My good buddy, Harland, who shoots photos for Feel Good, and I took a trek down to Palm Springs for some sunshine, rebuilt vintage motorcycles aging back to the 1930’s, incredible hot rods, and a plethora of vintage goods. At first, the plan was to ride our motorcycles down, and we’re pretty thankful we didn’t.
We started the trip on cloud 9. Packed into my mini-van with cameras, an extra tee shirt, and some beer. Blasting everything from Black Sabbath to Danny’s Song to Saves The Day, we pushed through the morning.
During all road trips, the trippers go through ups and downs of mental stability & energy. Our first bout of this was when pulled off to take a bathroom break, which turned into a quick shotgun beer break. Spirits were high.
As we continued down California, the sunny weather began to fade. We took a route to avoid Los Angeles traffic, which ultimately led us through a city called Neenach off the 138. As the clouds rolled in and the winds picked up, I realized I didn’t bring a jacket and the slow freezing of my body began. After a quick stop, I drove us through Palmdale, with Harland being the great co-pilot he is (see below), and after a few hours, some terrifying wind, spitting rain, (this is when we were OK with not riding bikes down) and inevitable traffic, we made it to the desert, excited for the show the next day.
With social media and all nowadays, Harland and I both knew of specific choppers at the show we wanted to see. Pulling up to the Ace Hotel, the vintage cars and heaps of old, crusty motorcycles were quite the sight. Everything from a 1938 UL Harley to a ‘55 Shovelhead to my personal favorite (seen below), this periwinkle Panhead by Adam (@manboywolf).
I had a sweet moment of awe realizing how old these motorcycles are… 1930’s, 40’s and so on. I think it’s impossible to not respect these enthusiasts the push through the difficulties and frustrations of working on these old Harleys. It’s truly an art of expression, whether it be adding subtle details, like a knife sheath or a snake kickstand, some parts of the person who built it come through, and that’s the part of it all that grabs that little part in me and fills it with inspiration and desire to find my own sense of this all.
It was cool as hell to walk around a hotel filled with vintage motorcycles, good people, hot rods older than your grandma, and vintage clothing for the masses. Between a pie eating contest, lunchtime tequila shots, drooling over these bikes, and hot tubbing away hangovers, the trip was a much needed getaway to recollect and reignite some vintage inspiration inside as Feel Good begins to grow and develop. Paradise Roadshow did us well. We wished we had our own motorcycles to ride around Palm Springs, but ol’ reliable, Bessie the van, took care of us.
On Sunday, we stopped by the show for one last look around and a last minute shop for some goodies to take home. With a fix of vintage inspiration, one can of Pacifico left, and a long drive ahead, Harland took a nap, and I pushed our tired asses back to San Francisco.
Thanks to all the kickass men and women who put on the show, brought the vintage motorcycles and old hot rods, supplied the heaps of vintage clothing, gave tattoos, and brought a mass of like-minded weirdos to a hotel in the desert. Til’ next year.
See more photos from our trip here - Harland Spinks Photography.