘em in the store! Let ‘em to see and touch the product!

Successful motorcycle dealers intuitively “get” this concept and most offer regular “blowout” sales”, seminars, open houses, demo rides and every manner of special event, each one intended to simply get people in the building.

Then there are the stores that go a step further by transforming their showrooms into destinations. It’s not so hard to find dealers with embedded cafes and restaurants like the world’s oldest Harley Davidson dealer, Kegel’s in Rockford , Il where they have a full on diner. A personal favorite of ours is Moto Corsa in Portland, Or.  Not only does this Ducati dealer have an indoor coffee bar with a full time barista but they offer their own brand of coffee! Starbucks eat your heart out.

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The next step beyond food and drink for “destination” dealers may turn out to be a photo studio. A photo studio you say? Really?

Time will tell how this all works out but Martin Motorsports in Boyertown, Pa has taken this daring leap by creating a 12 ft. x 16 ft. permanent photo studio, specifically designed for motorcycle photography, in their showroom . Why would a dealer allocate a couple of hundred square feet of valuable floor space to such a thing? It goes beyond the obvious – having a new and arguably unique product to sell.  Reaction to professional photos done the past two years at Martin’s acclaimed Modern Classics show has been extraordinarily positive.  The professionally done photo book which documents the show each year is also in great demand (ck it out HERE) and owners outside of show entries have regularly inquired about having their bikes shot. The presence of enthusiast and professional photographer Joe Luppino on Martin Motorsports staff further made the decision to begin construction an easy one.

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The studio features a turntable, custom lighting, radiused interior corners to cut down on spurious reflections, and a sliding door with height adjustable “window” to shoot through. Shots can be taken from any angle and any height from floor level to just about 12 feet up.  Check out a couple of examples from recent shoots – both with and without people! And all of Luppino’s pics are shot in crazy high resolution that lends them to poster size blowups and even larger.

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Why would an owner want pictures like this? It may be as simple as the fact that a great many of us have treasured and carefully posed baby pictures. And we all know bike owners who refer to their bike as their “baby?” Hand crafted customs, successful race bikes, and other “special” rides deserve such quality pics for posterity. No?  Formal pics also make great gifts – remember that Father’s Day is coming up. Wouldn’t something like this look great in dad’s den?  Or yours?

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What do you think? Does this idea have legs?

Want to know more about getting pics of your favorite ride shot? Contact Joe Luppino of Pixelnation at 610.223.0715 or at pixelnation1@mac.com.

Modern Classics Show was Mega! Hope you didn’t miss it!

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We don’t manage the weather. We just live with it. That being said, for the third year running, the weather gods cooperated and Martin Motorsports’ Modern Classics went off on a relatively clear, dry, if a bit chilly March 2nd. Those 40 degree temperatures posed no obstacle to heating up old bike enthusiasts with the third annual Modern Classics show. Themed “The Motorcycles That Made You a Motorcyclist”, Modern Classics remains an invitational show featuring historically significant bikes, of all marques, primarily from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. Over 1200 hardy attendees braved the chill (including a packed parking lot full of “ride ins”to check out the 101 entries that transformed the vast

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Martin Motorsports showroom into a “Museum for a Day”. In addition to historically significant rides like a 1985 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica Mille, an all original  1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, and a near perfect example of Honda’s 1990 “homologation special,  the sportbike RC30, visitors also got to view the exceedingly rare 1957 Islo 175 Carrera. The Mexican made (but Morini powered) classic was Islo owner Isidoro Lopez’ dream bike, intended for competition in the classic Italian city-to-city races like the Moto Giro. Sadly the races were discontinued, and Lopez passed away, before the dream could be realized. Four of these bikes were built and but just two survive, including the one shown at Modern Classics.

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Guests also relished this year’s “sub class” of competition bikes.  An Indian 750cc Sport Scout that has been raced almost continuously since it left the Springfield Massachusetts factory in 1936, a Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix bike, and a 1972 MV Agusta  350 Electronica Twin, featuring Giacomo Agostini’s autograph on the tank,  were just a few of the featured attractions among the 40+ bikes that delighted competition enthusiasts.

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One measure of the show’s character is revealed by the fact that there were more MV Agustas on the show floor than Suzukis or Kawasakis.

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This year Modern Classics featured the debut of our unique onsite professional photographic studio, designed specifically for motorcycle photography. Each shown bike is professionally photographed and, following the event, as in previous years a collector quality photo book will published to document the show and show participants. The books are exceedingly popular coffee table items among both fans and bike owners and the series are becoming collector items in their own right.

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While not a judged show, the Modern Classics does feature People’s Choice awards in both the “standard” class and the competition group. This year’s attendees chose as winners the very lightly customized but stunning 1970 Triumph BonnevilleMod Classics CB (12)

and, in the competition category, a 60s Jawa speedway racer .  “Place” and “show” positions in the Classics class went to a Triumph TR5 Trials and to the meticulously prepared 1969 BMW R69S .  The remaining podium positions in the competition class went to the 1936 Indian Sport Scout that is still being raced almost 80 years since it left Springfield, and the 1972 MV Agusta 350 Electronica Twin.

