It’s pretty awesome to watch any event come together and become successful. The recent Mama Tried Motorcycle Show proved that people aren’t afraid of Milwaukee’s sub-zero winter weather for a good time. Watching Mama Tried go down via social media was hard to swallow last year, so I asked the owners if I could attend this year. They graciously accepted and off I went. I left warm sunny California on Friday and wound up in a scene from the movie Frozen. The winter air hit my lungs and I wondered why in the hell people want to live here. Yes, I’m originally for the East Coast, but years of warmer climate weather has thinned out the old blood stream. I couldn’t gather my luggage quickly enough and began the task of applying layers. I didn’t care if I looked like a wuss, this shit was cold. I quickly settled into my hotel and reached out to the event coordinator, Maureen Post, to see if press was allowed to attend set up. Some folks don’t allow extras at set up due to security issues but Warren Heir, Scott Johnson, and Maureen welcomed me with open arms. I spent a couple of hours photographing and greeted familiar faces along the way.
Warren, Scott, and Maureen, a.k.a "The Dynamic Trio", have a very mellow and lovable vibe about them. They dealt with every shipment and builder perfectly, and within a few hours the show began to take shape. The old factory building was a great setting for the show. The bottom floor contained custom motorcycles from well-known builders around the United States, a well-stocked bar, and Michael Revolt’s photography. Mikey’s area brought me joy as it was great to see him get the attention he so rightly deserves. The old wooden elevator was very busy as the vendors, sponsors, tattoo artists, and builders used it to move their gear upstairs. The two floors were jam-packed with awesomeness, which, at times, was total sensory overload.
The only scheduled meeting I had was with Jake Krause of Harley-Davidson. It was surreal to walk around Harley-Davidson’s headquarters and hear Jake’s commentary about the company. We’re currently working on some ideas that should benefit the members soon, but more on that later. A few hours flew by and before I knew it I was heading back to the show. I wanted to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum, so Jake kindly drove me to the museum. I didn’t realize that I missed an “official” press tour at the Harley-Davidson Museum but I was happy to enjoy the museum by myself. Every room contained vintage motorcycles and artifacts from the past 100 years of the company. To actually watch a small company start from “The Shed” to where it stands today is impressive to say the least. I will say that if you’re ever in Milwaukee you should visit the museum; it’s the best twenty bucks I ever spent.
The Mama Tried Motorcycle Show welcomed over 9,000 guests during the two day event. Saturday was packed from open to close, and Sunday was more laid back as most attended the ice races. It was great to see Ashley Pierce, Brian and Mary Elliot, Pat and Jen Patterson, Kevin Baas, Jeremy Pedersen, Tim Anding, Josh Kurpius, Heyltje Rose Bond, Chris Callen, the Cycle Source crew, and my mentor, Marilyn Stemp. It really felt like a Limpnickie Lot reunion at times; great friends catching up over a few cold PBRs.
I was fortunate to meet many ChopCult members and followers. Your words and accolades were a breath of fresh air and I appreciate everyone who took the time to speak to me. Milwaukee resident, Michael Rasmussen, contacted me after the show to see if I would be interested in checking out his imagery. I gladly accepted and was thrilled that he braved the cold to cover the ice racing as well. I couldn’t attend the races, as I was still recovering from pneumonia. Hopefully, I’ll be healthier next year to enjoy them. Those guys are crazy!
Photos by Michael Rasmussen of Bombs Away Photography
We would like to thank Warren, Scott and Maureen for their hospitality. Be sure to follow Mama Tried on Instagram for updates. We'd also like to welcome Michael to the ChopCult family, and look forward to working with him. Please give Michael a follow on Instagram as well, Thanks!