The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show 2018

My favorite bike show of the year was held in Austin this past weekend. The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is an amazing gathering of talented builders. The show is put on by local builders Revival Cycle and they always do a top-notch job. This year a new location was used and the show took over the Austin American-Statesman building in downtown. A larger space meant that the bikes were more spread out, allowing a lot of room for people to check out the machines and, of course, snap some photos.

Due to a lot of stuff going on in my life right now, I was afraid I wasn't going to make the show at all this year. Luckily things quieted down enough for me to sneak down for a couple of hours with my buddy Mark. We had a great time meandering around and we got to talk to a few of the builders. It was a different experience for me this year. I'm usually very absorbed in my photography and I typically snap hundreds of shots. This time around I spent more time simply taking things in and enjoying conversations. I was a little disappointed with myself at first when I returned home and discovered I'd only shot somewhere around 75 images! What really matters is the experience though - something I can forget when I'm in snap-happy photographer mode. This might have been the quickest trip through the show I've made and I didn't come away with a lot of photos. Better though, I had a great experience with a wonderful friend and I got to talk with some friendly and talented people.

Gear-wise, I kept things super simple. I carried my Fujifilm X100F with the wide conversion lens attached and I used the Classic Chrome simulation in camera. A few quick adjustments with a tone curve in Lightroom CC and I was done. Actually, it was kind of nice not having hundreds of photos to cull through, now that I think about it. Here are a few of my favorites. You can see more shots from the show on my gallery site.

There is one bike that deserves special mention. I got to talk to the builder for a bit and it turns out he's a plumber and he built the bike below in his garage. He used what he knows best to create an amazing piece of rideable art that uses a pneumatic final drive. Parts of the bike are ordinary plumbing supplies. He described how he created the curve in the frame that goes over the gas tank by bending the metal around a tree in his yard. Passion and creativity - I am impressed and inspired.