Meet Jamie and Megan. Just your average Nordeast couple, dressed up in their party clothes for the Bearded Lady Freakshow.
Sure. Nice young folks, just rambling around, until they find a dark secluded corner somewhere… Then I’ll bet they flash-mate like a pair of weasels in heat!
What!? Motorcycles, you say? Oh, yeah… now that you mention it, there were a few motorbikes buzzing and rumbling about!
Focus, Gary… focus. Okay.
Scott Montour rode in on his brilliant green Kawasaki, for instance. There seems to be a movement afoot to put these old Mad Max bikes back on the street, with some modern hardware to bring them up-to-date.
Scott’s bike sports a ZX6 front end, and a Dyna 2000 ignition, among other mods, and he just finished the paint job in time for the show.
Scooters showed up in abundance, as well. There were some really nice examples of well-ridden vintage Vespas.
Kevin Kocur, from Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, was rockin’ his old P200. Now I know where they got the “Vintage Red” color for my own GTS.
But, I thought Mods were supposed to be stylish! What happened, Kevin? Have you been camping out in the parking lot long? You should really ask Victor for a raise…
Music was provided by a band called “The Brass Kings”. They really helped set the tone of the event, and played from an extensive repertoire.
I was most impressed with that old-school washtub bass and… what kind of guitar is that, anyway? Haven’t I seen that on an old LP cover somewhere?
These guys rocked, in their own subtle way, without overpowering the conversations taking place all over the lot. Some bands try to make up in volume what they lack in talent. Not the Brass Kings. These guys are a class act, all the way.
Rose and I had arrived early, while the crowd and the amount of bikes were relatively manageable. I can only imagine what it was like as the day wore on. Bikes were pouring in the whole time we were there. I was wondering if any of the vintage Cafe Racers were going to show up.
Then I spotted Elmer.
This guy rode up on his immaculate 1976 Triumph Bonneville. But the way he was dressed was all wrong. Wearing my Ace Cafe jacket, I would have looked more at home on his bike, and he on my scooter. Then I realized we have something very profound in common.
Stay with me here…
You see, I have become more and more amused lately by how seriously people in the various moto-tribes take their respective “images”. If you ride bike X, then you have to dress in the Bike X Uniform. And you have to live the Bike X Lifestyle ™.
It’s all about playing the part of some kind of fictional hero, during your so-called freetime, to make up for the banality of Real Life in the Modern World. But the more I see of all this posing and pretense, the less seriously I take it.
During our very short conversation, I had an epiphany: I dress like a Rocker, but was riding a scooter, like a Mod. Elmer was dressed as a Mod, but was riding a Rocker bike.
Rocker-Mods? Mod-Rockers? Split the difference… call us “Mockers”!
We ride what we want, dress how we like, and laugh at those who scowl. Why not? Life is too short to live by arbitrary rules dreamed up by strangers.
Laws are different… they have Teeth.
But nobody is going to tell me what to wear or what to ride, just so I can come and hang out with them. The Marine Corps burned all that conformity crap right out of me, many years ago. Nowadays, I do what I want.
That was when the whole spirit of this Bearded Lady thing started to sink in. Of course! This was a Mocker’s paradise, where stereotypes are shattered, and rules are broken. In this little space, on the edge of a Midwestern Metropolis, all the motorbike freaks could blend with all the other freaks and everybody would just get along, somehow.
What a wonderful concept.