I started the “Biker Billy’s Irons in the Fire” Blog as a way to keep folks up to date on the many things I am involved in. It has resided here on WordPress.com so it could be easily discovered. As the years have flown by I have realized having this content outside of my main channels is less effective than I hoped. To improve the blogging experience and grow the communities we share around motorcycles, fiery foods and other topics of mutual interest I have added the blog to my website at http://www.bikerbilly.com/blog. I hope you will follow my adventures and musings at the new blog.
I am proud to share with ya’ll that Biker Billy will be appearing at White Rose Thunder in York, PA. Yes, right in the great Pennsylvania city where Harley-Davidsons are assembled. This is a new event at a great location, which has a special place in the hearts of bikers and the proud folks of PA who make The American Motorcycle! With two shows on both Friday and Saturday there will be lots of good food, hot peppers and fun to share. I hope to see you there. Here is a link to the event page http://whiterosethunder.com/ or check it out on my site at www.bikerbilly.com
Recently I presented my cooking show at The Crossroads Rally in Waterbury, Vermont. The event is held in a large field in the middle of gorgeous mountains. Even though it is in the mountains, that field is actually a flood plain, so nothing can be built there. If this sounds confusing, let me explain, there is a river next to the field and this is all in a valley. Heavy rain or rapidly melting snow or both together overflows the river. While it guarantees the site won’t become condos or a shopping plaza next year, it also prevents installing event support buildings.
Part of the behind the scenes stuff that a cooking show requires is refrigeration and sanitary cleanup facilities. Often when working out in a field like this we have to use coolers and transport the equipment to a remote kitchen for clean up. Hand washing can be accomplished with something as simple as one of those 2.5-gallon water jugs from any supermarket, but equipment cleaning needs sinks. Three to be precise: wash, rinse and sanitizer; so what do you do?
Yankee ingenuity to the rescue; one of the rally volunteers Jim Bransfield had us covered. Like a magician pulls a rabbit out of his hat, out of his truck he pulled everything we needed. While I unpacked my gear I watched as he assembled a double stainless steel sink along with supporting countertop and cabinets.
He then proceeded to plumb it into a long run of hose to a not so nearby well. Following that up with a drain setup and catch bucket for the grey water that handled two shows of clean up. In true biker style problem solving the main run of black hose used the sun’s heat to make continuous warm water. That beats Solyndra for solar power and was hundreds of millions cheaper too!
To finish it all off he the used extra PVC pipe to adjust the low rental table up to a perfect height for me to stand and cook. This seemingly small thing makes a huge difference in the show and for my back. Thank you Jim for hooking me up with everything including the kitchen sink!
Summer season motorcycle events by nature tend to be outdoors affairs. It only makes sense; why be indoors during the riding season? This is especially true in the northern climes where winters are long, dark, dreary periods punctuated by snowstorms and ice. Friends and clients of mine in Wisconsin tell me they get something like 62 good days each year in the warm season. So it makes perfect sense that they pack a lot of outdoors fun, riding and rallies into that opportunity. This compressed reality applies to the whole Great Lakes region.
Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to be part of one of the fastest growing regional rallies in America – Roar on the Shore – in Erie, Pennsylvania. I was engaged to do two shows on the opening day, Thursday, July 19, 2012. I was pretty pumped about it since I always have a great time doing shows in that region, lots of good folks in western PA, western NY and Ohio. They know how to play and have fun, besides there are a lot of fiery food fanatics in that oft frozen area.
About a week to ten days out I made the final review with the rally planners and checked the weather forecast. All looked good. Their team was very professional and organized. Once all the bases were covered I felt I could move on and focus on other work. When my travel day arrived I headed out looking forward to a Great Lakes rally adventure.
Did you know that Erie, Pennsylvania is the third largest city in that state? I didn’t. But when I called it a nice small town while checking into the hotel, I got corrected. Since I arrived early the day before my shows I had a chance to visit the venue in advance. While nothing was setup for my stage, I got a good feel for where I was performing. I must say that I also got to watch the crews setting up a multiple block event venue in what looked like the center city green space or park. No doubt that the city of Erie was doing it right.
Come show day, I arrived early and got to meet almost all the city inspectors, except the Fire Marshal. I have grown accustomed to meeting Fire Marshals since I “Cook with Fire“, I can only guess that since I was electrifying and UL rated. I was not a fire hazard; tell that to the folks who ate the hot peppers! All was good after some tweaking of the stage and PA. They even had a nice popup tent to cover the stage, always nice to keep the hot summer sun off of us hot heads that are cooking.
Just before the 12:30 show the fickle summer weather turned from comfortably cool and overcast into a solid drizzle. By the start of the show it was just plain rain. Fortunately a short distance in front of my stage was a tent setup for bikini girls, who as fate had it were off somewhere else being exposed to the weather. Before the show was finished everything under my tent from stage floor to tabletop, even under the table was soaked. Damn good electrical setup, as not a single electrical shock coursed through me. Ahhh how nice to not be electrocuted! What was really great was the packed crowd under that other tent. They made the show for me.
