Where The Whole Country Has Come Together For Centuries
Article And Photos By: Heather Callen
Originally Published In The March 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Last July, Chris and I had the pleasure of bringing a little taste of Cycle Source to Gettysburg Bike Week. For the 3rd year in a row we hosted two of our signature events, a free ride in bike show and the annual Run Through The Battlefields. Yeah, I know many of you are sitting there thinking… Gettysburg… really? Yep, and it’s awesome. It’s awesome because it combines a few things we love, motorcycles, history, good riding and cool people and for the most part, no cry-babies…hahaha. For 16 years, Gettysburg bike week has been happening the weekend after 4th of July. Two years ago, it took over the grounds at the Allstar Event Complex for a weekend of battlefields, bikes, beers, babes and all that go along with it. With two hotels on site, plenty of parking, a natural amphitheater, the perfect location for the Wrangler Bike Rodeo games, ample vendors and an indoor swap meet area, the move was a good choice.
For the last two years, each Friday of the event, Cycle Source has organized what we like to call “Run Through The Battlefields.” Now, don’t let the name mislead you, it’s not a history lesson or anything, and we don’t give a guided tour through the historyladen lands that surround the complex, but we do open our arms to any rider that wants to join us through a bitchin’ jaunt over the hills, through the woods and to wherever else we happen to lead you. I will say that we are fond of stopping at a neat little watering hole for a quick refreshment and grabbing a group photo at Highrock during the trip. We were blessed with crazy good weather during the ride, and a super cool group of enthusiasts joined us for the afternoon. Upon our reluctant return to the GBW venue, I say reluctant because the riding is just that good, and thanks to the event organizers we found a picnic lunch laid out for the Battlefield riders.
Selfishly, I hope they keep inviting us back to continue this annual tradition; I never tire of the unique feeling you get as you roll through so much rich history. Let me try to explain this a little further; there is something more significant about an experience like Gettysburg than merely passing a sign that says Welcome to Pennsylvania. As you ride on tree-lined roads or past open fields sprinkled with statues and historic markers you catch one that reads Maine, another Texas, Vermont, Virginia and on goes the list of states that all converged on this spot to fight for what they believed in. For a brief moment, you are fully aware of how many lives were lost, battles won, and how steadfast American’s truly are. Like I said, it’s more than passing signs, and it’s worth the ride. Saturday was a busy day for us and rally attendees alike. We started getting ready for our bike show bright and early that day, and thankfully Miss Judy was on hand to get organized and things running smoothly. It’s crazy how diverse the bikes are that graced the lot this year. We had a Rick Fairless bike, a custom sidehack that paid tribute to cancer survivors, a prototype swingarm Sportster®, original Shovelheads, Panheads, Boss Hoss, FXR’s and on and on. At the end of the day Best of Show went to a killer FLH that comes out of New Jersey.
While our show was going, our old pal Jack Schit was running a sold-out show for the Wrangler Bike Rodeo games. Now, we all know bike games are a hoot but dang do the folks at GBW love their games. The afternoon was a constant stream of contestants ready, willing and able to show off their riding abilities. I still haven’t decided if they lined up so eagerly to earn bragging rights, because the Cherry Bombs were the official starters or because Wrangler put up 50 pairs of jeans for the contestants! Now, I wouldn’t even be the halfassed “journalist” I am, if I failed to tell you that the main stage not only hosted tattoo contests, wet t-shirt contests but also proudly played host to a plethora of fine musicians to entertain the masses. Blizzard of Ozzy, Big Jack, Josh Gallagher, Foghat, and Warrant all took to that stage and gave the crowds memories to last a lifetime.
For us, Gettysburg has become a second home of sorts and some of our best friendships have arisen from our time there. Annually seeing Rachel, Tim, Kuda, Koolaid and the rest of our crew from that area, makes this all the more to look forward to personally. I have to be honest, I’m not sure what the fine folks of GBW have in store for 2018, but I do know that Cycle Source will be there, and we sure hope to see some of ya there too.