The Hot Bike Tour has always been about bringing readers and builders together at the one event that matters most: a motorcycle road trip. This year, due to the Hot Bike Tour having a central hub location in Johnson City, Tennessee for the weekend, I decided that we would have kick off rides to the event location from all points in the U.S. North, South, East, and West where anyone going to the Hot Bike Tour could meet up with an editor and a few bike builders, then ride to the event together.
For the East Ride we teamed up with my buddy Aaron Hartless and the other fine folks at First Mfg Co. We decided it would be a great idea to throw a party at their headquarters in Oceanside, New York the night before we hightailed it to Tennessee. And so we did. At about 5:30 pm we already had a ton of locals and other folks ready to ride to the Hot Bike Tour hanging out. We also had a few of the invited builders such as The Barnstorm Cycles gang who rode down to make the scene and join us for the rest of the ride to Johnson City. And those guys brought it with each of their bike builds being real-deal ground-up custom motorcycles that some would only trailer to the party for those many miles. By 8pm the large lot was full of bikes and people, with various vendors hawking their assorted goods.
The kickoff party really was a fun affair with great food being ingested and some serious New York-style trash-talking and ball breaking being done on the regular.
But eventually it was time to get a sliver of sleep before we hit the road for Tennessee. So we meandered back to our sleeping quarters to get ready for the next day's ride and some shuteye!