El Diablo Run 2017

Words and photos by Timmy Marr

               What can you say about The El Diablo Run that hasn’t already been said? It’s the fabled, lawless chopper party south of the border that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s a weekend full bikes, booze, and debauchery in the small Baja town of San Felipe. If you missed it, you can’t go next year because it only happens every two years. Being a bi-annual event definitely helps keep the kook level low. Or perhaps the two year waiting period is only in place to add anticipation. One thing is for sure: it’s definitely the most fun you can have in Mexico on two wheels.

 

The EDR 2017 schedule looked a little something like this: Thursday May 11th was the pre-party at Old Rose Tattoo in Temecula, California. Its tradition to get a $20 flash tattoo to commemorate your Mexican adventure. Friday May 12th was the 300 mile group ride from Temecula to San Felipe. The group started out huge with well over 100 bikes in the pack. It eventually got thinner and broken up as people got over riding in a pack or just needed to stop more often for gas. Saturday May 13th and Sunday May 14th (Mother’s Day) were when The Circle of Death and the Cocktagon beach brawl took place. The Circle of Death is a dirt track race in a sketchy empty lot. And the Cocktagon is a last man standing fight to the death where contestants buy a wiffle ball bat for $10 and either beat each other into submission or try to push each other out of the ring. Winner takes the pot. Monday May 15th was the day everyone was supposed to ride back home. That was just a suggestion though. A lot of SoCal locals went home Sunday because they had to work the next day, and some people stayed in Mexico indefinitely.

I rode out to California solo from Kansas and took my sweet time doing it. I rolled into my friends’ house in Temecula late on Thursday and missed out on the official pre-party. Getting a tattoo right before I’m about to swim in the ocean didn’t sound very appealing anyways.

The group ride out of Temecula was awesome. It was a brisk 50-something degrees when we set off at 7am. The journey started with these gently curving roads that dumped out into awesome valleys surrounded by lovely green hills. After that, we rode through different desert landscapes for pretty much the entire rest of the journey. But it was like cool desert, you know? The first desert was really rocky and mountainous and the temperature was not bad at all. As we got closer to the Mexico border, it got hotter and flatter, and sandier.

We crossed the border in big packs of bikes and the guards wanted nothing to do with us and just waived us all through. As soon as you cross the border, it gets real Mexico real quick. All the cars, street signs, and buildings are totally different. It was kind of a culture shock for me because I had never driven into another country like that before. The landscape soon turned to wide open desert with a few red mountains. The road all the way to San Felipe was in surprisingly good shape. No potholes or poor repairs. Just a nice desolate road that seemingly went nowhere. Eventually, to our left we could start to see the ocean, and soon after, we came up on real civilization for pretty much the first time since crossing the border. The town of San Felipe.

The vibe on the EDR was a little different this year from years past. People were encouraged to make their own plans and just meet in Mexico. Two full days in San Felipe gave people the freedom and extra time to do whatever they wanted to. You could explore the town and absorb the culture, you could hit up the natural hot springs 60 miles south of town, or you can just float around in the ocean nursing your hangover until you’re ready to do it all over again.

The first day there was awesome. I can’t even describe how wild it is to see your friends from all over, together on the beach in Mexico. I ended up getting sloshed hard on Friday night thanks to my friend Zac from Oklahoma who just kept the Tecate’s comin. I paid for it the next morning when I was puking every 10 minutes but it was worth it.

Saturday I mostly just relaxed in the ocean and chit chatted with my fellow chopper greaseballs. A lot of my friends went to the hot springs 60 miles south of town and came back with horror stories of potholes that they will cherish forever. A few Circle of death races went on that day as well.

Sunday we got up and went to town to take pictures with the San Felipe sign, then got ripped off a tube being pulled behind a boat by Mr. Banana himself. The circle of death races finished up and the cocktagon ended in a truce when the two remaining gladiators hugged it out. We went to bed early in preparation for the journey back to the states the next day.

Monday morning it was surprisingly chilly and windy. I rode up with a totally different group of people I rode down with and it was great. No major breakdowns, no bad attitudes. We got a police escort to the border and passed through with flying colors. We were glad to be back in our home country where we can drink the water and use our cellphones.

