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Article By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The September 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Hello Brothers and Sisters! This month’s article finds me living a scene right out of all those biker build offs we used to watch. Yeah, you know the one where someone like Billy or Larry would say, “I’ve got two months of work to do in two weeks.” I used to laugh at that scene and think “Man, that’s gotta suck” Well, here I am. One of the most important things I’ve learned during this build is, always expect something not to go as planned. I’ve really made some crucial time exhausting mistakes this time, but, I like to think I’ve learned from them. As you read this, like so many other Passion Built, Motorcycles As Art builders out there, I’ve been burning the midnight oil and doing whatever it takes to get it done and ready for the pickup deadline on July 13th. Even with all the calamity involved so far, I gotta say I’m super stoked with the way it’s turning out. If nothing else just to say I was invited to show in Michael Lichter’s exhibit is a huge deal for me. And to know that I’ve created a bike that I’m damn proud is even better. June was a great month for me personally as I was honored to be asked to be the Grand Marshall for the Inaugural C.H.A.D (Children’s Hospital At Dartmouth) Ride during Laconia bike week, held at the Laconia Roadhouse.
Rich and everyone involved made it a fantastic and memorable day. The ride was complete with a six-officer motorcade escort. We rode up through the mountains of New Hampshire into some of the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. Yes, I’ve been to a lot of places, but rarely do I get to experience such awesome scenery as the White Mountains. We made it to a ski resort that was closed for the season, but as I looked up the mountain, you could still see snow on the ground. Now, this was a long ride, and I was stoked to ride the Twisted Tea Chopper thanks Chris and Heather for the loaner. However, it has a lil peanut tank, and I was sure I was gonna run out of gas. Fear not, I had no idea that there was a chase vehicle that had brought fuel for just such an occasion. After a few pictures by Michael Lichter with the officers and attendees, we were off down the mountain. I was blown away by the abilities of the motorbike officers. These guys were a grip to grip on full dressers maneuvering them as though they were nimble ten speeds. Their communication with each other was impressive, to say the least. If you ever get the chance to check out a motor officer skills exhibition I highly suggest it. The day was capped off with Rich, one of the owners of the roadhouse personally whipping up a pasta dish for me that was downright sinful. Thanks Again Rich and all at the Roadhouse for the invite and a wonderful few days.
The following weekend I was asked to help the Source Family at the J&P Open House in Anamosa Iowa. Heather and I worked the tent and judged the first Cycle Source Ride-In Bike Show in Iowa. Sean and Bryan of J&P Cycles, our hosts for the day, were on hand to give away cash prizes for the winners. One lucky dude one a thousand dollars as well as an award from Cycle Source. The guys were cool enough to lend me a Dyna to ride the following morning for the John Parham Memorial Ride. The Sunday morning ride took me through some beautiful landscape that I never knew existed. Again, yes, I’ve been to Iowa a hundred times but, never had I seen it like this. That day I got lost and found all on the same journey. Thanks to the fine folks at J&P Cycles for a great time. While in Anamosa it is imperative that you visit the National Motorcycle Museum, founded by John Parham himself. Holy sensory overload! I’ve never in my life seen anything as beautiful as that place. I mean, a collection of almost every model and make you can think of is represented. Some awesome vintage tools and a whole section devoted to Evil Knievel took down memory lane while I remembered playing with my Evil Knievel wind-up toy. Man, they don’t make them like that anymore. Did you know that Harley-Davidson made the first In-Line Skates? Yep, neither did I! What an amazing place. If you’re ever close, do yourself a huge favor and visit it, you’ll be glad ya did. Sadly, that same day, I learned of the passing of a legendary drumming peer, Vinnie Paul, from the amazing Texas metal band Pantera had passed away. What a shock, he was only 54 years young. I had the great honor to not only know him but also have shared many stages with him through some of our tours together. He was a game changer in the realm of Heavy Metal drumming, and huge void now exists. Thanks, Vin for all the great music and great times. R.I.P Brother. Once again, it proves value your life and everyone in it because they’re both gifts and you never know when it’s your time. So, live life to the fullest and be kind to one another.