8 Ball In The Wind

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sweet Bikes And Roads

Well it seems some of my scribbling will be in print.  At least regionally at any rate.  My post about ethanol (or at least most of it) will be getting published in the May issue of Freedom.  The monthly publication for A.B.A.T.E. of Washington.  Followed the month after by an article on how to persuade a legislator to work with us on our issues.

It is a start.  Not quite the bike related magazines I would like to get my stuff printed in, but it is a step in that direction.  I have been thinking of covering the Spring Opener here in the mountains of central Washington state.  The bands, bikes, and all the drunken festivities ought to be worth writing about.  Plus sending along a hundred or so quality photos along with the article just might help.

Everybody knows about the bike scene in California, and Florida, and of course they know about Sturgis.  Some even know about the scene in the greater New York/New Jersey area.  But there are some sweet ass bikes, and roads to ride them on in other parts of the country that don't get covered as much.  

I mean Hell, I have even heard there are good roads to ride in Kansas.  Even though I find that hard to believe being Kansas tends to be flat as a griddle, and as boring as shit to ride through (at least the parts I have ever ridden in).  But, I havent covered the whole state, so there may be some sweet road somewhere there that only the locals know about, and keep locked secretly away from all the out of state riders.

But here in the Pacific Northwest, we have an abundance of cool roads, and even cooler bikes rolling along them.  While some of the biggest names in the NW bike scene; like Taber Nash, Steg, and a couple of others have migrated down the coast to sunny Cali, many more are still here.  Plus, we have a good crop of small, garage builders doing their own thing.  Getting some quality shots of some of these bikes can be difficult at times.  But there are a handful of them that I truly want to highlight, and share with the world.  Some of them will be at the Spring Opener, and hopefully I can get enough good pics to be worth submitting an article or two from there.  There is also the BBW in July.  I have a feeling there will be some sickass,original chopped Sportsters there that are worth a story or two.  

If I am REALLY lucky, this summer I'll get a chance to ride up to Seattle and check out the Backfire Moto.  It is a bike night, but not your usualy bike night.  It is mainly for cafe racers, bobbers, choppers, and other rides that have been massaged from stock by loving hands, and ingenious fabricators.  More than a few vintage bikes are there as well.  But the Backfire Moto is definitely not for baggers.  It is a gearheads bike night.  Not for the feint of heart, who think that because you had the dealership bolt on enough factory chrome to keep a team of detailers employed full time, you have a 'custom' bike.  

I am sure that I am leaving out some fine runs, and locations.  The Oyster Run for example; but there are just too many bikes jamming Commerce street in Anacortes to be able to really get any good pics of a specific bike.  Leaving a card or note on a bike can be a real pain in the ass to.

But it is the roads of the Pacific Northwest that really bring out the bikes.  So I will keep on taking one of my cameras along when I ride.  You never know when or where you will run into some sweet bike, just screaming to have her photo taken.  Like the Vincent Black Shadow I ran across in the little town of Winthrop in the northeastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains.  Along with several other vintage English bikes, and a couple of early Sportsters, had just made the trek across the North Cascades Highway.  Across two 5,000 foot plus mountain passes and down into Winthrop (which is a rather cool old western town, with the states 'oldest legal saloon', wooden sidewalks, and buildings) and stopped for a cold bit of refreshment before heading east again.

There is a road in the remote southern Cascades that is a magnate for bikes of all kinds.  It is only a few miles long, but it is virtually nonstop twisties and "S" curves with a few long sweepers thrown in just for good measure.  The road has only been in existence for about 15 years or so.  But it's magic is spreading, and on a nice summer weekend it is filled with bikes of all types enjoying the heaven that is Curly Creek Road.

Hopefully, I'll be able to share some of the sweet bikes and magical roads of the northwest with a much broader audience.  We'll just have to see how things progress.  Either way, it is a goal I have for myself.  To get a bike photoshoot, or article in one of the bigger chopper magazines.  Until then, I'll just keep on the road as much as I can, and keep the words and pictures flowing.

Catch you on the road sometime...

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