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Rocks Rockingham, North Carolina

By the Stealth, with photos by the lovely Vickie, Prince Najar and Mike Allen

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It was that time of year again when THE HORSE SMOKE-OUT storms into Rockingworld, North Carolina like a freight train on fire. The weather was perfect, sunshine 82 degrees and no humidity (which is rare). Perfect!

This year The Smoke-Out was damn special for me. My son, Zach, bought a bike last November. We left the wives at home. I have been working with him with his riding and I have to say I was impressed with his skills! This was our first real trip together, so I had my eye in the mirror on the way to Rockingham.

Zach, was amazed at what he saw, especially the painted ladies! They were taking up “TIPS FOR TITTIES.” And he said he would give them $2 if he could touch them? I guess a little of me rubbed off on him!

The Smoke Out remains my favorite event. Edge and The Horse crew do an outstanding job each year with this event. So, what do I like the best? No BIG wheel baggers with 20 speakers blaring!

Old school rules at the Smoke Out. Flatheads, Knuckleheads, Panheads, Shovelheads, Evos, and a hand full of Twin cams packed the grounds. These guys at the Smoke-Out don’t believe in windshields, fairings and most do not run saddlebags. You will spot bedrolls and travel bags strapped to sissybars and handlebars. Most of the Smoke Out riders believe, “if it doesn’t fit in your pocket, leave it at home!”

The Smoke Out for me is the way it’s supposed to be. Pure, simple and fun, nothing extra! The bikes at the Smoke-Out are as unique as their owners. Each bike has a personality.

They are built with heart and soul. Most of these bikes are garage built by their owners. They beat everything they have into each rusty fastener, and I am not talking about money! I am talking about their heart and soul reflected in each weld, old find, or paint job. All the late nights, all the planning, all the last minute changes, all the hours in the garage all come together at the Smoke Out in the bikes you see.

Another thing I like about the Smoke Out are the folks. They are REAL! They’re not flashing everyone on how much money they spent on their bikes. They are standing in the dirt and heat because they LOVE custom bikes, rock ‘n’ roll and the wild characters, who ride this shit!

The Chop Off Winner, from Speed King by Jeff Cochran the classic chop master.
The Chop Off Winner, from Speed King by Jeff Cochran the classic chop master.

I love just sitting back and watching the parade of bikes at the Smoke-Out, the sound of open belt drives, open drag pipes, and girls with open shirt. It’s good for the soul, well my soul anyway!

The Smoke Out is the place for rigid frames, chains and flames. It’s the only place on the planet where once a year painted ladies, white-lightening, mini-bike races, burn-outs, wet t-shirts, southern rock, and shit too wild to describe. It’s the motorcycle Burning Man.

I also hooked up with old friends. I ran across my pal Ben Jordan, one of the finest bike builders you will ever find and my buddy Rusty Nash, one of the best painters around. He painted Bandit’s Indian.

Make plans for Smoke-Out 18, you won’t be sorry! You will be sorry if you miss it…

Until next time, ride!

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