Cool Bike Rides

What an awesome time! We just finished up the show and we've had a blast! Bill (right), Christine , Evan and I would all like to say that meeting all of you has been wonderful. The experience has been a great one and we hope you feel the same. A bunch of great content is sure to come out of this show. That said, we have pulled together a quick slideshow using some of the pictures we've taken so far and will update this with more soon. The slidshow is available at the bottom of this page.

The crowd was incredible on Saturday. You could hardly move there were so many people in the place! I was trying to walk around a bit at one point and could hardly move. As luck would have it I had the camera on me. I held it up and took a shot. Looks like a carpet of heads doesn't it? These folks came from everywhere! I met people from New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and who knows where else!

Bill's 1979 Triumph was a real hit. It seems like everyone has a Triumph story. Most were fun but though one ended in a bit of pain. Bill picked up this bike a little over a year ago and spent a good of time renovating it. What a beautiful job he did. This thing is beautiful. I think it drew nearly as much attention to the Indian you can see to the left!

I'm not sure our booth could've been in a better location. We were right next to the booth for A Century Of Motorcycling which was run by Tim Baer. His family has a long history of riding and specifically in riding Indian motorcycles. He had to beauties with him. I believe one was a 1920 and I'm not sure what the other was but it was a similar vintage. Tim's dad wrote a great book on his family's history with the Indian motorcycles (also includes one other prominent family). Tim's grandfather owned an Indian dealership in Springfield, MA many years ago. The book starts in 1901 and moves forward from there. There's a volume 1 available now and Volume 2 on the way. Both have one printing and won't be printed again. If you're interested in Indians, shoot over to Tim's website (www.acenturyofmotorcycling.com) and pick these books up before they're gone.

As luck would have it, right next to Tim was the Indian Motorcycle Museum. They had some incredible bikes on display. We've got several pictures and will be sharing them here as well as in the slideshow below. This was an Indian enthusiast's dream! They are preparing to open up a new museum in Springfield, MA and will exhibit something like 52 Indian's that have been donated in addition to some fantastic cars. They hope to be open in the Fall of '08. You may want to plan a trip up to see it. If you're interested, contact us and we'll let you know how they're progressing.

Before I move on from the Indian's, I have to tell you about a wonderful lady I had the chance to meet. I had a fellow approach me with the beautiful woman to the right. They told me that she was an employee of the old Indian Motorcycle company when they were alive and strong here in Springfield, MA. She was in the front office and worked there for many years. She'd come to the show just to see the Indian exhibits. Her name is Arlene Welch. Her maiden name is Masse. What a sweetheart. I had to take her photo and get her up on the site.

Evan, Christine and I live in Southwick, MA, a small town in Western, Massachusetts. As it happens, we have quite a custom bike painter here in town. I had no idea he existed before a month ago when we found each other on the internet. Spike (see his link on our Links page) is a great guy and does some fantastic work. I was really impressed with some of the pieces he's done and had a great time meeting him this weekend. I hope to have him do some work on my bike in the near future. If you're looking for custom paint, I'd give Spike a shout! That's spike on the left with one of his pieces of art! Believe me when I tell you, the picture doesn't do it justice.

I have to give a shout out to the fellows at Flamingo Motorsports of Palmer, MA. I hauled my bike in on a trailer that has roughly 3' sides. Unfortunately the bike was a terrible mess when I arrived. I saw the guys at the Flamingo booth cleaning up their bikes and asked if they were selling the cleaner. They said they do at the shop but only had a few cans for cleaning up the bikes they had there. They indicated that if there was any left, I was welcome to it. I had to run a couple of quick errands so I left the building (just like Elvis). When I returned, there was a can of cleaner and a nice soft polishing cloth sitting on my table. The bike looked great by the time I was done. Thanks guys!

Michelle Smith paid a little visit to our booth. She's the host of American Thunder on the Speed Channel. If you've not seen the show, be sure to check it out. She also hosts her own website www.michelesmith.tv where she has a calendar of events as well as other interesting info. Here's a picture with Michelle and I on Bill's Triumph. She's beautiful, a great sport, and was really cool to talk to! If she's visiting a show or location near you, be sure you stop in and say hi! Tell her Cool Bike Rides sent you.

