Born-Free The Meaning

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 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..

12 thoughts on “Born-Free The Meaning

  1. "Pittsburgh" Paul says:

    I think that's a predictable sentiment in America that stems from capitalism. People like this truly don't get it as you've pointed out..and sadly probably never will. SO MANY PEOPLE see something good, something that is relatively pure, and they ask "how can we make money from this??". They don't understand that it simply boils down to passion, common interest, and friendship. It's not about a demographic, a market, or a business opportunity. I'm personally not concerned with reviving a "sport" or "industry". I'm just concerned with riding old bikes, learning everything I can about them, and meeting people who want to do the same. Born Free is a chance for me to meet other guys who share similar sentiments…see their work…and support them too by picking up a tshirt or part here and there. But, as it grows, it inevitably will attract more people who think like the guy in this post. They'll be looking for the angle, looking to pitch a product, and exploit this however they can.

  2. Roger says:

    What time was he there? 10:00AM when it opened? The crowds and money spent were considerable. Tides change; it is a fact. I feel he needs to see that the future of our culture is in our hands and not in those of whom hold onto an idea of the past. Oh, and "there" is in reference to place not possession (their).

  3. accountebay23 says:

    The writer or the article could not write. His ramblings are full of mispelled words and such. The first "marxist" comment attacking Capitalism is way off base. There is nothing wrong with making a profit or making money. It is not what Born-Free is about. Still, there is no reason to pin some idiots remarks on Capitalism. The Free Market Capitalistic system is why we enjoy motorcycles unlike other areas of the world where they only dream about it.

  4. Paul says:

    Marxism? This is getting deep for a motorcycle blog! No, I actually enjoy capitalism. And, whether it's good/bad/or otherwise, the focus on business opportunity and profit is deeply rooted in capitalism. I said that it's a 'predictable' sentiment, not a bad one. And, that's how I read the comments in the original post. It's just not in the spirit of the show, or at least in my experience. But free entrance, free parking, open to all – that does sound a lot like socialism (joking)!!! Man, we're about 4 posts away from someone mentioning Obama and Hitler in the same sentence…what did I start here??? I think the next post on the blog should be about vintage motorcycle parts price inflation as it relates to Keynesian economics. High brow stuff.

  5. shawn - Imperial House says:

    Wow. All I can say is that this cat is lost. Lost in a world that he chooses to place himself in daily. A world of content dissatisfaction. Thanks again to Grant and Mike for a vision of something grand. Something bigger than dollars. BUT to that fact; I showed up to Born Free 4 with some paints, a few brushes, a grin from ear to ear, and a willingness to offer up my skills at a fair price. I was able to cover my travel costs (airfare from the midwest to Cali) for a family of four, and enjoy a week's vacation, because of people who were willing to spend their cash on this thing he calls a sport. Mike and Grant, keep it going! I will continue to support it and help. I wonder if you realize the impact this little gig youve dreamed up, actually has on so many people. Be great!

  6. manwithnoisland says:

    I have attended all but BF3 shows, which I kick thyself in the ass for not going. I am tickled PINK I went this year. Why? #1.I was able to see old friends I have not seen for a good year or so, catch up on what they have been up to and have done, as in projects that are under construction or finished. One was a invite builder, Rene Astengo, Dago Speed Shop, good couple of months before the show was sending me sneek peeks of his build to me. I knew this meant something pure and just flat out an honor, as all the other invitee' as well, to show what they have endless hours of going over their heads, doing one thing, scrapping it, coming up with something better, making sure it all FLOWS once they stand back, fresh paint, all assembled and just say there it is, a whole year under their belts and finally, at the show say, FUCK YEAH! Amazing what one can do, just thoughts and ideas that come out of ones head, make it into reality and all out of that workplace one calls his "peace of mind" to get away from the daily grind of society, and your idea on how your build will come out. That right there is PRICELESS! Grant-Mike, I personally want to say thank you for keeping this BORN FREE SHOW going. If there is a BF5, and you both can make it happen, I don't know how you will top off this years show. But , if ya do, I know you will find a way. You have for 4 years now

  7. paul says:

    For the hell of it and a last minute whim, I went to LA Calendar Show, quite frankly it was the worst show I went to in over 20 years. It doesn't even compare, after his show he is probably removing his foot out his mouth. I cant see this show continuing. I agree he is out of touch. i also read the blog and seen someone else comment in detail, which in fact was correct in detail how bad it was.

  8. Vince Lamarche says:

    The calander show has been on a big downward spiral ever since he moved it from Santa Monica and started to cater to the Rubbs in the industry. Jim has never been a true biker. hes in it for the money and it shows. I heard this years show was one of the worst shows ever put on period.

  9. Michael Barragan says:

    That dude is clueless. I have attended many shows around the world. I stood there and realized how Borne Free was by far the best all around feeling show I have been to. from the little kids there the attendance of women to men ratio to the "knuckle head" riding some piece of shit with a shit eating grin on his face as it misfires past me. as far as "low end bike's" lets not forget the builder who made a water cooled knuckle and it looked cool to. remind me not to go to the calender show to see 5 chicks they paid to be there and a bunch of billet bullshit!!!!!

  10. DW says:

    I went to the LA Calendar Show this year and I felt embarrassed and sorry for the promoter. After reading this, I don't feel sorry for him anymore. Screw him.

    If you check out the comments on Cyril Huze blog about the LA Calendar event and see pictures from the show you will see why. I was there for an hour after noon and left – it was a ghost town. There were more people outside protesting the event that were inside the event (protesting the no-colors, no-patches rule, go figure)

    According to one of the commenters,the LA Calendar show did the very things its promoter accused Born Free of doing (comping vendors). There were less than ten vendor booths, three food trucks, and a single beverage booth, and apparently with the minuscule number of attendees the food trucks still managed to run out of food. Normally I'd commend the promoter for trying but dissing Born Free's "business model" when his is clearly a spectacular failure is in extremely poor form.

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