Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Smoke Out Rally

The Horseless Smoke Out 19 Kills It in Rockingham, NC

A buddy of mine was talking about the Smoke Out Rally and he said that the Smoke Out is oversized, beat up and reeks of marijuana, it’s kind of like Willie Nelson’s tour bus, except people still want to ride that….

And I thought to myself, ‘O ye, of little faith’. Edge, the head cook and bottle washer of the Smoke Out Rally, has been putting on a show for 19 years and each one is run like a symphony of sights and sounds that’s built specifically for the world of the chopper jockey. George the Painter, “GTP”, said that it would be Epic and he was right. It was more relaxed in a way… more like back in the early days of Indian Larry and Billy Lane.

There have been some changes this year. The historical primary sponsor, The Horse Backstreet Magazine, backed out and were replaced with Jamboozie Customs and Bad G Customs.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Everyone competing in MiniBike Requires a Costume

Tim Gelay took the mini bike races to the next level and added mini bike drag racing which was… also epic. Who knew you could tweak a small displacement engine to break 70 mph in 330 feet.

The minibike races always draws a crowd and this year it was no different. Contestants dress up in super hero costumes and compete on a 6-turn track. The Fireman, the cross dressing Nurse Rachet and the Budman all looked as good as there racing style.

The mini-bike race was stacked with competitive racers. Race winner Cameron Carter, 31, of Blews Creek, NC wore a red, white and blue top hat, an American flag shirt and had empty cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon strapped to his legs as shin guards.

At the start of the championship race, Cameron Carter missed the hole shot and slotted behind the Budman, Chris Griffin. Carter pressured Griffin until he made a mistake and made an inside pass to take the lead and the win.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Carter pressured Griffin until he made a mistake and made an inside pass to take the lead and the win.

2nd place Chris Griffin of Monroe, NC fashioned a medieval helmet out of a case of Budweiser and flew a Confederate flag and a marijuana-leaf flag from his green bike. The two changed positions multiple times throughout the 8 lap race.

You meet a lot of interesting folks at the Smoke Out. This kid racer had spunk, moxie and probably a few other STDs. Will Smarr is a firefighter that had his full gear on and a mini bike that featured a fire engine siren. This is his second year and he made it to two rounds before missing the final cut by 1 position.

The fun and relaxed vibe was so obvious that it was a kind of an underlining discussion that people kept bringing up. Smoke Out 19 was just… fun. Rebel Son always kills it. All the entertainment was all pretty amazing really.

When you are on the road it is tough to clear your head from a weekend of shenanigans to write a rally recap. No exception here. Our espresso machine was broken and our supply of Starbucks singles was running thin. Our avocado ration was cut in half and there was a 10-minute wait for a charging port. Writing Is Hell!

No one knew what to expect in terms of custom bike entries or attendance this year. However, this year’s bike show was more epic than I could have ever guessed.

A large white circus tent was erected with the garage-built bikes ringing the tent. The tent was there to cool off the enthusiasts looking at the choppers. Under the tent it was as cool as Steve McQueen and the custom bikes circling the huge tent were even cooler.

Edge tapped me to manage the custom show. I had just about 25% of the show loaded when Edge strolled by and said that the set-up wasn’t his vision. I asked him what his vision was and he explained that he wanted the bikes butt-up to the tent not four feet away as I had set up.

Edge is true to his word so when he sez, “you’re not going to like this, but…” you pretty much know you’re not going to like it.

So, I reset the 30 bikes in the 90 degree heat… and almost died. As I’m pushing them in place, bikes are arriving and it’s double-time for about 45 minutes.

The thing about the Smoke Out, it’s about choppers. It’s about builders, from professional builders like Bill Dodge and Jeff Cochran, to those bloody-knuckled guys (and ladies) burning the midnight oil in an unheated shed to build a chopper they can call their own.

At this bike show chops of all makes are featured including American, British, Metric… everything.

I especially liked Cindy Wing’s story. She rode in her hardtailed BSA from Joplin MS. To get ready for the ride, she rebuilt the bottom end on her kitchen table. She was also one of the winners and will receive a feature in an upcoming issue of Thunder Press.

Saturday afternoon we raffle off bike show prizes from Leatherworks Inc., Simpson Helmets, J&P Cycles, Heavy Metal Art and Aeromach MFG. At Smoke Out 19 we have 9 winners with each receiving a feature article from a magazine.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Bill Dodge Competes in the Pro Showcase Class

The winners with the writers and editors come on-stage for the awards. Each winner receives a bike feature from a magazine publication.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

  • Garrett Walker, 1982 Harley XLH Chopper – Steve Lita with American Iron Garage
  • Sean Bast, 1974 Harley Chopper – Steve Lita with American Iron
  • Jeff Cochran, Speed King, Custom Shovel – Mark Infiedl with Full Throttle
  • Cindy Wing, ’66 BSA Hardtail – Pat Boylan of Thunder Press
  • Ed Carrol, Sportster Chopper – Jesse Kisser of HOT BIKE
  • Randall Shaffer, 98” 1941 Knucklehead – Mike Pullen of Bikernet
  • James Millburn, ’83 Ironhead Choppa – Jack Calfano of Barnett’s
  • Kevin Combs, 1957 PAN/SHOVEL – George the Painter of Cycle Source Magazine
  • Jonathon Baggett, Custom Triumph Chopper – Mike Allen of Cycle Source Magazine
Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Mike Allen’s article will be published in an upcoming Issue of Cycle Source Magazine

The Smoke Out is filled with action. One hour it’s the Painted Lady Contest with living canvases stripped down to their thongs with Picassos making their art come to life.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Picassos working hard on their canvases

Then the next hour is 50’s style drag racing or a beard and mustache contest. Of course, a real crowd pleaser is the minibike race.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Drag Racing

At about 10PM on Saturday night the festivities had wound down. There are two after parties, one in the campground and one in the lodge. Both offer exceptional entertainment. The campground features burnouts, karaoke and bands. This year I headed to the lodge for a little R&R because I didn’t have a camping pass.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Freakshow headlines Saturday Night

As soon as I hit the front door, I went for the bar and after two double Stormy Jack Daniels I turned to my left and noticed a Dog sitting on the barstool next to me.

I wondered, for just a moment, if I was trippin. It turns out he was waiting there for a takeout order. His companion, the fireman from the minibike race, grabbed a salad and two orders of fried mozzarella sticks. The dog hopped off the stool and led the way out the door and back into their room.

Soon enough the core of the working Smoke Out team were back at the lodge and they had brought the Canadian band The Creepshow that headlined the event with them. Their tradition is to sit in the lobby and catch up and drink. So within a blink of an eye there were handles of bourbon, jars of white lightening and bottles of something from an Eastern bloc country. The after party went until 3AM. Good times!

The Smoke Out was epic this year. Next year is the twenty-year anniversary and you know it will be off-the-chain. I’ve got a new espresso machine on order.

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Smokey burnouts at the Smoke Out Rally

Smoke Out Rally Bike Show Winners

Fans enjoying the bands at the Smoke Out Rally

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