Bike show blues

Last Friday I took my annual trip to the Twin Towns to attend the bike show at the Convention Center. Even though I left somewhat earlier this year I still got in a bit of rush hour traffic on 494 and 35W. Man, you couldn’t pay me enough to live up there and deal with that everyday. The roads were clear and dry too, I can’t imagine how bad it would be with some snow and ice added into the mix. Anyway, I made it to the show without missing my exit this year, unlike last year when it took an extra forty five minutes to get back to where I needed to be. 

 I met up with my brother and his buddy near the Harley-Davidson exhibit and we proceeded to wander around  checking out various displays. It’s always nice to see the new iron but then sticker shock rears its ugly head and reality sets in. Guess I will just run my old bike another season as it’s paid for. The styling on some of the new stuff leaves something to be desired, as well. There seems to be a trend towards dual headlights sticking out of the front ends that make some bikes look like bug-eyed freaks of nature that really turns me off. The custom bikes are a sight to see as well. Seems the builders don’t really take into account that some poeple like to actually ride their showbikes, not just trailer them around.

 I was amazed at the number of side by side four wheelers that were represented. Seems that all the major manufacturers have jumped on that bandwagon as well. Kawasaki started something over twenty years ago that is just now really taking off. With prices approaching that of a new pickup truck, I wonder how much longer this trend will last.

We stumbled around, watched the stunt rider guys try to put on a show with limited space and traction. It was entertaining to a point until one of them stepped off while trying to wheelie and go around in circles at the same time. He was unhurt, thankfully, but it took the wind out of his sails, if only for a little while, then he was right back to it. There were a bunch of kids playing rock music  on a stage set up right next to the stunt area. They did a good job of singing/playing but they were competing with the stunt announcer during their set and I felt a bit sorry for them. As an occaisional performer, I can sympathize with anyone trying to perform while another distraction is going on.

We finally found the vintage display and spent a bit of time there reliving the glory days, (the ’70s). It seems that I had personal experience either riding or fixing every bike that was on display. Guess that makes me an old-timer, for sure. It was much more interesting looking at old iron rather than the new. The new stuff is nice, I guess, but the styling can be a distraction and there is always the “unkown factor” when buying a never before produced model. You just never know how reliable that first year model will be. Whereas, with the old stuff, it is a known quantity. 

After looking at the vintage stuff for a while, hunger and thirst took its toll and so we wandered over to the food court area. They were selling burritos for eight dollars a pop so I opted for a bag of natchos, chocolate-chip cookie and a bottle of water. Even that meager selection cost me nine bucks, ouch! 

One more loop around the outside of the show area and we had pretty much seen it all, just in time too as it was nearing closing time. My brother and his friend said their goodbyes and  headed to their vehicle while I went to the parking ramp and found my truck. It cost me another nine bucks to get out of there and back onto 35W South. The bike show is always a fun time but seems to get more expensive every year. Or maybe I’m just getting older and cheaper. Whatever.    

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