By Stacy McCleary
Charlotte, NC — On Thursday, January 24, my wife, Danell and I flew out of Oakland, California to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend the Easyriders Invitational Bike Show. We arrived without any problems and picked up our rental car for the week. We were lucky enough to have good friends that live twenty miles outside Charlotte. They opened their home to us and we had a very pleasant time with them.
On Friday morning at 10:00 am my friend Don & I were at the Expo Center to register for the show. I am very grateful to Dave Nichols and Easyriders for transporting my bike from the Sacramento, CA, show (where I was honored to have my bike win Best of Show) to the Charlotte show. As I was registering my bike I was pleased to see many familiar faces. The Easyriders people are the same for all the shows. During the Bike Show Tour they travel around the country to all the shows to make sure everything runs smoothly.
I’ve been to many bike shows and this one in Charlotte was second to none. The Expo Center was huge with three different buildings, all under one roof! One of the buildings had a car show going on.
No matter if you’re on the West Coast or the East Coast, the brotherhood of bike builders is the same. The quality of the bikes was amazing. One of the things that I noticed is that there were more custom baggers than we see in California. There was a wide variety of bikes which made for a great show.
I build old iron bikes and I was pleased to see many really cool old bikes in the show.
People we met here at the show were very hospitable. And we enjoyed hanging out with them.
This Charlotte Invitational Show was the last show of the Easyrider Bike Show Tour for 2019. All the big winners of the other shows were invited to Charlotte to compete against each other. The invited winners were given $500 just to show up. There were eighteen bikes in the Invitational Class and only First Place trophies were awarded. The trophies were very nice and a prize check was also given with each trophy.
The top award of the night went to Xavier Muriel from Texas. He had won Best of Show at the Easyriders Show in Austin. His beautiful bike was chosen as Bike of the Year 2019! This award could not have gone to a better person. He is a stand-up guy and I’m very proud to call him my friend. He received a one of a kind handmade trophy and a very nice prize check too.
Photo legend Michael Lichter was shooting bikes all weekend and you can see the first place bikes in a future Easyriders magazine.
Ride Safe and God Bless –