Motorcycles and booths lined both sides of the parking lot, with gear heads and cyclists of all ages and backgrounds milled around checking out all the great bikes.
I know about nothing about motorcycles, so I'll just say this was my favorite one, and because it's a great blue, basically.
The revving of engines and the speakers blaring the live music could be heard for blocks, and gave the whole neighborhood that festive feeling that comes with a big community event.
The kid band, Detour, was back this year, blasting out a cover of Rage's "Killing In The Name" just as I arrived. They are awesome, and will only get better with age.
The Whaler had a full bar booth, so that's where you could be sure to bump into someone you knew while they were waiting to quench their pronounced thirst. Here is where I got to introduce two of Venice's best songbirds to each other, Miss Jessica and Lacey Kay Cowden - both from Louisiana, and both carrying their little dogs. I think there needs to be a collaboration here, ladies!
A highlight of the Motorcycle Rally every year is the Venice Vintage Pin Up Girl Contest, and this year brought out a large roster of lovely ladies ready to strut their stuff across the Rally stage. I'm pretty feminist, so I'm usually mixed about these kinds of things, but bikes and babes have always gone together, so it makes a certain sense. And they all looked great, all were talented, and any one of them would be great to represent the VVMC (except maybe the ones from San Francisco. We're in Venice.)
The contest is the baby of Nik Falco (of Trim fame), and she was also a thoroughly entertaining MC. I laughed out loud several times, and not just because the ladies were doing talents like ventriloquy with lips fully moving. One girl said she could fix any of the bikes there, and I thought that might be reason enough to win, but the judges, celebrity locals like Jeff Ho and Brian Van Holt, thought differently.
Several of the gals sang, and they were all pretty good. One lady (Sasha from Venice!) sang "Cool Rider" from Grease 2, and for those two things alone, we felt she really should have won. I thought the girl that laid down and jumped a bike chain with her ass might take the title, but in the end, the honor went to Elizabeth Deo.
Deo told me that she was origianally going to sing too, but as there were too many singing talents, at the last minute she decided to apply her lipstick with her cleavage, and that brought her the sash. She was lovely and gracious, and took a moment after her victory to give some pointers to a future Miss Venice Vintage, Tallah Tiger (the darling daughter of contest judge, Mersedeh Ahrablou). Adorable.
Raffle tickets had been sold all day to win a vintage motorcycle, and when the time came for the name to be drawn, the guy wasn't present. They called him and put him on speaker though, and the excited winner promised to high-tail it down there to claim his bike, putting to rest shouts for a re-draw. I'm sure he was stoked.
With the crowning of Ms. Deo, it was time to now just rock. GLR played a blistering set under the blistering sun, and the crowd was all the way into it.
People partied until the sun went down, and then branched out across town to keep the party going. Another great day in the neighborhood, and another great Venice event, that just gets better every year.
Thank you to Brady Walker, Nik Falco, the VVMC, and all the bikers and babes that came out to celebrate yet another thing we love about Venice.
See you next year!