Billdozer, Chris Collins and I popped our Empire State chopper cherries on the first Gypsy Run in 2007. That event was much more than a garden variety scooter rally from the Garden State to the Big Apple--it was the catalyst that bound a band of misfits together like few other events of its kind. Next week those brothers, led by head Gypsy Runner Walter Gemeinhardt, will gather in New Jersey for the third installment of this East Coast tradition. Because events like the Gypsy Run wouldn't be possible without guys like Walt at the helm, props seem in order.
Gypsy Run sergeant-at-arms, GM, CFO , whipping boy and President Walter Gemeinhardt at last April's Biltwell Bash in Temecula, CA
The DIY ethos runs thick in the veins of most motorcycle addicts, but few more so than in Walter Gemeinhardt. The brains behind Kickstart Cycles and the brawn behind John Cougar Mellencamp's stage show already had a lot on his plate when the opportunity to take over the Gypsy Run materialized in 2007. Walt's version of the 2008 Gypsy Run set a highwater mark for underground chopper fun on the east coast, and this year's event promises even more motorized mayhem.
Beating The Bushes
As everyone in the business of promoting pleasure can attest, the Internet has made throwing hoedowns like the EDR, Sumo's Tipple Run and this week's Gypsy Run III a whole lot easier. Of course, Walt has done a great job of using his blog and this website to give his participants and sponsors the most bang for their time and buck.
Do It Your Damn Self
Walt's Gypsy Run website and event thread illustrate the volume and intensity of advance communication and planning required to host a successful event. Follow Walt's model and anyone with similar gumption and foresight can and should be able to throw an event like the Gypsy Run on their own turf. Things like the ChopCult event calendar in the community make doing this easy. Remember: it's your scene. If you want it to kick ass, you need to take the bull by the horns.
Billdozer and others will be documenting the hijinx during the Gypsy Run this weekend, and I'm sure a few hundred others will post photos and feedback on the Gypsy Run thread after the dust settles. To everyone who sacked up for this weekend's ride, good luck and have fun!