Wild Horses

The Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show … The biggest little chopper show in Texas


Words and photos by Felicia Morgan

Everyone knows that everything’s bigger n’ just plain badder in Texas, so it’s refreshing that the promoters of the Giddy Up Vintage Chopper Show in New Braunfels, Texas, use neither of those superlatives when advertising their bad-ass little springtime bike show in late March.

Nestled along the Guadalupe River in the state’s famous Hill Country, the quaint River Road Ice House venue is ideal for these yearly get-togethers. It offers a convenient outside pavilion for concerts that’s also perfect as a tiered stage for custom choppers, with riders cruising in on their old-time scoots for nothing more than the joy of shared appreciation for the art of chopping up your ride. Long frames snuggle up next to bobbers while appreciative attendees cruise among the machines to ogle the personal touches. There are no awards and no judging, and since nobody’s bike is deemed better than the next guy’s, the whole one-day party is simply about vintage choppers and hanging out with folks who love ’em. The vibe is casual and comfortable, with greybeards and hipsters alike relaxing under the shade trees along the river while toe-tapping tunes drift across the lawn.

For those of us who grew up on pieced-together chops, the many interesting and creative machines being crafted by the younger generation were definitely worth checking out. Personally, I’d never even consider riding a bare seat pan atop a hardtail frame, and as beat up as my ol’ bones are now I think that’s a solid decision. But today’s kids have their own battle scars to earn and their stripped-down bikes are serious works of art. These minimalist builds certainly capture attention.

From the very beginning, the Giddy Up folks have raffled off a custom bike during the show. Tickets are sold at pre-parties, available in-person only, and also during the day of the event. The winner must be present, and it was announced that they also had to be able to start the custom-built chopper created by Joey Cano of Texas’s own Slab Side Cycles, which generated some extra excitement. Watching the thrill of a new bike owner is pretty cool, after all, and winner Scotty Caster was totally blown away as he stepped up to claim his prize. Hailing from Fort Worth, the guy couldn’t have wiped the grin off his face if he’d wanted to as he took possession of the 1965-Billy Ray inspired machine.

The Joey Cano/Slab Side Cycle giveaway Sportster (shown here) was won by Scotty Caster.

Next year’s Giddy Up is slated for March 28, 2020, so make your plans now. It just wouldn’t do to miss the biggest little chopper event in Texas, now would it?

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