Thursday, July 14, 2011

Born Free 3

Born Free 3 - The Show

When we last left off I had just passed out beside the dying embers of the campfire the night before the big show.

Several short hours passed from that point until the sun came up and the bulk of the campground fired up their bikes to ride out to the show. As bad as I needed some more sleep it just wasn't going to happen, so I rolled out of my bag and stumbled down to the campground shower to wash off the layer of filth I'd managed to accumulate the day before. The rest of the camp was up and running around when I got back, and I could tell I wasn't the only one feeling less than perfect that morning. A few cups of coffee and a cold shower had me feeling human again and in short order we hopped on the bikes and rode down to the show.

The Born Free 3 show site

When we got over the show the crowd was still pretty light, but bikes were pouring in non-stop and I knew it was going be a huge day. Up until this point I'd been dedicated to running Mike around and helping him get some great shots for the Cycle Source article. Finally I had some time to pick up a camera of my own and do my thing. I spent all day running around non-stop shooting everything I could. I got a few messages from people who wondered if I was even at the show; they said they'd met Dave or the rest of the gang at the trailer but couldn't find me at all. I was there, I just didn't stay in one place long...

I'm a little partial to this Panhead...

It was an amazing day of shooting and I got some killer photos. Keep an eye on the blog, we're working the shots into a book project and will have some details for you guys soon. Anyway, the show was beyond description. There was so much great stuff to look at, so many great people to talk to and such a great, relaxed vibe the whole day. The only shame of it all was that it only lasted for one brief afternoon. Grant and Mike put on a show that exceeded all my wildest expectations, and I've no doubt that everyone there that day will be talking about it for decades to come. It really was a landmark event in the chopper world.

Great day with great friends

In a few short hours it was time for the awards and the big giveaway. We all gathered around the stage and cheered on the winners - seeing Las Vegas Paul win the Knucklehead was awesome. He looked the same way any one of us would have felt if we had won - so amazed and excited to be the one.

The awards wrapped up as the late afternoon sun was starting to approach the hills on the horizon and a cool breeze arrived to bring the summer temperatures down a bit. At this point I was so exhausted all I could think about was sprawling out under a tree and taking a nap under the blue California sky. I walked over to the far end of the showgrounds by a small pond and found a large, shady area to stretch out on. The gentle breeze rustled through the trees as I fell into a deep and relaxing sleep.

At the end of the day we packed up the SpeedMetal trailer with the show bikes and the merchandise we'd been selling. We sat out in the cool evening air and watched the showgrounds empty out and I lamented at the thought of having to wait another year before life got this good again. It had been the ride of a lifetime out to see the show of a lifetime and as I sat there watching it all wind down I tried to soak in as much as I could before I had to leave.

Natalie Quinn - Founder of Ride to Born Free, SpeedMetal spiritual guru and quite possibly the inventor of motorcycles...

Eventually we headed back to camp and compared our notes on the show over a few beers. Everyone was getting pretty hungry so Matty & I made a run up to the local grocery store for some burgers & brats. We fired up the grill when we got back and everyone enjoyed a lazy night, a few drinks and some great stories around the campfire. Mike even managed to put down his camera gear for a few moments and just relax with the group. It was the first time since we'd left Denver that I'd seen him not working.

The party at Cook's and the big show that day had left me ready for a good night's sleep, so I crawled into my tent shortly after midnight and fell asleep with visions of the show still running through my mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment