On Friday afternoon they start arriving in dribs and drabs from around the southwest: people sneaking away from the office, the factory, the courthouse, the city. They ride American and foreign, sport and touring, big and small, plain factory and exotic custom motorcycles. Men, women, boys, girls all roll into town for the event of the month known as Palm Springs Bike and Hotrod Weekend.
But wait! Didn’t I see someone arrive driving an SUV? Didn’t he get out all dressed up in biker duds, bandana and dark glasses and walk on down the street with his chest stuck out? Was that his kid dressed in an identical costume?
All right, it is almost Hallowe’en, but this is getting ridiculous.
Some trailer their bikes to this event, sometimes for thousands of miles. Winter weather, distance, injuries, timelines all contribute to this phenomenon.
Some are known to trailer their bike from a neighboring town, and, a mile or two down the road, roll it off of the trailer to ride downtown. Several hours or days later, the trailer will be loaded up and hauled home, to sit for one more year. After all, one doesn’t want to get too many miles on that custom paint job.
Walk around the event and discover the booths to buy t-shirts, caps, leather jackets, chaps, motorcycle parts, motorcycles, trailers and an array of various and sundry items unimaginable to the non-motorcycle crowd. The red and white alone have at least three booths competing for the yokel’s dollar.
Bring a chair, find yourself some PVA and you’ll have the most fun ever if you’re a people-watcher. You’ll be impressed with the pig-iron riding by, astounded by the costumes and enthralled with the women.
You’ll also be surprised at the large number of older men who have been accompanied by their daughters.
To the two riders on big-bore customs riding 283 to Idyllwild on Friday afternoon: when you pass the old boy loping along on the red bagger, you’d better be able to ride out in front, or get out of the way — which, thankfully, you did.