The El Diablo Run is the freaky granddaddy of all chopper runs. Everyone comes back from Mexico with plenty of wonky stories, and everyone seems to be all smiles all the time. Even when you are spewing black liquid out of both ends from Montezuma’s Revenge, you leave the bathroom and enter paradise and it’s hard not to be stoked.

See ya’ll in 2019! Maybe not. Who knows, man. That’s a long ways away.

– Timmy

Giddy Up! 2017

 Words and photos by Timmy Marr (@SkidMarr)

The Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show takes place every year towards the end of March in New Braunfels, Texas. In my opinion, it’s in the perfect location, at the perfect venue, during the perfect time of year.

2 days before the show

Myself, my brother Tyler, and our friend Kelly (who rode an extra 180 miles to get to us) set off to ride 300 miles from Wichita, Kansas to Denton, Texas at 6:00pm. We were riding into a 25+mph headwind the whole way south and the enormous trunk that I put on my bike was like a parachute. But we made it to my friend Blake’s house around 1am and crashed for the night.

1 day before the show

We got up and prepared to make the hour long trek in scattered showers from Denton, to Weatherford, Texas to meet up with the man, Danger Dan. Those of us that had rain gear, put it on. And those of us that didn’t, hardened the fuck up.

Myself, Tyler and Kelly from Kansas, Scotty and Blake from Texas, and Anthony from San Diego all met up in Weatherford at Dan’s house just in time for it to stop raining. Now the fun could begin. The sun was shining, and I could finally bust out my camera.

Anthony, Tyler, Scotty, Me, Blake, Dan, and Kelly

We were rolling 7 deep and took backroads all the way to New Braunfels and stopped probably every 40 miles. It was a beautiful change of pace and scenery for us Kansas boys considering we spent all day yesterday jamming down Interstate 35 at night.

We made a gas and oil stop in the small town of Hico when our very own Gabe @loudngreasy cruised right by! He stopped and gave me a hug and hauled ass out of there to catch up with his group.

We chugged along and made our way to Spicewood, Tx. Home of Dan Carr of DC Choppers. There we met Josh Kurpius, famous photographer and chopper pilot who ended up rolling with us for the remaining 60 miles to the Giddy Up Pre-Party at the Harley dealership in New Braunfels.

We hung around the pre-party for a few hours. Drank some beers, caught up with friends and listened to the bands. Then we went back to the campsite where the real pre-party goes on. Friday night at the campsite was spent eating canned food cooked on a fire, drinking beer, and wandering from campsite to campsite making new friends. Oh and I gave a few trunk rides.

The day of The Show

My brother and I got up and cruised down river road just to scope out some of the local sights. Then we headed into the show around 11am.

Giddy Up is definitely my favorite “big” chopper event of the year. The River Road Ice House is the perfect venue equipped with a stage and all the show bikes up front with a dirt lot full of vendors and bikes out back. The campground is in the perfect spot right down River Road along the Guadalupe River. It’s in the early spring, so it’s like the perfect shakedown run for people who have been cobbling together their rickety choppers all winter. And the vibe is like, perfectly chill, dude. It sounds dumb, but chill is the best word to describe it. This year the show went from 10am – 8pm so you could show up whenever you like, look at bikes, shop in the vendor area, leave, rip down to the campsite to take a nap, then come back and drink some Lone Star Beer.

The Giveaway Panhead
The guy who won the panhead was gone. Already on his way home

The official after-party takes place at the campground. I don’t have any photographic evidence of this night, but it was a romp and a rave and a hootenanny all rolled into one. Trust.

The Party Pack

 

1 day after the show

We woke up, drank some water, and hit the road hard. We rode all 600 miles home that day in under 12 hours with the wind to our backs this time. We ran into a pretty nasty storm in the last 60 miles and took some pea size hail at 80mph, but that just makes for a better story.

I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again: Every weekend I spend in Texas feels like the best weekend of my life. Giddy Up 2017 was no exception.

-Timmy

Lone Star River Run 7

Words and Photos by: Timmy Marr

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The Lone Star River Run takes place in New Braunfels, Texas at Camp Huaco Springs (same place as The Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show) every 3rd weekend in October. The LSRR is in its 7th year and has no big sponsors or other BS. It’s just a good ol’ fashioned weekend full of ridin’, campin’, and beer drinkin’ (preferably Lone Star Beer). My friends from Oklahoma known as the “Oklahomies” go to this run every year. This year they decided to trailer their bikes down to make the nearly 600 mile trek extra speedy. They had an extra spot on their trailer and in their truck and thought I was worthy of their presence, so I took the opportunity and tagged along.

