For the third year in a row, the Big Bear Choppers (BBC) crew dropped the wrenches and locked the shop doors to enjoy a day of riding and b.s.-ing with a few thousand customers and friends during the company's annual Ride the Mountain event. Saturday, July 23, motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the Los Angeles area and beyond rolled out from every alleyway and avenue, eager to jet up through the choking smog line to the resort town of Big Bear Lake, California, and enjoy fresh pine-scented air, dizzying switchbacks, and cool bikes.
The first two years BBC held its show at the local community center, where free space was at a premium with barely enough room to accommodate the bike show, vendors, bands, and spectators. However, this year space was not a problem, since the event moved locations to Big Bear City Airport, where there was more than enough room on the expansive tarmac for 100-plus vendors such as Performance Machine, Pro-One, MGS, Deep South Choppers, Custom Chrome, Progressive Suspension, JIMS Machine, and, of course, Big Bear Choppers.
While there were some ominous clouds in the sky for most of the day, the wet stuff didn't fall until late in the afternoon, leaving plenty of time to enjoy three concerts, a poker run, a burn-out contest, and a BBC customer-built bike show. To add a personal touch to the bike show, the awards handed out were actual BBC Merc gas-tank halves hand-painted by Aggressive Design.
As the day began to wind down, the excitement moved from the airport to many of the biker-friendly restaurants and bars surrounding the resort town. One particular bar, Chad's Place, which is always a biker favorite, was slammed all night long with people crowding the dance floor to dance to the tunes of an awesome cover band that played everything from AC/DC to Stone Temple Pilots.
Word on the street is that the BBC team is already making plans for next year's event. There's even a rumor going around that they are looking to move locations once more to allow for even more vendors, bands, parking, and an all-around better time.