Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hogs and Hot Rods

Last summer, my friend Pat, who rides a Dyna Low Rider, clued me into an annual summer event at Ocean State Harley-Davidson in Warwick, R.I. called "Hogs and Hot Rods,"
a show of classic and custom cars and motorcycles, with an oldies DJ and free hamburgers, hot dogs, soda and ice cream.
Even bikes that aren't in the show are often impressive, and it's fun to walk the parking lot and admire the bikes and see which modifications look good on bikes like yours.

Last year, I rode in on a Yamaha. This year, even though I own a Harley, I rode in on four wheels because I wanted to take my girlfriend Anna, and her son, Ricky, and I can't fit both of them on my bike (I could have, if I had a sidecar, like one of the bikes I saw today). Saturday's weather was ideal: sunny and in the 90s.

As soon as he heard the words "ice cream," Ricky, 10, dashed toward the ice cream booth, while Anna and I walked the parking lot, looking at motorcycles. Anna, who wants to learn how to ride a motorcycle, likes the
Fat Boy models, partly because they have a wide front tire. I focused on the Dyna Wide Glide and Softail Standard/Custom models, my favorites (of course, I'm biased, since I own a 2002 Wide Glide). I was looking at a Softail when a guy nearby said to me, "Nice bike, huh?" Turned out he was the bike's owner, and it was for sale, as he launched into a sales pitch.

Next, we met up with Ricky again, and the three of us looked at the classic and custom cars. I especially liked the 1969 Pontiac Firebird, and an early '70s Chevy Nova with super-wide rear tires. There were a few late-model Mustangs, plus an early-'70s Ford van customized with a nautical theme.

Anna and I got in line for a hamburger, hot dog, potato chips and soda, and we sat on a picnic table in the hot sun, while Ricky ate more ice cream. We went inside the dealership to cool off in the air conditioning. Anna sat on a new Sportster, which she felt she could handle (she is going to take her MSF basic rider course next month), and Ricky wanted to sit on several bikes, including an Electra Glide trike. At least he asked permission (from a guy at the parts counter) before sitting on the bike.

Going back outside, Anna and I got ice cream. It was Ricky's third stop at the ice cream booth, which did not go unnoticed by one of the girls serving up the ice cream. "Isn't this your third or fourth trip?" she questioned him with as stern a look as a high school aged girl can muster.

The three of us sat in the shade while we listened to the oldies deejay, and Ricky wanted to make a request, so he walked up to the deejay. I forget which song he wanted to hear, but the deejay told him he only had songs prior to 1980 - way before Ricky's time. After much back-and-forth, the deejay finally had a song Ricky requested: "ABC," by the Jackson Five. Yep, Hogs and Hot Rods - it's not just for bikers, but 10-year-olds as well.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ken, I just noticed your Blog. I've been to the Ocean State Hogs & Hot Rods for many years. It's always a good time, even if this year was too hot for me. The owners are a great family!