Who Is Barbara Fritchie Anyway, And Why Does She Have A Motorcycle Race Named After Her?

Barbara Hauer was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and was the daughter of German immigrants. She later married John Casper Fritchie, who was a glove maker, on May 6, 1806.  Soon after they faded into relative normal obscurity in Frederick, MD as most people did then, simply going about their everyday lives.
However, Barbara would soon become famous – allegedly undeserving so – for waving the Union flag in the face of an advancing Confederate army. Whether or not this actually happened remains debated and unresolved to this day.

The story goes that while marching out of town into the hills on September 10 the troops passed Frietschie’s house, and she may have waved a small Union flag from the porch or a second-floor window. Barbara Fritchie was a Unionist and did have a Union flag. Friends of Barbara Fritchie stated that she shook a Union flag at and insulted Confederate troops, but other neighbors said Barbara Fritchie, who was over 90 years old, was ill at the time. Whatever the actual case, the story soon took root in town that Frietschie, who was known to be intensely patriotic, had somehow defied the Confederate army.
She became famous as the heroine of the 1863 poem Barbara Frietchie by John Greenleaf Whittier, in which she pleads with an occupying Confederate general to “Shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.” The General is shamed and orders his troops not to shoot!

No firsthand account of the incident survives, and disputes over the poem’s authenticity came up almost immediately after it was published. The poet, Mr. Whittier was a Quaker and some say his beliefs certainly colored his war time writings in as much as figures were often forced to face and wrestle with the humanity or lack thereof of war. Thus was the dispute of the occurrence of the incident given even deeper roots.

However, her descendants successfully promoted her reputation, and the city of Frederick has used her name and image to attract tourists ever since the early 1900s. Today one can find her name and historical significance attached to many events in Frederick, MD. The Barbara Fritchie House is located at 154 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland. It is a 1927 reconstruction, based on the original house, which was washed away during a storm or flood.
So, this is what I have found out, in my own words and excerpts from Wickipedia, Google and other web locations. It’s interesting to know this background. I had been imagining some old grey haired lady that used to race motorcycles might be the namesake, but no. A simple, patriotic wife of a glove maker who may – or may not have – defied and insulted opposing wartime troops in her own little town.

Whichever side you take on this historical story, we can all agree on our love of motorcycles and especially Flat Track Racing! I love all motorcycle racing and riding yet I must admit there is just something extraordinary seeing a pack of motorcycles speeding around the track almost always sideways and in such tight formation. It’s really sort of magical. I’m getting excited and can’t wait to celebrate the 4th at this race!  How about you?

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Finally, after many days of rainy weather the forecast cleared. The event was advertised as “Rain or Shine” so I had made plans to drive the cage and bring a rain suit if need be. I was just overwhelmed with gratitude to the Cosmic Universe that the weather finally moved on to bother other peoples and I could ride the bike instead! Everything was aligning for a great day. I did have to delay my departure a few moments – about 45 minutes – to allow the last few sprinkles to pass but then I was off on two wheels!

It was about a two or two and a half hour ride straight over on the super slabs and highways but I cared not for I would soon be immersed in the rich and vibrant history of these classic British and European motorcycles and the swap meet, I tuned in my satellite channel on the phone, set the cruise when I could and as is the saying…”Let The Good Times Roll!”

When I arrived I was pointed to the parking area and there were only a few bikes there but that was soon to change. Within minutes, as I removed my helmet and jacket and stowed them, retrieved my camera and so on the bikes began to arrive.

This certainly held much promise for a fun day!

Just as I was about to walk to the swap meet area I overheard a couple guys talking and one said I really liked the show “Two Fat Ladies”. That stopped me in my tracks. For those of you not in the know, this is a relatively obscure PBS cooking show from England. Yes, it is literally about two old, fat ladies. They travel about the countryside cooking regional dishes and critiquing them and pretty much anything else that catches their eye or ire! What really makes it special though and initially caught my eye is that they travel in a sidecar rig! Now I’m not just rambling, there is a point to this. The two guys I overheard talking were discussing a sidecar rig based on a modern Triumph, but using a sidecar from the same company that made the Two Fat Ladie’s rig!  You see, I had parked right next to it.    The owner and I soon struck up a conversation and this was indeed an imported unit attached here by an authorized outlet of sidecar installers. I was more than duly impressed especially with the paint job on this daily driver. You can see me taking the picture in the reflection on the paint! In fact, in the original picture I downloaded, the individual blades of grass are distinguishable. This is more a comment on the quality of paint application and selection of materials than the camera. I was using an off the shelf Kodak digital something or other set on auto everything.

