One Time I Rode...

Melly brings insanely positive vibes to the Vancouver motorcycle community. She is a writer, a teacher, and a badass rider. Recently, she hosted a "Motorcycle Storytelling" night and offered to write about it for Road Apples, so here it is!

“One Time I Rode…” – A Motorcycle Storytelling Night by Melly Kage

Last weekend the first ever “One Time I Rode…” motorcycle storytelling night took place at the community hub, The Shop Vancouver. The place was filled with old and new friends, who all came out to hear some stories of the speakers I curated from my circle of riders. We shared love stories about certain bikes, adventures of being stranded by the side of the road or flying down a perfect highway, memories about the first exhilarating, infecting time in the saddle or about the last metres of rolling along before you drop down or the engine gives up, and nostalgia about cruising around with your sisters and brothers or scary solo endeavours. The night had everything from poetic to hilarious, from thoughtful to light-spirited, from long narrations to short anecdotes. After the five slotted storytellers, some guests from the crowd got inspired, went to the front and spontaneously told their own tales – I believe every rider has at least one. 

I have been planning this event for a while, and for several reasons. First of all, I am very passionate about stories, reading, writing, listening and telling them! It often seems to me that it is a lost art or a neglected skill: to tell a good tale, to be present and share something from the heart, mind or personal experience that is longer than a caption, more direct than a text message and deeper than a photo – as much as I love beautiful imagery and quick connection, I think communication and true bonding thrive on words, and get even better with eye contact and in 3D. 

The second reason is, that storytelling about motorcycles is a great way to bridge the times without riding, for example when you are injured, your bike refuses to run, the rain never stops or the winter brings minus double-digit windchill. Reminiscing old and recent anecdotes of the best or worst two-wheeled travels ever, or even presenting dreamy ideas about future roadtrips gets people pumped to jump on their motorbikes and go on the next ride, ready for whatever story it will bring. 

This first round of “One Time I Rode…” was a lot of fun, and Volume 2 is already planned: it will happen on May 11th at the Carnegie Branch of the Vancouver Public Library. I am thrilled to combine my love for riding, writing and bringing people together with this kind of event, and look forward to Volume 3 in a dirty garage, Volume 4 being an all-women storytelling night and so on and so on. Ride ride ride everyone, and keep making stories to tell!

Photos by: Tj Schneider

Words by: Melly Kage

Hawks Nest

The Hawks Nest in one of many East Vancouver workshop spaces. The boys in this spot are pretty funny to be around, and they've got a lot of cooks in the kitchen but they always seem to make shit run! Here's their space:

Becky Goebel
Benny Kauz
Them Road Apples
Road Apples
Becky Goebel
Becky Goebel

Bikes: Benny Kauz, Blaine Connolly, Andrew Grace, AJ McAllister, KC Winacott, Cory Gallon, Fuddy and probably one of these bikes is Tory Potoroka's in one way or another.

New Roller Mag

New issue of Roller Magazine is out and features a pretty rad couple pages featuring Born Free 7. This mag is totally Japanese but we've been getting it at The Shop Vancouver for quite some time and it's fucking cool anyway. 

These dudes also have a rad blog on their website with a ton of photos from Born Free posted up, lots of vendor booth photos too which is cool. Pick up a copy if you can find one!

'Mikey Revolt' Photo Show

Mikey Revolt from Forever The Chaos Life flew into Vancouver to put on a photo show during the Spit N' Shine weekend hosted by The Shop Vancouver. It was a killer kick off night and the beers were flowing (I feel like I say that a lot... we're always on the beers). Mikey is a rad dude and also does social media and other cool things for Lowbrow Customs so he's got a lot going on. Really great to meet everyone who came up over the past week and super excited for this to happen next summer!

Dude knows how to take a killer photo that's for sure. There was a couple bike builders who came up from Seattle on their bikes as well. There's Dalans bike pictured below.

Ashley had a baby that morning but that didn't stop him from crushing the 'Dad Bike' down to the show. 

Cory Jarman from San Fran also had a section at the show featuring his paintings. Check out his site here.

We got out for a ride with Mikey and his wife one night and it was pretty crazy. He takes photos like a mad man. He was on a bike he's never rode before on a road he's never rode before standing up on his pegs with no hands, looking through his camera, facing the wrong way in the wrong lane to get this shot (below). Love seeing behind the scenes shit like that. Hope to cross paths with you soon buddy!

Spit N' Shine 3

The 3rd Annual Shop Vancouver Spit N' Shine went down on Saturday over at Crab Park in Vancouver. Bikes started showing up an hour before the thing was even suppose to start and we knew it was going to be big. It was about 5 times bigger than it was last year, so good thing we hosted it in a massive parking lot instead of trying to have it on the closed off block in front of The Shop. 

TJ called out the name of the first ticket pulled for the 2006 Paul Smart Ducati and the dude was standing right in the front all ready with all of his tickets. It was pretty awesome to see someone actually be there win it. 

