What do you get when you cross a fabricator that has spent a great deal of time in the last decade or so building everything from custom motorcycles to tube-framed rock crawlers and the love for a simple and comfortable bike ride with family and friends?
T.J. Briscoe likes to ride bicycles with family and friends and is also an accomplished fabricator. When he wanted a new ride that was super comfortable for those long cruises he decided that a factory built machine wasn’t going to cut it. Having a large shop at his disposal and all the tools to build motorcycle frames and exo-skeletons for a rock bouncer really helps. After purchasing a bunch of tube from the local supplier then spending some time cutting, welding, and grinding until this beautiful machine rolled out. The head tube and bottom bracket shell were purchased from a supplier before being welding into the frame.
T.J. wanted to go with the chopper look but with a tight angled head tube to make steering easy and a tighter cockpit than the typical factory stretched frame for comfort. The bottom bracket and seat angle are also a very comfortable dimension. The whole thing isn’t low enough to worry about dragging pedal but still low enough for the comfortable “foot-down” moments at the stop light.
T.J. kept with the custom frame by fabricating his own ape hanger styled handle bars that fit the geometry and radiuses built into the frame incorporating a nice outward roll up to the grips.
The front end is a no-name chrome triple tree unit that fits the style perfectly with its simplistic look and proves that you don’t need some super custom front end to look outstanding. Sometimes less is more. The polished triple trees match with the polished neck nicely and were assembled with a Primo Integrated headset.
The drivetrain is where this bicycle really shines. T.J incorporated an aluminum 44 tooth front chain ring with a three piece crank set and a Colony 19mm mid bottom bracket. With two half link chains moving the rotational forces to the rear hub. The rear hub is an amazing piece machinery. T.J. spared no expense and added the NuVinci N360 hub. The hub doesn’t ratchet, is silent and has a progressive gear ratio. It also has a TRP HY/RD disk brake assembly installed on the non-drive side for the greatest amount of stopping power. T.J. incorporated some cable mounts that are welded to the frame then the cables are safety wired in place. It is all in the details and this is the cleanest way to run cables on the outside of a frame that we have seen.
Rolling stock is a set of Maxxis Hookworm tires placed on black anodized aluminum rims laced with black spokes and chrome nipples. The front measures in at 29” while the rear is an extra wide 26”. Lee at The Bicycle Brokers (Wheat Ridge, Colorado) assembled the back wheel mating the Orgin 8 Fat Bike hoop with the NuVinci hub.
Once complete the frame and bars were sent to Clay Wise at Wise Industries Powdercoating for a silver flake base coat followed by a candy green top coat that shows amazingly well with the black accessories.
Finishing off the bike is a black stitched cruiser seat with matching ODI lock on grips.
With the comfortable frame design and the best parts working together this bike should be rolling around town for years to come.
Tim Sanders has been in the bike game for many years and has been published in Kustomized Bicycle Magazine before. Tim decided to go old school with some new school flare which is the exact opposite of his last featured build.
Tim starting with a 1954 Schwinn middle weight frame but he took it under the knife and did a 3” stretch. Coming up with a NOS replacement fork (Tim has a way with coming up with some amazing parts) he proceeded to whack 1 1/8” out of its length to get the exact stance he was looking for. A set of Electra truss rods and Schwinn truss rods were used to fabricate the truss rods fitting the shortened fork.
Attaching the customized fork to the customized frame is an Origin8 sealed bearing headset w/ Tick One cup adapters fitted with an Odyssey billet mini stem. For steering comfort Chop Shop Customz fabricated a set of bars they call the “Turtle Bars” for Tim to use.
The drivetrain is very new school. Tim started with a Tioga sealed bearing bottom bracket and attached a set of NOS Ashtabula forger 140mm cranks to it. On the end of the rare cranks are a set of Primo mini round sealed bearing pedals. Keeping the whole machine spinning is a Drive Components 30 tooth chain ring wrapped in a Shadow Conspiracy ½” link chain. The chain takes the work to the rear of the bike to a NOS KORE Hoochie disc brake BMX hub loaded with a 15t cog. Keeping the rear drivetrain in place is a set of Stolen BMX Nano peg axle nuts with some Surly Hurdy Gurdy chain tugs.
