It's no secret that many ChopCult readers dig three things over all else: riding, attending grassroots events, and Sportsters. One event that caters to all three is the Bastard Bash. We got in touch with Bastard Bash organizer Rob Taylor to see what's up for 2011. Here's what he had to say.
“Bikes are meant to be ridden”" and “the best things in life are free" are two tired old cliché’s that until a few short years ago seemed to be very much at odds with the goings-on at many high-profile “chopper” events. Frequently held within the gated confines of some parking lot or fairground and burdened with distractions like mechanical bull riding, over-the-top theme bikes, and row upon row of trinket vendors, these events too frequently seemed more concerned with selling five buck beers and commemorative gee-gaws than with riding and customizing.
It was shortly after such an event when the seeds of the first Bastard Bash were sown among a group of friends with a passion for garage-built Sportsters. Having grown tired of attending over-hyped and overpriced events, we elected to skip the tradition of attending someone else’s party and throw one of our own.
Low-key and cheap became the watchwords in planning the first Bastard Bashes in Ohio and Texas, and that ethos is still in effect today. This year’s event will once again take place at Deals’s Gap, just south of the Tennessee/North Carolina border and on the tail of the “Dragon," a stretch of US Highway 129 famous for its 318 curves in a twisty, 11-mile stretch through the mountains, itself only a small part of the thousands of miles of secluded roads in the area.
Last year’s gathering at Deal’s Gap was noteworthy because the casual observer was hard-pressed to realize that an “event” of any sort was in progress at all. After riding hundreds of miles of prime pavement, hundreds of Sportster freaks in groups big and small dropped kickstands and cracked beers to the sound of spinning wrenches, tall tales and the chirping of cicadas in the distance. The generosity of our event sponsors insured that a ten-dollar raffle ticket provided not only unlimited beer for the entire weekend, but that everyone in attendance received generous amounts of free product. The fun wasn’t confined to just the Sportster riders, however, as several sportbikers in the area stumbled upon the party and opted to share in the revelry. The highlight of the final night was most definitely the Haints-led hellfire-and-brimstone reading and subsequent sacrificial immolation of the Dark Customs handbook before the scores of worn-out riders retired to their rooms and tents before a final day of riding.
This year’s event is already shaping up to be another memorable one. While our focus in on sharing the joy of riding home-built, Sportster-powered motorcycles, all bikes and riders are welcome and encouraged to attend.
For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out the event webpage for the most current information and inspiration at bastardbash.blogspot.com.