Cool Bike Rides

2013 Springfield Motorcycle Show

Well here we are, the middle of January and heading into a cold snap. It was 16 degrees when I got up this morning. What better way to shake off the winter doldrums? The Springfield Motorcycle Show!

We look forward to the show every year. Where else can you spend a day with your biker buddies checking out the new 2013 motorcycles from all of the major manufacturers? Maybe custom bikes are your thing. Looking for new luggage for your ride or maybe a new riding jacket? It's all there every year at the show.

This year Doug Sousa and his staff worked hard to bring in a combination of the old and new. The main attraction this year was the legendary Ron Finch “Michigan's Motorcycle Madman”. Ron has been customizing bikes since the early days of the chopper and has been known for his unique designs and uses of geometric shapes and nearly every color in the color palette. Ron brought some of his motorcycle creations as well as some other interesting “metal art”. In addition, he brought along copies of a new movie just released called Ron Finch That's All You Get. Copies were available for purchase and were given away on the main stage during trivia sessions Doug did throughout the show.

In addition to Ron Finch, there was a vast array of local and regional bike builders. One of my good friends and local favorites, Rich Pitoniak of Pitoniak's Custom Cycles, was there with his crew and his personal custom rides. Rich builds them just the way I like them, simple yet hot! Other bike builders there included Barnstorm Cycles, White Knuckle Kustoms, FTF Cycles, Vintage Customs and Backyard Kustoms to name a few. The work these folks do is nothing short of art! In fact the paint job on the chopper Backyard Kustoms brought is just plain cool.

This year the Cool Bike Rides booth was located right across the isle from the Bike Competition. This is where folks bring in their own rides to compete for trophies and even better, CASH. Right across from us was a young man who is 18 and built a custom chopper out of an old Honda. The stretched frame was fascinating and the paint was really cool featuring Frankenstein on the top of the tank. There were many other cool rides in the competition including an old HD in the booth right next to me. Check out the photos...

For the first time ever, they crowned a Miss Springfield Motorcycle Show! Though they struggled initially getting some ladies involved, they ended up with group of beautiful women. Mike, from Catskill Mountain Thunder, sponsor of this event, introduced each of the girls and encouraged crowd support. Once they were all introduced the crowd was given the opportunity to make noise in support of their favorite contestant. Well I think we had a ringer in the crowd! Joanne, one of the ladies who was virtually dragged into the competition, and happened to be with Bad Habit, the band playing that evening, won the whole thing! Though Dick, the fellow soliciting the crowd response, thought it was close between two of the ladies, Joanne had the crowd support hands down. Check out our video on this competition. It was a lot of fun and hopefully more of you lovely ladies participate next year. Perhaps a Mr. SMS is in order next year?

There was a different band each day of the show. Friday evening was highlighted by none other than Bad Habit who absolutely rocked the house. They were a three piece band mixing in an array of classic and southern rock along with their own original music. Saturday featured none other than one of the areas best southern rock cover bands Shovelhead! They rocked the house with some of their own original music and mixed in some hard driving tunes from ZZ Top and others. Sunday featured a special treat, a band called Man the Builder featuring Doug Sousa's son on guitar and vocals. They performed more of the Alternative style of rock.

The fashion show has become a staple of the weekend. In fact, I had two older women approach me about three hours after the event asking me if they missed it. Much to their disappointment, I informed them they had, but I let them go through my pictures of the event on my camera. A small consultation prize at the very least. As always, the ladies were beautiful and they featured some really cool Harley Davidson clothing. The event was once again MC'ed by the lovely Leslie from Lazer 99.3 FM.

As I wander around the show, I'm always intrigued by the folks the show draws. Let's face it, without you there is no show. What intrigues me is the diversity of the crowd. You name it and they are there. I've met folks from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hew Hampshire and even Maine. Let alone all of the folks from right here in MA (I'm not just talking Western, MA either). The crowd ranges from 1-92 and everything in between. I mean 92, I once met a local gentleman who was 92 and a former rider. In all the years I've been at the show, I've never met anyone I didn't like. I hear some of the most fascinating stories. Maybe some day I'll write a book!

If you missed the show, I'm sorry! If not, thanks for coming and I hope I had a chance to meet you. To get a flavor of the show, be sure to watch the videos I will be posting in an effort to help you experience it for yourself (one is done and more to come). In the mean time, ride it like you stole it! Seriously folks, ride safe and we'll see you on the road soon...