Tag: Wheels Through Time

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Neale Bayly Rides: What Once Was Lost

I will never forget that frigid winter afternoon the 1924 JD Harley-Davidson was unceremoniously dragged from the back of a semi-truck. Dull, lifeless, rusty, and forgotten, somewhere around five decades had slipped by since the bike was last ridden. Heading for the workshop behind the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, museum owner Dale Walksler had been entrusted with the task of breathing life into this then 80-year-old motorcycle. I was there to document the story, and didn’t know I was about to be taken on an adventure: an adventure that would journey deep into my soul, as Dale and I traveled back through ours.

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Goodbye Dale, And Thank You

I got word that Dale Walksler, the founder and president of the wonderful Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, Tennessee, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. Dale was 69 years old. The news struck me hard, as several of us Road Dirt guys were just up there back in September, touring this famous museum of American motorcycling. I’ve visited the museum 5-6 times since they first opened in 2002, and have always marveled at not only the vast collection of American motorcycle history they have amassed, but how every bike in the collection actually runs. Yet best of all was Dale’s personal touch. Until his health prevented it, Dale was often out on the floor, meeting patrons and discussing bikes, history, great rides and fond memories, a precedent the rest of their staff continues to practice. Wheels Through Time truly is, “The Museum That Runs.”

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