Monday, December 15, 2008

Century Motorcycles Xmas Party

Too many things to do this time of year!

Kenny was tight with Century owner Cindy Rutherford. Note that this invite says 11th annual in 1987. They've been doing this for awhile.

Here in So Cal we had the Mooneyes show on Saturday followed by the Chopper Fest Sunday.

I'd been going to the The Moon show since the early nineties. It used to be a really cool informal (free), gathering at their shop and was the official Rat Fink Xmas Party. You could go check out the cool and crazy rods, bikes, and greet Ed Roth while he was striping and signing stuff. The good people at Moon also let other pin stripers and artist set up and sell there wares. In return they were asked to donate some art for the raffles. I did that myself for 4 years.

The Moon show outgrew the shop (cops shut it down in 1999 or 2000?), and it had to be moved to a larger location 3 times. Eventually Moon had to start charging the artists and began to let vendors set up. It lost it's charm. I heard if you were late you couldn't park. I stopped going and for the last 2 years sold my art at the Chopper Fest instead.

This year I wasn't keen to getting up at 4:00 a.m. or driving 90 miles so, I choose not to sell at or attend the CF.

Dig that crazy sign! I love this stuff. Today everything is pseudo mediterranean/mission style.

There's another annual party that I knew of but, had slipped my mind until I received an email from Keith Ball. He reminded me that Century Motorcycles in San Pedro was having their annual party Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, I was running late and it was getting chilly so, I thought I could just ride by and turn back if nothing was happening. I got there about 2 p.m. and the crowd was wanning but found that Keith had just pulled in, a few bikers were still hanging out, and it was sunny. Then another buddy pulled up followed by a good friend of Keith's.

We interrupt this story for a quickie bike feature!

My buddy Ron's 58 Sporty was one of the star attractions. Excuse the less than perfect photos but, I had to post them.

Ron's an Ironhead and Performance Freak. You gotta see this bike in person to appreciate all the fine work.

Ron shaves, cleans, drills and massages every bracket and fitting before it goes on one of his machines. Rear drum is a rare XRTT unit.

Keith dug Ron's bike and plans to do a complete feature on

Now back to the story.

Century has been having Xmas parties since 1976 and also hosts an annual Father's Day party. It had been years' since I attended one so I was curious to visit the shop plus, I enjoy these types of small intimate gatherings more than large crowded events.

Another damn blurry pic! Keith's Sturgis shovel was also a crowd favorite. It was usually surrounded by several onlookers.

British bikes abound.

Hungry Bikers chow down while another eats up the sights.

This Vinnie merited a second look

Don't know the history but it's safe to say this bike's special.

Bikes were cleared out for dinning. The motorized baby carriage was later driven out front by Cindy.

Here's Cindy blowing minds and setting speed records in the worlds fastest baby carriage at El Camino. Photo: Gleeped from unknown blog.

Not just put up yesterday to look cool. When was the last time you were in a shop with history like this?

Bill Cotton memorial wall. Bill's Ashes are in the peanut tank. We should all have such a tribute.

Circa 1963. Not much has changed. Photo: Century Motorcycles website

Simple pleasures: Riding on a crisp day, talking with buds, checking out machinery, and visiting an old timey MC Shop, makes for a memorable time.