Photo by Mkey Arnold
2014 marks my second year as ChopCult’s Editor in Chief. I can personally say that this year at the helm has been an absolute blast. My focus has been the same since I took the position: obtain fresh content, open the doors to local shops and talent, support grass roots events, and to continue to do the very best for this site and its members. This is only made possible by our ever growing contributor staff. Each contributor helps uphold the standards I’ve laid out as Editor and have helped ChopCult grow as a whole. Their stories and photographs open our eyes to people that deserve the spotlight in our industry. Using social media has been a vital tool for our growth as well. Promoting our features has built a strong following for our contributors and for ChopCult. Each of the contributors goes out of his or her way to provide content, so it’s only right to cross-promote them as much as possible. Mama always said, “There’s no ‘I’ in the word team” and one sided features from just one person would be mundane. I’m very grateful to work with Jason Ochoa, Mikey Revolt, Bear Haughton, Jacob Culter, Tim Lind, Jessie Stopnik, Elvis Castillo, Mark Kawakami, Jay Cagney, Ken Carvajal, Heath Braun, Mark Kawakami, and Twila Knight. A special thanks to our copy editor Kim Quon who I’d be lost without. Dyslexia is a mother f’r and his edits help me not sound like an absolute imbecile. To you all, thank you for your valuable time and talent!
The “Internet Outlaw” that we fought with last year has quietly diminished. Allen, Brandon, Jet Black, Torch, and Nina have helped keep the forums friendly and inviting. Being a moderator is a job most wouldn’t want to take on, but Allen and Brandon have stepped up and accepted more responsibilities. Their devotion to the forums has allowed me to concentrate on other duties at hand. We don’t want anyone to feel we’re editing your thoughts; our main goal is to make the forums enjoyable. We all have opinions, but there’s really no need for public slander or insults. Internet drama is weak and actually hurts the site’s membership and growth. I know there was a “feed them to the sharks” mentality before, but we prefer to keep moving forward positively. We embrace the older member’s opinions and knowledge as they were here long before any of us. We also welcome the next generation as one of our own.
Through the power of social media, we have all become the new Internet Outlaws; the ones that help total strangers out. It has by far been the most rewarding thing I can take away from this job. Just by creating a post stating, “Help if you can,” and sharing the person’s profile we have recovered over 20 stolen bikes. Through our #chopcultaaa hashtag we have also helped hundreds of stranded motorcyclists get back on the road. There’s nothing more gratifying than to watch total strangers help one of their own. Many new friendships have been built on many state roads and together we have built an awesome community.
This year ChopCult members, followers and the motorcycle industry came together to mourn one of our own, Larry Pierce of Garage Co. Customs. Larry was a great man who loved his best friend and soul mate, Ashley Pierce, with all of his heart. Most of us couldn’t attend the funeral services so, with Ashley’s blessing, we created the Ride For Larry Pierce Day, which took place on August 9th, 2014. We at ChopCult wanted to surround Ashley with much needed love, and hopefully bring her joy once again. It was overwhelming to see the number of rides and gatherings that took place all over our great country and beyond. It also warmed our hearts to see families come together to spend quality time with their children and extended families. I truly believe that August 9th brought old friends back together, helped build new friendships, and brought everyone together, as ONE, for the day. It didn’t really matter if you rode on August 9th, it just mattered that you stopped for a day and enjoyed life, as Larry loved to do. Larry preferred to let his motorcycles have the spotlight vs. himself. The only time you would see Larry center stage was when he was dancing like nobody was watching. Truth be told, he owned the crowd with his good natured spirit and fancy dance moves. Larry loved to laugh and enjoyed life; a character trait that we all should aim for. There are no guarantees in this life, so be your best everyday and tell the ones around you they matter. Ashley and I will be doing something special during 2015 and the details will be announced soon.
It was very important for ChopCult to continue to sponsor grass roots events throughout 2014. Event promoters used this very site to promote their events and we promoted their events through our Blog, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts. Doing this helped build their following and attendance. Throw one of our contributors on site and new content appears here. It’s a vicious circle, but one needed to keep our culture and site moving forward. Cross-promotion can only be attained by both parties agreeing to follow through with what was promised and agreed to. It’s not our job to shine the light on an event for the sole purpose moving the event forward. It’s a two way street. We want every event to succeed because rallies aren’t as welcoming as grass roots events. We’ve sponsored over 200 grass roots events this year, many that have been going for a year or more.
We are also a top sponsor for the upcoming Born-Free 7, which is huge for the site. Born-Free is our Sturgis, if you will, minus the entire BS that you deal with at Sturgis. Born-Free welcomes the garage builders, their motorcycles, and is a fun, family friendly event. It’s awesome to see license plates from all over the country that actually ride in. It’s also where we get to meet our fellow members and followers during the two day event. You should try to make it out to the next one. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
None of this would be possible without the endless support of our advertisers. Everything described so far is for the website’s benefit. We need good content for people to come to the site and keep coming back. Hopefully, once they are here they support many of our paid advertisers whose running ad campaigns are seen throughout the site. Our advertisers keep the site running and make it possible for our members to freely enjoy. My promise to each advertiser is to cross-promote them through our social media outlets. Hopefully, this small action helps them gain a unique following and potential sales. We all know advertising costs money, so what better way than to cross-promote them and we all move forward. We would like to thank Lowbrow Customs, Biltwell Inc., Led Sled Customs, Burly Brand, Loser Machine, Bison Motorsports, Voodoo Vintage, Harley-Davidson, TC Bros. Choppers, Choppahead Kustom Cycles, Genuine Motorworks, Indian Larry Motorcycles, The Speed Merchant, Russ Brown, Zombie Performance, Slim’s Fab Farm, Deadbeat Customs, Throttle Addiction, S&S Cycles, Bung King, Speed Dealer Customs, No School Choppers, Rolling Heavy Magazine, Crank and Stroker, Tres Noir Optics, Harolds USA, Helldorado, Dixxon Flannel Company, So-Cal Cycle Swap Meet and Kill Scum Speed Cult. We appreciate your kind donations for the #chopcultgiveaways and your ongoing support. Do us a favor and give all of them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.
Here are some of your personal favorites from 2014
(click images to read original ChopCult news feature)
Forever in our hearts, we will Never Forget Larry Pierce
I have to thank my husband Duane for being my biggest supporter and personal roadie. He’s the one that helps me set up the ChopCult booth and normally drives with me to events and interviews. Most husbands don’t give a shit about their wife’s day job, but he gets it. Maybe he’s paying me back for all of the times I set up and worked his booth. Whatever the reason may be, thanks for allowing me to be me.
I also would like to thank everyone that voted for ChopCult for Cycle Source Magazine’s 2014 Best Media Release Outlet. This award belongs to the contributors and moderators for their never ending support!
I’m beyond humbled by winning Cycle Source Magazine's 2014 Motorcycling Woman of the Year award. I dedicate this win to my husband and children, extended family and my parents, Daniel and Catherine Olin. My parents have been my cheerleaders for the past 40+ years. They’re the reason who I am today. Sadly, my father passed away before the results came in, but I believe he knew the outcome.
In closing, I would like to thank you, the members, for continuing to use ChopCult on a daily basis. ChopCult’s membership has seen an increase this year, which tells me we are doing things right. To every follower out there, if you like what you see here or on social media, become a member and enjoy the finer side of life.
We would like to wish you the very best for 2015!
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