So, I began to really get excited with all these good omens being laid in my path.

As I traversed the grounds on my way to the swap meet area I spied a pavilion with some bikes in it so I thought I’d better take a look thinking they might be show bikes. They were just some bikes, VIP parking maybe, I didn’t know. Just some nice daily drivers, a bike with a Flux Capacitor and stuff like that. It turned out to be a pretty cool Steam Punk style bike so I snapped a few pictures and a video of the Flux Capacitor. Click the link.


On to the swap meet! We had to walk through some gaps provided in the tree lines to get to the next area and when you arrived, the British and European Classic Motorcycle Day revealed itself in full glory! As I said it was early yet, just look at the video and you can see this was promising to be a great day indeed!  https://youtu.be/GpAYmaYAQEI

I spoke to Blair Chapman, one of the principals of the event and he said:

“The quality of the motorcycles that turn up at B&E CMD always amazes. There are a lot of seldom-seem bikes, both restored and original, and the workmanship that goes into the custom builds is outstanding. You never know what is going to turn up — from brass-era machines to the latest trends in tricked-out one-off bikes that must have taken hundreds of hours to build. We hope to see a steady interest in these old machines and keep classic British & European machines ridden and seen.”

I kept that in mind as I browsed the tables and I must admit, I was impressed. There is no doubt these vendors contribute greatly to the overall restoration and correctness of these bikes. Many many items were available which, if a bike had to do without simply could not be considered complete.  Please enjoy the pictures and if you do spot something you require, perhaps an email to the organizers may put you in touch with a supplier.

As you can see from these few pictures, there was a wide selection available!

There were food and drinks available, plenty of seating in sun or shade (pavilion), music and general good camaraderie.  One particular highlight was the Norton Tech Talk given by Chris Greenbacker of the Nation’s Capital Norton Owners, an expert Norton mechanic with over 35 years of experience repairing and restoring classic motorcycles. The word is that Chris is the GOTO GUY on Nortons. Just these tips and tricks alone were worth the cost of admission!

Blair also says:
“Our all-volunteer Board of Directors have held this event for 17 years, the last 7 years at High Point Farm in Clarksburg, MD. We try to have a relaxed atmosphere that welcomes like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts. We have a judged concours for 1983 and older machines, a swap meet area geared toward classic Brit & Euro bikes, parts, accessories and services, and Tech Talks from knowledgable mechanics. This year’s Tech Talk on Norton engine building tips was given by Chris Greenbacker of the Nation’s Capital Norton Owners, an expert Norton mechanic with over 35 years of experience repairing and restoring classic motorcycles.”

The board of directors says:
“Our purpose for holding Classic Motorcycle Day is to present a venue to display classic British and European motorcycles for the enjoyment of the public and other enthusiasts, and to meet and trade with others interested in our hobby. Our goal is to favorably impress the motorcycling community and advance our good image.”

In closing, I asked Blair to sum it all up for us. This is what he had to say:
We give back to the community by donating to the Montgomery County Police Explorers (a local youth group that gives teens a chance to explore law enforcement as a career path). The Explorers also help us with logistics and security at the event. The swap meet area is populated by local motorcycle shops, bike clubs, small businesses, and riders like us who are looking to sell bikes & spares. Each year, we feature a different category or make of motorcycles. This year was Norton Commando (on its 50th anniversary). Last year was BMW, and next year Triumph will be the featured marque. We couldn’t put on our not-for-profit event year after year without the help of our volunteer workers (most from NCNO) – it’s a lot of work, but worth it.”

All in, I’d say he summed it up quite well. My summary is much simpler of course. Even if all you are looking to do is get away and do something on your motorcycle for a day, put this on your calendar for next year. Do it now. When the day comes, gas up, set the GPS for no highways or tolls, leave early, have a nice ride, walk around, meet people and see things and learn things about the history of motorcycles, have some food and take the long way home. That is what I’ll be doing. Again.

Here is the list of all the class winners…CONGRATULATIONS!

