It had been one of those long, dreary days at home with my one-year-old a few weeks ago. We were both eager to get out of the house and the bus stop where we pick up her older sister wasn't quite far enough.
So when she stepped off the bus, I announced: "We're going to see some motorcycles."
I watched them build the Ray Price Harley-Davidson dealership on the southern fringe of Raleigh a decade ago. I used to drive by it every day on my way to work. And I'd always heard there was some sort of museum there, but had never seen it. I figured there was no time like the present.
The Ray Price Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum sits on the second floor of the spacious and impressive dealership. It features a collection of cases and displays, honoring the racers and people who have made a big impact in the sport. They begin with Ray Price himself, a legend in the sport who, among other things, invented the funny bike, a drag motorcycle that looks like a street bike. Two are on display at the museum. He's been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
My five-year-old flitted between the displays, stopped to check out the bikes and stared down at the sales floor below, which features a replica of the Rockingham Dragway including actual burnout marks that Price and some friends made one night.
After about 20 minutes upstairs, we walked downstairs to check out the floor. She picked out her favorite motorcycle and we bought a sticker for a future craft project. And it should be noted that everybody was really nice, greeting us, directing us toward the elevator, cooing over the baby and more. It was just a really fun experience.
Since I know very little about motorcycles, I went back a week or so later to talk with Kris Weiss, marketing director, about the museum. Check my interview with him in the video for more about the museum and to get a look at what it includes.
The museum is open during store hours, which are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The dealership also opens its shop to the public a couple of times during the year. And Weiss also tells me he's happy to open it up to special groups, including kids. Check the website for details and contact information if you're interested in a private tour.