went downtown to market square for the rally in raleigh saturday... wasn't sure what the weather was going to do - it was calling for scattered showers during the day. when i took off at 11:00AM the sky was cloudy. since it looked like it might rain, i threw on my rain jacket for the ride down - figured i didn't want to start the day out wet...
on the ride downtown i didn't see a single bike - not one!!! i was starting to wonder if maybe they canceled the rally (which i knew they wouldn't) or if maybe there was a lack of interest because of the weather. as i pulled up to market square i finally saw a bike - parked in the bike only parking lot. so i parked my bike next to it and started walking around.
for an event that was supposed to start at 10:00AM i was really surprised a lot of vendors were still setting up around noon. i realize they probably got a late start because of the weather, but this late?? guess it didn't matter too much though; there weren't a lot of people walking around.
along a couple of the streets they had the usual vendors hawking jewelry, leathers, helmet stickers, hats, clothes, lights, you name it... there was one guy there that was selling motorcycles made from wire.it was pretty neat. i would have picked one up but it seemed too expensive for my blood.as you can see, fifty bucks for a small motorcycle - add thirty if you want a gecko!!!
after walking through the street vendors i decided to check out the bike builders. while i can appreciate all the creativity and talent that goes into creating these new, sleek choppers, i don't think i would really want one.
as i was walking around, the one below caught my eye. you'll notice there is no down tube on the bike... in case you don't know, the down tube provides strength and stability to the frame. other bikes have been built without down tubes, but i guess because of the other modifications that have to be made to the frame to accommodate for the lack of a down tube, they're not real popular. i ended up talking to russell marlowe for a couple minutes - he's in the background of the picture and the builder of the bike. i'll post later about my conversation and impression of mr. marlowe.
i decided to check out the ride-in bike show. i know it was still early and bikes were still entering, but there were about twenty bikes in the show already. there were all sorts of bikes, some stock, some modified, some completely built from the ground up. of all the bikes there, i was most impressed by this one. it's called "Gold School" and was built by hank thibodeau from a '79 Gold Wing!!! i ended up talking to hank for a couple minutes about the bike. this bike has a little bit of everything - honda (obviously), harely, yamaha, suzuki... i think he even said it has car parts from honda, mazda, vw... amazing... after seeing this bike, it didn't seem like any of the other bikes in the show were even worth looking at!!!
after checking out the bikes in the show, i figured i'd seen about everything there was to see, so i figured i'd head home... decided to grab a quite bite to eat before jumping on the bike. as i was sitting at a table, munching down a hot dog and gulping down a mountain dew, three guys sat down at the table with me. one guy asked if i worked for exile cycles. that was the second comment i got about the exile shirt i was wearing - the first being from russell marlowe, which i will tell you about in a later post... anyway, it turns out these guys run a web site called no rules riders. the site is put together for people who like to ride for the freedom or riding. check it out... i'll probably end up riding with these guys some time...
so, after about two or three hours at the rally, i was back on my bike heading home... can't say i was totally impressed. maybe it was the weather, maybe it was because it was the first year. maybe it will get better. i will say i'm glad i didn't travel a long distance to get here - i would have been totally disappointed!!!
okay - that's it...