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down.

The promoter did a great job of organizing and keeping the rally looking neat and tidy, but the way it was done was so hollywood.

What I mean by that is...


For years a rally happened where the outlaw bikers, the renegades rode into town once a year to raise hell and ride their bikes, drink beer, and show off their bikes.

Since 1947 the bikes paraded into town.. into downtown and then lined up next to each other from one end of the street to the other on both sides, and 2 rows of bikes down the middle of the street.

Then the bikers would continually ride in the gap between the center row bikes and the curbed bikes in both directions while the sidewalk lookers would hoot and holler at the bikers riding by showing off their bikes.

The other great fun was.. looking at the bikes all lined up for a 1/2 a mile on San Benito rd. (the main drag).

Thousands of bikes to look at. That was what Hollister was. It was the event to show off your bike at. It was the event to be in total awe of the machines we all love to ride.


2007 Hollister.... all bikes were parked on the side streets and back streets where people were not gathering and they sold V.I.P. parking passes for $25, but most people had to park a distance away on a side streets and then walk to San Benito to witness the largest gathering of tents in the middle of the street selling mostly t-shirts. There were more booths with t-shirts than anything else (did I say that there were more booths with t-shirts than anything else?).

It was a mall on the plaza for vendors. The bikers had to walk in. A Vendors paradise you would think, but it was not.

For the Vendors... By the time you paid for all licenses and permits and booth space, $2800 was something that is generally not hard to make back, but, because the event was held the weekend after the forth, it suffered participation due to the weird weekend where the 4th was mid week. So the biker population was considerably down.

All Hollister rally's had always been the week before or on the 4th.

I did fine with my product (I generally do). The beauty salon we rented had Nothing in it (because it was being completely renovated, so we had a vacant store to dress up and we also did not have to live by the rules laid out in Vendor village.

Oh and they had a second vendor village a few blocks away for lesser money, but everything from knitting tools and hair products were sold there. No real motorcycle products were being sold because of the high cost of vendor space.

Promoters.. take note.. Over pricing the vendors will not bring them back next year if they lose their butt.


The show began at 9 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m. with loud speakers placed on poles and some lame "you know what" with zero personality at the helm... blah blah blah blah blahing.


The cops briskly ushered everyone out at closing. So controlled that this was clearly NOT a biker event representing 60 years of biker invasion, it was a soccer event or some other type of event, it was a school room text book controlled event, but it was NOT a biker event and the hell raisers and bikers had no place to stand around all night and shoot the sh## "you know what" as in years past.

Be good little bikers and go back to your hotel rooms and camping tents and we'll see you at the same t-shirt booths in the morning.

The police presence was so thick I had to continually joke with them because They were about the 1 cop per 5 bikers (not really but it seemed like it) .. they walked in groups of 5-8.

They wore protective vests, but each vest had a patch on the back telling what department they worked out of.

Dept. of Justice, Parole depatment, Police, etc.

I really didn't feel any safer, and they were also making everyone remove all knives ( a vendor will generally carry a knife for opening up boxes etc. but that was forbidden).

A friend (Maddness) was stopped by a cop who said.. remove that knife and put it back in your bike or else... so my friend started walking back towards his bike and immediately is tagged by the radio.. Male, 5'10" wearing a "I kill cops" t-shirt heading east on 4th street carrying a knife, and girl friend with tweezers.

(just kidding about the t-shirt and tweezers) but the description thing was real.

I have to say this was the worst rally I have ever been to that was supposed to be about the bikers and their bikes, because it was about the seeing the tents and t-shirts.

If they do it that way next year.. I'm staying home... but hey.. the city didn't want the rally the year before when everyone showed up anyways and they cited 4,000 bikes last year, so maybe this is their way of discouraging us from returning like the swallows do every year in San Juan Capistrano.

If the bikers don't come to town once a year, that little town will fall off the face of the map in my opinion, it's history is because of what took place in 1947, and the revenue it makes from the bikers who come is critical to that towns existance.

The Marlon Brando movies that were made because of those renegades who showed up there.

Damn city councils, and government people always having to tell other FREE Americans what they can and cannot do.. sounds real sick don't it.

Just my opinion


PS, didn't take pics because I was busy selling our knobs, and didn't think a picture of tent city would impress anyone.

PPS...

I saw a great number of VTX riders at the event. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Many from this board showed up and said hi.
 

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I couldn't agree more!!!

Kenny,

First, it was great to see you again. You are looking much better!!

Man, I have never seen so many vendors selling exactly the SAME T-Shirts for the SAME PRICES!! It was like everything was controlled by 'Big Brother!!!'

