11-17-13 – When I arrived at the Angel City Spring Rally on Wednesday there were already quite a few people setup. I rolled around slowly looking for my version of the perfect tent spot. I found one that I liked and claimed my grounds. It was hot as all heck that day and I was pouring sweat. I setup the tent right away with all my luxuries (that’s a joke – insert laugh). I used my bungees to stretch from one tree to the other for my clothes and towels; I set my solar shower up in a tree, and then proceeded to the town grocery for supplies. I got my breakfast and dinner supplies and beverage supplies. Now I have no need to buy rally food or beers. The beers were all $2 at Angel City so they were quite reasonable. I just don’t prefer beer.
Had to do a little client work when I got there. Thank goodness for my AT&T MiFi.
The way Angel City is setup reminds me of an old western town. It’s shaped like a plus sign with the grand stage in the center and an L shaped building on all four sides. There’s a one-way path going around this little center if you will where the bikers make their parade around and then park to enjoy the festivities. There are several bands each day, motorcycle games, lovely lady contests, great store front vendors and tent vendors. This is one of the things I thought was really cool is how the vendors are set inside the store fronts, very few tent vendors. Their stuff was locked and secure and again, it made for a town appearance.
Wednesday I watched one band and then went back to my tent to make my chicken because I was starving. My 3 neighbors had 1 tent and 1 pop-up. They were relaxing by their fire when I was making my dinner. They offered for me to sit by their fire after I ate and so I did just that. Everybody had just finished dinner and was enjoying a cold beverage after a very hot day. We all exchanged brief background and history and soon I decided to go back and enjoy the night life. The wet t-shirt contest came up but I have to say, the t-shirts weren’t wet and they were big black shirts.
I walked around and from the entire center you can hear the band, so it’s awesome… anyway I walked around and I scoped out a few things that caught my eye previously. I made some small talk with a few folks in and out of stores. At one point I sat down to enjoy my drink and listen to the band up close, when I noticed a couple older than myself that were really cuttin’ a rug. He’s kind of a bigger dude and she’s a little tiny thing. As I later learned, Vick and Vicky have been married 7 months and he tosses her around like you gotta see to believe. Over the weekend I ran into Vick and Vicky several times and really enjoyed hanging out with them and hearing their story. A really great couple – see you for Thunder Beach 😉
Thursday I rose rather early because the dern bikers just have to rev their engines at the butt crack of dawn. Argh! I made a very good breakfast and took my biker shower using my solar water container. The girl next to me laughed because they used theirs mostly for washing hands and dishes, I used mine for shower and all that. The shower house was just too far for my liking that early in the morning, but I knew that based on where I wanted my tent so I was good with it.
I went to the center and milled around for a bit, ordered an iced tea and listened to the first band. I sat on my phone in the shade posting an article on my blog I found about lady riders growing in number and I posted Thinking Thursday on my ULRB site which happened to be about staying cool and hydrated (topic drawn from the prior days hot ride to Unadilla, GA). During my tooling around Angel City, I ran into a vendor that has a material he uses to create do rags, bandannas, and long towels that you wet, wear, and keep cool for any type of outdoor activity. I revisited that vendor and had him record a demo video to show me his product. As it turns out, in exchanging stories, I am now hosting and designing his website. www.coolridergear.com – The site is under construction at the time of this posting.
Well throughout the day, I made my way into every vendor, chatted it up with dozens of bikers around the rally, and starting seeing repeat people over and again. Towards the evening time, I started to get people that would flag me down or pull me aside and have me repeat my story to a spouse or friend. Once the evening starts approaching and folks have had their dinner, the bikes start rolling into the center to line up for the evening festivities. I had found myself a place to park my bike early on that gave me a perfect view of the stage. I sat on my bike for a while just listening to southern rock and occasionally talking again to somebody that heard something about what I was doing.
