The weekend that just passed seems like it flew by starting with Friday. Friday was
November 5th and the most important thing that happened on this day was the birth of my mom.
Well, OK - a few years ago. I was a little busy on Friday so I did
one of the most horrific things a son could do. I never called my mom to wish her
a happy birthday. But, do you know what's even worse? I didn't call her
Saturday either. Or even on Sunday. It's now Monday and I'll give her a call
tonight to see if she received the cards we sent (I put in the mail late too...).
See there, I'm owning up to all of my mistakes. I feel bad about not getting this done before now.
Love you mom. Happy Birthday from your problem child.
Psst... It's now Tuesday (November 9) and I forgot to call her again. I'm such a bad boy. Dang it.
Friday, Carol and I had planned to go watch the NASCAR qualifying and the truck race out at
Phoenix International Raceway. Carol was trying to get
tickets for Friday from her work but there weren't any
available for that day. The only day they had available was for race day, Sunday.
So we took those instead. But that left us with Friday open and we still wanted to do
something special, just the two of us.
Carol had mentioned that she had seen an article in the paper that said the boys from Orange County
Choppers were going to be in town for a bike fest. The bike fest was being held at Tempe
Town Lake and would feature 25 bike builders from all over the southwest. But the big name
draw to make the event a huge success was the guys from OCC and the tv show American Choppers on the
Discovery Channel. We didn't know for sure who was going to be at the show but we were pretty
sure that Paul Sr., Paulie (Jr.), Mikey and Vinnie would be there. Orange County Choppers
builds custom motorcycles and custom theme motorcycles for whoever will pay for them.
that range in price from the $100,000 dollar mark up to $500,000 if you ask Paul Sr.
Either way, these are some of the best custom theme motorcycles I have ever seen and so we had to
go. We had to go see the bikes and the boys in person.
Thursday night, we got on-line and bought the tickets for the show on Friday. We
hoped that the crowds would be less on Friday than the rest of the weekend so we could enjoy
our time and not be fighting the crowds. We found out we were right and lucky.
We had friends go to the show on Saturday and there were so many people in there that they never
got close to the motorcycles. They had the lines for the people that wanted to meet the
guys on stage and get autograpsh wind through the display of OCC motorcycles. On Friday
it was difficult to get to the second set of bikes, but we were able to work our way through the crowd
and lines to get a look. Apparently you couldn't do this on Saturday or Sunday.
The lines snaked in and out and around the bikes so much that the only way to see the motorcycles was to
stand in line to meet the guys on stage. We were lucky. So for those
of you that weren't able to see the bikes or others that didn't even know the event was going on.
Here are a couple of pages of photos that I took while we were down there.
of the photos show the full choppers from the side and
are rear views of some of the bikes that were on display. These
bikes are spectacular. If I only had a couple bucks to spare.
Seeing these bikes in person was an amazing experience. We've seen these bikes being built
on TV but that doesn't really show you these machines. The TV may add 10 lbs to a person but
it seems to reduce the size of these motorcycles. Some of these bikes are so low to the ground
and you really don't get to sense that looking at them on TV. These machines seem so much
longer in person than what you see on TV. And the size of that rear wheel seems so much fatter
in person than what you see on TV. Spectacular custom creations. I admire Paul Jr.,
Vinnie, Cody and the rest of the boys at Orange County Choppers who can create and build these machines
from nothing more than an idea and a few pieces of raw metal.
But you know what was the coolest thing that Carol and I saw that day? As we were walking along
the fenced Tempe Beach Park toward the entrance. We were facing on coming traffic and we saw
Paul Sr. slowly riding by in the same traffic we had been not 15 minutes earlier. The only difference was
we knew who he was. He was famous from the TV show and he was out riding a Harley Davidson cruiser
in the same traffic we were just in. He said hi to people
that recognized him and waved if he was able too. He was friendly and happy.
It was just strange to see the big man that you see every week on TV riding a normal Harley to his own event.
He was just out there. Like us. Inside the show Paulie and Senior took the stage
to sign autographs not 15 minutes later. At that point, we couldn't get close to them.
We were probably five to ten feet away from Senior outside the park and we couldn't get closer than 100 to 150
feet from him. The lines were so long for the autograph sessions, we didn't want to wait.
So it was just great to see him outside the park.
Then as Carol and I were leaving the event, we were walking along the same sidewalk we walked earlier that morning
and I kept hearing this little engine whining noise from behind us. To me it sounded like on old
YZ80 dirt bike that a friend of mine had when we were kids. Tinny kind of sound but a small engine.
Finally I had to stop to see what was making this noise so I turned around and saw a little Honda Scooter
like you would find over in Europe or
the Far East. I have also seen these scooters around racing events - little scooter bikes used to
during a race weekend. The thing that was most surprising about this scooter was the rider.
This little Honda scooter was being ridden by Vinnie of Orange County Choppers. Along with Vinnie
was Cody riding what appeared to be the Harley
that Senior was riding earlier and another guy that I didn't recognize. Cody, the kid from the
show, probably not more than 17 or 18 years old was
riding the big bike and Vinnie was riding the scooter. Go figure. But they looked like they
were having a ball.
So now, we've seen Senior, Vinnie and Cody from the American Choppers TV show riding around town.
These sitings were as much fun, even in their brevity, as the entire event was. We had a great time.
Well, thank you for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed your time here. By the way, one other
thing happened on Friday. We found out that both Tracey and her friend Arianna
made the Stetson Hills School Softball team. There was joy and celebration abounding that night for these two.
Congratulations girls. Good luck and don't break anything (Arianna). Take care all.