Pumping Iron at Muscle Beach
There’s a new day dawning at L.A.’s Muscle Beach, and just a couple blocks away from Gold’s Gym, the heavy metal here is the two-wheeled kind.
Four local Venice Beach bike nuts (bike builder Shannon Sweeney of SS Classics, Hunter Knight, Jeff Verges and Patrick Dunn-Baker) were looking for a gathering point for vintage bike fans. In 2007 they came up with the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club and began sponsoring events. The general rule for club membership is a passion for bikes that came with kickstarters, specifically pre-1978 machines. However all bikes and riders were welcome this past July 11, 2010, for the most recent VVMC event held at a large warehouse complex known as The Yard, a couple blocks from Muscle Beach. Cosponsored by Royal Enfield, the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally included a bike show and, drew over 3,000 fans and 700 bikes of all flavors. There was something for everybody, from a 1915 Excelsior to a futuristic trike powered by a blown 426 Hemi. The 3 B’s (barbecue, beer, and bands) added to the festivities, and an auction included a membership at Gold’s Gym as well as a purported “original gas tank” from the classic biker movie Easy Rider, with all proceeds benefiting AHRMA vintage motorcycle racing programs. Best of all, the event was totally free to the public.
Summing up their events, cofounder Jeff Verges says, “We put them on for the love of motorcycles and to put Venice on the vintage bike map. The local businesses have embraced it, the show days are always sunny, the fun nonstop, and each event gets bigger and better.” MC