ROT Rally 2016

The Republic of Texas (ROT) Biker Rally was held this past weekend. It has been a long time since I've attended. I tend to favor smaller, less crowded gatherings and ROT Rally is as big as Texas. It is hot, crowded, loud, and being in Austin, more than a little weird. With the promise of a great custom bike show and flat track racing I decided to spend the weekend hanging out with many thousands of fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.

The invitational custom bike show was a big attraction for me. It turned out to be a smaller showing of builders than I was expecting. The show seemed downright tiny in the belly of the Expo Center arena that housed the bike display. Regardless, there were some really sweet builds. Here are a few that I found most interesting.

The Street Cowboys stunt riding team was on hand showing off some amazing tricks. Rear fender scraping wheelies were a specialty. Good to know that my Sportster is capable of wheelies, although I don't think I'll be try it anytime soon. I like the paint job too much.

The Cult played on opening night of the rally and I was really looking forward to seeing a band that I've listened to for many years but had never seen live. They were awesome. I didn't take a lot of photos because I wanted to enjoy the show and not be that guy holding up a camera or phone the whole time.

Speaking of music, my buddies in the Swamp Bats were doing a show at the 311 Club on 6th St. in downtown Austin on Friday night. That put them right in the middle of party central the night of the traditional biker parade from the ROT Rally grounds at the Travis County Expo Center to Congress Ave in downtown. I wasn't planning on making the group ride until I heard the Bats were playing. I was all in at that point. While I love looking at motorcycles I had an even better time shooting some photos for a great band of friends. I did get a shot of my bike on Congress at least. That's my Sportster in the opening shot.

The flat track race at this year's rally was really what convinced me to attend. It's hot as hell this time of year in this part of Texas and I'm not much for big crowds. Throw in the dust and dirt of flat track and it might sound miserable at first but I really dig these races. This is the third flat track event I've gotten to attend this year and I'm happy to see it catching on around here. It doesn't necessarily take a huge investment to race and it's kind of cool to see ordinary guys out there tearing up the course. There were a few pros really shredding as well. I was especially happy to see that Sportsters were well represented! The only down side was that the course was really small - not a very long straightway so the guys couldn't get the speed up too high. Maybe that was a good thing with so many amateurs. I'd love to have seen the pro riders really cut loose though.

Images were captured with Fujifilm X-T1, X70, and X30 cameras using my favorite Classic Chrome film simulation.