Oct 282009
 

Fall is here and many of you are getting your bikes ready for the winter storage.  I live in Houston, TX and am able to have my bike out all year long with little discomfort.  I may take a ride in 30 or 40-degree weather four or five times… but nothing like our die-hard friends up North.

As many of you pack up your sleds, I am sure you start to daydream about Daytona.  It is, after all, the first major rally of the year.  I am no different.  The Galveston Rally is about to hit this weekend, but after that, the big rallies are over for the riding season.  So, I daydream about next year’s schedule.  And this time around, I think I would like to add a few destinations to the list that I have either never been to before, or have not been in ages and ages.  What follows will be a three-part article on the best of the best, dream destinations for 2010.  You will find the old standards like Sturgis, new events like Asian tattoo conventions, and kustom culture events like Viva Las Vegas… so read, enjoy, mark your calendars, and dream big.

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January is an overwhelming month for tattoo conventions.  Kicking off the year is one event I have never attended and would give my left nut to visit (well, that is if it wasn’t already surgically removed).  2010 will host the 2nd Annual Singapore Tattoo Convention (www.tattoo.com.sg/).  Yeah, Singapore!  Like Singapore Sling… a reason many young folks get their first tattoo… This convention does a wonderful job of mixing the best artists and amazing styles.  Last year’s event was titled “East Meets West” and showcased 60 of the East’s best artists and 60 of the most talented from the West.  This year’s selection should be just as amazing.  And before you start freaking out thinking that there is no way your artist can finish your piece at the show’s short run from January 8th thru 10th, and there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that you will ever be able to afford to travel back to Singapore, the convention folks have set up shop for post tattoo show sessions… so, extend your stay, enjoy the culture, and get that piece wrapped up before heading back home.  Cool.

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Stateside will provide Austin’s own, Star of Texas Tattoo Art Revival (www.golivefast.com/contentsaus.php).  This will be the 8th year of this convention and my Ol’ Lady and I always love attending.  The only bitch I have about this gathering is that I never know what is going on there until the convention is upon us.  As of now, there is nothing on-line about the 2010 event, but we can assume that it will most likely take place January 8-10 or 15-17.  I am rooting for the later weekend as my little girl’s birthday is January 9th and I won’t make it out there for the show if we are having a bouncy castle bash for a bunch of four year olds.

But, if it is the 15th-17th, and I actually could go anywhere I wanted, my number one choice would be to travel to Australia where I could soak in the biker culture (which is rapidly changing because of the events taking place the past 6 months or so), and I could attend the SURFink Tattoo Convention.  Not only would the weather be beautiful, remember it will be the height of the summer Down Under, but there would be so many new roads to ride, bikers to meet and amazing tattoo artists to watch.  The artist list consists of some of the best tattoo talent in the entire world and the convention will be held in the infamous Gold Coast.  There will be seminars, Art Fusion events, tattoo contests, pin-up parades, and even trips to check out the rain forest!  Check it out, drool, and dream… www.tattoosurfink.com

February and March find us with the official kick off of the bike season with the Daytona Bike Week Rally.  The 69th anniversary of this event bridges February and March by running from Feb. 26 to March 7th (http://www.officialbikeweek.com).  We all know what to expect from this event.  There will be a huge party at Destination Daytona, the Bruce Rossmeyer legacy that includes his ginormous dealership, restaurants, music venues, a J&P store, an Arlen Ness dealership, and more.  There will be the Rat’s Hole Show, the Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Show, events at Main Street (although probably not as much as in past years), coleslaw wrestling at the Cabbage Patch, events at the Last Resort in Port Orange, and more… Weather is usually great, people are nice, and the cops continue to get worse.

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April showers bring the Lucky #13th year of the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend!  Now this is an event not to be missed.  Make sure to be at the Orleans Hotel from April 1st – 4th for the very best in Rockabilly music anywhere.  Headlining is Chuck Berry.  And if for some reason the music doesn’t get you crazy, then go for the car show, tiki pool party, burlesque competition, vintage fashion show, and the biggest burlesque show in the world!

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And don’t forget the 28th Annual Laughlin River Run!  For those that have never been, the River Run became a media circus after the brawl between Mongols and Hells Angels at the Harrah’s Casino in 2002.  As of late, the run has become a bit more expensive, but is still well attended.  You can check out the happenings and schedule soon at the LRR’s homepage: www.laughlinriverrun.com. The beauty of this year’s event is that the 3rd Annual Laughlin Tattoo Convention will be happening at the same time!  The Aquarius Casino Resort will host the event April 21st – 25th and there will be the usual tattoo contests, music, good food, great folks, and there will be bikers!  Check to see if your favorite artist is going to show by visiting the official website at www.dermalknowledgeproductions.net.

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