Story by Famous Jake Pics by Jake, Linda Dahl & David Laird
Saturday, March 31st, I awoke tired from a long week of scratching for nickels and a little grumpy about having to take that long freeway ride to Phoenix to hand out magazines at Arizona Bike Week. But as the day warmed and me and the V- Rod hit our groove, I found myself glad to be on the road – any road – leaving my work-a-day cares behind and heading to a big bike party. Hey, it’s Arizona Bike Week and I’m a part of it. How cool!!
As usual I got a little turned around in the wilds of Scottsdale (never take directions from an old hippie) and showed up a little late, disorganized, hungry and low on gas – a good start to a bike rally. I knew right away that this was big – THE MONSTROUS MEGA TENT HELD THOUSANDS OF MOTORCYCLES COVERING ACRES OF GROUND OF SHADED, COVERED PARKING. I mean this is just the parking lot – can you tell I was impressed? I met our new Phoenix rep at the gate and found her to be a perfect fit for the job – full of energy, enthusiasm, and fresh ideas. We already had a Babydoll and now we have a Linda Dahl – what luck! She is meeting everybody and learning to be everywhere – with a camera – and it’s a good thing as I got wrapped up in representing The Mag, talking bikes with the bros, and shamelessly hitting on their old ladies, and missing most of the featured entertainment. The list of what I missed is impressive. On Saturday alone there was a wheelie machine, SomThangFierce Streetbike Stunt Show, Pro Tour Freestyle Motocross, a people’s choice bike show, Rhett Rotten’s Wall of Death, bike games, trike games, a bike rodeo, Willie G. and Nancy Davidson, Rickiejoleen rocking her ass off (or maybe that was my ass – there was a lot of ass getting rocked off as I recall), headliner Foreigner rocking their… no, let’s just say they performed their long list of hits with great style, skill, and energy and the crowd ate it up. And for those still standing a late night wet t-shirt contest. This in addition to a long list of rides, runs, and races that occur throughout the week. It would take a lot of split personalities to see and do it all.
AZBW wants to be a big deal, which like Laughlin or Daytona (and dare I mention the S word?) attracts riders from all over to showcase the great spring weather, endless awesome bike roads, and thriving biker culture our area has to offer. Come to think of it, are those other places biker friendly more than a few weeks a year? Arizona is. But this affair has been characterized in the past as scattered and unfocused with local bike interests throwing elbows to stake their claim on the entire event, the locals doing what they usually do, and visitor’s left to themselves to wonder “where’s the party?” This year, with a new promoter, a return to the Westworld venue, an efficient steering committee with a new spirit of cooperation, and a handy pamphlet with a concise schedule of activities – complete with a handy map – everyone (but me) should have no trouble finding their way to the heart of the beast. Dealers, demos, dynos, big name builders, greasy, tasty, overpriced food, vendors and more vendors, bikes and babes and beer and bands. I mean, what more could you and thousands of fellow fanatics ask for beneath a warm Arizona sun and nearly full moon?
I followed some riders with Canadian license plates that seemed to know more about where they were going than I did, and it worked. Once there I spoke with the Geezers from Hell, from somewhere in California, and even a few fellow Tucsonians whom I have found, as a group, to be ambivalent about Bike Week in past years. So I guess the word is getting out. As I left the city lights behind and hit the freeway to head home I noticed the moonlit silhouettes of the mountains and the mysterious warm air currents that one rides into and out of in the desert night. I decided it wasn’t such a long ride after all and whether going across town or cross continent AZBW is living up to its potential and is definitely worth the ride.
Through Fresh Eyes…Dave Laird AKA “Moose Doggie”
Thousands of motorcyclists converged on West World and other parts of the Phoenix area starting on March 24th for Arizona Bike Week 2007, the eleventh – annual event of motorcycle, poker runs, parties, vendors and the five day Cyclefest Event at West World. Bike Week began with a Buddy Stubbs Style Bash on Saturday March 24 with live music, motorcycle museum tours, fashion shows and over 12,000+ in attendance.
The party continued till March 31st. Some of the things I enjoyed were the Harley-Davidson traveling museum, the highlight was seeing Willie G. Davidson live on stage. I tried to get back stage for a personal interview. The only thing that stopped me was a really big security guy. I even tried to bribe him; I offered him all the money I had, $3.00. That didn’t work! The reason I only had $3.00 dollars was the entry fee, high priced food, and spending money at the vendors. I also heard someone say there was a whole lot of nothing there, but I know a whole lot of people took it to the wall to make this a really great Bike week for us all.
I think this year’s Arizona Bike Week was the best one yet. My wife and many other bikers really liked the bands; there wasn’t even standing room in the Handle Bar Saloon for me. There were rave reviews from my wife and many others for .38 Special and Foreigner. I also enjoyed Rhett’s Wall of Death, biker build-off and my other favorite “Miss Arizona Bike Week Pageant”.
I was lucky to spend part of my time at West World, with a person that had never been to bike week, my neighbor Linda. Wow, in a short time I found myself charging around bike week being dragged by Linda. Then she discovered the T-Shirts. Total excitement, “they even sell t-shirts here! We looked at every tee shirt in the place. Next she discovered a man named Buddy Stubbs owner of Arizona Harley-Davidson. It was picture time again Linda wanted her picture taken with Buddy. Can you imagine seeing it all for the first time! I just read an article written in some big biker magazine. It was written by a female, I don’t remember her name. Anyway in the article she explained she had been going to all the Bike events every year for the last twenty years and things were starting to seem like same-old, same-old. Bikes and Riding isn’t that what we are all about? I still say we need to try and be a little more like my neighbor. Make your own kind of fun; pretend it’s your first time.
I can’t wait for the bike week 2008…