Article By: Tim Stull
Photo By: Cycle Source Staff
Originally Published In the May 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Well spring is just around the corner and what I will now be calling the first big show of the year, Mama Tried, has come and man what a show it was! We headed out to Milwaukee in typical Cycle Source fashion, a van full of chopper jockeys and jockettes and a trailer full of goodies, along with the magazines “Board To death” Sporty build and most of Big House Pete’s band gear. We arrived in Milwaukee Friday morning after a pretty much uneventful cannonball run. We met up with our local host and good brother Milwaukee Mike, had a quick breakfast and promptly ventured down to the new venue. Man, what a great spot, it appeared to be an old warehouse built around 1910 or so and it was already bustling with people getting their bikes unloaded and booths set for the show the following day. After the initial awe and pure blindness of the bikes wore off we began to work out a plan for the weekends festivities. Friday night held the now famous event Flat Out Friday indoor flat track races, Saturday was the main event at the show venue.and sat night, if you were lucky enough to be invited, was to be the infamous party at The Shed, you know the place that made Milwaukee famous. Sunday, was intended for ice racing but Mother Nature didn’t have the same plan, we didn’t see any ice.
OK back to Mama Tried, As we were getting ready to leave Friday afternoon to head to our hotel rooms, none other than Roadside Marty and his crusty Panhead build pulled up. Marty had trucked up from Florida for the show with Roadside’s Daddy riding shot gun. What an honor to finally meet Marty’s dad! I had heard so much about this amazing man and it was an honor to shake his hand and chat with him for a bit. He has forgotten more than I know about old bikes. Off to the hotel we went to check in and clean up for an evening at the races. We were amazed at the display that Harley Davidson had put on in conjunct ion with the Mama Tried crew… you see being that this was Milwaukee the birthplace of the Harley. It was great to see the Motor Company mingling with the Chopper, Bobber, and Flat Track crowd. The Friday night show was awesome and we settled in for the night for the big day tomorrow. Saturday morning came and we were all chomping at the bit to get to the show. Once on scene we were not disappointed! The new venue fit the theme of old Choppers, Bobbers and race bikes of the time period. There were so many great bikes it was hard to take them all in. One bike that stood out from them all for me was an ultra-rare 1940 Crocker, Americas first bobber! To my surprise it was one that I have been taking an interest in its build for some time now! Look for a possible upcoming feature on this almost ten-year labor of love with the drive line being built by Mike Lang and the chassis built by its owner. I was truly blown away by all the bikes and the guys who built, restored or pieced them together. Along the way we ran into Kevin “Teach” Baas, Greg Lew of the Classic Panheads Page, chatted with Roadside and his father and took in the sights, sounds and smells of the old iron.
On Sunday, the entire crew was at the Iron Horse Hotel, where both Board to Death and McKeag Art were on display, having brunch when the call we all longed for came in. Ice Racing was on!! There was frozen lake about 40 miles away and the boys from the Frozen few aboard their 1916-1947 Harley flat track bikes along with many newer bikes were running. We stuffed everyone we could into the White Dragon and off we went. What a great way to round out a fantastic weekend in Milwaukee. For me Mama Tried is a must attend event and I highly recommend it to our snow locked east coast readers as well. There is nothing like seeing all these cool builds to spark and motivate that last push on your winter build. Spring is just around the corner and it will be riding time again, which reminds me, I need to finish my winter project so that I have a trusty steed to ride. I hope to see you all at Cycle Source’s Big Mountain Run this year for the fun and games, well on second thought maybe not, BMR, It’s really not the good… and also at “MAMA TRIED” next year… until then… cut, grind, weld and dream, see ya on the open road….