A couple of Saturdays ago I rode down to Brooklyn to spend a few hours at the Indian Larry block party, run by Bobby and Elisa Seeger. I rarely get to local events, but when I do I really enjoy my time there. One reason is that I get to see old friends that are still in the area and the bike scene. I’ve been riding for almost 45 years, and in all that time I’ve lived within a 50-mile radius of New York City. My custom bike shop was located just outside of NYC, and some of the people I see at local events I met through my shop. Of course, many of my friends I’ve met through my job at this magazine, and some of them are there, too. During a large event I’m usually running between appointments and covering the rally; I don’t have time to hang. That’s not an issue at a small local event. I can move at a much more relaxed pace and actually spend some time with friends, both in and out of the motorcycle industry. I also get to look at bikes simply because I want to, not because I’m judging them for a show.
Another reason I love local events is that I get to hang with new people I meet through mutual friends. Such is the case with the three men standing with me in the photo. To my immediate left is my good buddy Chris Callen, the editor-in-chief of Cycle Source magazine. Chris came up from Pennsylvania to spend a few days in NYC and attend the party. Through him I got to meet the other two guys, “Panhead Frank,” who is on Chris’ left and his buddy Max, who is on my right. Both rode up from West Virginia and were a blast to hang with. (Panhead Frank, of course, rode a Panhead!) We were laughing so much my face hurt.
Sometimes a local event brings me to a place or area I’ve wanted to visit but just never took the time to. In this case, it was the old 1964-65 World’s Fairgrounds at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. I passed the fairgrounds on my way to the block party, so I made a point of stopping on my way back home. I went to the fair with my family when I was 10, and it was pretty cool to see some of the sculptures and the Unisphere again. Most people remember this area by the two towers that were depicted in the first Men in Black movie. Unfortunately, the ones in the movie were in much better shape than the actual ones in the park.
When the riding season kicks back into gear in your area, definitely take the time to attend some local events. Though they don’t get the same exposure as the large ones, local bike nights, block parties, and such can be a lot of fun. They’re also a great way to meet local builders and see some of their work up close and personal.
See you on the road.
Editor American Iron Magazine