Gettysburg Bike Week

Article By: Tim Stull

Photos By: Heather Callen

Originally Published In The March 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Another Gettysburg Bike Week has come and gone, and with it a lot of good times with good friends both old and new. This year’s event was even better than the last; not just for Cycle Source but for the whole event. GBW kicked up the entertainment a notch with really great performers. Blizzard of Ozzy kicked off the event on Thursday with a stellar performance on the Budweiser stage followed by Quiet Riot who ended the night’s performance. Both bands absolutely rocked the crowd! Friday was slated to be a fun filled day with the first annual Cycle Source 10 March ‘17 – CYCLE SOURCE MAGAZINE A Article By: Tim Stull Photos By: Heather Callen “Run Through The Battlefields”. Despite the threat of rain, we had a fantastic turnout for our inaugural ride. Those that lined up had a bitchin’ collectible poster laid on them just for showing up! The ride took us up through the mountains that surround Gettysburg. We stopped at some scenic spots for a few photo ops. A stop at the famous South Mountain Hotel for refreshments was a welcome break before we headed to one of my favorite places, High Rock. The spectacular views of the landscape below make this a popular spot for many travelers. We narrowly escaped rain on our trek to High Rock; at least we thought we were going to stay on the dry side of the clouds. As we made our way out of the tree covered mountain roads a downpour, actually upon reflection it felt more like a monsoon hit us! Thankfully the rain only lasted about 3 minutes…just long enough to get us drenched. All 80 or so bikes squeezed under a gas station canopy until the rain passed. Everyone that came along were great sports and everybody had a good laugh. When the sun decided to shine a few minutes later a group decision was made to continue to High Rock; it was the best way to dry off. High Rock did not disappoint us with its spectacular views and nice warm breeze. We spent some time at the overlook, which allowed the roads to dry and it was a great time for a group photo op. We headed back towards Gettysburg for the battlefield tour part of the ride, only to be hit with torrential rain again.

We separated into smaller groups as the rain pounded down. Calling off the ride and getting back to the venue was the safest choice so we decided to regroup back at the event complex. Upon our return to the venue not only did Mother Nature decide to dry her tears and let the sun shine but the fine folks of Gettysburg Bike Week provided a great lunch for everyone that joined us that day. Even with the rain, everyone seemed to have a great time; the general consensus was that they’d rather ride in the rain than sit in an office. Later that night the Marshall Tucker Band performed for the masses. That evening’s entertainment wound down when the world famous Great Train Robbery took the stage and rocked the house. Saturday morning rolled around and we were busy with the Cycle Source Ride In Bike Show. This is truly a “show what you ride event”. Everybody has a chance to win and the Best of Show gets a feature in the magazine! I would really like more of our readers to show up at these types of events on their home built bikes and old school chops. We don’t discriminate and all are welcome, well except for Cry Babies, we don’t take Cry Babies! We had about 60 great bikes this year. Awards were given in 16 different classes including Mini Chopper, Bobber, Evo, Sportster, Sport Bike, Radical Bagger, and so on. Best Of Show went to Jack Deagazio from Syracuse NY with his outstanding 70’s chopper. In the middle of registering bikes in the show I noticed that my bike had been moved, well not just moved…taken…missing to be exact. A short time later our good friend and emcee for the event, Jack Schitt, came riding up…on my bike. After parking, he gave me a lesson on why I should never park my bike in gear! I told him that he should have asked me first. He told me that he needed a “rental bike” for the bike games and my 1985 FLT “Black Jack” fit the bill. I guess the next time I’m down Jack’s way I’ll just have to borrow his beloved 1947 knucklehead!

Seems like a fair trade to me! I can’t talk about bike show day without sharing a picture with you of what we believe to be Chris’s childhood doppleganger that never grew up, quite possibly one of the coolest little dudes ever, it was like seeing Chris when he was 6 years old! After the show, we headed over to the legendary bike games. I don’t know that I’ve seen that many spectators for “motorcycle tournaments” before but it was a blast to watch young and old riders test their skills of speed, balance and agility. Later we settled in for an evening of great entertainment. Jack announced the winner of the Biker Build Off; congratulations to Tom Keefer of Franklin Church Choppers for taking the win. The AC/DC cover band “Big Jack” took the stage and got everyone amped up for the legendary band KIX, who put on a great show and did not disappoint the thousands that turned out to see them. An epic weekend of motorcycling, music and friends was brought to a close by a firework display that was comparable to any 4th of July show you’ve seen. Sunday morning rolled around and brought along with it the time to say our goodbyes to old and new friends and to hit the road for the next show. Summer is just around the corner and I hope all you east coast chopper jockeys are hard at work crafting next years’ masterpiece to rip up the roads with us. If you’ve got the second weekend in July free and enjoy beautiful country roads rich with American history, good music, and like-minded people then I hope you check out Gettysburg Bike Week 2017. Until the snow breaks… “Let’s Make Choppers Great Again!”

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