I do enjoy being by myself a lot of the time. It gives me the freedom to approach my goals and desires in my own way, in a way that I need not worry about other people’s agendas. For this reason, rallies are a great time for me. I meet great folks that I hang out with or go my separate way. I met a lot of folks in the short time I has at Angel City up until Thursday night.
And then it happened, the Buns contest was next in line for entertainment. Many of my new found friends (guys and girls alike) dern near carried me to the stage and so I figured I had at least a few fans, why not give it a try. I was the oldest on the stage for this particular contest, but certainly didn’t feel like it. As it turns out I was 3rd which did not come with prize money, however after the contest was over a ton more folks approached me at my bike and from what I figure, others in the crowd had spread the word. I answered a ton of questions about my journey, what I do for a living and general curiosity questions that came along with the inquiry. By the time the night was over I had received $125 in donations from bikers that were overjoyed, concerned, and jealous; thank you all.
I headed back to my tent and joined my neighbors for a night cap by the fire, okay maybe several night caps by the fire. We knew the next day was going to be a bust so we were living large for the moment. I already knew going into this that Friday was calling for some pretty nasty storms. But… I had already paid for my entry and tent spot and 1 bad day out of 5 can’t be all bad right? Well, the rains were moderate to heavy and the wind whipped around terribly for a few hours. There was a little break during the day and went up to the center to scope things out. The grounds were a disgusting red muddy mess and the air was a bit cool.
I had been watching the work that came out of one of the tattoo shops and decided to go have a chat with a guy I watched a few times. An idea I had brewing in my brain for a while was eating at me and with the help of others, I thought I’d solidify this idea in ink. You see, motorcycling has always been “in” me, but I let it sit on the back burner for way too long. With any passion that truly has a hold of your soul; it will rip its way to the surface eventually. And thus, the sprocket ripping out of my arm with THE BROAD on it.
When I originally posted this on The BROAD FB page, I got about 2-3 comments regarding this ‘frivolous’ spending of cash, especially considering the donations from the night before. I suppose there is some merit to the argument, and yes that $55 could’ve bought 4 tanks of gas, or even food for a few days, but I don’t think folks truly gave the notion and concept its full due. Nor do they really understand me or what this journey means to me. I think it’s safe to say at this point, I have tried, I have succeeded so far, and from here, there is no failure, just hitches in the plan. And also at this point, you can believe that this journey will live with me forever, just like my ink. Thanks to Mr. Bill, not only did I get a great discount on my ink, but he’s giving me a job when I get to Sturgis, so you see – taking a risk is the only way you’ll get farther than you are today.
Once the rain kicked up again, I grabbed a slice of pizza because I clearly couldn’t get my grill going in that mess, then I returned to my tent. Please Hold … It’s About to Get Exciting… I took a Nap!! HaHaHa
After a couple hours of napping and playing my Words with Friends game, I emerged and the rain was light. I visited my neighbors and sat inside their pop-up for a while. Later in the evening we went back up to see the bands but called it an early night. Everything was just icky and muddy. Saturday morning, I spent some time doing laundry and cleaning out my tent. My cool neighbors were heading out and I was sad to see them go, but I’ll be finding them again soon in North Georgia. After they left, I went back to the center and connected with Vick and Vicky. The sun was hot again and the grounds were being cleaned up fast and well. Angel City did a great job bringing in fill and making the biker paths safe and clear.
I spent some time Saturday talking to Bill of Cool Rider Gear about the website we were going to design and some other marketing strategies to get his new business off with a bang. I had a great meal of all my leftover goods since I’d be leaving the next morning. I met my new neighbors, young folks, would’ve been perfect for my son. Nice kids having fun on their Harley’s. It was interesting to listen to them talk about their Dads and Uncles that have ridden and how they have recently gotten into the street bikes and rallies. We all agreed it’s a different kind of community! A great community!
I can truly say that the Angel City Spring Rally was one heck of a good time. I would for sure put this on my calendar rally for future years.
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