British & European Classic Motorcycle Day 2018 Concours Results
British & European Veteran (pre-1952)
1st – [#5] – 1947 AJS Model 18 – David Miller
British & European Vintage (1952-62)
1st – [#59] – 1962 Triumph T100SS – Fred Salisbury
British & European Classic (1963-76)
1st – [#31] – 1070 BSA 448 Special – John Logan
2nd – [#36] – 1974 Benelli 650 – Tom Renda
3rd – [#38] – 1965 Norton Atlas – Chuck Stone
British & European Café Racer
1st – [#22] – 1965 BSA Lightning – Gary Jones
2nd – [#2] – 1965 Matchless – Sam Jackson
British & European Custom / Chopper
1st – [#32] – 1964 Triumph TR6  – Terry Matthews
2nd – [#58] – 1970 Triumph Chopper – Bill Ross
3rd – [#64] – 1968 Triumph – David Douglasson
British & European Competition
1st – [#7] – 1972 DKW – Dan Badagliacca
2nd – [#27] – 1976 Bultaco Sherpa-T – Brian McQuad
3rd – [#28] – 1971 Bultaco Alpina – Brian McQuad
British & European Triples
1st – [#9] – 1980 Laverda Jota – Dana Narkanas
2nd – [#12] – 1974 Triumph T150 – Chris Newton
Triumph Twins 1963 up, pre-oil in frame
1st – [#34] – 1969 TR6C – Jock Weir
2nd – [#41] – 1970 TR6R – Dan Savino
Triumph Twins Oil-in-frame
1st – [#15] – 1977 Silver Jubilee – Oscar May
2nd – [#16] – 1979 Bonneville – Ed Hough
3rd – [#55] – 1978 Bonneville – Sol Schott
BSA Twins (Post 1962)
1st – [#61] – 1966 Spitfire – Greg Edwards
Italian Classic (up to 1983)
1st – [#47] – 1974 Sport – Larry Paddock
2nd – [#19] – 1973 Ducati GT – Jack Fiero
3rd – [#51] – 1978 Ducati 900SS – Jim Rouch
German Vintage (to 1969)
1st – [#4] – 1959 BMW R50 – Dave McMunn
2nd – [#29] – 1965 BMW R50/2 – Doug Dowling
3rd – [#24] – 1966 BMW R60/2 – David Rouse
German Classic (1970-1983)
1st – [#43] – 1973 BMW R75/5 – Matt Tarczynski
2nd – [#54] – 1975 BMW R90S – M. Brewer
3rd – [#63] – 1978 BMW R100/7 – Steve Brady
Norton Commando 750
1st – [#44] – 1969 Norton – Pat & Ann Wilson
Norton Commando 850
1st – [#48] – 1975 Roadster – Mike Forte
2nd – [#10] – 1975 Roadster – Angel Sturges
3rd – [#35] – 1975 Roadster – Tom Renda
Norton Commando – Custom
1st – [#55] – 1974 Norton – Darrel Ricketts
2nd – [#62] – 1971 750 – Jim Brown
3rd – [#57] – 1969 Norton – Nick Wilson
Nation’s Capital Norton Owners Best Commando Trophy
 [#11] – 1975 850 – Jim Sturges
Bill Ford Memorial Trophy
[#32] – 1964 Triumph TR6 – Terry Matthews
Motorcycle of Most Technical Interest
 [#32] – 1964 Triumph TR6 – Terry Matthews
I’ll just leave this here…if I ever get to own a Norton, I want one just exactly like this.




Between Gmail security, WordPress and other malicious electronic programs, widgetry and general deviousness, the security programs and settings all somehow conspired to tweak my classified ad’s email response capabilities just enough so they didn’t work.

Of course they worked fine every morning as I tested them from inside the system. Only this morning I happened to use a fresh browser because of a restart and so as is my habit, I cleared all cookies and whatnot before the restart.

Email problem was revealed. It’s fixed now.

Really. It is.

You can use the classifieds again.




From their website  www.http://classicmotorcycleday.org


British & European Classic Motorcycle Day is one of the largest events of its kind, with a field full of all types of Classic British & European motorcycles; swap meet vendor area; Tech Talks; and much more. We are located in the rolling countryside of Maryland, close to Washington, DC and Baltimore. The all-volunteer staff has planned and produced this event for 15 years (30 years if you count the previous incarnation, ‘British Motorcycle Day’). We give back to the community, and have donated thousands of dollars to Montgomery County Police Explorers, a organization that gives our local youth a chance to explore what it is like have a career in law enforcement.

