A thing of beauty, craftsmanship, design, and art.
Every so often you may still hear me utter the words “I don’t care much for bike shows”, but my perspective is changing. It’s a personal issue, one more defect to add to my already exhaustive list of character flaws. As with many dislikes, it was rooted in ignorance and a narrow understanding.
I give credit to Mark and Yvonne Cresswell from World Wide Dynamics for opening my mind. They’ve been involved with promoting shows and events like Sturgis, Leesburg, Laconia, Daytona, and a host of others for decades. When things went south with Myrtle Beach they saw a vacuum and the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run was born to fill it. I watched them pull together the event last year, got just a little peek at all the behind the curtain challenges and frustrations involved, and came to appreciate the knowledge and connections they’ve built up over the years. I used to think they asked for my contribution for my expert knowledge about motorcycle riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but now I think there’s more to it. There has to be. I’m starting to wake up to what that is.
Nothing like purple to show passion.
Give me a good bike, an engaging road, and a tank of gas and I’m gone. I don’t need bling, all you’re gonna see is a blur as I flash by anyway. When form vs. function, function always wins for me, and shows seemed all about form – shiny bikes I’d never ride and baubles to dress them up. I struggled with this contradiction but now I think I’m bridging the gap in my understanding, finding the deeper connection. I’ve believe I’ve found the common ground – it’s passion.
I spent yesterday in Knoxville TN, at the Easyrider Custom motorcycle show. A few weeks back it was Charlotte NC, and before that Greenville SC. All of these were outstanding well run shows that crowds of thousands truly enjoy. Coordinating and managing them is an extraordinary accomplishment and a tremendous amount of work. Touring it on the road from city to city presents daunting challenges. I have nothing but awe and respect for Easyriders Events – well done! It didn’t happen without passion.
Now here's one I'd enjoy riding! '73 Kaw rescued from a farmers field.
I’ve had just a little taste of what it takes to be a vendor at a show, a behind the scenes look, a “backstage pass” so to speak. It’s a grueling routine. Miles and miles on the road. Up before dark to get into the facility. Hauling in all your merchandise through the loading dock, building the booth, hoping and trying to get a good spot on the floor, the race to get everything set up before the doors open to the public. Once the people flood in you’re on your feet and on your game non-stop until they close again. It’s a long and exhausting day and at the end you’ve either got to break down and pack up to head for the next show or spend a night in a strange bed to do it all over again tomorrow. It’s done so well and they make it look so easy you never think about what went into creating it. You don’t do that without passion.
I've always liked the red ones.
No need to waste words describing the passion of those who build and bring these bikes to the shows – the photos clearly show how much passion went into these creations. That passion is also evident in the thousands of people who come to these events, to share the enthusiasm and stoke their own personal passions for what motorcycling brings to them.
We motorcyclists are a diverse group. Each one of us gets something from the sport / hobby / lifestyle / – however you categorize what motorcycles do for you. We’re all different, but one of the things that unites us is passion. My passion is best expressed and fulfilled through riding at the edge of my abilities on the most challenging and engaging roads I can find. The shiny things don’t always fit in my personal world, but I can appreciate how it does for others. Passion is the tie that binds, the common denominator for us.
The Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run May 12-15, 2011
Passion has got to be one of the reasons Mark and Yvonne asked me to help again with the Asheville Bikefest and Blue Ridge Run May 12 – 15. It certainly isn’t my competence with putting on a bike show, they know my attitude and lack of experience with such things. Coordinating the vendors, the stunt shows, the entertainment, the manufacturers and their demo fleets, and all that difficult and exhaustive list of things that go into a show are their passion. It’s what they bring to the table and I was impressed with how well they pulled it off last year.
My passion is riding. That’s my mission. I’m taking it very seriously because it’s what I love most. I can point you to 100 outstanding motorcycle rides around this Asheville show and I don’t know anyone who is as passionate about motorcycle riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway as I am. Just 10 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Asheville Bikefest offers something many other gatherings lack – a wealth of great motorcycle rides through the fantastic scenic Smoky Mountains. Motorcycles aren’t just welcome here, it’s a part of life. The mayor of Asheville rides. You’ve always been welcome here. When you have passion, you can’t help but share it with others.
Come see me at the show. Come with a full tank. Come and let me share our passion with you.
Asheville Mayor/motorcycle rider Terry Bellamy Welcomes Bikefest