Downtown Miami

Vintage-motorcycle riders gather for annual Black Sunday swap meet

Nick Bowe, 43, Alex MacKenzie, 47, and Robert Schafer, 44, pose with their motorcycles in front of Will Call Miami in Downtown where vintage motorcycle enthusiasts will gather for the annual Black Sunday swap meet.
Nick Bowe, 43, Alex MacKenzie, 47, and Robert Schafer, 44, pose with their motorcycles in front of Will Call Miami in Downtown where vintage motorcycle enthusiasts will gather for the annual Black Sunday swap meet. South Florida News Service

As Alex MacKenzie eyed his vintage Moto Guzzi, he recalled the day he fell in love with motorcycles.

“I had a cousin when I was 8 years old who had one, and he gave me a ride. It was freezing cold, and he took me up the mountains,” he said. “I didn’t want to get off.”

MacKenzie, 47, who grew up in Italy near the Moto Guzzi factory, is now trying to grow the vintage motorcycle scene in Miami along with Metal 305, a meet-up group that organizes vintage bike nights, group rides and other motorcycle events.

One of its trademark events is the annual Black Sunday swap meet, held the Sunday after Thanksgiving, where motorcycle enthusiasts can buy, sell and trade parts and other motorcycle related items as well as meet with collectors and shops in the area.

Now in its third year, Black Sunday marks the beginning of riding season for Florida motorcyclists and provides them the opportunity to get together and exchange parts and ideas.

“It’s a way to kind of talk shop for free and learn something from other people,” said Rick Quesada, 35, who has attended both previous Black Sunday events. “You get to get your hands on some of the products that you see online sometimes.”

Attending swap meets is one of the few ways that vintage collectors are able to find parts for their motorcycles other than online sources such as eBay and Craigslist.

While MacKenzie said Black Sunday is not quite large enough to find a “diamond in the rough,” many attendees are willing to swap old parts for T-shirts and other items or simply give them away for free.

Robert Schafer, 44, enjoys placing parts with the people that he feels need them the most.

“I feel certain things belong in certain hands,” he said. “Even if you don’t make a profit on it, even if you lose a couple bucks, it’s worth it just to see the pure joy on people’s faces when they get stuff they were looking for or they think is really cool.”

After giving someone a part, Schafer insists that they email him photos of their finished project, so they can keep in touch and he can see that it was put to good use.

Exchanges like those between motorcycle veterans and people just beginning the hobby are what Tracy Golub, 41, enjoys most about Black Sundays.

“It’s kind of neat to see the different generations, like the original owners of these bikes and then the new guys coming up getting together,” she said. “It gives everybody who has common interest a common ground to meet and exchange knowledge.”

The event is free for both participants and vendors. MacKenzie says he started the swap meet to simply share his love of vintage motorcycles.

“To take an old motorcycle and make it work, it takes art and a lot of desire. There’s no money in it in the beginning. It’s just something people do because they love it,” he said. “That’s what I think Miami has needed, just an appreciation for older things in general.”

If You Go

Black Sunday Vintage Motorcycle Swap Meet at 10 a.m. Sunday at Will Call Miami, 700 NE Second Ave., Miami, FL 33132. Free.

For more information visit www.blacksunday305.com.

  Comments