Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Are Bikers Dead?

with 2 comments

Friday morning, I buried the gold in the  pump house, the Hot Granny turned the horses loose and we headed north, intending to hole up in  East Texas till the heat died down. Near  the town of Navasota, we found some other fugitives from the everyday and followed them to their camp and pitched our tent.

Their camp is a private resort hidden away in the woods, one that hosts a motorcycle weekend every year.
We had to pay a few bucks enter the site, where they banded us like migratory birds.  One of the ladies who registered us asked, “Did you ride your bikes?”
I told her, “Well, yeah, this is a motorsickle thangy, ain’t it?”  She may have been a little embarrassed, not so much by my response, as by Jill’s chuckle.

At any rate, we entered and pitched our tent on a flat grassy spot, away from the bandstand and foot traffic but near the dining area where top-notch breakfast is served.  You got to plan ahead, you know.


We’d met some of the other riders on previous escapes from the ordinary and we joined them in the huge hot tub and and exchanged probably true yarns and caught up.

Since we would be hiding out for a few days we needed entertainment. A poker run with a route through the beautiful Sam Houston National Forest seemed like an excellent diversion so we teamed up with a couple of other riders (even though a couple were, obviously, characters) for the 135 mile ride.  If Jill or I had won the $1000 high hand purse, or any of the lower hands, for that matter, I guess I’d have mentioned it by now but I discovered long ago that I’m not in it for the money.

We returned to the campsite and relaxed and waited for the bike games to commence.  Since it didn’t seem neighborly to let my faulty petcock leak gasoline on the camp’s lawn, I merely spectated, this time out.  There were enthusiastic participants  but in the wienie bite contest the gals seemed to have had a problem with “going up” on the foot-long.  I’m working on a more “real world” design for the wienie holder, but, that’s neither here, nor there.

While the games were in progress I took a few minutes to look over some of the entries in the bike contest (some of the bike game participants entered before final judging, too).  As per usual, all bikes (with the exception of scooters and vintage) had to be ridden, not trailered, in the poker run.


This beauty is a 1947 Harley-Davidson.  Someone smarter than me can tell more about it, but I do know that it was ridden, skillfully, in the bike games and that it stood out in a sea of Ultra Glides.

1947 Harley

Earlier in the day, Jill and I came across this Triumph parked in front of a man’s tent.  He “howdied” us as we walked by and I took that as an invitation to ask about his scoot.  The owner told me that its a 1958 200cc Triumph Tiger Cub and somewhat rare due to it’s having been marketed to kids and new riders.  He thanked me for stopping and looking over his bike, making me wonder how many people attending were real motorcycling enthusiasts, as opposed to those indulging in a trendy past-time.
I was put in  mind of an article I’d seen titled, “Are Bikers Dead?”

datyona 200

Now, to be honest, what drew me to the motorcycle contest, and the vintage bikes in particular, was the sight of scrambler “high pipes” and two-tone paint on a beautiful little Honda.  I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with the owner but  the Wackypedia claims the CL200 was only made in 1974, had a five-speed gearbox and was painted “Candy Riviera Blue”.

cl 200

I moseyed on over by the trikes, as well. The machine in the middle is a Can-Am Spyder.


When the thing came by, two wheels in front with a woman pilot and a male pillion, a bystander remarked that the rig looked like it was running down the road backward.

These fiberglass VW trikes used to be six for a nickle.  Maybe that’s why the rider went to such lengths to personalize this one.

come and take it

Of course, Texas readers will recognize the historic “Come and Take It” flag, first flown at Gonzales, TX where the godless Mexican army found out that when Texans tell someone to ‘stay put’, they’d best do so. The flag is used by those who support the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

come and take it

There was only one real custom; the paint looked like colored Mylar.  It’s really a slick machine, though I don’t know if I’d want to ride the poker run route on it.

custom 3
(click for a larger view)

In the afternoon we ate delicious barbecue and, later, there was  great live music and so-so dancing (at least on my part).

Sunday, we broke our fast, said our goodbyes and headed south. Despite my petcock problem, I’m calling the ride a howling success.  The weather was perfect, traffic was light and the cops had wooden legs.


Oh, are bikers dead?  Without getting into a lot of hair-splitting over what constitutes being a “biker”:
Jill thinks they might be endangered, but not dead, though it’s hard to tell from this kind of event, but I’ll tell you this:  When the event ended , one of the people who tried to look like a biker loaded his ride on a trailer behind his fifth wheel and had his dog tied up where he couldn’t get out of the sun. When he finally appeared he informed me that his rig was coming through the spot where my bike was parked. Not riding and no respect for those who are (and careless with his dog), so, probably not a biker, despite the biker suit.

Another fellow wasn’t going for “the look”, but had a beautiful low-mileage Honda Valkyrie Standard entered in the games and show. The bike is, arguably, the best cruiser, ever, and a hell of a road bike.


Need I add?

I guess you’re going to find folks trying to blend in anywhere there’s fast bikes and whiskey, long-haired girls and fun .

And, yes, the folks who ride in the rain and know that trailers are for boats are still there, too.  They told me so.


Written by fiddle mike

September 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Posted in culture, motorcycle, photography

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Fun entry and photos. Had to put in my 2 cents on “Real Bikers”. As a mom who hardley ever gets to ride these days, I still consider myself a biker. I love it, I’ll never give it up, and any way I can get out on the road is great for me. So I cut that slack to everyone else too. Different quality of bikers with various lifestyles and dedication to riding, that’s a fact. But wouldn’t it be cool if everyone in the country rode motorcycles? No matter if they were “real” or not.
    There’s my rant!


    September 22, 2009 at 11:47 pm

  2. Luve the story of the weekend and that the biker’s
    aren’t Dead!!! HOORAH!!!

    Denny O.

    September 25, 2009 at 2:18 am

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