On the drive down, my bike fell over on the trailer and put a dent in another bikes gas tank. I’m really not good at the whole trailering thing. But we arrived at the campsite on Friday much faster and more dry than we would have been if we rode. As soon as we pulled in to the campground, I immediately got the sense that this is more of a family reunion than a Chopper run. Probably 90% of the people there have attended in years past. And everyone was a Texan except for maybe like 6 of us. The first night was spent setting up camp, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones while talking choppers under a full moon.

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Saturday morning we all got up around 9:00am and naturally split into groups to ride into town for some Tex-Mex breakfast. We got back to camp at 11:00am just in time for the group ride to depart along River Road, headed towards the town of Blanco for lunch. The weather was perfect and the pace was ideal. We were riding in a pack of 50+/- bikes comfortably cruising the back roads around 55mph.

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After our lunch in Blanco, we rode down some beautiful gently curving empty roads headed towards Luckenbach, Texas. We spent our time in Luckenbach in the shade drinking a few beers, taking a few naps, and poking fun at the group of big wheel baggers that rolled in. After we were rested and refueled, most people went back to the campsite while a small group of us rode on to another bar.

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My bike met its Brother from another Mother
My bike met its Brother from another Mother
Luckenbach chillen
Luckenbach chillin

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Small breakdown after Luckenbach
Small breakdown after Luckenbach
Oklahomies know how to chop a sportster
Oklahomies know how to chop a Sportster

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A delicious handmade dinner was served that night at the campsite while a live band played along the perfectly still river. After everyone ate, a heated game of Cee-Lo broke out on the tables. Dice were being shook so fast and dollar bills were exchanging hands so quickly I didn’t dare to participate. After that, some people went to bed broke, and some stayed up and partied. I didn’t take any photos that night. Too busy livin it.

The next morning, we packed up and loaded our bikes on the trailer while getting teased by everyone. We hugged all our old and new friends goodbye and hit the road back home. Every weekend I spend in Texas feels like the best weekend of my life. The Lone Star River Run was no exception.

 

Gabe’s Ride Out 2016!

Photos and words by: Timmy Marr (@SkidMarr)

The Gabe’s Ride Out is a Ride/Camp event thrown by our very own @Loudngreasy in North central Texas. I knew about this event from this forum and I decided I had to go since it was only 400 miles away.

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Friday August 26th, I got home from work at 4:00pm and packed all my shit into the enormous, stupid trunk on my bike. It only took about 15 minutes because I purposely didn’t unpack from my Sturgis trip 2 weeks earlier. 6 hours and 300 miles later, I rolled into Denton, Texas to see my good friends and shack up for the night.

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Saturday August 27th, I rolled out of Denton at 7:00am because I still had to ride 100 miles west to the meet up point. The “ride” portion of Gabe’s Ride Out was scheduled to leave the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” at 9:00am. It was a foggy, cool morning with no traffic. The lame scenery of the DFW metropolis started to give way to the hills of scrub trees and cacti known as West Texas. I was jamming 80mph down a paved whoop-section on a farm road when I almost hit a weird baby pheasant that I later learned was actually a Road Runner. I got to the “Rockin’ S Bar and Grill” on Possum Kingdom Lake at 9:05am. No one was there and the place wasn’t even open. I thought to myself “Damn these dudes are punctual! They left without me!” I called Gabe and he informed me that there’s actually 2 locations of this bar and Google lead me to the wrong one. So I had to rip 30 minutes back into the town of Graham. No big deal.

The view from the wrong Rockin' S Bar
The view from the parking lot of the wrong Rockin’ S Bar

Once I got to the correct location, I parked my bike with all the rest and walked inside excited to meet all these guys I had only talked to/seen on the internet. Its wild meeting people from the internet for the first time in real life because you probably already know a ton about their lives. Todd (@Wagonburner), Josh (@Ramzy) Larry (@BackPorchChoppers) and Dillon (@Fatkat) all rolled in late because they pre-partied a little too hard the night before. I felt totally comfortable with everyone and my skepticism’s about riding and hanging out with total strangers all weekend melted away. We ate breakfast and ended up rolling out of Graham closer to 10:30am.

