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The First Biker Wedding Performed at the Intergalactic Headquarters of Bikernet.com

Bikernet first! Their everything!

Written by Bandit - Photo Credits: Beth Ross-Huck, Henry Aparacio, DC Henderson, and so many other friends and family of the bride and groom.
12/1/2016


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A Harley-themed wedding logo sign welcomed an eclectic mix of guests to Keith Ball’s Intergalactic Headquarters for the wedding of Jennifer Thomas to Biker Author Bill Hayes.
A Harley-themed wedding logo sign welcomed an eclectic mix of guests to Keith Ball’s Intergalactic Headquarters for the wedding of Jennifer Thomas to Biker Author Bill Hayes.

 
 
         Biker weddings are like booze: they come in many different flavors, tastes, and strengths. Wild weddings have rocked bars, clubhouses, and campgrounds. Vows have been voiced from sacred passages in Harley shop manuals. Non-traditional nuptials have heated up midnight wilderness bonfires. “Just Hitched” signs are seen strapped to sissy bars on scoots rolling through Sturgis, Daytona, and every other big run. Formal bride’s “dresses” have ranged from lacy thongs straddling P-pads to full-on gowns flowing in the wind of a high-speed two-wheeled “procession.”

Different as they may be, collectively these raucous rites all pack an impact that helps everyone involved to escape the mainstream and the mundane—that ­is a biker wedding.

But as 2016’s steamy summer was coming to an end, one of the coolest—and most unique—biker weddings of all was hosted at the Intergalactic Headquarters of Bikernet.com!

The groom was the loveable and revered—albeit grizzled and rapidly aging—motorcycle culture author Bill Hayes.

The ever-blushing bride—often mistaken for Jennifer Garner during her bloody Alias days or a Terminator-era Linda Hamilton—was award-winning editor and publisher, fifth-degree black belt, and all-around wonder woman Jennifer Thomas.

Together they did what people in this lifestyle do: they “got by with a little help from their friends.” Along with their ties to the cycle world, the couple has strong bonds within the music, martial arts, and creative arts communities—all of whom showed up in force.

The biker blast in all of this was supplied first and foremost by the legendary Keith Ball who graciously lowered the bridge over the dangerous moat surrounding his compound. For the first time in history, common citizens from outside the motorcycling inner circle were able to savor the sights, sounds, and scents of genuine moto-madness in a creative-castle dedicated to the pursuit of fast machines and fun.

Mainstream and everyday sacramental wedding stagings are usually held in environments surrounded by solemnity or church décor. Not here! This special congregation ate, drank, and made merry to a backdrop of neon, rare memorabilia, and vintage and iconic iron such as the Bonneville monster “Assalt Weapan.” 

 
 
No church, gazebo, or Elvis’ed-up Vegas chapel could compare to the cool confines of this chromed-out compound for the perfect biker wedding.
No church, gazebo, or Elvis’ed-up Vegas chapel could compare to the cool confines of this chromed-out compound for the perfect biker wedding.

The all-important soundtrack for the day was generated first by DJ—and former male glamour model for Easyriders’ clothing line—Jon T “Todd” Howard. At least for this day, Todd was fibrillating more lady heartbeats than Justin Bieber and Dolvett Quince put together!

Then for the ceremony, things really got groovy with live tunage supplied by close talented friends and bandmates of Jen and Bill. Everything patriotically began with a Hendrix-Woodstock-style Star-Spangled Banner performed on solo-six-string by a youthful member of the pair’s martial arts family, Ryan Corman, which brought everyone to their feet.

 

 Patriotic echoes of 1969 filled the Intergalactic Headquarters with a Hendrix-style Anthem performed by Ryan Corman.
Patriotic echoes of 1969 filled the Intergalactic Headquarters with a Hendrix-style Anthem performed by Ryan Corman.

 

The rest of the proceedings were rocked by the best chick singers in SoCal, Kara Turner and Debbie Goodman, combined with guitar-slinger Gregory Dean and sax-sensation Glenn Stacey on originals and eclectic covers that left the tequila-sipping (and swilling) crowd of a-hundred-and-fifty-plus in tears and awe. Then brothers Scott and Stuart Sellars sang up a sibling storm that was smoother than the Everlys, the Gibbs, and the Osmonds combined!

 

A cadre of the South Bay’s most talented singers and musicians brought electricity and emotion to an appreciative crowd. (From left to right: Debbie Goodman, Gregory Dean, Stuart and Scott Sellars, Glenn Stacey, Kara Turner, and of course, the “appreciative crowd”!)
A cadre of the South Bay’s most talented singers and musicians brought electricity and emotion to an appreciative crowd. (From left to right: Debbie Goodman, Gregory Dean, Stuart and Scott Sellars, Glenn Stacey, Kara Turner, and of course, the “appreciative crowd”!)

 

Documentary biker filmmaker and all-’round nice guy Jeff Kraus recited the Biker’s Prayer and then introduced the wedding party as they made their way down the stairs…but, wait! It’s here that we need a Home & Garden Television moment: a rich and aptly theatrical description of Ball manor!

