ROT Rally 2018

I wasn't planning on attending the ROT Rally in Austin this year. It's crazy hot this time of year, entry to the rally is kind of expensive, and the attractions weren't compelling enough for me this time around. As it turned out, I was offered a free pass by a friend so I ended up stopping by for a little bit. My main interest was in the builder bike show and maybe some flat track racing.

Unfortunately, I ended up being greatly disappointed. The builder bike show used to be held in the main Travis County Expo Center arena in the past years that I've attended. This year it got bumped into  what used to be a small music tent. Micro wrestling and roller derby replaced the bike show. For a rally that is supposed to be centered around motorcycles, this was a complete "What the hell" situation. There were only a small fraction of the usual number of custom bikes under the tent. Not much of a bike show.

While the turnout and show accommodations were lacking, there was still some nice eye candy for a bike enthusiast like me. Here are a few machines and details that caught my eye.

Photos taken with my Fujifilm X100F and conversion lenses. More photos from the event are on my gallery site.

ROT Rally Artisan Bike Show

Last weekend was the Republic of Texas (ROT) Biker Rally in Austin. It's a wild party that draws bikers from all over the country and the world. This year I was there for the music and the custom bikes. A feature attraction at the rally was the Artisan Show where builders got to show off their custom creations.

For as big of an event as ROT Rally is, the bike show is relatively small. There aren't as many bikes as other annual shows I attend, such as the Handbuilt Show. Still, there were some fantastic machines and they were openly spaced in the Travis County Expo Center for leisurely viewing and photographing. I spent a good bit of time admiring the bikes and discovering bits of interesting detail.  Besides the motorcycle eye candy, the air conditioned Expo Center provided a comfortable escape from the balmy heat of early summer. Here are some of my favorite bikes and accent details.



All images taken with a Fujifilm X100F, Classic Chrome simulation. Check out more of my images from the ROT Rally on my gallery site.

ROT Rally Music

This past weekend I attended the Republic of Texas Biker Rally, better known as ROT Rally. While I ride a motorcycle every chance I get, I don't consider myself a biker per se. I'm just a guy who loves riding and enjoys the craftsmanship of well built bikes. I actually haven't attended this annual rally very many times, even though it takes place near where I live. There are usually plenty of events throughout the year to give me my fix of bike gatherings and custom bike shows without enduring the hot and crowded ROT Rally. This year what got me to commit wasn't the motorcycle related attractions. It was the music lineup.

Several musical acts I was interested in seeing were performing at the best possible spot on the Rally grounds. The Bud Zone tent features plenty of Port-a-Cool units to make a sweltering June day bearable. I actually spent most of my time under this tent, skipping the main amphitheater stage at ROT Rally altogether. Here are some shots of my favorite performances. 

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Reverend Peyton is practically a one man band, thumbing his own bass line while intricately picking with his fingers. Accompanied by a washboard and a drum kit that included an overturned bucket, Peyton put on quite a show with a sound that's a bit of bluesy rock with a good measure of hillbilly thrown in. I loved this band!

Dale Watson

Dale Watson is a honky tonk legend in these parts. I'm not much for going to honky tonk bars myself but I can certainly get into his soulful country sound. At the ROT Rally I didn't feel out of place lacking a hat and boots. 

Dirty River Boys

I caught the tail end of a set by these guys some time back at The Saxon Pub in Austin and I was thrilled to see that they were play the ROT Rally. They actually had two sets at the Rally - one on the Bud Zone stage and another on the main stage. I was happy to enjoy their music in the cooled tent and to be able to get close to the stage for a few photos. 

Billy Joe Shaver

Billy Joe Shaver is a straight up country legend. He's a real deal badass and while he is getting up there in years he still belts out his songs with a passion. He opened his set alone with an "acapulco" number (as he put it) then launched into an energetic set, pausing to tell a few stories along the way. I'm glad I didn't miss this one.

All images taken with a Fujifilm X-T2 with XF 35mm f/1.4 lens and a Fujifilm X100F, Classic Chrome simulation. Check out more of my images from the ROT Rally on my gallery site.