Oh well, I guess we all have to do it once. This was my first and last time.

Glad you did well.

Regards,
Joe T.
 

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Well Madness Inc. made it home at 8:00 or so Sunday night.

We headed to Hollister the short way up the 5, HOT!!!! Thank god for cooling vests!
Oh... and the wonderful smells riding through the Cow factory was less than a good thing LOL

We pulled into Hollister Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel in Morgan Hill, did a quick un-pack and headed into town…

Can’t tell you guys how nice the VIP parking was, no problems at all…

The town as crowded but no way as much as it became Saturday!

The way they set it up this year was a big topic, not too many people liked it, being that this was our first trip we did not know how it was, I guess it was more about the bikes in the past and is more about T-Shirts now…

On a personal note…
I would have preferred that the signs warning attendees about knives be placed Facing the ENTRANCE rather than FACING THE EXITS!!!
I guess the little clip holding my HUGE 4 inch folding knife was just too intimidating for one of the “Riot Gear Clad” Doughnut Inhaling, Detective Wanabe’s as he told me to take it back to the bike, then felt it necessary to radio in “Guy with a black Madness Inc. shirt with a knife warned to remove it”

Thank you kind sir for saving countless Bad Ass Bikers from a Madman on a Honda...

It was great to see Kenny again and meeting Mr. Lobo…

Man, the place was PACKED Saturday; again the VIP parking was a good thing.
Lots of stuff to look at, if you like T shirts and I think many of the Cows we drove past Friday on the 5 had now became Jackets, Chaps, Vests, and smelled much better I may add…

Some of our group headed out early Sunday morn, we chose for a slightly later departure time.
The ride home was much better as we headed along the coast, great weather and fantastic views, the same route as the Big Sur run last year, just can’t beat that area...

All in all a good trip, 791 miles door to door, again the X was fantastic, only requiring Gas and a few windshield bug removals…

Here is a quick Photo show of the weekend...
http://www.photoshow.net/watch/ri2iW2aS

Ride Safe…

“Madness Inc.”
 

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That eradication of the 4 columns of bikes (2 outside, 2 inside) on the main San Benito drag and of course the parading (of bikes) in between was a HUGE letdown in my book. Those were the totally quintessential Hollister experiences and I really wanted the new lady in my life to see it. But of course there were thousands of bikes all around anyway.

There WERE an awful lot of schlock tents. The vendors and the corporate thing really took over. Not that I'm old enough to have experienced any of this personally, but the Hollister Rally was borne from the dirt track racing they'd have in the area in the 1930's; and of course the nefarious 1947 so-called town "takeover," all about good fun and biker shenanigans. So how bittersweet that the only bike "games" I saw there was shunted away in the northwest corner of the festivities: a few balloon tosses over a goal-post while riding and women passengers eating wieners as the bike passed them hanging on a string; all watched by a crowd of predominately kids and non-bikers. Makes you want to cry. Also, you KNOW it was a softer event because we were able to have drinks in Johnny's without any Hells Angels or Renegades in sight. While we DID have a good time, we may pass next year.

Anyway, good to see you in your usual spot there and renew acquaintances. Keep up the good work; love the stuff you make and sell -- some of the first truly custom 3rd party accessories made for the VTX!

Andrea and I at Hollister
 

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Been to Sturgis lately???? 400,000+ people spending money on trinkets and walking around looking like badass bikers, and about 300 at the races????
 

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I have to agree with everything you say. I was very displeased with the event. It was so much more "motorcycle" orientated in past years. Now it was a meat market for t-shirt vendors.

I probably won't be going down there next year.

It was good to finally meet you. You offer a nice product to finish off our bikes.

Jon
 

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I'd thought about going to Hollister this year, but figured it wouldn't be that good since the ban of last year. There'd be a lot of uncertainties as they figured out how to do it while keeping everyone happy. Usually this means no one is happy, but no one is terribly upset either.

Now i don't think i'll ever go. During the weekend i was down on 3rd street in Santa Monica. It's a popular outdoor mall for the trendy in west Los Angeles. In the 45 minutes i was there, i saw three Hollister t-shirts.

The first one i saw i figured the person was from Hollister and down visiting. It was one of those cheesey, single color silk screened tourist t-shirts. The other two were fashion statements. Then i realized that Hollister had gone commercial and is just something else to put on the butt of sweats like "Juicy" and "Pink".

Somewhere along the way someone sold the soul of the Hollister event. Now this report of the most recent event confirms that. People are trying to make a buck on the coolness that was Hollister.
 
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