Rolling stock really sets this beauty off. Black 26” x 2 ½” double wall hoops are strung to the Kore hubs mentioned above with black spokes and blue anodized nipples. Wrapping the hoops up and keeping grip on the road are 26” x 2.1 Freedom Thickslick tires.
We all know that older bikes are a little on the beefy side. For maximum stopping power Tim bolted on a Promax brake lever and sent a cable to the rear hub where the Avid BB7 mechanical disk brake rotor is mounted. Using a billet aluminum disk brake mount Tim got the Avid caliper and pads lined up enabling him to stop this 65 year old monster on a dime.
For creature comfort Tim used a vintage seat post clamp with a custom lay back seat post made by Chop Shop Customz. A Brooks B67s mounts to the custom seat post. Not leaving anything alone Tim modified the seat with a set of motorcycle “scissor” type springs. Other notable features are the very rare black Schwinn wing style head badge and the Michigan Built custom 32 LED headlight.
Let us talk about the elephant in the room. Or better yet the wagon on the side.
Like I stated earlier “old school style with new school flare”. Side cars are nothing new. Sure they aren’t around nearly as much as they were in their hay day of the early 70’s. Anyone that has ridden a side hack knows that they are not the easiest thing to ride. Though stability is greatly increased steering is like a trying to spin a house. But what if…just what if… you were able to run a side car that still allows you to lean into a corner to make the bicycle turn like it should? Tim joined with Chop Shop Customz to design and fabricate a side hack mount that is not solidly mounted giving the bicycle the ability to lean as well. The design incorporates a damper that is adjustable that will not only keep pressure on the bicycle in its leaning state but also keeps the side hack extension’s wheel on the ground relieving some pressure from the side hack mount. Yes it is ingenious, Yes you want one, Yes Tim and Chop Shop Customs are working on a design that will mount to most bikes (or so Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has heard from a fly on the wall). Stay tuned and we will try to get to the bottom of this story. We will bring you prices and availability information as soon as possible.
Kustomized Bicycle Magazine first met Piroux Maxime about a year ago when he posted some pictures of a project he had on the welding table. The fit and finish of the frame was amazing so we instantly got ahold of him just to introduce ourselves and tell him he is doing a great job. Since then he has pushed the limit with every new design of both complete bikes and on-off parts. Being specially trained in design and fabrication has really placed his bikes at the top of the custom builders pyramid. His bikes are smooth, flowing and something that can be used for daily transportation by day and be put in the biggest bike show at night. When Piroux finally unveiled that several of the on-off parts were slowly going into production to the masses we got ahold of him and asked him the 11 builder’s questions.
Note: Piroux lives in France so we went back and forth through a translator. Some of his quotes were rewritten for the English audience but we left as much of his original quotes as possible.
(KBM): When did your shop form and what is your background pertaining to fabrication and design?
(ZHEMAX): I am Piroux Maxime, I'm 25 and I live in France. I'm an industrial designer in life, and I learned metal working for 6 years in a specialized school. I bring each day to create new pieces. The design is an important element before putting into production. Similarly for customs. At that time the need determined frame geometry, consider the tire width, the length between the pedals and the steering tube.
(KBM): Who originally got you into bicycles and can take credit for your hands-on interest?
(ZHEMAX): Before discovering the forum "brigade custom" early 2013, I knew nothing of custom bikes. On the forum, guys altered bikes as they wanted to make them very personal and to their taste. Some of them even were building their machine. I found it fantastic and I wished I too had my own bike. Since I am a fortnight bike.
(KBM): What is your favorite bike you have built to date?
(ZHEMAX): I think this is my last cycling, "FLOCON" (Snowflake in English). With each new project I test a new thing. On this one I create a new shifter for speed, directly integrated into the frame.
(KBM): With the explosion of the custom bike world in the last few years where do you see this scene going?
(ZHEMAX): Indeed, there is a lot of demand and customs bikes is everywhere. It attracts more and more people, girl and boy, because it is an original way of cycling. They can be used to ride around, go to work or just to the beautiful top. In addition, there is no need for lots of money for this ride a nice bike has its customs guess, just be a little handyman. I think the world of cycling in general attracts more and more people, maybe because it's a free transportation also. It also expect more special gathering of custom bike, attracts the eye of the curious and it gives them vie to have them also their bike. In any case it's a nice way to discover the city or the countryside.
(KBM): If someone hasn’t seen Zhemax bike how would you describe its style?
