Pines Needles and Chrome
by Joe Tokarz
Nestled in the piney woods of East Texas just 25 miles northeast of Longview, lies the product of Big Cypress Creek known as Lake O’ The Pines.
Bass, catfish and pickerel are the year round inhabitants of the lake but once a year the fish step aside and let the North Texas Norton Owners Association motorcycle club hold their classic and vintage motorbike Rallye.
The first full weekend of October is when restorers, riders and enthusiasts of vintage European motorcycles find their way to Rally site at Big Cypress Marina just 10 east of historic Jefferson, Texas.
The LOP Rally, as the club calls it, was originally intended as a way for the members and their friends to enjoy a week end of stunning sights and sounds initially produced years ago by the worlds most famous marques. Over the years word got around and today the LOP draws enthusiasts from 5 states and all walks of life. Many who attend come back year after year, waiting for the LOP to debut the labor of their previous years work.
Out of the heated sheds and air-conditioned garages rumble over 100 of the most pristine restorations and stock originals of classic British and European motorcycles.
On Saturday, there’s a bike show complete with 24 categories for the bikes that the entire attendance votes on. This year will be the second consecutive year that the Tejas Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America will be a significant part of the show for all to enjoy. To complete the show, trophies and door prizes are awarded in the afternoon. Guests are encouraged to stay until Sunday when the event officially winds down.
But it’s not all bikes. The NTNOA members are bike lovers first but they also know how to take advantage of a Fall weekend in the east Texas woods. The serenity of the lake, fishing, camping, and of course the twisty and scenic roads around the lake make for a full three days of motorbike heaven. Many bring family members and find a room at one of the areas quaint B & B’s.
The NTNOA is AMA sanctioned and North Texas's premiere vintage bike club dedicated to the use, preservation, and restoration of ALL British & European motorcycles. The club is celebrating its 20th consecutive year as the sponsor of this year's LOP. On a more regular basis the club meets on the last Sunday of each month at a predetermined site to address club matters, plan events and of course lust over the last finished project ridden in by its members. The club has a membership of over 100 enthusiasts located in 10 states. Most are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and all are interested in riding, restoring and pampering all types of vintage bikes.
There’s plenty of club activity information to checkout on this website. In addition look at the Lake O’ The Pines Chamber of Commerce at www.lakeothepines.com
Copyright © 2000 NTNOA All rights reserved.
Revised: July 28, 2010 .