Chopper Town Camparound

Article By: Milwaukee Mike

Originally Published In The January 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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If you read Cycle Source issue #214 you will know that I was working my way west from Atomic Trent’s compound in New Mexico to my final destination for that day Payson, AZ. Which is home base for my very good friends and the hosts of one of the greatest motorcycle events that I have the honor to attend, Long Jon and Pinky Barwood. For those who do not know this amazing dynamic duo, here’s a quick little background. Jon and Pinky are the owners of Sacred Skin Tattoo in Payson. When I met them many moons ago it was in Sturgis when they came with their mobile studio and set up shop at the Broken Spoke as part of the Limpnickie Lot.

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It was one of those ah ha moments in life when you meet people and instantly know that you will know them until you shuffle off this mortal soil. Shortly after that meeting we became fast friends and I was invited to attend the next year’s Choppertown Camparound. It worked out that a bunch of the boys from the shed (Big Jimmy, Willard,Chris, Dirty Sanchez and myself) were all out in AZ at Mario’s winter shack or “anti-winter shack” as it were and we all attended the 2nd annual CTCA in Black Canyon City at Kid Chileens Kick Ass BBQ. The day was filled with riding to Prescott with a large group of like minded folks and then heading back to Kid Chileens for a night time of food, (killer BBQ) music, burnouts, general mayhem, And lots of smiles. I think my face was sore for a month after. I, of course, thought this was the greatest event I had been to in a long time and only a few even held a candle close, The BMR and Shady Mayhem to name a few. As a person who is blessed to travel as much as I do, and gets to go to events great and small, I find myself more excited and gravitating towards these more intimate events where I know and actually get time to talk to people. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate to talk! So that first CTCA that we attended was actually the 2nd annual and I have gone back every year since. It has become the way I kick off my riding season, with a long trip across the middle to the mountains and the warmth of the southwest.

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Two years ago CTCA found a new home, Long Jon and Pinky wanted to make it more of a weekend event so it would afford more hangout time with the folks that made it out that way. The new location is in a little one horse town called Wilhoit AZ at a bar known as the Burro Saloon. This new venue has all that the first did and more. The extra camping space was definitely needed as the population for this event has grown a bit over the last couple of years. It is still an intimate event and I think it will stay that way for years to come. It is a quality over quantity, no vendors, no bullshit kind of vibe going on, and that totally rocks and is the reason I can’t help but keep going back. Friday when we left Payson the ride over the mountains as always was something to behold, the stop in Jerome is another reason why I love this part of the world. Just being there already and relaxing was name of the game that day, it also afforded us the time to race into the hills just north west of Wilhoit and make a loop that included one of the most fun roads that I’ve been on in years.

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We stopped for a late lunch to round out the first part of the day nicely. As we were eating we kept hearing the bikes going past and knowing that the rest of the crew from Phoenix were there so we zipped through the last 20 miles quickly as I was anxious to see everyone. So back to the Burro we rolled, to catch up with Terex and Cass, Mario, El Nomad and Jilly, Keith Cole, Skoog, Medusa Mike and on and on. There was one short somber note for the weekend this year, we spread a bit of ashes for Randy Pants at the Burro, and he loved this event and thought it would be a nice tribute to be an eternal part of it. As the day wore on it was time for some bike games. Nothing is more fun than watching long bikes try to slow race, except maybe slow racing with paint ball guns and shooting at a life sized dummy while doing it.

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The day started getting a little fuzzy by then but I think Jay Allen was the slow race winner and Naco Chris had the best paintball shots. Then came the real comedy of the evening, sumo suits, somehow Keith had scored a mat and sumo suits and watching folks go at that made us all laugh late into the night. The late night consisted of a warm fire and catching up with Big Pat, Menace, Banged Up Bob, Lee and Jayme and other faces that I haven’t seen in some time. To top off the night was an acoustic jam session to send me off to sleep with a calm and peace that I haven’t had in a while. The Sunday morning alarm was waking up to the unmistakable voice of Jack Shit, I had to get up and catch up with him when half way thru realized that he never went to sleep. No wonder I was having trouble keeping a straight face, but wasn’t this weekend all about the smiles?

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All in all it was a weekend to remember. As I said already it’s the perfect way to kick off the season. As an ultimate reminder LJ, Pinky and Robyn opened the tattoo parlor and we all got CTCA tattoos from the crew at Sacred Skin. For those in the need of ink, check out their work at www.sacredskintattoo.com, you will not be disappointed I promise. I just want to say thanks to LJ and Pinky for making me feel so welcome again this year and the hospitality before and after ChopperTown. I am already looking forward to next year’s party and seeing all my family in AZ. Cheers guys, another great one in the books and can’t wait for CTCA 2015.

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