Ducati Motorcycling enthusiasts from around New England - and as far away from New York - came to Concord for a motorcycle rally last week to celebrate what they feel is the artistic superiority of their machines.
Held at the Sunoco station on Loudon Road, dozens of Ducati owners came to eat, socialize and brag about their bikes in preparation for riding the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
Ted Gooch of Northwood, president of New England Desmo Owners, hosted the event. Gooch explained that Desmo is another name for Ducati, a nickname created after the special valves on the bike.
"The club has over 900 members all over New England. I put together this event in just three weeks," Gooch said.
Gooch added that he hopes this summer's Ducati rally will be the jumping off point for an annual event.
"We want to get the local population interested in motorcycling," said Gooch. "It doesn't have to be Ducati - that's just what we love."
Rick Wool came from Troy, N. Y., for the rally. Asked "Why Ducati?" he responded, "It's like Corvette or Ferrari, why Ferrari? Regular bikes are just bikes, these are like artwork. A piece of art on wheels."
Wool said that Ducati has been around since the 1930s and gave special mention to the older bikes in the show while preening over his newer custom 2012 model.
"The whole idea about having something like this and taking it to the track is you get it out on the track, not on the road where it can be dangerous," Wool said.
Sean Coelho, who rides a Ducati Monster, called the ride up from Rhode Island a blast, but said it was nothing to the 800 miles he rode the weekend prior. Coelho said his bike is made for the open road, not for sitting in traffic, and that without custom work to add a radiator, a bike could burn out sitting in just a mile of traffic.
"It's the art of the ride that draws them to this point," Coelho waxed poetic. "It's about going on the highway and cornering, less about the attitude of the bike and more about the ride."
Maureen Richards of Massachusetts rode with her 2005 Monster 800. She said she got into Ducati motorcycles when she became tired of riding on the back of her boyfriend's bike and decided she wanted her own.
"Leave all the kids at home, and this is our time. Our mini-vacations in a day. As long as I don't tell my mother," Richards laughed.
Richards also said it is difficult having keeping the kids away, especially her youngest daughter, from wanting to ride when they see their parents having so much fun doing it.
"It makes you feel like being a kid again," Richards said of being on a Ducati.
(If you are interested in becoming a member of the New England Desmo Owners Club visit their website at nedoc.org to register.)