Each year we find ourselves lured out into the Nevada desert like a card cheater in the old days. Fortunately, we have a much happier ending: no broken legs, no shallow grave, just a couple of days spent ogling bikes, drinking free booze at the casinos, and (hopefully) winning money to pay for lapdances (or whatever). The occasion: Bikefest. The place: Las Vegas. It's a 3-day excursion with poker runs, free concerts, contests, and more that takes place in mid-September.
That all said, this year the Sin City rally was held September 14th through 17th and Bikefest's flagship event is the Artistry in Iron bike show inside Cashman Center, where each year builders show off some pretty awesome-looking iron. This year was no exception. Greg Westbury took top honors with his green machine, and both bikes and creators were on hand throughout the weekend for viewing and autographs. The show serves as a centerpiece, surrounded by vendor booths both inside and out of the main building. The Cashman theatre also hosts various smaller events like the bikini contest; admission to them was included if you bought upgraded registration.
If the party scene was more your gig, there were free concerts at Fremont Street and Cashman Center, Bikefest's two primary venues. And if that wasn't enough, Count's Kustoms held their inaugural Motor Psycho open house Saturday night to keep folks going after Cashman closed at 8 pm. On top of that, Count's also sponsored this year's $100,000 poker run.
But beyond the partying and the American V-Twin fare, there was a rather interesting development on Fremont Street, which played host to the Metric Revolution show. It was an assortment of pimped-out cruisers and sport bikes created not only by metric specialists, but also V-Twin veterans Mike Stafford of MGS Customs and Doug Keim. Stafford had so much fun modding his Triumph that he rides it whenever he can, even up to the Rock Store in SoCal (he told us the builders have to keep the bikes for a year without selling them; given his happiness with the bike, he didn't seem too upset about that). There was even a rookie class consisting of four new builders, and all the makers were available for signing Metric Revolution posters.
You get a little hungry going from venue to venue, and as we all know, Vegas isn't exactly starving for places to get your grub on. Since we were out here for a bike event, it only made sense to hit the Harley-Davidson Caf at some point, so we stopped by on Friday for lunch. The sign outside claims they have the best barbecue in town, and while we didn't have time to test ride every BBQ joint in the city, the Caf's grub brings it pretty strong (especially the pulled pork sammich). And any event with good eatin' swine can't be all bad.