Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Maggie Valley - The Wheels of Time

Two of the things that Paul and I wanted to see most on this trip were "The Wheels of Time" museum and "The Dragon" at Deal's Gap.

The gateway to both is a tiny little town called Maggie Valley.

Maggie Valley is an interesting place. The population can't be any more than 1,000, and it basically has one street. Still, it has three miniature golf courses! Strange but true.

The day we arrived, all the hotels were welcoming the "Methodists Convention" to town. The whole idea of a religious convention eludes me. Do they have delegates wearing "Jesus for Son of God!" t-shirts? Are they voting to see if Judas can be an appostle, despite his character issues? Regardless of what they do at their convention, they are quite welcome in Maggie Valley.

I did run across two things that my friend, Katherine Arthurs might find amusing. First, since she's the proud owner of a little pug named Loki...

And since she has a brother named John, the "J. Arthurs" restaurant is interesting. Really good food! We had dinner here twice!

Anyway, back to the Wheels of Time. The Wheels of Time is a museum dedicated to motorcycles made in America. They have a huge collection of bikes, from Indians to Harleys. Actually, they have a whole lot of Harleys!

They even have some things for the kids...

Their collection is pretty impressive, including rare bikes like this shaft drive Harley. Shaft drives are really popular on BMWs, but seldom seen on American bikes.

There are some unusual creations made from bikes as well. Like this carriage built by welding a rickshaw type back to a Harley front end.

Some of the bikes are from the early days of bikes, like this one designed to run on steam.

They also document a like of motorcycle history, like the "board racers" who raced bikes on this tracks made entirely of wooden slats. Yes, the wall they are driving on is almost vertical!

They have also collected many interesting devices made from motorcycles and their parts. Like this Harley Davidson lawn mower...

And this Harley power saw.

I really enjoyed the Gugenheim "Art of the Motorcycle" exhibit when it was in Las Vegas. I have to say, the bikes at "The Wheels of Time" are just as cool!

My personal favorite was this three wheel "Batmobile" made from motorcycle parts!

But for those of you with a more practical bent, how about a Harley truck?

Personally, I've always enjoyed the design of the old Indian bikes.

Paul was particularly fond of the midget racers.

For those of us who watch a lot of the Discovery Channel, you might remember a show called "Big". One episode they created this monster bike, which was about 30 feet long!

The Wheels of Time is a great museum. If you ever find yourself in Maggie Valley, NC, stop by. They'll be happy to see you!


Edwin Hoogerbeets said...

Peter, the "rickshaw back and harley front" is called a "tuk tuk" and are used a lot in Thailand and Cambodia. (Did you see them while you were there?)

Morgan said...

Wow...that place looks super cool. I need to go out there to add to my research pool!