The setting is on the road. Two guys in Miami who both ride classic Italian Moto Guzzis see each other, nod, and ride on. This happens a lot in the world of vintage motorcycles. Then comes the twist that makes the whole thing sound like a missed connections ad on Craigslist. The guys both post photos of their prized bikes on Instagram with the hashtag #motoguzzi and keep seeing each others' pics pop up. Now they know that they both live in Dade, and after a few online exchanges the pair quickly form a friendship.
Alex Mackenzie, one of those guys, grew up in Italy right next to the Moto Guzzi factory (his grandmother still lives there) and has lived in Miami for 15 years. Matt Atkatz works in advertising and moved down here from NYC a while back. Their backgrounds aren't actually the point, though. This is about, Matt says: "Sharing a common interest in vintage bikes," and nothing but.
The duo began meeting up to ride out, but there was a key ingredient missing: the destination. Matt explains the need for this integral part of any equation, "We would ride together but there was nowhere to ride to" so they decided to rectify the situation.
Formed just a few short months ago, the community of bike enthusiasts has congealed around Metal 305's new vintage bike night, the meets outside of Wood and Lester's, with a quickness that surprised no one more than it's founders. "What started on a whim snowballed really quickly. After only about a month or two when over 150 bikes started showing up each week we went to Churchill's and they were into it."
Metal 305 has a markedly inclusive philosophy that simply wants to bring the larger community together. "There were all these clubs and shops and individuals out there but no one had brought them all together before," Matt says. They're planning a motorcycle-centered swap meet at Churchill's this weekend.
In the voice of a man on a mission, he explains what is so vital about the social aspect of these vintage bike meetups, "We've got three generations of people coming out to these meets. Young bloods and old school passing on knowledge and sharing ideas, as well as being a great opportunity to see really unusual bikes that have been modified in all different ways."
Alex breaks it down to basics: "The purpose of the swap meet is to get a lot of those people together, and it's a cool way to galvanize the scene."
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With free admission and free space to sell parts and bikes, the meet has thus far pulled in over 40 vendors from all over South Florida. The guys are quick to point out that as the group expands and more chapters are inevitably formed outside of Dade, the moniker will remain the same, because in their own words, "at it's core it's 305."