Article & Photos By: Daniel N. Venditto
Originally Published In The August-September 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Once again, Walter and Dusty killed it with the annual Cheap Thrills show and swap in Asbury Park, NJ. A well-known music and beach town, Asbury Park is home to the popular Asbury Park Convention Hall located directly on the busy boardwalk. Short of a few dog walkers and bicyclists riding right through the hall, not much is happening here on this cold February weekend until Cheap Thrills arrives.
The weekend started with loadins early Friday night followed by a pre-party at the local favorite Bond Street Bar, where the rad bands Dead Things, Grave Bathers, and Sunshine Spazz were featured. Early Saturday morning, the majority of the bikes arrived, and by 10:00 am the party started. It was impressive to see such a great turnout on a cold, midwinter morning, especially so early. The main entrance of the convention hall filled up quickly with spectators of every age and background that were all waiting to get a closeup of the bikes that were lined up just ahead.
The large, open hall behind the main entrance was the location for the busy swap meet. It was packed with parts vendors, and was a great place to locate that rare part for the chopper or restore you’ve been working on all winter. The main stage of this huge hall featured some badass tattoo artists. On the second floor, soft goods and small part vendors lined the perimeter of the building. They featured clothing, accessories, artwork, and photography. The second floor also offered a great view of the swap meet below, as well as a clear view of the beach and ocean right outside of the convention hall. Crowded most of the day, the show came to an end with Walter announcing the winners.
Shortly after trophies were handed out, the packing up began. As the bikes and vendors rolled out, it was easy to see how much time and work everyone puts into this yearly event. Between Walter and Dusty organizing the event and all of the builders rushing to get their bikes done in time for the show, it’s motivating to see what can be accomplished. After everyone filed out and the venue calmed down, the party continued at the dive bar, The Saint with bands Mother Iron Horse, Dutchguts, and Gristmill. Although the bands didn’t play until the bar closed after parties were going all night at many random hotels…good times, from what I remember. Make sure to follow Cheap Thrills for dates and times for next year’s show, as well as promotions and updates, @cheapthrillsnj or www. cheapthrillsshow.com.