Ride to OCC. Yea, I was impressed
I know I know, OCC? Trailer queens, not practical "riding" bikes,, Senior and Junior drama, made for TV, blah blah blah. But I had a free weekend afternoon (a rarity once my sons ice hockey season starts) so my riding buddy and I saddled up and headed north to check out OCC.
Planning out the trip on Mapquest using the avoid highways and toll roads feature, we had a few possible routes to take, all with nice county and state highways that I knew would make for nice riding. The weather called for a decent morning and early afternoon with the likelihood of afternoon showers but so what. If we made it back before the rain great, if not oh well.
Took two hours to get there with a Dunkin Donuts stop for a warm cup of Joe and the roads and northern Sussex and Orange County scenery wasn't disappointing. I was kind of surprised to see so many people and bikes gathering in OCC's parking lot. I didn't realize it was such an attraction but I guess I should have. After all, everyone was basically doing the same thing I was.
I stepped inside the showroom thinking it would be OK but really, just a reason to get out and ride a bit. Turns out I was wrong. Once inside I have to say, seeing the many display model bikes up and close and in person really made me appreciate the workmanship and creativity that goes into their bikes. The other thing that got me was the tribute bikes. The messages, the support, and especially the shrines made out of those displays by people who visited from all over the country (and Canada and even the UK) who left their own personal mark via perhaps a cap, badge, patch and even a helmet.
The three most notable examples for me are the POW-MIA bike, the Fallen Heros bike, and the NYFD-911 bike. The masterfully done paintwork (I know, not an OCC person but a contracted painter like Nubs), the handcrafted parts of the bike like the fire hydrant carburetor, the oxygen tank oil tank, the 7.62 cal ammo box saddlebags, claymores on rear fender, graphics with the POW-MIA message, the Vietnam War Memorial wall depicted on the rear fender, barbed wire wheels. These were working, functional, high art pieces that send a powerful tribute message to anyone who sees them. I was really awestruck.
I stopped watching the show years ago when the two split but there were more than a few bikes in the showroom that I remember them building. To see them there in person was very cool.
Say what you want about the show, the people, even the practicality of their bikes, but its hard to argue against their creativity and sense of citizenship.
On another lighter note, I remember an episode when Junior and Senior were still together and they had a bike build off between them for some county fair, or sturgis, cant remember what it was. Junior did his usualy amazing theme, modern chopper and senior did an old school bobber styled ride called the Greenie. I remember thinking how much I like that Greenie, very sedate and underdone by OCC standards but actually something you would want to ride. They had one on the floor but sadly, they changed a few things that made it less appealing to me. They replaced the fron with a much steeper raked, blacked out springer system, did floorboards instead of the original pegs, cut the rear fender to half what it originally was. Funny thing is the display plaque showd the original version which I still like much better.
If you are within a few hour ride I can definitely recommend a day trip. There is also a place a block or two away that was a HUGE biker hangout with tons of bikes for sale. Can't remember the name but it looked cool. Didn't stop because by the time we were leaving to head home the skies were threatening and indeed, we did get rained on a little. But it was a great day trip and I'm glad I went there.