These aren’t just any stairs; they are a portal of steep steps with a banister of chrome fishtails and pipes that connect Keith’s magical mezzanine—from whence the wizardry of Bikernet emanates—to the wonder-world that is his giant workshop. The shop is home to even more museum-worthy iron icons and the engineering and fabrication miracles that have made the Bikernet family big wheels at Bonneville and beyond.

 
 
The stairs from the magical mezzanine overlooked the crowd filling the HQ’s Workshop.
The stairs from the magical mezzanine overlooked the crowd filling the HQ’s Workshop.

 

But today those stairs did more than facilitate utilitarian ups and downs, they were the wedding party gateway for the special parts of the very special ceremony—one of which included the savory consumption of Cazul Tequila Reposado Reserva.

The bride’s family provided the perfect vessels for the service.

After honorary niece and nephew, five-year-old twins Olivia and Derek, fulfilled their Ring Bearer roles (with rings attached to black belts in deference to the couple’s shared passion), Jennifer’s nephew came down as the official Salt Bearer. Lime-Bearing duties went to his younger sister. Their mom, sister to the bride, was fittingly designated as Shot Glass Bearer.

 
 
The Ring Bearers had an extra-weighty job: delivering wedding rings affixed to Bill’s and Jennifer’s 6th and 5th degree black belts.
The Ring Bearers had an extra-weighty job: delivering wedding rings affixed to Bill’s and Jennifer’s 6th and 5th degree black belts.

 
 
 
The “Tequila”-backed processional featured the bride’s family as the official Salt Bearer, Lime Bearer, and Shot Glass Bearer.
The “Tequila”-backed processional featured the bride’s family as the official Salt Bearer, Lime Bearer, and Shot Glass Bearer.

 Best Man Dave Tootell formally presented the ceremonial Cazul as the sax delicately played, what else, “Tequila.”

 
 
Biker Filmmaker and All ’Round Nice Guy Jeff Kraus presented Best Man and Reposado Bearer Dave Tootell.
Biker Filmmaker and All ’Round Nice Guy Jeff Kraus presented Best Man and Reposado Bearer Dave Tootell.

  

Maid of Honor Kimberly Freisheim then liltingly descended the stairs to the heartfelt duet of friendship: “For Good” from Wicked.

But, wait! It’s here that we need a Project Runway moment; a rich and aptly theatrical description of the event’s fashion ensembles!! The wedding party was primarily clad in custom leather designed by 5-Ball leather designer Andrew Calogero (www.crankandstroker.com).

The groom wore a black leather “Dirty Cop”–style sleeveless vest with black Jim Morrison–signature “Lizard King” leather pants along with “wimp-stomper” industrial shoes. With a lustful reptilian look, he gazed upward to see his bride emerge from the inner sanctum of the Intergalactic Headquarters and glide sensually down the portal of stairs in fittingly pure-white leather ensemble, consisting of a laced-up-back bustier and rocker-chic pants that would make even P!NK green with envy! Her shimmering chrome & glitter shoes set her high above the masses (as well as her husband-to-be!).

 
 
Bill revved up the crowd with his leathered-up take on the “Lizard King” look.
Bill revved up the crowd with his leathered-up take on the “Lizard King” look.

 
 
 
Bride Jennifer Thomas rocked her white leather custom Calogero creation to cheers from the obviously couture-hip crowd as she glided down the stairs to meet her groom.
Bride Jennifer Thomas rocked her white leather custom Calogero creation to cheers from the obviously couture-hip crowd as she glided down the stairs to meet her groom.

 

Seeing photos on social media, high-profile fashion reporters from coast-to-coast wrote that “Mr. Hayes exuded a rare ruggedness and the perfect post-apocalyptic Mad Max vibe” while “Miss Thomas ‘busted through’ all norms and traditions while setting a sexy table of tasty delights for hungry male eyes and form-fitting food-for-thought for jealous females everywhere.”

At the bottom of the stairs Bill and Jennifer were ushered to a recently degreased bike lift where they were elevated (literally!) above the enthusiastic crowd. The hydraulics were carefully controlled by Mr. Ball himself!

 
 
 
The atmosphere in the Intergalactic Headquarters was hydraulically heightened to the hilt when Keith Ball himself “lifted” the couple above the crowd.
The atmosphere in the Intergalactic Headquarters was hydraulically heightened to the hilt when Keith Ball himself “lifted” the couple above the crowd.

 

Then came the actual legal (and pre-conjugal) coupling, conducted with holy and holistic elegance by the newly-(Internet-)ordained Reverend Julie Lucero. In true biker form, the promises and prophecies ranged from that of a celebrity roast to sincere expressions of love and commitment.After friend Tammy Walkowiak intro’d how the couple met, the deal was sealed by Bill and Jennifer’s fellow black belts (Sally Schweitzer, Elizabeth Corman, Alessia Vittone) from their martial arts studio, Old School Kenpo Karate. A binding of their hands with a ceremonial black belt (presented by longtime student Renee Maxwell) officially made the kick-ass couple husband and wife!

