22 September 2004


Riding season is winding down. And by "riding season" I mean that time of year when a person can reasonably expect to ride all weekend, sleep whereever, and not experience hypothermia while slumbering. When you can leave the house in a t-shirt and likely return in it as well. When afternoon rides don't have to begin in leather and end in frostbite. So don't give me that "I ride all year" shit. So do I, badass ... I just prefer to ride when it's nice. It's why I live in Oklahoma rather than North Dakota.

OCIB (Osage County Independent Bikers) throws a hell of a good party ... Enough so other runs have a tendency to develop an inferiority complex.

September's "Biker Days In The Great Osage" was another success.

When my drunken friends first dragged my Sportster riding ass East of I-35 over ten years ago to mingle with hoodlums in the dirt the park was smaller, the crowd was filthier, and the bikes were more ragged. Pawhuska's crowd was less flash and more substance. True thugs and hoodlums. Honest to goodness 'bikers.' And it was cool. Drunk amongst the people my parents warned me about I couldn't help but dig the scene into which I'd stumbled. Knives and guns, tattoos and bravado. Hell, that was the stuff they make cheesey movies about.

Then motorsickles gained social status and universal appeal. Everybody wanted one. When they got them they all wanted to go somewhere. Unaware of what bike runs were supposed to be like the crisp leather crowd of weekend badasses started infiltrating all our favorite digs. Pawhuska, of course, was not immune to this invasion of the loafer-clad yuppies. Admittedly, they did trade the loafers for MotorClothes branded boots, but it was still obvious who knew how to change their own oil and who didn't own a set of tools. The cats who've slept in ditches and wrenched in car washes stand out from the enthusiasts well bred and read yet clueless on two-wheeled protocol.

The Californication of another established run had begun. But it wasn't all bad. They brought their trophy bitches. Strapped on the back of low-mileage evos were the died and coiffed silicone enhanced bimbos of a thousand men's fantasies. Granted, genuine biker sluts can be pretty damned hot. But there's something fun about taking a pampered princess from the suburbs and watching her get all liquored up with hoodlums.

Prancing fancy pants aside, the yuppies were a pain in the ass and they clogged up the road. Accustomed to being served by the people they now wished to hang around these elites had a difficult, at best, time fitting in. There were threats scowls at first. Followed by slight shoving and occasional fisticuffs. Eventually there were fights. There have always been fights, now however they occassionally involved people who settled things with pens and lawyers rather than fists and grit.

But hey, fuck 'em, they wanted to play with the scary guys and they got what they wanted. This ain't reality tv. This is reality.

Then the patches came to play. And they play for keeps.

It didn't take long, perhaps one or two events, before the word was out amongst the casual minded pseudo-bikers; "Pawhuska is a good place to get your ass kicked."

Well, yeah. But so is Hooter's if you fuck up.

Here's the deal: the people who get beat up at motorsickle gigs are usually the ones who get beat up in a hometown bar as well. Sometimes there'll be unjustified harassment and pointless violence. But 95% of the time the cat who gets socked had it coming. Hell, I've had it coming for years and have, for the mostpart, escaped unscathed.

The net effect of Pawhuska's reputation as a "Rough Crowd" has been to lower the hair gel geeks' participation and up the ratio of true motorsickle enthusiasts to phallic trophy posers. This, kiddies, is a good thing. And Pawhuska is an excellent run again.

In May the crowd was smaller than past years because of the competing event in OKC, and that was just fine with those in attendance. "Biker Daze" or whatever they called it drew the silly yuppies from OKC metro who ride little and drink less to an event where they were able to commune with the same guys they'd been trying to impress at Scooters And Hooters. Meanwhile, the OCIB Biker Park in the Osage was a bit more open and less clouded with amateurs.

Scaring a few off is a good thing sometimes. Like Uncle Louie says, 'Time to thin the herd.'

Tried the OKC Biker Park out for their Labor Daze gig. Nice place, groovy facilities. Shade trees and grass. Great layout. Lots of potential there for a really good gig. However, $25 gate and $1.75 beer ... Well, that's no Sparks. We were told the $25 was because there were several poker runs and four days of party. Yeah, that's great. We were there on Saturday evening with no intention of participating in the poker runs - they should be charged ala carte.

Other than that the only thing clouding an otherwise nice gig was their obvious inferiority complex with Pawhuska.

Standing with a group of friends and maybe 200 others listening to the band Saturday night the repeated claims of "We'll show Pawhuska what a party is all about!" and "We've got a tit show coming up here that'll put Pawhuska to shame!" were excessive, pointless, whining, and false. Not to mention the fact they revealed a great deal about the mindset of those in charge.

At one point while listening to the MC deride Pawhuska for the hundredth-some-odd time the chick next to me turned and said, "That motherfucker with the microphone has obviously never been to Pawhuska ..."

I don't recall the venerable Tony Ward of Sparks ever running down other events while promoting his own. And tony puts on a run no one can touch. His $30 gate is justified in the killer facilities, copious activities, ass-kicking bands, and DOLLAR BEER. Yeah. $1 beer ... Shit, man. What more do you want? Cheap ice for your beer? Got it. Naked sluts? Yeah, they got that too ...

All in all the near end of another outstanding riding season finds me thrilled to have lived thus far and ridden with the coolest folks in the world.

More later as events warrant.


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