By Diana Olmstead
The day began with clouds and drizzle in the morning; yet I was hopeful that the clouds would give way to sunshine as the afternoon progressed.
I put on my leather jacket, grabbed my helmet and gloves, straddled my bike, said a little road prayer and headed towards Lacey.
By the time I hit exit 111 just off I-5, the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds. As I looked over at the dealerships parking lot which runs parallel to the off ramp I saw that it was already jam packed with bikes along with a huge crowd of blue jean wearing bikers.
I was happy to see that the morning’s weather had not discouraged riders from participating and attending Northwest Harley-Davidson’s 16th Annual Big, Bad Bike Show.
The parking lot where the bike show was taking place had over 60 bikes entered into 9 bike categories: Dyna, Touring, Softail, Custom, Metric, Sportster, Antique/Classic, Trike & V-Rod plus Best of Show. The individual categories were clearly marked and plenty of space had been allocated to showcase each of the bikes entered.
I walked around checking out the details of each and every bike was that was on display. I also met many of the owners of those bikes. I was quite struck by seeing how each individual had customized their bike to reflect their own personality and tastes. These men and women were excited to discuss their bikes with any of the Bike Show spectators. I couldn’t help but smile at their enthusiasm and knowledge of their bikes and at the respect they had for their fellow competitors bikes.
The entry fee was $20 if you pre-registered, or $30 if you registered that day, and all Active Duty, Reserve, & National Guard paid $10. The entry fee included a T-shirt & BBQ and trophies donated by Color Graphics for the winning category winners!
The Fabulous Johnson’s, one of Seattle’s top rock bands, played everything from Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, ZZ Top to Montrose in the covered courtyard just outside of Northwest H-D’s front doors. Radio DJ and talented musician, Spike O’ Neill, was also on hand working the crowd and playing with the band.
A couple of young women in bikinis were busy washing down dirty bikes and giving the fellas something to look at in addition to the show bikes.
To also add to all of the excitement were several great vendors: South Sound HOG was there serving up a delicious BBQ lunch, O’Blarneys hosted the Beer Garden, Jason with Evolution Ink and Travis with Flesh Works were tattooing and piercing, Mary’s Leathers was busy sewing and selling patches, Susan G. Komen had a fundraising booth, and The Red Cross, Forever Power Coating, and the Susan with the Sissybar all had booths.
Inside the dealership, both the Motorclothes and Parts & Accessories Depts were busy ringing up customers and filling brown paper Harley bags with stylish clothing or some new must-have Parts! The Sales staff on the showroom floor was busy talking with customers, answering questions and selling bikes!
The 16th Annual Big Bad Bike Show came to a close around 3pm with the Bike Show winner announcements and trophy presentations. Congratulations to the following: Dyna – David Kotas, Touring – Brian Anderson, Softail – Linda Carroll, Custom – Gene Schele, Metric – Don Watkins, Antique/Classic – John Arbeeny, Sportster – Velmer Hempstead, Trike – Rick Williams, V-Rod – Derrick Nakahara, Employee – Gary Jordan, Best of Show – John Arbeeny and People’s Choice – Mike Fobes!
Just as the last winner’s name was announced the clouds began to roll back in and it began to lightly drizzle. Without hesitation everyone said their goodbye’s, slipped on their helmets and jackets, mounted their bikes and headed for home hoping to beat an incoming rainstorm.
All in all it was another fun, successful, Big Bad Bike Show for Northwest Harley-Davidson!
Be sure to stay tuned for more upcoming Northwest Harley-Davidson events via their ads in Quick Throttle and as posted on their website: www.nwharley.com