After the show the rain slacked off for a while, but by 3:00 PM when I started the second show is was drizzling again. However now I not only had a full house under the tent but there was also folks standing under the open sky. We had a blast! We even had a group of what I guess were a summer school class and their teachers join the growing crowd.
The weather could not dampen the enthusiasm of the bikers or even the little children. Remember splashing in rain puddles as a child? It is that spirit of playfulness that comes naturally to children that motorcycling restores in adults. That is why seasoned riders don’t see rain; they see “Liquid Sunshine!”
“Freedom and Unity” is the state motto of Vermont where Biker Billy will be going for the Crossroads Rally. Ain’t it the truth that “Freedom and Unity” is what bikers want? Freedom of the road and unity with our fellow riders, give me both and all is good. The Crossroads Rally will offer you that and so much more – good old time biker fun and entertainment. You can enjoy everything from Jello wrestling to a painted lady contest and a Miss Crossroads 2012 competition along with classic biker games and a tattoo contest. The list is as long as some of the pipes will be loud.
Adding to the hot fun in the sun this year will be two shows by yours truly, Biker Billy on Saturday July 21th. The rally officially starts on Friday June 20, 2012 for two days of biker fun in the gorgeous mountains of Vermont. Great riding roads and scenery that can’t be beat, plus fun places to stop and shop or eat surround the Rally. You have to get yourself some of the famous Vermont Maple syrup and bring it to my first show because I will be making you some killer biker breakfast. What you do with the extra syrup is all up to you and yours.
So pack up your scoot and your sweetie and ride over to the Crossroads Rally, I hope to see you there!
Not the Jersey shore but the shores of Lake Erie for the sixth annual Roar on the Shore Rally. This is one of the fastest growing rallies in the United States with over 80,000 riders attending each July for this three-day extravaganza. Kicking off on Thursday July 19, 2012 Roar on the Shore promises something for everybody from rides to bands to bike contest and shows. To get the weekend off to a roaring start, Biker Billy will be setting the stage ablaze with two shows on Thursday the 19th. Just ride on down to the hub of the event venue and get a taste of the fire and a few good laughs as we Cook with Fire together.
This is more than just a rally that is fun to attend. It is a major fundraising event for local charities in the Erie, Pennsylvania region. It is also an area blessed with great riding and the beauty of the Great Lake Erie, so wherever you point your front wheel you will find adventure. I invite you to ride over and enjoy the shows and spend the weekend in the beauty of northwestern Pennsylvania and enjoy the hospitality of the greater Erie community. Till I see you there Eat Hot and Ride Safe!
This was one of those awesome June Saturdays when the sky is blue with just enough clouds to moderate the heat of the sun. It was actually not hot, just the kind of warm breezy weather that would be the perfect climate all year long. Simply a gorgeous day to be alive and in the outdoors, which made it perfect for an event that blends a classic car and motorcycle ride-in show with a food festival, and they had beer too. You know of course to never drink and drive. But if you are going to walk around all day enjoying some good food, music and kicking tires, a cold brew is nice. Especially if you get to sample a hot Biker Billy recipe, or hotter yet, get to be on stage with yours truly, Biker Billy.
This event has the potential to do some serious growing if the good folks at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs decide to make it a yearly affair. I could even see a weekend mini rally growing here. It is located in northeastern Pennsylvania, an area that offers some fine riding. I used to haunt some of those roads back in the days when I lived in New Jersey. It is a short ride from large population centers but far enough away to be out in the country. The venue has great amenities and I heard they are building a new hotel on site.
So, what was Q and Chrome? The Q stands for barbeque and there were several choices of Q to be had from various vendors as well as the Casino’s excellent kitchen. I should point out that the culinary team was wonderful to work with. I have posted pictures of me with the two chefs that helped with everything I need for the shows – Chef Meagan and Chef Al – Thank you both! There was even roasted corn on the cob, and as would be expected the traditional side dishes along with both beer and a whiskey and tequila bar to wet your whistle. They used a system of BBQ bucks that you purchased at central locations and then used to purchase your victuals where you choose.
The chrome was the bike and classic car show, which I hav
e posted a few pictures from. More cars were present than bikes. Based on conversations I had with attendees I attribute that to the overwhelming success that they had with previous charity car shows.
Once the word spreads about this event among riders, I expect more parity in the chrome part of the show. It is not a competition between cars and bikes. As I see it the classic car folks and bikers share so much love of all things motor and a love for the open road. We are kin.
I had a lot of fun with the shows and there are some pictures for you to enjoy. The first show would have benefited from a larger stage but we packed in and cooked up a storm.
The second show was over the top, even in my humble opinion. In so many ways the shows are a reflection of the audience and what a great crowd you were. Thank you for playing along with me!
I would be most pleased to return to a future Q and Chrome at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. They tell me that a similar event is several years old at the Connecticut Mohegan Sun venue.
If you see these events listed for next year, mark your calendars. I hope to see you there, till then Eat Hot & Ride Safe!