Before bits and bytes and the blogosphere, artists shaped the culture of choppers with torches, grinders, paint and vision. One such craftsman was legendary Easyriders' contributor David Mann. Mr. Mann's visual allegories on American society and the saddle tramp's place in it were regular features in this once profound publication. Even after his untimely passing, David's eye for "the lifestyle" remains the blueprint for legions of men and machines who ride America's backroads with purpose and freedom.
SoCal motorcycle fanatics gathered at the Ventura Country Fairgrounds early December to celebrate this American artist and to ogle the custom bikes his paintings have helped inspire. The combination of perfect weather, good friends, great motorcycles and the spirit of the holiday season makes this event special, and this year was no exception. Cool vendors hawked holiday baubles and old bike tidbits while cool cats on crusty iron made their entrance on the ribbon of pavement that runs through the length of the venue. Given its proximity to Christmas, the David Mann Chopperfest is a spectacle that could only happen in Southern California. There's too much snow on the ground at other bastions of biker goodness to support a scene like this.
Thanks to the promotors and vendors who keep the DMCF thriving and fun. Congratulations to the bike show winners, and props to the magazine editors who turn their back on family responsibilities three weeks before Christmas to give this event the exposure it deserves.