Written by BlackJack • Photos by Blackjack & Joe Boyle
One of the summer’s first events was just that – BIG and BAD (in the good sense!). Northwest Harley-Davidson’s 20th Annual Big Bad Bike Show kicked off the summer season with a bang! Held this past June, the temps that day reached into the 90’s but all the gorgeous bikes on display were much hotter.
The parking lot was filled with vendor booths, a beer garden, a bikini bike wash, sight-seers and attendees of all ages including multi-generational families, and of course, hundreds of beautiful bikes with chrome and paint gleaming in the sunshine.
The bike show entry fee was only $20 and included lunch and a t-shirt. Registration opened at 9am, and the event opened to the public at 11am. Show judging took place between 1pm and 2 pm. The awards, trophies and prizes were announced and presented at 2pm. This annual bike show is a ride-in show and anyone who wishes can enter.
The show bikes were well laid out in a dedicated space and it was easy to identify each category. The categories included Sportster, Dyna, Softail, Touring, V-Rod, Metric, Custom, Trike, Vintage, and Employee (NWHD’s own proudly showing their own rides).
Live music was thumping all day long by the likes of Soul Stripper (an AC/DC tribute band), The Warning (three teenage girls rocking your classic favorites!) and Ignite (a classic rock cover band). The beer garden provided by O’Blarney’s Irish Pub was continuously packed with thirsty people. Due to the hot weather, everyone in the 21 and over crowd immensely enjoyed kicking back with an ice-cold beverage in their hands. If you were hungry, hot burgers and other tasty vittles could be found at the Saint Martin’s Alumni Association food truck which always had a line of people awaiting a delicious sandwich and soft drink.
Another tent that was adjacent to the beer garden was offering bike washes by a handful of bikini-clad ladies. Needless to say, there was always a line-up of “dirty” bikes waiting for their turn to be hosed down and washed.
Test Rides on new 2017 Harleys were available with the friendly NWHD staff offering an opportunity to experience riding one of the new models.
Vendors available that day included – the legendary John Hannukaine – who was always busy pinstriping helmets and miscellaneous bike parts, 96.9 KAYO radio and the KAYO girls, Auto Tint Northwest with a tricked-out Jeep, the Vet Center – which offers readjustment counseling services, South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy, Damsel in Distress – personal protection devices and Direct Cellars – a wine club. There were also three busy Olympia area tattoo artists working inside the dealership, Eclipse Custom Tattoo, Union Ave Tattoo and Exile Booker, just in case someone needed some more ink.
Northwest Harley-Davidson works closely all year long with military and veterans groups and this day was no different. On this Saturday, NWHD was considered ‘Mission Control’ for 2Wheels2Survive, in which 3 local men (all disabled Iraq veterans) Michael Nielsen, Richard Enoch and Ben Dempsey, rode their Harley-Davidsons one thousand miles in only twenty-four hours to raise awareness of veteran suicide and to raise money for associated support programs. NWHD also hosted a 5 stop scramble in support of 2Wheels2Survive. Additional information about 2Wheels2Survive can be found at www.facebook.com/2wheels2live
Inside the dealership, it was packed with people trying to escape the heat some checking out all of the new 2017 bikes on the showroom floor, some browsing around the Parts Department in search of various parts on their wish lists and some shopping for new gear in the extensive Motorclothes Department upstairs. Now and then, you would hear the large bell by the front counter ring out along with the honking of several bikes on the showroom floor in celebration of someone who had just bought a new bike from Northwest Harley!
Although it was a hot, sunny day, the atmosphere of the 20th annual Big Bad Bike Show kept everyone feeling cool and relaxed. There was plenty of shade to be found under the buildings giant awning where tables and chairs had been set up for those wanting to escape the sun and take in the performances of the bands who rocked the event.
The show’s winners were announced early in the afternoon by Northwest Harley-Davidson owners Julio Valdenegro and Joe Deck, each receiving a handsome metal sculpture award. The winners for each category were:
Sportster – “Chog” Greninger, 1974 Sportster
Dyna – Jake Kiliz, 2012 Fat Bob
Softtail – Jerry Penor, 2013 Heritage Softail
Touring – Alfredo Munoz, 2009 Road King
V-ROD – Brian Davis
Metric – Zach Gilbert, 2009 Suzuki
Custom – Dustin Hall, 2004 Custom
Trike – Rick Williams, 2012 H-D Trike
Vintage/Classic – Tim Lien/Tabitha Wilber, 1945 Flathead
Employee Choice – Kevin Parker, 2004 Road King
People’s Choice – Sean Morris, 1997 Softail Fat Boy
Be sure to stop by Northwest Harley-Davidson and check out what’s new at the ‘Friendliest Shop in the Northwest’. They are just off I-5 at exit 111 in Lacey, WA.