Back in late December I was forced to sell my beloved Shovelhead. Basically, it had been promised to a brother many months before, so it was time to let her go.
Marcos, John, and Rene got to my place late on a Friday evening to pick up the bike. We spent the night in the company of nude women, drinking copious amounts of beer, but there was a sickness amongst us, a dichotomy. Marcos was totally jazzed, and I was totally bummed. This river, for me, ran deep.
Some broad got in the truck with us as we were leaving the clubhouse. She very quickly realized this might not have been what she really wanted to do, so we took her back. Then I got us lost. In my own damn town. How do you spell relief from losing your bike? D-r-u-n-k!
The next afternoon Marcos, John, and Rene drove away from my house with my bike in the back of their truck. As I rolled the garage door closed, I just broke down. I was over it. So much love, time, and money gone again. These bikes have been my salvation since the death of my father back in 2005. I was over it all. The love for my brothers runs deep, but I was completely and totally over the whole thing. When my dad died he left me some money, and I'm sad to say that I spent a lifetime's worth of hard work and dreams on drinking and motorcycles. It isn't at all what my dad would have wished for me and my family. I was busted.
Marcos called me some days later and told me about a '67 Shovel on Craigslist in Austin. At the time, it was no matter to me since I didn't have a dime and was spending my days fishing. Both physically and mentally I was lost. As I listened to him on the other end of the phone he made me a proposition that I accepted. Unknowingly, my brother Marcos single-handedly breathed life back into me. He'll absolutely never know what getting this bike did for me. Ever. The next morning I didn't go fishing.
I load the bike up and drive away from where I bought it. I'm a goddamn schoolgirl at this point. The first person I call is Marcos totally full of heavy emotions. I send text messages and make calls to my other brothers.
Then I got down to building what you see here.
From the beginning I wanted to use as much as I possibly could from the original bike. Not only for economical reasons, but inherently this bike at its core was all that I've chased. I took a 100-pound bucket of parts to get chromed and polished. This shit for the most part is all OEM and original '60s chopper crap.
My love for 'sickles came from my dad. When we lived in Arizona he used to desert race. He'd ride on the weekends, and during the week he'd have the motor on our kitchen table. One Sunday morning in early '97 my dad put on the "mountain jam" side of the Allman Brothers' Fillmore album. We didn't speak a word. He laid on the couch, and I laid back in a chair. Crackles, pops, and the sweet sound of cats who get lost in their love of a greater purpose. Those 27 minutes solidified a moment in that house with my dad that changed my heart forever. It was an illustration for me of the day that love was born.
If your mom and dad are still alive...you should give them a call and tell 'em you love 'em. Because there isn't much I wouldn't give up to be able to that.