Cowboys ’n’ Indians
Cave Creek, Ariz., Oct. 20–22—If you’re looking for a flat-out fun destination and hangout place on any given weekend, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere more exciting than Cave Creek, Arizona. A mere 30 miles outside of Phoenix, tucked in at the base of Black Mountain and right off the famous Carefree Highway, lies the world-famous Hideaway Grill and the ride to get there is half the fun. Just down the street is its sister shack, the Roadhouse Grill, and together these two places serve as the epicenter of bikeresque bashes and nonstop year-round riding entertainment.
The entire town of Cave Creek takes up a mere 28 square miles of the Sonoran Desert and the almost 6,000 residents are generally gracious about sharing their quirky city and gleefully embrace their western roots. With an official motto of “Where the Wild West Lives,” rest assured there’s a distinct western energy that pulses through the little community. Just like entering a time warp. Yep, there certainly does seem to be an untamed feeling that lends itself to the notorious Hideaway and Roadhouse that both stretch out along the city’s main drag and are impossible to miss, since after all, this is where all the cool kids have spent their weekends for the last couple of decades. To celebrate the Hideaway’s longevity, the gang hosts a fall Biketoberfest and this year’s festivities included several bike shows that had the Roadhouse tarmac packed with gleaming paint and sparkling chrome.
“Can you believe this turnout?” manager Kevin Price beamed as he surveyed the crowded display of quality builds parked outside the Roadhouse as riders rolled in from the poker run. “This is the biggest show we’ve ever had! It’s incredible!” Kevin charged off to greet the steady flow of riders who rolled in to party down over the three-day gig. An ocean of smiles and good vibes rippled through the venue as folks wandered among the vendors and cruised the boulevard between the Hideaway and the Roadhouse, stopping off to visit the friendly gals at the Buddy Stubbs Harley-Davidson boutique in between the two, all weekend long.
Soldiers on horseback first came to Cave Creek 147 years ago and the tradition of riding through one of the most western of all the Southwest cities continues today on both two wheels and four legs. It’s not unheard of to see cowboys and girls working their horses through a parking lot full of Harleys and Indians. It’s not a stretch to say you can’t replicate the Cave Creek experience anywhere else in the world.
During Bikertoberfest, Arizona’s bike builders converge on the little berg to display their wares, hang out with friends and fans and rub elbows with the cream of the crop of like-minded biker brethren. Everybody knows each other and the vendor village at the Roadhouse feels like a family reunion. Well-known builder bad boy John Shope from Dirty Bird Concepts hosted a bike show on Saturday, and then tortured the winners with wisecracks and pranks as he handed out awards. Lane Splitters Garage awarded a badass handmade trophy fashioned from a backrest on Sunday. That presentation was followed by Sideshow Cycles’ owner David Del Maestro distributing his own hand-built awards after David’s dad, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, delivered a prayer to the rowdy crowd. Builders like Kruesi Originals, Anti-Hero Cycles, Ramjet Racing, Gentlemen’s Cycles, and Black Label hung out and kept things interesting while Nick Trask from Trask Performance baked cookies in his trailer and walked through the crowd sharing the tasty treats. Anchoring the whole thing were the two local Indian dealerships, Indian Motorcycle of Scottsdale and Indian Motorcycle of Peoria, prominently set up right down the middle of the venue, making it easy to mingle with the warm and chatty crew.
Not wanting to miss out on any of the action, the cowboy bars across the road offered their own version of fun stuff to do and the newly-opened Outlaws drew a respectable crowd of folks who wanted to see the scheduled lawnmower races. These races are actually a thing and contenders come out with modified V-twin engines that can reach speeds of 100 mph. But none of those guys showed up. Instead the wild and reckless Kruesi crowd came out to do it in the dirt on minibikes and a Harley and tore up the bull-riding arena. It appears the owner of Outlaws is a smart guy and has reached out to the biker side of the street to see how they can all collaborate to present a full schedule of wild west rowdiness and the team effort was appreciated by both the guys we saw hanging out with spurs as well as the ones who wore cutoff gloves and helmets. When it comes to staring down a snot-slinging bull or keeping your rubber in the wind for a block-long wheelie, it turns out a daredevil is a daredevil, regardless of the conveyance.
By Sunday evening the Hideaway was busily giving away free tequila and handling a charity auction. Stuff like custom skateboards, lots of high-powered weapons and even a signed copy of a 2017 presidential inaugural invitation were all sold off during the high-energy bidding. The sun was sinking low by the time riders started firing up their bikes and heading home to start the week all over again.
Mark, Kevin, Rick, Taylor and all the lovely ladies are planning a rocking good time for the holidays so check the website or social media to see what lights your lights. You might want to start scheduling your vacation time for April 2018, too. Cave Creek Bike Week is guaranteed to be off the hook so believe me when I say you really don’t want to miss that wild and rowdy week. See ya there!