My press junket to New England started at the crack of dawn in SoCal, but I wasn't the only motorcycler searching for java in Ontario Airport at 5:00 a.m. The San Berdoo HA chapter were heading east on my plane, and their president wanted coffee. Luckily, one duty-bound prospect was quick to get his leathery leader in the cut and cargo shorts a hot joe (four creams, two sweeteners) before the flight attendant announced last call for boarding. After some tussling between brothers for a window seat, The Angels and I took flight. Our final destination: Laconia, New Hampshire.
Baseball Tavern thrives a few blocks south of Beantown's Fenway Park. This four-story brownstone played host to the DicE party that kicked things off Friday night
Of course, my mission in the birthplace of American freedom was much different than the 500 or so Angels who migrated to New Hampshire the same weekend. According to Walt Gemeinhart, an old friend who prides himself on knowing such things, the Angels were in town for their 2011 World Run, a board meeting of sorts for HA chapters around the planet. Since I have no affiliation with any motorcycle club outlaw or otherwise, I was heading to New England to enjoy some Yankee hospitality from CC member Rugburn in Boston, and to make s'mores for the riders on this year's Greasebag Jamboree.
The HoJo's across the street from Baseball Tavern provided shelter for visiting chopper freaks
The Greasebag Jamboree is the brainchild of Grail at Knucklebuster.com. After taking a one-year hiatus from event promotion, Grail resurrected his bright idea for 2011. Our Yankee friend poured his heart and soul into this year's Greasebag, and it showed. Colored maps, live bands, free pizza, cold beer, cheap camping, great riding, friendly venues, happy guests, slutty strippers and a well-stocked swap meet and bike show… this year's Jamboree had it all.
Jump-off point Saturday morning
To kick things off, Grail threw a punk rock extravaganza and magazine premier party with DicE publisher Matt Davis at Boston's Baseball Tavern Friday evening. Inclimate weather did little to dampen spirits, and good times were had by all. At said mixer I sidled up to a young builder named Rybo and his ladyfriend K2. Why K2, you ask? Because if you're not climbing on top of her, you're probably going down. After three hours of giving Krysten my best double-barreled bar creep, she still agreed to ride shotgun in my chase car Saturday morning. Wicked smaht and handy with an iPhone, K2 was as good-natured and unflappable as chicks come. Thanks for letting me take you for a ride, sugarpants.
The man with the plan: Knucklebuster Grail
At 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning, 100 hooligans and a high number of chase vehicles pulled out of a grocery store parking lot 30 minutes northeast of Boston. Grail wisely chose a secluded berg—not Beantown proper—as the jump-off point for his ride. Chase trucker Wayne Ahlquist certainly appreciated Grail's inspired bit of advance planning. There is NO WAY Acme's F-450 could roll past Fenway Park on six billet-alloy 37's without toppling the Green Monster.
Fuck global warming. Acme Wayne drives The Biggest Truck Ever
One man who got to enjoy the lavish appointments in Wayne's Black Monster up close was MassholeMoto.com's Mike Painter. Thirty seconds before lift-off, the last wire on Mike's frayed clutch cable gave way, leaving the affable Internet outlaw's Triumph on the curb. After throwing his bike on the trailer, Wayne and Mike hauled ass to Laconia to service the not-so-faithful steed. K2 and I pulled behind the last rider in the Greasebag echelon, leaving a parking lot full of Dunkin' Donut wrappers and coffee cups in our wake. For the next four hours K2 and I swapped leads with Kickstart Cycles' '67 Ford on verdant, twisty two-lanes. When we arrived at White Birch Campground a few hours before dusk, Grail, his brother, and some resourceful Greasebaggers had already stoked the fire, iced the Stones and ordered pizza. While K2 pitched her tent, I combed the countryside for interesting people and motorcycles. Because it's the East Coast, I found plenty of both.
The crew at White Birch Campground were as pleasant and accommodating as any innkeepers I've ever met
Rigid Sporties abounded at this year's Greasebag Jamboree. The MoCo's diminutive big twin appears to be the 21st century highwayman's iron of choice
The only handicap at this gas stop was a shortage of beer
Rybo from 11th Hour Fab and my navigator, K2. Ryan's hand-built KZ400 rigid was wicked pissa
No shortage of old iron on two wheels or four at this year's Jamboree. Walt's Ford Ranger was packed with parts and apparel for Sunday's swap meet, which was hosted again at Acme Choppers HQ
"What can I say—it was the last tank top in my closet."
Except for a few lucky Jammers, it was SRO at the Keith Stone hospitality table
Black tape makes great grips in a pinch, but this guy used his last roll to hold the map on his tank
Friday afternoon before the DicE party, CC member and Class-A firestarter Rugburn took Masshole Mike and me on a tour of Boston's finer pubs and underground chopper haunts. Thanks for your time and hopsitality, Jon-Michael
If it's a chopped Sportster, chances are you're in New England. Live Free or Die!
Bearded weirdos weren't the only thing on this year's Greasebag Jamboree. There were also some bearded clams
Wake up, Nick—I need those bike specs for your ChopCult feature
Fixin' shit on the shores of Lake Laconia. Ain't life grand?
Sal's of Laconia crafted 60 pies for the hungry hoodlums who descended on White Birch Saturday afternoon. After dusk yours truly grilled s'mores while strippers entertained single gents beneath the white-hot glow of a dozen headlights
I skipped Sunday's swap meet at Acme Choppers, but those who attended say it was great. I've dug through Acme's stash before, so I know they speak the truth. Speaking of The Truth, it was the man from Choppahead who hosted Saturday night's live nude review. A lesser campground might have flamed out over such shenanigans, but not the good folks at White Birch. Mercifully, only kook felt the need to do a burnout. In dirt. Can you say anticlimactic?
Kudos, Grail for flexing your brains and brawn to make this the best Greasebag Jamboree ever. I don't know what the Hell's Angels did in Laconia, but I know 150 people who had a blast.