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Next year’s 4th annual show is tentatively scheduled for early March. Mark your calendars. And start polishing.

Results – Part 3….Origins of BMW and Yamaha

bmw_aE. BMW – Answer 8: Aircraft Engines.

The small Munich engineering firm Rapp Motorenwerke was a troubled aircraft engine manufacturer founded in 1913. In financial straits, founder Karl Friedrich Rapp was forced to resign and control was taken by a couple of Austrians. The new Austrian owners, Franz Josef Popp and Max Friz, subsequently merged Rapp with the even smaller Munich based Otto Aircraft firm and folded the entire mess into their own Bayerische Flugzuegwerke (BFw.) Shortly after, in 1916, the entire conglomeration was renamed Bayerische Motorenwerke (Bavarian Motor Works – get it?)  The interesting part for us is that BFw had a small motorcycle sideline business that was retained, and improved upon by the recently consolidated BMW. The first BMW branded motorcycle came in the form of the R32, a 494cc flat twin cylinder engine mounted in a double loop tubular frame that had a top speed of 59 mph. The flat twin design cylinder engine architecture remains to this day, with a water cooled version introduced as recently as the fall of 2012. It is believed by many that the BMW logo was based on the circular design of a whirling propeller. This belief is surrounded by a degree of controversy, as other historians simply point to the color combination as being based on the Bavarian flag. Whatever you choose to believe, it is clear that the roots of the BMW we know today are based in aircraft engine manufacture.

yamaha_aF. Yamaha – Answer 10: Musical Instruments

While there may be some controversy over the origin of the BMW Logo, there is absolutely none regarding Yamaha. Yamaha’s distinctive logo featuring the three tuning forks is clearly attributable to the firm’s origin as a producer of Musical Instruments. Founder Torakusu Yamaha built his first reed organ in 1887. The Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. (current Yamaha Corporation) was capitalized by Yamaha and his supporters ten years later in 1897. Pianos followed in 1900. The advent of Yamaha Motor, the motorcycle arm of the firm, came more than half a century later in 1955. That original firm continues to this day as a world leading producer of both musical instruments and powersports vehicles. The “tuning fork” folks are the current MotoGP world champions with Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo. We don’t know if he plays piano.

Tomorrow we’ll cover the classic British bike builder BSA and relative newcomers to the scene KTM. Hope you’ll stop back.

Happy New Year! Now, How About Those Resolutions for 2013?

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Take a drive by the local Planet Fitness about, say, January 3rd. What would you expect to see? Literally hundreds of folks treadmilling, biking, spinning, lifting and planking their way to new found fitness for 2013. Right? Now imagine you’ve returned but it’s no longer just after New Year’s Day. It’s now the end of February. Hey, where did all the peeps go? Not to be judgemental, mind you, but they likely went the way of literally millions of “resolution makers” before them. Failed New Year’s resolutions are a rich tradition in America. That’s not to say, however, that there is no value in making those resolutions. There is. And we, as motorcyclists, owe it to ourselves to make a few that relate to our passion. Here are a handful of 2013 “Rider Resolutions” that we like.

1. Get out and ride more.

Ride Mo Miles!

Ride Mo Miles!

There is some sketchy statistical information out there suggesting that the average motorcycle is ridden but 2000 miles in any given year. Or less. That’s sad. 2000 miles represents less than a single trip to Daytona and back for those of us here in Southeast Pennsylvania. Viewed another way, it’s a monthly ride to Harrisburg and back. Or maybe 30 some miles a week. Yeah, we probably can’t ride every day of the year (it’s snowing as I write this) but we can surely ride more. Especially on a vehicle that’s invariably cheaper to operate (not to mention WAYYYYYY more fun)  than your “cage.” Resolve to ride more in 2013! If you rode 2000 miles in 2012, then ride 3000 in 2013. Take a long anticipated road trip (and do the planning right now while it’s snowing!)  Commute to work (National Ride To Work Day is June 17th in  2013) Hook up with a club or Riders’ Group. Be a Harley HOG or a Triumph RAT and join in on their regular rides. Attend a local Bike Night. Then do it again! Take a trip to a bike museum – The Barber Museum in Birmingham , Alabama is highly recommended. Around here you could also attend motorcycle races at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the Flat Track at Hagerstown, MD, drag racing at Atco, NJ, or motocross at Budds Creek, MD. Any excuse to ride can work. I repeat. Resolve to ride more in 2013!

2. Catch up on those long overdue bike maintenance chores.

Yuk ! Nasty old brake fluid.

Yuk ! Nasty Old Brake Fluid.

