Eastern Iowa is Motorcycle Heaven for Travelers

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June 16, 2011 | By: Angi Kearney

Eastern Iowa may not be at the top of anyone’s list for vacation spots, but if your enthusiasm leans toward moveable vehicles on two wheels, Anamosa, Iowa, is your Midwest Mecca.

Not only is Anamosa the home of J&P Cycles, it’s also just up the road apiece from the National Motorcycle Museum. And we celebrated the museum’s first-ever Vintage Rally event the first weekend of June, with more than 1,600 in attendance. And all those folks weren’t Eastern Iowa natives, either. We had people rolling in from all over the country, including Texas, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Sixty-six bikes were registered for Saturday’s Vintage Bike Show and awards were given to the first and second place winners in a number of categories. The two-day swap meet was a hit with vendors selling their motorcycle-related wares and chatting it up with locals and visitors alike.

Motorcycles at Work, the museum’s newest exhibit, had its debut, featuring bikes used in courier, police and military work. There are currently 17 of these motorcycles on display in the museum with 25 related photographs. This exhibit is only temporary, so make plans to visit within the next 11 months.

Another new feature within the museum is an authentic, fully restored 1920s gas station. Not just a fuel pump, but an entire gas station, featuring a colorful timeline explaining petroleum retailing and the expansion of motorized transportation in America.

The museum’s Women and Motorcycling display has been expanded and now features a timeline of Motor Maids, a long-running women’s motorcycle membership organization. To celebrate this exhibit, nearly three-dozen Motor Maids attended the Vintage Rally, arriving from all parts of the country.

The National Motorcycle Museum is located just down the road from J&P Cycles and is home to more than 320 motorcycles. This nonprofit museum operates solely on admissions and gift shop sales, as well as donations and an annual raffle for a custom-built bike from J&P Cycles.

If you’re in the neighborhood or looking for a unique driving holiday destination, set your GPS to Anamosa, Iowa.

Comments (1)

there is a great bed and breakfast located east of Ainsworth Iowa called So Dear To My Heart Bed and Breakfast that is motorcycle friendly. it is owned by a dear friend of mine and i would recommend it to everyone out there who is traveling thru. say hello to the owner, Brenda, for me when you roll in.

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