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Bikers come thundering into Sacramento Convention Center

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Hundreds of motorcycles lined both sides of J Street in front of the Convention Center on Saturday while their owners attended the annual Sacramento stop of the Easyriders Bike Show Tour.

Although the rain Sunday reduced the number of bikes parked on the streets, attendance at the two-day event was as good as or better than last year, said event manager Kari Roben.

Inside the Convention Center, the main floor was full of exhibitors and vendors displaying custom motorcycles and related goods and services, including accessories, apparel and custom fabrication.

Sacramento was the second stop on a five-city tour that started in Pomona on Jan. 9. “This is our second biggest show,” Roben said. “Only the last show, the invitational in Columbus, is bigger.”

Roben said that the Sacramento show owes its success to a large number of subscribers to Easyriders magazine, local support from Harley Davidson of Sacramento and other vendors, and the fact that the city is centrally located.

“Sixty to 75 percent of our vendors return year after year,” she said.

In addition to vendors and row after row of custom motorcycles, there was live music and entertainment. And clowns roamed the exhibit floor, entertaining young and old alike.

Woodland resident Meagan Murphy, also known as "Denim Jean," created balloon animals for all who happened by the booth of Anne Nix, owner of Sacramento-based Anne’s Badass Boutique (or Anne’s Incredible Bodywear, depending on her clientele).

“This is my 12th or 13th year,” Nix said. “I’ve been doing biker shows all over the U.S. for 16 years.”

She said the economy has significantly affected her business and that she was not sure how much business the show would generate. Other vendors, though, were more optimistic.

James Dean, owner of Rebel Design, a local custom motorcycle paint and fabrication venture, said, “This is the best show I can do all year.”

Dean said he receives “eight to ten jobs out of the show.” But another local vendor, Mike Armtrout, owner of custom-parts manufacturer Bigger Pimps, from Grass Valley, said he was there “mostly for exposure.”

Many national vendors also were exhibiting.

Representing Iowa-based J&P Cycles, Patrick Garvin said the show was “at least as good as or a little better than last year.”

A large motorcycle parts and accessories vendor, J&P Cycles distributed free catalogs for Harley Davidson, vintage and metric motorcycles.

John and Christi Huddleson were exhibiting for the first time at the bike show, traveling to Sacramento and Pomona from their home in San Diego.

The Huddlesons’ business, Patch World, generates its income entirely at motorcycle events, John Huddleson said.

“These shows have been better than expected,” he said. “If I had known, I would continue (with the entire tour).”

Some booths had a more philanthropic bent.

“Spurz,” who declined to give his real name, is the state founder of Bikers Against Child Abuse. He said that although one goal of his booth is to raise donations, “our primary purpose is to raise awareness.”

Calvin Jefferson, also known as "Redbone," has been riding motorcycles for 35 years.

“I’ve been coming for the last five years and this is better than last year,” he said, adding that it’s still not as well attended as years prior, “probably because of the economy.”

Robert and Maggie Sanchez were attending their first Easyriders event with their granddaughter Alexia, 2, who was enchanted by Denim Jean. Sanchez has attended the similar Street Vibrations show in Reno but enjoyed Sacramento’s version better because it’s more family-oriented.

Although the show focuses mostly on V-twin powered street motorcycles such as the venerable Harley Davidson, there was something for every enthusiast.

The show attracted attendees from outside the Sacramento area as well.

Dorain and Christine Sallee traveled from Santa Rosa to view the exhibits and visit the various vendors.

“Last year there seemed to be more Harley stuff,” Dorain Sallee said, adding that he rides a Honda Gold Wing.

A large variety of custom motorcycles were exhibited, some worth more than $100,000.

Lane Shipp, Matt Toro and Andy Clark were checking out their favorite motorcycles Sunday.

“I’d like to see more bikes and less booths,” Shipp said. “I like the simple ones. Less is more.”

In reference to the image of the "outlaw biker," many attendees said that it has faded.

“A lot of that stigma has gone away," said longtime motorcyclist Jim Warnken of Livermore. "It’s not like it used to be.”

Christine Sallee added, “Bikers get a bad rap. It’s not deserved.”

The next stop on the Easyriders Bike Show Tour is in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 23-24.


For more information, visit the Easyriders Events website

Photo captions for images 1-8

Rebel Designs owner james Dean talks to a potential customer in his booth at the Sacramento stop of the Easyriders Bike Show Tour

Mike Armtrout, owner of Grass Valley’s Bagger Pimp exhibited at the show to increase his company’s exposure

Two year Alexia proudly wears her balloon hat crafted by ‘Denim Jean’ the clown.

Dorain and Christine Sallee of Santa Rosa talk to one of the vendors exhibiting at the show

Christi and John Huddleson exhibiting for the first time at the Sacramento event. Their company, Patch World, exhibits at 30 different shows per year

Lance Shipp, Matt Toro and Andy Clark made their way from Placer County to look at the custom motorcycles

Ron Mitchell and Jim Warnken from Livermore eye a bright blue custom fabricated motorcycle

Clown ‘Denim Jean,’ also known as Meagan Murphy, from Woodland, entertains bike show attendees

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About the author

Michael Althouse

  • Che Perez

    It’s pretty amazing, we cut the radio budget back last year, and again this year. I won’t divulge numbers, but what we’ve proved now two years in a row, is that we can increase attendance without much help from mainstream media. Gotta love it. Also, this year, the show expanded from only showcasing V-Twins to showcasing motorcycles in general, so if you went, that would explain some of the bikes that you didn’t see last year.

  • The Parrhesiac

    Why does Sac Press always post about events AFTER they happen?

  • Why does Sac Press always print stories that are too long and really boring?

    • Michael Althouse


      May I call you Josh? Great. I took the liberty to go back over your comment history and it appears as though you have never posted a positive comment. It begs the question, why do you waste your time reading what you have variously termed, “retarded,” “horribly written” and “boring” (twice) stories? Surely you have something better to do with your time. Coming in at a little less than 800 words, it should take the average reader no more than a few minutes to read this story and, like any good news story, the gist of the event can be found within the first two or three sentences. Those who are interested, i.e. those who are into motorcycles, interested in civic events or are looking for economic indicators, might find themselves compelled to read further.

      I am flattered, however, that you took the time to read my “too long” and “really boring” story – even more so that you bothered to comment on it. Those precious few minutes of your time are now forever mine.

      Thank you,

      Michael Althouse

    • Nicholas Walsh

      I love that you said print!

    • It is a dull mind indeed that belittles the interests of others; moreover, an incurious mind is a fertile ground for the seeds of ignorance.

  • No, I didn’t read the whole thing. I stopped here: “clowns roamed the exhibit floor, entertaining young and old alike.”

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