Pretty hyped on this weekend and all the people that came from out of town to be a part of it. We had the dude who won Best In Show at Born Free 7 hanging around with his winning bike as well as some Portland folk and photographer Mikey Revolt who flew in from Ohio. Always a good weekend to be around and a good warm up before Disaster Daze happens this coming weekend!

Here's the full-length event video made by Blaine Connolly who's been putting them out there lately.

3rd Annual Spit n Shine from Blaine Connolly on Vimeo.

3rd Annual Spit n Shine hosted by The Shop Vancouver

Born Free 7

We just got back from 2 weeks on the road so this mega post is ready to happen. Born Free was really awesome and probably one of the best put together events I have been to. It was the first BF for me and I will for sure be going back next year.

Max Shaaf build this knuckle and rode it all the way to Born Free to raffle it off. Was pretty cool watching someone win this baby.

Tons of road warriors on their way to Cooks Corner to drink a hundred beers

Jangus drove down from Vancouver, BC with his and his buddies bike in the back of his Ford Ranger in less than 24 hours. He got to LA right as the Chun party which was releasing the new Dice Mag was going on. Turns out this naked babe was all over his bike in a couple pages of the new issue. This dude and his bike rules.

TJ from The Shop Vancouver who we drove down from Canada with had painted a tank for the art and fuel show they had set up at Born Free. The artists involved were really inspiring and it was rad how much diversity there was. Tj and The Shop will be giving away the tank he painted over the next couple weeks so keep an eye out for that via @theshopvancouver instagram page.

Chicks at the Babes Ride Out meet up the first day. Was so cool to meet a ton of ladies who I talk to online and who I'll be spending time with this summer. Here's Corinne modelling for Jennys new company Strange Vacation.

Jenny @hookersandpopcorn

Jenny @hookersandpopcorn

Never thought I would be so thankful for clouds.

Guest Spot: TJ Schneider, Born Free Pre-Party

It's fucking cool because you'll never meet a guy that so many people are stoked on, be so stoked on other people. This past weekend Tj got to go stoke-out down south in Inglewood California for the Born Free 7 Pre-Party at the Garage Company. When you see The Shop Vancouver van roll through Born Free this summer, make sure you come say hi! Here's Tj's words on his trip:

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a bike event down in California. 

When we sponsored Born Free this year, I didn’t want to be like most companies that just show up and try to make their money back. 

For us at The Shop, this event is about supporting an event and people that really made a difference in my life. 

I wonder if I hadn’t gone down to Born Free, maybe I wouldn’t have met Brett ( co-founder of The Shop Vancouver ) Maybe I wouldn’t have had a reason to talk to Grant and Harpoon at Agenda years ago about their brand FMA… Who knows , maybe I wouldn't have been so mind blown and fallen so head over heels in love with the vintage bikes I swoon over every day. 

When I went to Born Free originally, I had already finished my first chopper. 

I loved that bike, but what I saw that day changed my idea of what was possible with them. 

Bikes like The High Little pony inspired me to build a Triumph, Paint from Gen Love Ear Art, inspired me to do my own paint work… 

The show inspired The Spit n Shine… The level of inspiration is literally too much for me to explain.. and has led to us now not only being sponsors of the show, but being invited to be a part of elements I never thought possible with the Art and Fuel exhibition by Throttle Addiction and Chop Cult. 

I went down to this weekends event to show and let people really know how grateful we are to be a part of this event. 

I went down to see old friends, meet people we do business with and meet so many of the people we interact with on the daily via our online lives. 

I mean shit, thats what this is all about right… it’s social media, Its about being social, not being the coolest fucker on the block. 

I had great intentions of shooting tons of flicks, but got caught up in checking out peoples bikes, their paint, shaking hands, giving hugs and being stoked. 

Here are a few of my moments from Saturdays event at Garage Company. 

I spent a good amount of time with Wil Thomas of TriCo.. Wills 47FL is a true Beauty. We stopped in to see Wil the day before at his store, it feels like a home away from home of us. 

Ben the Boog, paint by Spagetty

Ben the Boog, paint by Spagetty

Als bike of Black Board Cafe

Als bike of Black Board Cafe

Unknown artist: Awesome bubbles.

Unknown artist: Awesome bubbles.

Because I was recently invited to take part in the Throttle Addiction Art and Fuel 2 exhibition, I spent a good amount of time tripping out over the paint. 

I love the old paint bikes and have so many ideas of what I would like to do for my tanks… I also spent a good amount of time saying “ fuck look how great this is” only to realize that those tanks were painted by Gen, Spagetty or Harpoon, 3 of the very talented artists of the 9 others in the show… I’m nervous. 

Theres something about Old Paint… to me it doesn’t matter if its the rarest old Knuckle with original paint that's perfect or some weird old rusted out shit box. There is nothing better. 

Yoshi, has an eye. I love the set up of this space.

Chris Mumma has a BEAUTIFUL Pan that was put together by Jason of ATR. This one caught my eye from across the street earlier in the day, I was stoked I was able to grab a second flick as Chris waited for his Home Boi before jamming out. 

I love this shit!