(ZHEMAX): First, I mainly use the square tube, either for the frame, handlebar or fork. I create different geometries of what is available for sale on major websites. I try to stand out by inventing something new in a fluid and original style. I spend a lot of time finishing and quality.
(KBM): Is your shop a one stop shop? Do you build custom bikes that are ready to ride or a series of pieces that can be purchased together?
(ZHEMAX): For now, I build on-off bikes. I have never build two of the same bike. It makes manufacturing more exciting, I think.
Some asked me to build a frame only, the other sent me a drawing of a bike they have themselves only ever imagined.
Recently, I decided to create 4 forks for everyone to fit on any bike. I will like also make the setting "FLOCON" series, to gain in cost of production and provide a frame good a price like those of big builders. I take care of everything, 3D design, build, painting, assembly. Everything is possible.
(KBM): What is your favorite style of bike to build: chopper, bobber, stretched cruiser?
(ZHEMAX): I have a slight preference for the Bobber, although I like all bicycle styles. From the point of manufacturing them, it does not matter.
(KBM): When not in the shop building bikes what do you spend your time doing?
(ZHEMAX): I love mountain biking and road cycling. I am president of a BMX freestyle association, we have a trail of land that takes time to dig and then roll. I love that.
(KBM): What is your favorite tool in the shop and what is usually playing on the stereo?
(ZHEMAX): In the workshop, I always listen to the dancefloor sound. My favorite tool is my TIG welder, it is he who allows me to assemble the frame parts.
(KBM): If a person hasn’t had access to the settings, tools, and skills like welding, fabrication, paint, etc. What is a good first step to take in learning what it takes to build a project bike?
(ZHEMAX): I think this person will have difficulties. He must know the minimum, that is to say welding is the only way to assemble steel tubes. There is plenty of training to weld with TIG. Then you have to try again and it will come. I is not no training for specialty bike frames, I taught myself.
(KBM): What is next for your shop? Upcoming projects, lines of parts?
(ZHEMAX): I launch my first chain ring collection including 12 different models. It is also possible to ask me to build custom ones; number of teeth, color, we are all free to build what customers want.
I have several project with individuals to manufacture bicycles. A 4-star hotel in southern France has also bought 5 bikes. They will lend them to their customers to visit the beautiful cities of France on beautiful bikes.
A lot of things have been going on under the Kustomized Bicycle Magazine roof. This issue marks the one year anniversary of our magazine. Last month we also had the most monthly page views ever. To put this to scale our very first issue had 338 page views. May had over 7,235 when I last checked. In some cases it seems like just yesterday while with others things it seems like years ago. As the Editor-in-Chief I would like to know what you like about Kustomized Bicycle Magazine and what we can do better. Email me at Kustomizedbicyclemagazine@gmail and let me know what you want to see or what you have seen enough of. We are striving to hit 10k views so please help us out by sharing our magazine often.
1 year already……woah.
May the next year be bigger and better.
The biggest weekend in custom bikes in the U.S. is now over. Kustomized Bicycle Magazine was at OBC meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. We spent much of our time talking with vendors, attendants and builders. We were able to complete almost 20 photoshoots while there including all the builders competing in the Custom Builders Challenge. Once again, our congratulations to Danny Hazlewood of King Zebba Custom Cruisers for winning this 2016 Challenge. Keep reading Kustomized Bicycle Magazine to see features on the best bikes in attendance at OBC.
Kustomized Bicycle Magazine has some t-shirts for sale. Check the Swag page on this website. We provide content to the public every month for free. But we still have costs in doing this that are not only out of the wallet but many hours every month writing features, editing pictures and tracking down the latest and greatest information. You can help cut those costs by buying t-shirts, stickers and pins. They are priced lower than normal t-shirts as we hope quantity wins of profits. See the SWAG page on the magazine website and let us know what you want. We accept PayPal and ship quickly.
Muscle bike wheelie bar how-to
Keeping with the old school / new school theme of this issue we decided to go back many years to the days when custom bicycles were still in their infancy. Muscle bikes were all the rage and companies were just starting the production of muscle bike related add-on items. What we remember most was the Wham-O Wheelie Bar with its chrome plated steel and skateboard truck bolted to the back. It was a very cool item for its time and if you installed the wheelie bar and a set of rams horn style handle bars you were pretty much king of the school yard. Of course it weighed half as much as the typical bike of the time making wheelies pretty easy. Muscle bikes have had a resurgence as of late. Sure the Schwinn Krates have always been a thing but for the last few years people are restoring and customizing more of the other brands of muscle bikes. Prices have steadily risen of our non-Schwinn favorites like the Iverson, Sears Spyder, and Huffy Rail.