 
 
The newly ordained Julie Lucero officiated the uniquely personalized ceremony with honor, class, and her always-brilliant humor.
The newly ordained Julie Lucero officiated the uniquely personalized ceremony with honor, class, and her always-brilliant humor.

 
 
 
Bill and Jennifer’s Kenpo Karate family played a huge role in their “tying the knot.” After Tammy Walkowiak (left) intro’ed the couple’s kenpo meeting, the “PTP Posse” of kick-ass women black belts performed a ceremonial hand-fasting: Sally Schweitzer (senior black belt, center and far right), Elizabeth Corman (gorgeous brunette, smiling at camera), Alessia Vittone (hottie in a strapless black dress, looking up)
Bill and Jennifer’s Kenpo Karate family played a huge role in their “tying the knot.” After Tammy Walkowiak (left) intro’ed the couple’s kenpo meeting, the “PTP Posse” of kick-ass women black belts performed a ceremonial hand-fasting: Sally Schweitzer (senior black belt, center and far right), Elizabeth Corman (gorgeous brunette, smiling at camera), Alessia Vittone (hottie in a strapless black dress, looking up)

 

Very personal speeches by the Maid of Honor and Best Man about their long relationships with Jen and Bill respectively were topped off by a surprise toast from the Hessians MC’s “Spike.” Spike’s original and sensitive poetry about the couple provided a pastoral interlude akin to walking along the shore at Walden Pond hearing the words of Thoreau whispered in the wind:

“Bill scored a partner with wonderful looks
Who can kick ass at karate and editing books.
So with this much in common, a definite match,
I consider them both to have made a great catch…”

 
 
 
After Jen’s lifelong best friend, Kimberly Freisheim, wowed the crowd with tales of her travels with Jen and the happy couple, Spike poetically urged the thirsty masses: “So now comes the time to raise glasses and beers; to the Bride and Groom, a resounding cheers!”
After Jen’s lifelong best friend, Kimberly Freisheim, wowed the crowd with tales of her travels with Jen and the happy couple, Spike poetically urged the thirsty masses: “So now comes the time to raise glasses and beers; to the Bride and Groom, a resounding cheers!”

 

With each speech, tequila toasts in the couple’s official logo shot glasses were enthusiastically lifted by the crowd and the happy couple.

  
Forget the standard champagne toasts, indeed! This wedding begged for the blissful bang of tequila—salt, lime, and shot glass favors included!
Forget the standard champagne toasts, indeed! This wedding begged for the blissful bang of tequila—salt, lime, and shot glass favors included!

 

B and J then jumped on their bad-black-’n’-chrome FatBoy and powered out of the compound as, yes, more glasses were raised and Scott and Stuart kicked off the reception with “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”

 
 
The perfect celebration of the perfect marriage: riding off on a timeless V-Twin.
The perfect celebration of the perfect marriage: riding off on a timeless V-Twin.

 

By the time that universal clock hit the happy hour two days later; the newlyweds had traded their leathers for tropical garb and were drinking on a sunny beach in the Dominican Republic. With rum in hand, they were basking and giving thanks to Keith Ball for his over-and-above hospitality and to all who made their wild wedding the true essence of real and sincere brotherhood and love!

 
 
 

 

 

Photo Credits:

Photo Credits: Beth Ross-Huck, Henry Aparacio, DC Henderson, and so many other friends and family of the bride and groom. We thank you all!


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Reader Comments


Congratulations to Jennifer and Bill. What a neat couple. I met Bill at the H-D Museum when he presented a history of the Booze Fighters MC there. Cool guy, great musician, outstanding writer and proud to include him on my friends list.

I wish him and Jennifer the best in the world. Getting married at Bikernet headquarters had to be up and beyond special. I'm not sure if I would have trusted Bandit to operate the bike lift though, given Tequila was involved.

Tony Pan Sanfelipo
Milwaukee, WI
Monday, December 05, 2016
Editor Response Dangerous times...
--Bandit
For bikers, life just seems to have exponentially more special moments; but this one, for my wife, Wings2Fly & me, EzJ, will sit at the top of our list 'til the day we pass on to our Heavenly reward.

Many thanks to the Pope (Keith Ball) for opening his Vatican (home/museum/shop/office) to Press & Jen's & their circle to celebrate their joy.

Jeff Kraus
Torrance, CA
Friday, December 02, 2016
Editor Response You did a helluva job at master of ceremonies.
--Bandit
This was an event that I will never forget! A huge THANKS to Bill and Jennifer for letting me have a part in this and a big THANKS to brother Keith Ball for opening up the Intergalactic HQ, (AKA...Vatican), for this very unique event!

Truly one for the books!

Dave "Easy" Tootell
Coos Bay, OR
Friday, December 02, 2016

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