For 2018, British & European Classic Motorcycle Day featured marque is Norton Commando, commemorating its 50 year anniversary. There are over 15 Brit & Euro classes for the judged concours and over 75 plaques and ribbons to be awarded, and door prizes awarded to select Concours winners. The vendor area has Classic British & European parts and accessories, complete bikes, project bikes, maybe even that elusive piece you need to finish a bike you’re working on. The 2018 event poster (left) features a 1968 Norton Commando. We will have event T-shirts and posters available for sale the day of the event. We will also have a Tech Sessions presented by a classic motorcycle pros during the event.

The 2017 British & European Classic Motorcycle Day was well attended, guesstimates of 1350 attendees and 130 concours bikes. The quality of the concours was impressive, with original machines mingled in with full restorations and custom fabricated motorcycles of the highest caliber. A list of the 2017 Concours winners and a link to pictures and videos of earlier years’ events are on the ‘Past Years’ page. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and had a safe trip home, and we can’t wait to see you in 2018.

Please browse our site for more information. Your comments and questions are welcome.

—Members of the Board of Classic Motorcycle Day.

Free Classifieds Are Fixed!


Special thanks going out to Preston for alerting me to a problem with the site! Apparently the location drop down menu was malfunctioning and preventing you from posting.

I removed it so you can post now, and I’ll fix it behind the scenes.

Just include your City and State in the description for now. 

Please go ahead and use the FREE CLASSIFIEDS…







First up is a discount from APEX CYCLE EDUCATION!

Whether you are a new rider or a more experienced one, Apex has 4 classroom locations and can help you be a better rider and better prepared than you would be.

Check out the ad, it’s the same one in this issue of the magazine, be sure to mention MOTORCYCLE TIMES for the discount!






Did you know that on our website we offer completely free Motorcycle, ATV, UTV Classified Ads?
Just go to https://www.motorcycletimes.com/classifieds-2/place-ad/

Have a great day and keep it shiny side up!


Only Nineteen Days To Go!

Only nineteen days to go until the British and European Motorcycle Day!
This year the featured marque is the Norton Commando!

Did you know: Norton Motorcycles was founded in 1901?
In 1907 Norton began winning various races including the 1st Isle of Man TT?
This started a racing tradition that drove company sales throughout it’s life, but did you know that the phrase “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday!” did not begin with NASCAR but in a Norton Dealership? Well some say so anyway.
Did you know the Norton Commando was introduced in 1969 and at that time it was arguably the world’s first production Superbike?

So much more to know, so go to the show!


First up is the DART RUN sponsored by Emanon Riders out of Dover, Delaware.
100% of proceeds got to The Ride For Kids which helps fight and seek a cure for Pediatric Brain Cancer.
Please support this worthy cause.


July 4th 2018 for the 97th year in a row!

The Barbara Fritchie Classic Motorcycle Race!

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Did you know you can Buy or Sell Motorcycles, ATV’s and UTV’s on Motorcycle Times website?
It’s True!


The May/June Will Be Out Soon!

The May/June Issue Will Be Out Soon!

I’m fresh off an all nighter and all day-er. Am I tired or what? The computer decided to freeze last night as I was just sitting down to review the finishing touches. Printer deadline was this morning! I immediately applied the full force of my computer repair skills by boxing it soundly upside it’s rectangular metal head.

That had little if any effect although I did feel better. So I regrouped and applied my emergency repair skills and pushed the off button. I suspected the anti malware had something to do with all this because prior to our boxing match it was really slow. Anyway, I’ll spare you the details of the eternity of the many multiples of restarts, reboots and re-cursing the dang thing until I finally got it working again, lol!

So, I’m really excited about this issue and everything it has for you. Everyone worked hard to meet the deadline in spite of tax day, and I’m really proud of my little Motorcycle Times family. You’ll find something for everyone in this issue I hope!

Well, I’m going to hibernate very deeply and soundly – soundly meaning noisily – and so I will leave you with this video tease. It’s me doing a ride impression on something that is in this issue. Can you guess what it is?

Peace to the people!