Customizing your muscle bike doesn't have to break the bank but could if you let it. If you could find a Wham-O Wheelie Bar you probably wouldn't be able to afford it. To reproduce the Wham-O Wheelie Bar would be easy (weld a plate drilled for a short skateboard truck to a sissy bar) but after welding you would need to get it chromed which can be quite expensive. There are people selling a style of wheelie bar much like this one on Ebay and other places but they are a whopping $170 dollars. They also use Schwinn springer style fork struts that can’t take a side load this tube can and only come in one length so fitting your specific bike may require more fabrication efforts. Plus, adding up the value of parts they are either making a huge profit or the artwork and cardboard for the box it comes in must be dipped in gold. This is a wheelie bar that has been made in the past and we aren't saying we are the first to do it. But having made one exactly like this over twenty five years ago one would think that we aren't stepping on toes by publishing this information.
Parts and Tools
This is a very simple project that can be made completed in a few hours and a trip to the hardware store. All the pieces are readily available (except the skateboard wheels and bearings). Tools consist of standard garage fodder. Nothing outrageous or specialized is needed. If you have a bench vice or press, drill and a grinder with a cutoff wheel or hacksaw you are ready to go. Polishing and sanding can be done either by hand or with various other tools. We are lucky enough to have a standing belt sander, air powered tools with various Rolok style sanding pads and a polishing wheel set up that makes this project even quicker.
2X1/2" X 3 ft. Aluminum Tube $17.56
24" Sunlite Polo Seat Rail 24in (Niagra Cycle #6229) $6.78
5-16-18 X 1 ft. All Thread $1.19
2X5-16 I.D. x 1/2" Chrome Steel Spacer $1.29
5-16 I.D. x 1" Chrome Steel Spacer $1.49
4X 1/4-20 x 3/4" Stainless bolt $1.78
4X 1/4-20 Stainless Cap Nuts $2.56
4-Pack No-Name Skateboard Wheel $12.99
The most important thing about the wheelie bar is the skateboard wheel's location to the ground. When pulling a wheelie you can feel the angle in which the bicycle is going from trying to get the front wheel to the ground to the front wheel wanting to go over your head. You want to have the wheelie bar mounted at just past the moment where this happens. This way you can pull off full wheelie and be assured that you aren't going over backwards.
Mount the wheelie bar (the new sissy bar) with the radiused end facing up to the rear of your bike. The mounting hole location should be the “highest” on the bottom holes of the sissy bar. There are several ways of doing this. You can mount to the axle, the sissy bar mount or a pre drilled hole with sissy bar clamps. We chose to mount the sissy bar to the existing sissy bar mounting holes.
Tighten the bolts hand tight and mark the excess sissy bar material (the remaining two holes) that won’t be used. In the picture below you can see that he used a blue marker to mark the cut line.
Once you have cut the excess of the new sissy bar reinstall it on the bicycle and hand tighten the mounting bolts. Placement isn't an issue at this point. Put a 5/16 drill bit in a drill and ream the holes closest to the radiused top of the wheelie bar so they will fit the 5/16 threaded rod.
Insert the threaded rod into one side and run it through both skateboard wheels and out the other hole in the wheelie bar. Mount the bike and lift the front end like you are pulling a wheelie. The skateboard wheels will contact the ground and the new wheelie bar should be able to rotate as you lift the front of the bicycle. When you feel the angle where the bike no longer wants to drop the front wheel back to the ground stop lifting and gently put the front tire back to the ground. Tighten the wheelie bar mounting bolt tightly. If the wheelie bar comes in contact with the ground before the skateboard wheels you will either need to get larger diameter wheels or drill another set of 5/16” holes closer to the radius on the wheelie bar.
Remove the wheels and all thread from the wheelie bar. Screw one 5/16-18 Nylock nut onto the all thread until the all thread end is flush with the outside of the NyLock nut. Put the all thread back through the wheelie bar until the Nylock nut contacts the wheelie bar. Using a marker mark the non-nut side of the all thread on the outside of the wheelie bar adding 3/8". Our all thread was 12” long and we ended up using just at 6” of it.