The view from the correct Rockin S Bar
The view from the correct Rockin’ S Bar

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The ride started out as a nice highway cruise through some west Texas scenery until we got to the Palo Pinto Creek Reservoir. The road around this lake was steep, narrow, and neat with plenty of sharp curves, BUT it had the worst surface texture of any road I have ever ridden. Literally pot holes on top of concrete patch jobs on top of asphalt speed bumps. Everything in my trunk was constantly being tossed up against the lid with a loud “thunk”. It almost made me regret owning a rigid chopper. I wish I had pictures to document this road, but I was too focused on not dying. It was radical.

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The road soon smoothed out but the damage was already done. Josh’s Sportster he rode trouble free all the way from Virginia started to backfire and eventually died. I offered up my tools and we sat on the side of the road and scratched our heads until the ignition module cooled off and started working again. As we were leaving, another evo sporty belonging to the man named Sam wouldn’t start. His rectifier was dangling ungrounded to the frame so it wasn’t charging his battery. I hooked him up with some spare bolts and his brother gave him a push start and all was well.

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We rode in a light mist of rain to a neat little honky tonk bar and drank until the rain let up. Then, we rode to Strawn, Texas to eat some world famous chicken fried steak served with huge bowls of gravy for the whole table to slather onto their food as they please (#TableGravy). After the legendary Steve chugged his fair share of gravy though a straw, we hit the road with full bellies headed toward the official bar of the Gabe’s Ride Out, the “Prickly Patch”. The Prickly Patch was 60 miles away on a terribly wavy paved state highway. I hit a JUMP in the road at 65mph that launched my bike and I an entire foot into the air (Todd can confirm the altitude and I can confirm it was terrifying). Shortly after that, my kickstand fell off nearly killing everyone riding behind me. Josh was kind enough to retrieve it for me after a car ran it over and flung it into the air. We got maybe 12 more miles down the road when Ol’ Backfire Josh’s bike started to crap out for the second time. Two guys hung back with him on the side of the road while the rest of us went ahead to the bar to get beer….. and a truck for Josh’s rescue. We spent a couple hours and had a great time in the prickly patch drinking and chatting with a few locals in the air conditioning.

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Before the sun set, we headed just up the road to the ranch where we would all camp and party for the rest of the night. At the ranch, we had to ride in some very slick mud to set up camp just as it was getting dark. “Momo”, the first man to ride into the grass slid out and ate shit immediately on his shiny new Harley LowRider. No harm done and made for a fun story. The rest of the night was spent drinking beer, telling stories, watching old chopper movies, gazing at the millions of stars, and tending to a fire all while laughing and having the best time in middle-of-nowhere, Texas. Really one of those “you had to be there” kind of nights.

The stage
The stage
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Brothers Sam and Steve hanging out on the stage with Larry’s Triumph
"The Fist" members awarding Momo with a belt buckle for his beautiful shit eating entrance
“The Fist” members awarding Momo with a belt buckle for his beautiful shit eating entrance

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The screen where chopper movies were played
The screen where chopper movies were played on the stage

Bro.....

The Legendary Dick Finger
The Legendary Dick Finger

We all woke up around 9:00 or 10:00am to a warm sun. Poor ol’ Minnesota Todd was drenched in sweat on this 85 degree morning. Everyone helped clean up, said their goodbyes and we all headed our separate ways happy that we all just made so many new friends.

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I am very glad I participated in the inaugural Gabe’s Ride Out. I dubbed it “Gabe’s Rough Ride” since we somehow managed to find the gnarliest roads in Texas, but the asphalt conditions only made it more fun. I was worried about getting ID’d at bars and not being able to relate to all you dudes double my age, but people bought me beers and motorcycles are a universal language. Everything worked out and we all had a blast. Gabe had chopper games planned and I planned to take a lot more pictures, but we were too busy just having fun it seems. The Gabe’s Ride Out was an incredibly laid back, small, and perfect event with a hilarious name. Like I said, it’s one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. And next year, you should be.

Thanks for the opportunity, guys!

 -Timmy “The Teenage Chopper MacGyver” Marr