By Diana Olmstead & Robin Hudson
This year Northwest Harley-Davidson shook things up and held their 19th Annual Big Bad Bike Show in the month of June! In past years it had taken place at the end of the August. Having their Big Bad Bike Show in June was a great way to keep their event fresh and kick-off the best riding months of the year.
As I exited I-5 and took the exit 111 off-ramp I looked to my left and took in the sight of Northwest Harley Davidson’s parking lot. It was jam packed with motorcycles, riders and vendor tents!
After I parked my own scoot and took off my jacket and helmet I looked around a bit closer at the layout. I’d estimate that there were about 75 bikes and they were spread out in the following categories: Dyna, Touring, Softail, Custom, Metric, Sportster, Antique/Classic, Trike and V-Rod.
As I walked around I ran into lots of familiar faces that I’ve met and ridden with over the years. That’s what’s great about an event like this; it becomes a place where riders gather and catch up with each other and talk about bikes. While most thoroughly enjoyed talking about their own scoots, they also had opinions and plenty of compliments for the other motorcycles that had also entered the bike show.
To truly appreciate a show bike, especially a custom, it requires one to spend time looking over each bike while getting down on all fours to see the custom detail up close and personal. If you don’t, you will surely miss some of the finer details and amazing craftsmanship that make a bike a bona fide custom show bike.
I spoke to several competitors who had invested a great deal of time, creativity, craftsmanship and money into each of their bikes. Some stated that while winning one of the cool custom made trophies would be great, that wasn’t their sole focus or motivation to attend; they were there to have some fun and to support their love and passion for tricked out motorcycles. And many entrants simply wanted to participate because the Big Bad Bike Show was also a charity event that benefitted activeheroes.org as well as 2wheels2survive, a charity founded by local rider and retired Army veteran Michael Nielsen.
The entry fee was $20 if you pre-registered or $30 if you registered that day, and all Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard paid $10. The entry fee also included a Big Bike Bike Show T-shirt. This year the show started at 11am making it much more appealing for out of area riders to participate as they didn’t have to get on their bikes at the crack of dawn.
In addition to all of the show bikes, there were about a half dozen vendor booths. The highly talented John Hannukaine was busy pinstriping helmets, the Bikers at the Beach crew were on hand to answer questions and promote their new bike event in Ocean Shores at the Convention Center, and there were several other booths that I can’t recall by name.
The bikini bike wash booth was set up on the side of the dealership and a couple of energetic young women were busy washing down both clean and dirty bikes all throughout the day! Right next to the bike wash area was the beer garden which was a very popular place to kick back and drink a cold one.
As I made my way towards the front doors of the dealership a band was rockin’ the crowd in the covered courtyard. When I entered, the girls at the front counter smiled and greeted me and asked if they could help me find anything. I replied “Thank you but I know exactly where I’m going”.
The showroom floor was packed with people talking to the Northwest H-D sales staff and before I knew it the “I just bought a new bike” bell was being rung by a proud new bike owner. The sound of that bell was almost like a motorcycle mating call, as it attracted other riders to gather around to see who the new bike owner was and which bike they had just purchased!
I noticed that the Parts & Accessories Department had a line of people at their counter too. Some of the guys were looking through catalogs and ordering parts, while several other riders were there picking up parts, oil, and whatever else they needed.
Next, I made my way upstairs to the NWHD Motorclothes Department which looked amazing as always. I picked out a handful of shirts for myself and my daughter and then made my way to cash register.
I took my Harley bags that were filled with my new duds and walked out to my bike to stow them away in my saddle bags. Since I had parked not far from the Service Department’s main door I couldn’t help but notice how busy they were, bikes were rolling in and bikes were rolling out non-stop.
At 3 pm the 18th Annual Big Bad Bike Show came to a close with the Bike Show winner announcements and trophy presentations. Congratulations to the following winners: Antique/Classic – Phillip Fetzer, Sportster – Laura Hall, Dyna – Dustin Hall, Softail -Tony Quichocho, Touring – Brian Anderson, V-Rod – Smokey Hoagland, Metric – Kyle Himmelsbach, Custom – Anthony Wojnar, Trike – Debbie McFarland, Employee – Yvonne Stanton, People’s Choice – Poppy Bushnell and Best In Show – Joseph Velasco!
The trophies were designed by Northwest Metal Creations. The Best of Show winner took home a $250 NWHD gift certificate and all other category winners took home a $100 NWHD gift certificate!
I have to say this year’s 19th Annual Big Bad Bike Show was a good time! The weather was perfect; it was a mildly warm day, not too hot and no rain in sight! Nearly 1000 people came out to have some fun and to support this year’s bike show!
Owners Julio Valdenegro and Joe Deck said “We’d like to thank everyone who helped make this years show so awesome! We are already planning next year’s 20th Big Bad Bike Show, so stay tuned and get your bike ready for 2017!
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 and their facebook page.