Remove the all thread and cut the all thread at the marked location. Some simple file work will clean the threads up so nuts are able to thread onto the rod.
Now comes the interesting part. Put the all thread into the hole as you did before. On the inside of the hole place one 5/16" x 1/2" chrome spacer on the all thread followed by a standard 5/16-18 hex nut. Tighten the hex nut onto the all thread until you can place a skateboard wheel onto the all thread. Tighten the hex nut more and place the 5/16" x 1" spacer onto the all thread. Again tighten the hex nut so you can place the other skateboard wheel onto the all thread. Finally thread the other 5/16" x 18" hex nut on the all thread followed by the other 5/16" x 1/2" chrome spacer. Tighten both hex nuts and push the all thread through the wheelie bar whole on the other side of the original. On the outside of the wheelie bar add the other 5/16"-18 Nylock nut and tighten with a set of wrenches until all space is removed between the items on the all thread. Do not over tighten or the skateboard wheel will not spin freely.
Using some masking tape place one of the 1/2" x 3' aluminum tubes from the bottom of the three seat mounting holes on the existing sissy bar below the seat to the forward most hole on the wheelie bar. Mark the location of the existing sissy bar (front and back) and the wheelie bar (top and bottom).
The inside most marks are press locations and the outer marks are cut locations. Remove the aluminum tube and cut it at the outer angles marked.
Once cut place the aluminum tube in a bench vice or press and press the ends flat at the marked edges outward. We place a piece of aluminum angle in the vice jaws when we do this so the teeth of the vice doesn't mar the aluminum tube.
Press both ends of the tube.
Place the tube back on the bike at its original marked locations except on the inside of the sissy bar and wheelie bar. Mark the inside of both mounting holes. Remove the aluminum tube and drill a 1/2" diameter hole through at both marked locations.
Using the 1/4-20 x 3/4" Stainless bolt mount the aluminum tube to the inside of the wheelie bar and sissy bar as shown with the hardware pointed out. Tighten the 1/4-20 Stainless Cap Nut to each bolt and tighten.
NOTES: Before mounting the tubes for the final time we take them to the polishing wheel and polish the aluminum to a high luster (see November Issue of Kustomized Bicycle Magazine). We also use a handful of 1/4-20 x 1/2" bolts and 1/4-20 Stainless Cap Nuts in any non-used holes for a clean build.
gear head tubing roller frame
Taste: Raw steel. You get that steel taste in the back of your mouth…maybe we shouldn’t lick raw steel.
Smell: We first checked this kit out at the OBC bike show. There was the sweet smell of sun screen in the air.
Touch: It’s steel. It feels like steel. It was hot to the touch. After all it was sitting in the Las Vegas sun.
Look: Clean flat plate with nicely drilled holes. The edges were cut very well and ground smooth.
· The extended length of the frame makes rolling tube much easier on the back and you can get a more precise rolled arcs.
· This kit is a cheap alternative to very expensive machinery that most custom builders couldn’t purchase new.
· Adjustability in die locations.
· Ability to add a jack to apply pressure to the dies instead of the threaded rod system.
· No welding required like other kits.
· Makes a great place to put Kustomized Bicycle Magazine stickers.
From Gear Head Customs:
If you build bikes, at some point you’re gonna find yourself needing a tubing roller and not all of us can drop 1000 to 7000 bucks for a professional roller. That’s where Harbor Freight comes in. They make a roller for under 200. Like most HF tools they are a nice starting point but often need tweaking to make them work efficiently. What makes it worthwhile is they include 3 sets of dies that would cost almost 500. If bought individually.
That’s where Gear Head Customs comes in, we took the Harbor Freight roller and put in on a large dose of steroids! Our kit is almost a complete bolt on affair and made in USA out of quarter inch thick steel for strength.
A few of the HF shortcomings include a lack of options to separate the two lower “follower” dies. Just moving them apart slightly reduces the pressure needed to make a good bend by almost half! What that does is help preserve the life of the dies, as too much pressure will pit and destroy them. Our kit allows 4 different die location options depending on what effect you are looking to achieve. Another issue is the center “pressure” die is originally controlled by turning a bolt to apply pressure. That as well as the lack of die placement options, causes it to strip out in very fast order. Our kit allows it to covert to hydraulic power with the separate purchase of a 15 dollar bottle jack from hf. This makes bending a much more pleasurable experience.