We also got to meet some of the folks who've been regulars to our site. Kim stopped by and said hi (see her story on the Stories page). Christine was working the booth with me when she popped in so I grabbed a quick picture. We also had one of my original Forum buddies pop in as well. Dan and his wife Trina were as excited as I was. They live up near Quabin Reseviour, one of the most beautiful places to ride in New England. I met another fellow and his wife from Otis, MA. They have a 5 acre piece of land that they're happy to open up to bikers. Camping, events, whatever you need. They call themselves the Redneck Riders of Otis. As soon as they e-mail me their info I'll make it available to anyone who's interested. We hope to have a chance to ride with all of you this summer!

We had a drawing for a set of saddlebags this weekend. There were several entries and one winner. Paul Szostek of Thorndike, MA. Fortunately he was still at the show that night so we were able to hand him the bags ourselves! Paul rides a Harley and is a member of the Hogs riding group. Hopefully that hand is healed up for riding season!

We met another custom painter at the show who also had some really nice work. The company is called Eagle Eye Paint. They had a really nice bike on exhibit that included custom pipes that looked like gatling guns. The paint on this was really nice! I've got a picture of it here on the right but once again, you just can't capture such beauty with a camera!

All of the major bike companys were represented. Special thanks should go out to Tibby's Harley Davidson and All Sports Suzuki. They both had TV's in their booth that allowed me to check up on the Patriots/Charger's playoff game. I think I'm a Suzuki guy now as their TV had a much clearer picture!

Our good friends at Popoli Power Sports in Westfield, MA were also there. We purchased our first Yahama from them and they were wonderful to work with. We stop in frequently and love to chat with folks like Justin (Parts manager) and Brent (one of the salesman). We also love them because the owner, Eric, is such a great guy. He always goes out of his way to say hi and yes, he remembers names too! I was excited to see they had one of the new Star Raiders at the show. This is a bike my wife and I have been dying to see since they were released late '07. We took a shot of Evan on one of the Raiders a the show. Yes, he's a goofball...

There were several custom bike builder's there with some amazing bikes. I'm always floored to see the machines these types of companies can produce. There are several pictures of custom bikes in the slideshow to prove it! Perhaps some day I'll be able to afford one...

There were two bands playing the event this weekend; Hooked and Shovel Head. Shovel Head is one of our personal favorites. They play a lot of southern rock and they play it right! They even mix in a few originals here and there. If they're playing at a club or event near you, be sure you go see them. I only got to hear a little bit of Hooked but from what I heard, I'd go out of my way to see them again. They do a lot of 80's covers and the do a great job on them! We didn't get any pictures of Hooked but did get a few of Shovel Head.

That' gives you some idea of what the Springfield Motorcycle Show was like this year. If you didn't go because you've attended in the past and thought it was lacking, you missed a good one this year! This was only their third year running this show and they did a heck of a job.

We also had a chance to meet Tim, the writer who does the motorcycle column for the Springfield Republican, our regional news paper. He told us that he'd give us a mention in one of his future articles and we agreed to work together to make as much information available as possible to you, the rider!

Finally, I had a chance to meet Leslie, a local radio personality on onr of our favorite stations, Laser 99.3. She was working the crowd outside of the Laser booth at the show. I couldn't resist, I took the opportunity to grab a quick photo with her.

Chris and I would like to send out a special thanks to Doug Sousa for inviting us to the show this year. Doug and his staff were great to work with and we truly enjoyed the opportinuty. We'd also like to thank Billy and Evan for heling us man the booth. Evan worked with me the first half of Saturday and did a great job of networking especially when you consider he's only 16. We're very proud of our son and were glad he joined us! Billy was also fantastic! We wouldn't have been as successful without his help. Whether it was riding in his Triumph (I offered the trailer), pulling together the raffle boxes, loaning us his own show goodies, or just networking with folks, we couldn't have done it without him.

Ride safe and we hope to see you next year!

Ian and Chris

Springfield Motorcycle Show 2009

We came, we saw, we kicked some...