Jul 15, 2006

easyriders rodeo

decided to head to the easyriders rodeo today...

the rodeo was taking place in wilson, nc which is only forty-five minutes away. i was figuring that would be a good ride - especially for the ride back home after being out all day.

i got there on the early side which was okay since i had to leave early. my nephew is staying with us and i wanted to be back at the house to visit with him. since he wasn't sure exactly where he was going, i lead him out to where he needed. after that, i headed straight for the rodeo.

the ride out was nice. still a little cool, which i was already enjoying because i knew it was going to get into the nineties today. the ride was also peaceful - not many people out this early. i got to enjoy a mixture of two lane roads, four lane roads and interstate. i don't really care for riding on the interstate. but in this case, i wasn't on it too long, so it didn't really matter. on the ride out, i was debating whether i really wanted to go to the rodeo. i mean i knew i wanted to go, but i also knew i would have to leave early. i also knew i was going to be hot. i was thinking i could just ride around for a couple hours and then head back home. i'd be fine with that...

i got into wilson and started looking for the fairgrounds. i knew it wasn't too far from where i got onto 301, i just didn't know how far up. i saw bikers riding in the opposite direction, looking for coffee and breakfast. of course there were those that were also picking up beer to start the day. i was kind of surprised i saw as many bikes out, it was only 0900 and i figured a lot of them would still be sleeping.

i keep riding north, looking for either the fairgrounds or signs for the fairgrounds. as far as i knew, it was on the left directly off 301. i ride for about five miles. i know now i've gone too far. well, i don't know that, but it had to be closer than this. i turn around and go back - i had to pass it and didn't realize it.

on the way back through, i see, for the first time, fairground parking on the left side of the road. now i'm wondering why they would put parking on the opposite side of the road. i'm guessing it's more or less overflow parking and they don't have enough space at the fairgrounds. just then, i see the fairgrounds. on the left side of the road - the opposite side i thought it would be one. okay, now i'm thinking i missed it because it was on the opposite side that i was looking for. but them i'm looking at how big it is and seeing all the campers and bike, how did i miss this the first time through??

i pull up to the ticket booth and purchased my day pass. i ask where i should park the bike. the girl tells me to keep going around the fairgrounds. i hop on the bike and go around, which leads me to an entrance at the camping area. the due asks to see my arm band - which is how they can easily tell who's allowed into which areas. i don't have the right arm band for the camping area. i ask him where i can park - he tells me up front, where the ticket booth is. damn - i was just there. why did the dumb blonde tell me to go around back?? why was i dumb enough to listen to her??

the place looks deserted, except for the camping area. but i guess that's expected this early in the morning. some of the vendors are still setting up. i guess they're not really worried about starting this first thing in the morning since it runs into the wee hours... i walk around checking out some booths and bikes.

they had bikes from kendall johnson, randy simpson (milwaukee iron) and paul yaffe. i usually don't care for paul yaffe's designs, but i like the supertrapp bike he built - i think the paint is what caught my attention. kendall johnson's bike was for sale. it was the bike he built during one of the biker build-off shows. nice looking bike.

as the day went on, the crowd started to pick up and more and more bikes were showing up for the bike show.

the preliminary rodeo events started at 1300, with the main events starting at 1700. which was kind of a bummer because i was planning on leaving at 1700. i went over and watched some of the preliminary pulling events as well as the tire pull and bar stool races. i came close to entering the bar stool races - not sure why i didn't. still thinking maybe i should have. oh well, there's always next year!!

i spent the rest of the time wandering around, looking at the sights. it wasn't as crazy as i expected. but it was still early. and i'm sure a lot of the fun picks up in the evening and really gets rolling after dark. i'll have to catch that next year too.

not sure why, but i was kind of surprise to see a trough urnial in the men's room. i guess i didn't think they were still around... but it makes sense - better than all us guys using the sink when we gotta go!! i figured i had to get a picture of it...

i left a little earlier than i expected - pretty much saw what there was to see. besides, it was hot and i was ready to get moving on the bike. overall, i had a good time. was expecting to see a little more craziness like the smoke out. but again, it was probably too early. the ride home was nice - two lanes pretty much the whole time. the wind blowing felt great - it was a warm wind, but it was moving. next time i'll probably ride with the windshield off - that should make it a little cooler.

here are some other pictures from the day...