There are other kits on the market that are weld on and require hole alignment to work right and are sold in several parts. GHC makes this a clean and simple one piece plate that bolts into the factory holes and away you go. The kit lists for $150 dollars and ships for $20-$25 on the west coast and $40 to the far east coast with our discounted shipping vendor. After installing our kit you will have professional quality equipment for less than half the cost of comparable tools.
Gear head Customs is on Facebook. Tell them KBM sent ya.
Chop Shop's 1" Threaded Head Tube
This is a new product that we haven’t had a chance to get our gooey tongue on yet so we can’t really do a taste test. But we are here to let the masses know when something comes out that they probably have been waiting for. Chad at Chop Shop Customz has once again added to their ever growing line of parts for builders. They have just release a mild steel head tube to use with 1” threaded forks. Standard length is 6” but if you contact them I am sure they can get you the length you need. If you are doing custom frames with the good old 1” fork then these are for you. You can easily find them on the FB at https://www.facebook.com/ChopShopCustomBicycles/.
OBC 2016 Recap
OBC is over for 2016. All of us are saddened by this and now that everyone has made it home we are tearfully looking at a 2017 calendar and counting the days until we are back in the loving arms of our bike riding friends and family. Ok, that may have been pouring it on a bit thick but the truth is that OBC is a blast and yes, we are all waiting for next year. Kustomized Bicycle Magazine talked to many people while we were there and even contacted people afterwards pertaining to the entire weekend and how they thought about it. We do not have all of the events listed because there are just too many to write about. Disclaimer: Everyone has their opinion and we will publish them all. Kustomized Bicycle Magazine reports the news, not make it.
Early Bird Opening Party
Our group rode to the opening party. It was a little difficult finding the location but it turned out well. When we got to the location there were bikes were already lined up on the street and sidewalk. We met a lot of people we haven’t seen for a while and had a great time. The photo booth inside was a great idea and we appreciated the nice outside / inside venue and bar. -PM
Thirsty Thursday Ride
Everyone was looking forward to the first official ride of the OBC weekend. People and bikes were already at the opening party so it was pretty easy to roll out on the ride. Unfortunately the ride was only about ten blocks before parking in the backlot of some bar. This is Las Vegas and we are piled into the back lot of a bar? We waited for the ride to move on for over an hour before going in the bar which consisted of an overpriced neighborhood establishment that I could have went to at home that doesn’t allow alcohol out of their doors and a broken pool table. Back in the parking lot several bikes with sound systems were attempting to have an amateur sound off and pointing speakers straight at the parking lot crowd. It was incredibly loud and really annoying. No one in the parking lot could have a conversation without yelling. I personally appreciate all the work that goes into any bike but not all people like your music and not many like it at 112 dB. Next year please keep your sound systems to a lower level so we can talk to the people we drove 1500 miles to see. Anyways, after the music started a growing headache we peeled off from the group and made out way back to the hotel with 25-30 other people. The first ride was a bust and I had to apologize to my friends who had never been on an OBC ride before and told them that the weekend would get better which did and everyone was more than happy. -AN
Show Me a Sign Ride – Hot, Damn hot…almost Africa Hot. And windy enough to stop you dead when not pedaling. -GA
As Seen on TV Ride – Now this was a great ride. Starting out in the parking lot by the Golden Nugget the ride started pretty much on-time and headed down the street. It was a warm sunny day but not the heat levels of the day before. The events team did a great job at blocking traffic when needed. We rode a pretty comfortable length before the first stop at the local 7-11. The stop wasn’t brief but wasn’t long either. It gave everyone enough time to either grab a drink or walk through the crowd and check out the bikes. Taking off again we made it to Count’s Customs 2-3 miles later. We must have been scheduled to arrive as they were waiting for us and even blocked off parking. After signing a waiver we checked out all the cool cars inside while others grabbed some food from the on-site food truck. Just as we all started getting a little hot with the sun bouncing off the asphalt we mounted up and took off for our next stop. We arrived at a shop called WelderUp. Not having seen this TV show I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Inside there were a few cool cars set up on very nice displays as well as some great parts hanging on the walls. After the tour we had just enough time to walk through the lot and chat with friends. For the next section of the ride we left the WelderUp building and headed down the road to yet another 7-11. This one had a bigger lot and an extra cashier. I grabbed some beverages for my crew and hung out in the parking lot with everyone else for 15 minutes or so. For the final chunk of the ride was from the 7-11 back to the Golden Nugget. It was the same route we rode in the morning. A little change up would have been cool but it was the most direct route and people were getting hungry I suppose. All in all it was a great ride. Distance was good, speed was perfect, number of stops was reasonable and locations for features were awesome. Definitely an A+ rides for sure. -TF
