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Bikes, Babes and Bandit Barking Orders...

Text By Stealth, Photos by Vicki

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We cut a dusty trail for the Smoke-Out on Friday, June 22nd.  Just before the final bungie cord was snapped into place over my Bandit's bedroll, I had received an urgent message from Sin Wu saying, "Contact the boss (Bandit) a.s.a.p!"  It seems the bastard lost my cell number.  I dropped everything and made the call. 

Bandit answered and wanted to know when I was rolling in.  I gave him my round-about ETA, and he barked, "Call me as soon as you arrive." Vicki and I hauled ass to Rockingham, N. C. come sun-up Friday morning.  I knew something was waiting. Just did not know what?  As soon as I checked in at our motel and unpacked,  I make another call to Bandit. "Report to the stage area and to make it quick, goddammit, and call as soon as you're in position."  We hauled ass to the Rockingham Raceway, and I made another call letting Bandit know I was at the stage where the wet t-shirt contest would rock the night and Edge's kid had the opportunity to play with a rock legend.
While waiting a bleary-eyed Biker stumbled into us. He was trying to fix his swaying trajectory by grabbing onto the edge of the stage, unsuccessfully. "What the fuck," I said and snagged him under the armpit to steady him.
"I had a bad trip," the guy said, leaned against the stage and sighed. His knees buckled like bad U-joints in an old hot rod. "Where am I? I was invited to a housewarming party last night in Charlotte, and a guy offered me apple-flavored white lightening. I never touched the stuff before, but it was smooth, and I drank it like lemonade. I woke up a couple of hours ago in a hospital. I thought I was okay. Where am I?"
"You're at the fuckin' Smoke Out," Bandit said, "Doncha know, one shot of stout White Lightening and your done for the evening!" He pulled me away from the drunk. He handed me a huge bag of Bikernet stuff and said, “Here, make sure ALL of this gets handed out by sundown Saturday, and there's a special bonus for you at the bottom. Treat it with respect, not like him.” 
As soon as I looked in the bag he was gone. I didn't have the slightest notion of what the hell he was talking about.  While leaving, he hollered back and said, “Have your ass back here by 11 in the morning!”  I was left holding the bag?

The rest of Friday afternoon I spent checking out the sites and passing out  Bikernet freebies and bling.  There were already a lot of bitchin' bikes cruising the grounds, but I knew Saturday morning the lot, the camping area, and the vendor rows would be packed  from stem to stern. That's when Vicki would work her magic with the camera.


Saturday morning we jammed back bright and early, roaming the isles with one eye on my trusty watch. I had to meet Bandit at 11 a.m. back at the stage area.  I was like a kid on Christmas morning. The old school bikes were rolling in.  Open primaries were singing their tune and pipes cracked and popped like exhaust bullwhips! Beautiful music indeed!  Being at the Smoke-Out is like being a kid in a candy store. You never know what to look at first.  The Smoke-Out has long been my favorite event, and I only live one-hour away. It's a mandatory run, and the ride through the small towns and rolling hills is a rush.


I glanced at my ticking watch. It was also old school, like most of the v-twin iron at the Smoke Out. The time 11 a.m. approached fast and we knocked people out of the way running for the stage area.  We made it before Bandit rolled up in a golf cart with Prince Najar. 

He quickly laid out the plan for the day, and I peeled out to meet a couple of people. As soon as the Prince dumped Bandit’s ass, he disappeared! We spent a couple of hours telling folks about Bikernet, and then Bandit freed me up for the rest of the day, but I was still lugging the enormous bag around.  It was getting lighter though, as I shoved goodies in folk's hands, whether they wanted 'em or not! It was my mission.

The Smoke-Out is about choppers, old school bikers, and garage built bikes.  It represents the new generation biker culture and it was on full display!  All of the bikes were kick-ass examples of bi-gone chopper eras brought back to like by young bloods. 

You see rigid frames, rear drive chains, open belt primaries, tank shifters, jockey shifters , foot clutches, solo seats, and of course kick starters.  These bikes come with a couple of things you cannot buy at a dealership, HEART and SOUL!  Like the t-shirt says, “If I have to explain, you would not understand.” These bikes and their builders are a tribute to the chopper riders and builders who came before us.
One of the things that grabbed me at this Smoke-Out was the  bitchn’ metric bobbers and choppers.  I saw more of them this year than in previous years.  The home-built craftsman did a GREAT job with these bikes.  Still my favorite bikes are the old Knuckleheads, Panheads, and Shovelheads you see.  I love these bikes!

One thing I forgot to mention was the heat. IT was hot and it made that damned bag feel even heavier, but we found The Carolina Rider Big Bus and jumped in for breaks, cooled in the AC!  There were a couple of half-dressed redheads running around, cooling off, but I keep them a secret, because you know Bandit’s weakness for redheads!


Saturday night rolled around and my bag was nearly empty, except for a brown paper sack in the bottom, containing something very heavy.  I had accomplished my mission by handing out every piece of bling that was in that bag! This was my bonus, and Vickie yanked it out of the bag. "What the hell is this heavy bastard, from the bastard you call a boss," she hollered tearing the soiled paper away from an old Ball jar filled with Maraschino cherries. She anxiously twisted the top until is sprang free, and so did the pungent aroma of white lightening. She reached in quick and popped a soaked sweet cherry in her mouth. "Oh shit," I thought pondering Bandit's words and the stage-drunk story. Could be a harry night.  

Cherries soaked in White Lightening--hang on!
Cherries soaked in White Lightening--hang on!

 Another GREAT SMOKE-OUT!  Edge and The Horse Backstreet Choppers crew did another outstanding job!  It was GREAT seeing Bandit, and I am already looking forward to next year!  See you there!  Edge, how about adding another day on to the event? Oh shit, where's Vicki?

Until next time, RIDE!



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