I always enjoy going out of the So. Cal. area for bike shows. For several years I have wanted to attend the Motorcycle Madness Show in Santa Maria as it is only a leisurely three-hour scenic ride up the coast to just below San Louis Obispo. Finally this year I made my commitment early and there was no turning back. Motorcycle Madness is promoted by the affable and capable Seth Doulton of Horse Power Promotions, who always puts together a well run and interesting show, and this was no exception.
Santa Maria has grown since the last time I was there. Thinking I would just meander north on the 101 highway and get off at the Santa Maria sign I was instead presented with a quandary early on as they now have three freeways exits. Well in this case cell phone technology came to the rescue as I just called Seth and was guided in to the fairgrounds. Spike was at the gate to give me my credentials and showed me where to park so it all went smoothly, in deference to my lack of planning the route.
Even though the town has grown it is still hospitable enough for the Mayor to write a welcoming piece in the official program – when’s the last time you saw that? I unloaded my gear and headed out to uncharted territory knowing I would be pleasantly greeted by that small town atmosphere so glaringly missing at the high profile glitzy So. Cal events. I wasn’t disappointed as the fairground’s buildings are well laid out along a tree lined midway which was a display area for most of the 65 showbikes competing for trophies, very harmonious in a “one with nature” sort of way. There were three shows in one for the bike competition, a 17 category ride in show, a novice show, a pro builders sweepstakes show, plus the bonus “Ego Tripp Top 15” bikes of the show. Lots of opportunities to win a trophy. Some other diversions and activities included Moto X racing all three days, a Poker Run on Saturday and an Interstate bike trailer giveaway.
The many vendors were well placed outside as well as inside the permanent structures allowing for an efficient approach to seeing them all. There is an outdoor mainstage area with bleachers which was great for comfortable viewing of the many onstage activities and bands that played throughout the weekend. The three days of activities drew 11.000 fans and 5,000 bikes according to the press release, coming from seven states and four countries. I was surprised at the number of builders attending, with recognizable names such as Scott Long, Tom Foster, Sugar Bear, Evil Spirit, Chica, Trevelene, Lucky 7, Huntington Beach Cycles, Kirk Taylor, Trollworx, and Big Mike. All these guys were around, at their displays and available for questions or just idle chit chat. Saturday night featured an after party where most of the vendors and builders actually showed up at what seemed to be the town’s favorite watering hole, Mavericks, and everybody seemed to have a really good time. So check out the pictures and see what you missed if you didn’t attend and maybe, as I recommend, you will be there next year. As a side note, be sure to try some of the famous Santa Maria Style BBQ, it’s smokin’.