The Streets Run Red Ride – Cool Ass Ride. It left right on time. The first run was short but we ended at a bar so all was good. I guess they were getting us going for the next run. The second was a lot longer and a really good time with going through areas I haven’t ridden through before. The speed was perfect. I was able to see a lot of bikes by making my way from the back to the front of the pack. We ended up in the parking lot of a brewery. They had been trucks, food trucks and plenty of parking. Before we could drink our first beer a band was on the dock and played a set. Then another band. We ended up there for maybe 2 hours but there was plenty to do and beverages to make for a great night. There was even a little mosh pit action with the second band. We took off pretty much after the 2nd band was over and headed back to the Nugget which was an easy trip since we could see the sign on the tower from the brewery. Definitely the best ride of the weekend. -MG
OBC Bicycle Show – The weather was the major part of making the OBC bike show as great as it was. Not taking anything from the show but last year’s scorching heat was very trying. Our group met outside the Golden Nugget and Road over to the show. The event had a carnival like atmosphere featuring a dunk tank, assorted foods, drinks inside the building, vendor tents surrounding the show area and was completed with at least 100 bikes in for the show in rows in the center of the area. The setup of the show was great and easily to move around. The bikes were grouped so we were easily able to distinguish between different classes. The Custom Builders Challenge bicycles had their own area which helped get them the recognition they deserved while keeping them removed from the bikes actually entered in the show. The music on the PA and the slight breeze made the show really enjoyable. The awards were given out quickly and it was great to see all the winners come through the winners circle. It was the best OBC bike show to date. -KD
Into the Sunset Ride: A ride of many surprises
When anyone asks me what OBC was like, my response is three parts. First part, epic. Second part, one of the best trips of my life. Third part, such a great trip because there was so much activity between all the photo shoots, rides, and parties.
Given that the ride was on a Sunday night and assuming many were leaving Monday morning (like myself), I assumed this was going to be a nice afternoon cruise through the Art District of Las Vegas. Rolling south on 1st Street to the Downtown Crown, I was racing ahead of everyone to set up for a few more ride photos. We kept riding south and ran into Las Vegas Blvd, but needed to hold up at a couple places so we could continue to ride as a group. The first stop was right under the Circus Circus marquee. This stop was quite a surprise for one Eastside Rider, as her boyfriend proposed to her right in front of everyone.
From Circus Circus, we headed east and went south on Paradise Road, able to see the monorail and palm trees of the area while avoiding the traffic encountered along the strip. After cutting through an office park further south we ended up at the Ellis Island Casino to watch the sunset over the strip.
Of all the rides I went on, this one was my favorite. One of the reasons I wanted to ride OBC is because I saw videos of everyone riding up the strip at night. On top of that, I had heard earlier that that there hadn't been a night time strip ride for a couple years. So imagine my surprise when I find out that we're going back north on the strip. Time to make sure the camera was ready for night work and get ready to ride. While I enjoyed this part of the ride, pretty sure I was not the only one who was apprehensive about riding alongside heavy traffic on such a busy street. Besides the buses, taxis, and everyone who was driving into Las Vegas on a Sunday night, there was a motorcycle accident investigation that made navigating through the traffic that much more challenging. The challenges were worth it, as there were some wonderful photo opportunities to be had. Judging by the number of camera phones I saw, I wasn't the only one basking in this rare opportunity.
After traversing the strip, we stopped at a giant empty parking lot for bicycle drag races. Because I had an early flight home, I wasn't able to stay for the races. Before leaving, I thanked Wiggles for organizing such a great ride, and asked about the best way to get back downtown. Since this part of the journey was only two of us (A new friend I met at OBC and myself), we decided to take the lesser traveled roads back to the hotel. Interesting thing to note was the only time I felt like the cars (twice) passed by too close was not on the busier streets jammed with traffic, but on a one way 3 lane empty downtown street. -SB