I found this comment on a blog and at first thought the guy was insulting and his words to be complete bull crap…then I read it again and it hit me…I realized he just does not get it and I was actually glad he wrote it. Born-Free is not about ” Pro Builders” although the guys we have are as good as it gets… period! It’s not about charging admission and making a boat load of cash,or getting the main streamer’s to acknowledge what we do.Our vendors,sponsors,artists,friends, builders and everyone else who comes and supports us are so appreciated and they make the show what it has become. It’s about the love of motorcycles old & new,riding,hanging out with friends,talking about what you built or how you did it or who did it for you.The struggle with old motorcycles and it is a struggle to keep them on the road is not for everyone but if you can weather the storm and actually get out and ride somewhere with your friends..it can feel euphoric.I can only imagine what it feels like to ride an old bike from a good distance to Born-Free with close friends. The memories it will make will last forever.You will become that old biker at a swapmeet that all the young guys are listening too and he talks about the old shows and runs he went on…that will be you!! The awards,giveaways,vendors,builders and bands are fun but that’s just a small piece of the pie…The real piece is the feeling you get when you realize there are so many people that feel the same as you do about something ( motorcycles)…and you have found each other…Born-Free is just the destination and where it all comes together. The show has grown but I feel it has gotten better each year and we have not comprised anything…if we do it’s over! I don’t agree with this guy’s facts but everyone sees things their own way and some people will never get what Born-Free is about and that’s OK! .. He writes:: had only heard of the “Born Free” event for the first time, the month before, and attended it on a last moment whim. I was totally blown away how huge it was for a SoCal event! As a promoter myself of one of the last remaining bike shows on the west coast (LA Calendar Motorcycle Show), I know how to figure out attendance numbers. The confined venture does make the crowd inside appear to be larger than it might be, but counting cars and bikes in the parking lot I estimated the event pulled realistically some 4-5,000 and many were there from as far away as New York and Canada, many riding in with bed rolls strapped to the backs of their bikes. So in this regard it was a huge success. Congratulations to Mike Davis, owner of Born Loser Cycle and Grant Peterson, owner of Freedom Machine who produced the event. There event was a welcome addition to the sport.It should be noted though, the parking and event admission was free. The few pro builders I talked to who had booths there, were comped their booths for no charge. And no one, including the T-shirts vendors seemed to be selling anything. Standing at the exit gates throughout the day, virtually no one walked out with a purchase. There were not any contemporary builds there, rather old rat bikes and metric customs pulled out from the back of garages with refinished stock parts. No money was being spent by this crowd in the current economy to support the return of the motorcycle aftermarket industry. And nearly everyone biker there was 40 years and older. Though there was a large contingent of the younger retro tattoo crowd 25-35 years also coming to hang out. And judging by the large staff of security, parking and required law enforcement for security and traffic control, and facility rental, the promoters had a considerable production cost. Hopefully the promoters turned some profit to warrant keeping it going.But until spectators are willing to spend money for parts and custom bikes, and to pay an event admission fee, the sport may continue with free events like Ride Free for the die-hard, lower income bikers, but the motorcycle industry as a whole will still struggle to recover. Particularly as our demographics continue to see us grow older..