Most riders are fairly good about keeping up with the standard bike maintenance requirements. We generally change our oil and filters regularly and lube our chains. Tire pressure and tread wear get their own fair share of attention (especially here in Pennsylvania where the mandated State Inspection ensures at least a minimal look-see on an annual basis.) However, the owner who takes the time to look carefully at his/her operators manual will find recommendations for a number of other periodic procedures designed to ensure long service life. These are the ones that get done considerably less often. An example might be the requirement to change the brake fluid now and again. Brake fluid is this amazing, highly engineered stuff that’s commissioned to do a difficult but vital job. It’s two redeeming characteristics are that it is essentially incompressible and it’s properties change virtually not at all in the face of high temperatures. These attributes are vital if the fluid is to do it’s job. Unfortunately it doesn’t work nearly as well when contaminated, especially by water. Aye there’s the rub…since the fluids, by their very nature are prone to absorb water and water vapor from the atmosphere. Engineers call such fluids hygroscopic. This is the main reason that the bike manufacturers want us to change the stuff periodically – either based on time or miles. Most suggest this work be done at least every couple of years. Few bikes get the service. In 2013 why not bring your bike up to date by doing a brake fluid flush and fill or any of a number of the other recommended procedures. Check your bike’s maintenance instructions for a list of the work you might want to consider doing.

3. Bring an old, tired, neglected bike back to life.

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There it sits in the corner of your garage. Old , tired, and forlorn. Maybe the carburetors are simply in need of a rebuild and the tires are flat or dry rotted. Or both. Maybe it’s worse than that. Yet, that old bike was once somebody’s favorite ride (perhaps yours) and the object of inestimable pride. Now it is, at best, a “project.” Why not take the time and make the effort to bring that old soldier back to life. After all, it ran when it was parked and it can run once again. The advent of the internet and especially eBay have made old bike restoration a monumentally simpler undertaking than in days gone by. And many parts (not to mention information) for 60s and later bikes are surprisingly easy to source. In restoring an old bike you’ll learn a lot, meet some fascinating people, and have the satisfaction that only craftsmen know from (re)creating something with your own hands. Get started now! Ride it this season!

4. Take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCourse.

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As smart and clever as we think we may be, every one of us of us can stand to continue the learning process. Continuing the lifelong learning process around the subject of motorcycling might be the best of all worlds. Since 1973 the folks at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation have been the gold standard for rider education and training. Their basic rider course serves as the foundation for motorcycle licensing in most states and their Advanced Rider Course is a staple for riders already holding motorcycle endorsements. Amazingly, in our home state of Pennsylvania both these courses are offered free of charge. Check out schedule and availability at the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program and sign yourself up. A weekend day or two well spent. It could save your hide. Literally!

5. Do a track Day.

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Consider this. Bikes are essentially the highest performance motor vehicles available for sale to the general public. The average motorcycle can leave most cars in the dust. Even Kawasaki’s “beginner bike” Ninja 300 can leave a Toyota Camry for dead in a 0-60 contest and the situation only gets better as we move up the motorcycle food chain. Suffice to say, it is virtually impossible to exercise any modern sportbike near its limits of performance on the public highways. This leaves us with the (very appealing) option of closed course riding as the best way to satisfy the need to “wring out” these amazing two wheeled projectiles. Fortunately plenty of race circuits and track day operators are ready and waiting to accommodate you. At the typical track day you’ll get plenty of track time, access to experienced and knowledgeable teachers, and a tasty boxed lunch. You’ll be on course with a group of riders who have been matched to your own skill and experience level, corner workers and safety equipment will be on site, and not even one Chevy Equinox with a texting teenager at the helm will be anywhere nearby. Go for it!

Certainly there are lots of other potential New Year’s Resolutions up for consideration. Feel free to adopt or modify this list as you please. But remember to select a modest number of achievable goals. Otherwise you may eventually find yourself sitting around at Starbucks with your friends from Planet Fitness discussing all that you had wished that you had done. Whatever. It starts now!

What’s on your list of Motorcycling Resolutions for 2013?

Welcome to RoadProse


“RoadProse” is produced by Martin Motorsports of Boyertown , PA. However it’s important to note that it’s not about Martin Motorsports.  We have always thought of ourselves as “Professional Motorcycle Enthusiasts” and here we hope to further nourish our “Enthusiast” selves. The intended role of “RoadProse” is to create an appealing online destination for our motorcycling community. We’ll share stories from our friends and our staff. Where they’ve ridden.  Things that they’ve seen and done.  Events that they have attended. We’ll also endeavor to keep you posted on important local, regional, and even national events. From time to time there may be technical stuff or details of interesting “scoop” from the Motorcycle industry (and not just the brands that we represent!) We’ll endeavor to do this with stories and content that goes deeper than is possible in one paragraph Facebook snippets or 140 character tweets.  And yes, there will be lots of pics! We’re looking forward to having you join us for the ride!