Last weekend I stopped by the annual East Side Classic Vintage Motorcycle Show with my friend and fellow bike enthusiast, Wes. It was another one of those weird weather days in Austin. We drove down there in Wes' truck since we weren't participating in the show (and because we're total wusses and didn't want to ride in the rain.) On the way down there we got caught in a crazy torrential downpour. It was coming down so hard the windshield wipers couldn't keep up. We were wondering if anybody would even ride out to the show at that point. Thankfully, the storm passed quickly and the overcast skies just produced some off and on drizzle while we were at the show. Bikes slowly streamed in through a small moat and folks were so eager to show off their restorations and custom rides that they didn't mind parking in the pond of a parking lot at the Yellow Jacket Social Club.
I love shows like this one. It is so interesting to see how people have made faithful restorations or creative one-of-a-kind builds from vintage motorcycles. Many of these are what you might call rat bikes - rusty bikes rescued from old barns or salvage yards, pieced together with whatever parts that can be found or fabricated - function over form. These are bikes with character, built by passionate and creative people. These aren't flashy chromed everything sort of motorcycles and that's what I like about them. Here are a few that caught my eye.
There are some really interesting details on the bikes and I enjoy getting in for a closer look. The builders of these bikes are always more than happy to talk about their creations. There are all sorts of unique personal touches from the creative to the just plain odd.
One of these days I may have to pick up an old neglected bike and try my hand at putting something together. I don't consider myself very mechanically inclined but I did manage to get my lawn tractor with a faulty carburetor working a couple of weeks ago. It's a start, right? Maybe Wes will sell me one - he has a few in his garage in various states of (dis?)repair. Speaking of Wes, be sure to check out his insightful and aptly named blog, The Inebriated Engineer. He always has some sort of really interesting project going on over there. Most of it is over my head but I admire his passion and sense of adventure as he pushes the boundaries learning new things and making some cool stuff.
There are a bunch more photos in my full gallery from the event here. For the benefit of my fellow Fuji enthusiasts I used my li'l XF1 at this event, mainly so I could easily pocket it in a zip lock bag in case the skies opened up again. I kind of regretted that because the bright sunlight peeking through the thick cloud cover made it really difficult to see the LCD screen. I usually just use the XF1 at night when I'm out with friends or in town to catch a movie with my wife or something like that where photography isn't the main purpose. I was reminded how much I hate cameras with no viewfinder in daylight! I really should just spring for one of the weather resistant lenses for my XT-1.
Until next time...keep the rubber side down and the oil on the inside.