Friday, September 09, 2016


Brian Bent and his magnificent Hot Rod Church of Sinners mascot car...
The Southsiders MC have been organizing rides in Biarritz/the Pyrenees/Spain since 2009, when we made up a baker's dozen for a few days riding on vintage machines.  I'd met Vincent Prat at the Legend of the Motorcycle Concours in Half Moon Bay in 2008, and he'd invited me to come ride with his friends in France. With exceptional riding roads, little traffic, and terrific Basque food, our merry band of vintagents had found a perfect combination of company and environment. 
Most of the crew who came out for a ride in the Central Coast of California.  The usual August fires were 30 miles away, and lent a golden haze to the light
The event was repeated the next year, and the next, growing with each iteration; by 2011,  the Southsiders added a party in Toulouse to the ride, with an art exhibit and music, which was the prototype for Wheels&Waves, which began in June 2012 in Biarritz.  That little ride with a dozen of us is now an event with 15,000 attendees, still with the ride in the mountains, and other fun in the region, like the Punk's Peak hillclimb/sprint, and now a flattrack race in Spain, along with the ArtRide exhibit, and music at the central 'village' at the Cité de l'Ocean in Biarritz.  It's a terrific mix of moto-centric fun, and a unique mix of the vintage, custom, chopper, surf, race, and skate scenes.
Go Takamine's Indian Chout - a Chief motor in a Scout chassis.  He said it took him 4 months of 'no sleep' to built it...
What does this have to do with The Vintagent?  It's a strategy: one-make vintage motorcycle clubs, and groups like the VMCC and AMCA, have an aging membership, and their members/boards lament and fret on how to interest younger riders in old machines.  Younger riders are in fact already interested in old machines - alt.custom sites like Pipeburn and BikeExif feature plenty - but aren't interested in hanging around a boring bike club.    A mix of old an new machines is happening organically at events like the BikeShed and Wheels&Waves; what better place to fan the interest of younger riders than to bring old bikes, and ride them in the mix at cool events?
Scotty Topnik's Shovelhead chopper at the Cayucos Skate Park; a natural combination, give how many recent chopper converts are/were serious skaters...
To support this concept, TheVintagent partnered with the Southsiders MC last month to host Wheels&Waves Cayucos, a low-key flag-planting on American soil of a great event.  A few friends were invited to the Swallow Creek Ranch for 2 days of riding through the Central Coast hills, and an opportunity to hang out without distraction.  Our mascot for the event was Richard Vincent, who raced Velocettes and Triumphs in Santa Barbara in the early 1960s, and surfed in the area too.  Richard brought his vintage surfboards, Velocette dirt racers, and a bunch of photographs from his racing/surfing days.  Susan and I shot MotoTintypes with our Wet Plate Van, and portraits of a few friends, which I'm sharing here, along with a few of my iPhone shots.  Stay tuned for next year's event!
The 'Hardley' from Revival Cycles beside an astounding grain elevator in Templeton, built entirely of stacked 2x6" boards!
Jalika and Alp Sungurtekin relax with their pup.  Alp brought his 172mph pre-unit Triumph land speed record bike
Jeanette Mekdara and her Triumph Bonneville
A few of the ladies chill out by Swallow Creek barn
Yours truly with my 1960 Velocette Clubman, and the very brave Suzie Heartbreak
Revival Cycle's fantastic Velocette-Rickman custom
Polo Garat, a Southsider over from France, on a borrowed Velo...
Conrad Leach and Matt Davis hanging around Brian Bent's hot rod... (MotoTintype)
Birds of prey circled the skies...even a rare Falcon was sighted.  It was great to see Ian Barry on the road again.  (MotoTintype)
Dean Micetich making it all look easy on his Panhead chopper  (MotoTintype)
Ana Llorente rode her Honda CB450 Black Bomber  (MotoTintype)
The ladies of the Southsiders MC are not to be messed with  (MotoTintype)
Those wild men from Revival Cycles - Alan Stulberg and Stefan Hertl  (MotoTintype)
Roland Sands brought his cool Servi-Car based flat track racer  (MotoTintype)
The Southsiders MC.  (MotoTintype)
Photographer Travis Shinn with Roland's H-D.  (MotoTintype)
There were waves, there were wheels.  These vintage surfboards belong to Richard Vincent, who displayed them along with his racing Velocettes, and photos from his racing/surfing days in the early 1960s.   The Southsiders MC - Julien Azé, Jérome Allé, and Vincent Prat - were happy to pose with them...  (MotoTintype)


David Blasco said...

I know nothing about it personally but recently came across this National Geographic article on Autochrome photography (using potato starch to make color photos) and I wondered if you have considered trying it?

All best,

David in Fort Lauderdale

GuitarSlinger said...

Its a great idea and I hope it works out .. turning into a viable event as W&W's has . But the question is .. can our [ US ] motorcycle culture ..or to be more to the point .. lack thereof ... generate the kind of numbers and interest that W&W's has ?

Add in the additional spanner of the ever escalating prices of classic bikes .. cities across the world banning pre emissions era bikes on their roads [ with CA contemplating banning them from all public roads entirely ] and ...

....Hmmm . A question possibly worth pursuing but ... its going to be a costly pursuit I'm afraid especially if it doesn't pan [ pun intended ] out in the end . Rots o' ruck though . I'm behind the idea even if it does fall flat

OcchioLungo said...

I don't agree with your comment that there is a lack of motorcycle culture in the US. Here in CA, there are old bike events almost every weekend, with some months completely double booked. As long as it is scheduled well, I'm sure W&W can become as large as organizers want it to be. (A better questions is how big do they want it to become?).

Grandpa Jimbo said...

I wish I'd known about the ride. I'd a brought my Venom and my scuzzy costume. Seriously, was this an open ride or just personal friends. I may have acquired a gimp leg but I can still kick over my Velo.
And I must say, your tin type technique has improved in quantum leaps!!
ex prez VOCNA, Jim

john S said...

I hope the motorcycle culture that is building at wheels and waves stays over there. The folks who like old bikes that I am around, could care less about what fashion they are wearing, or how trendy they look, or how this scarf will go with these leathers. It should be about the bikes, there history, and a lot less about the lifestyle of the owners.

The Vintagent said...

You've entirely missed my point, and thereby proved it. Who cares what people wear when they ride, or that they have other interests than you? The point is to keep vintage motorcycling vital, and viable.