It was the morning of the Easyriders Bike Show Tour. For the last three years, I had attended this event. However, last year’s Charlotte tour was not the best, so I was a little skeptical this year’s show would be any better. When I saw that the venue had been moved, there was a feeling of renewed optimism within me.
January 26th, the alarm gently, very gently, reminds me it’s time to get up and face a bike ride to Charlotte. It’s dark. Oh yeah, I can’t turn the lights on because it upsets the wife.
With my legs hanging from the side of the bed, I sit there a few minutes to get myself together. Running my feet along the carpet, I find my ‘ghetto’ shorts and slip them on as I’m walking towards the kitchen for that first cup of Joe. Ok Mickey Spillane I’m not, it was Folgers ok?!
Gently lowering myself in my recliner, I could hear the bubbling noise of the water running through the coffee maker. My mind now somewhat alert, I’m thinking about the Easyriders Bike Show tour that I’ll be riding BJ too this morning. My thoughts are interrupted by little dog feet clicking across the ceramic floor in the kitchen heading my way. That could only mean one thing.
Mitzi, the owner of the little clicking dog feet, was standing on her hind legs looking at me with big brown eyes waiting for our morning walk. Oh, I was so ready for it…NOT. But the coffee g*d was with me, and the pot had finished brewing. With cup in hand, Mitzi and I head out the door for her morning constitutional.
Our morning walk quickly reminded me it would be a cold ride to Charlotte. With Mitzi on auto walk, my thoughts turned to get my things together for the day’s event.
Mitzi fed and back in bed, I gather my things to take and wear to Charlotte. Camera, check. Extra batteries, check. Freeze-outs (long johns on steroids) check. Did I mention it was 30 degrees? Chaps, check. Phone charger, check. Phone check. BJ loaded, I slowly back out of the garage, clearing any thoughts of feeling cold from my head. LET’S DO THIS!
The ride up I-77 was uneventful, and my electric gloves were worth the purchase price and freeze-outs are my friend, but my right chaps leg kept unzipping. Nothing a little duct tape couldn’t fix. Next stop, Park Expo and Conference Center.
After pulling into the parking lot, I was happy to see a ‘Bikes Only’ parking section that was near the door. Once inside, I saw that this one venue was actually three venues in one. The 104,000 sq.ft. Liberty room was the main venue. That is, the stage, motorcycles, and vendor booths were here. The Independence and Freedom room housed the cars and older motorcycles.
My feelings of optimism were not disappointed! The three distinct sections of this year’s Easyriders Bike Show Tour organized the event to a level that everyone could appreciate.
Now, where is the Carolina Chrome booth? Carolina Chrome’s senior photographer, Vici Amanti, had invited me to stop by and visit her and the Chrome Babes! What a way to start the show. So, I’m walking around the Freedom room and see no signs of the Carolina Chrome booth. I then search in the Independence room and still no sign of the booth.
By now I’m getting tired and need to sit down. So, I head towards the café to sit a while when I realize the Liberty room would be the last chance to find Vici and the babes and I would call off the search. Seeing one of the Chrome photographers, he guided me to the booth where Vici and the babes were. At last!
Now I’m ready to take pictures! Reaching in my pocket to retrieve my phone, it’s not there! Wait, where’s my phone. Now I don’t have to tell any smartphone enthusiast the sinking feeling that settles in your stomach. I search my brain where I could have possibly lost it. Nothing. No clue. Nada, Zilch. Looks like it’s the Canon Powershot and me.
After a gratifying day of shooting Easyriders, I head home, in the dark, and cold. Did I mention I don’t like riding at night? Oh, by the way, I had left my phone on the kitchen table. Needless to say, I was relieved. So much more to tell about the show, but my allotted space has run out. Coming soon to a Carolina Cycles E-blast newsletter, Stories From the Road e-zine. Check it out for more on the Easyriders Bike Show Tour!