Mama Tried… 2018

Mama Tried… and she succeeded.  This year’s show was by any measure a rave success.  Flat Out Friday wasn’t as action packed as years passed, but it is still undeniably cool.  Every year since its introduction I’ve been able to get a press pass for entry into the middle of the track.  It’s a daunting task to be able to capture these guys and gals perpetually flying into a left hand turn.  The racing is tight, and very competitive and makes for some forced contact and interesting passing maneuvers.  This year, Harley Davidson’s support has grown to include some high level TV production and whatever beautiful blond motorcycle babe-host is available that weekend.  Grab a seat in the stadium and you won’t be disappointed.

I’m a fan of these shows that are scheduled around a weekend of events.  Barber Vintage Fest has AHRMA racing the entire weekend, Handbuilt Motorcycle Show often is the same weekend as the MotoGP race in Austin – it makes for the most efficient form of motorcycle geeking-out.  Flat Out Friday is like Mama Tried’s bonus event – and it’s a great bonus at that.  The show portion of Mama Tried weekend has always been a reunion of sorts for us.  All our local Milwaukee and area friends and builders usually make it out to the show and I find I’m left with a nice warm fuzzy feeling knowing we’re loved by our fans.  Who says a little ego boost is bad?

Seeing the Cucciolo Matto parked next to an Alta Motors ice bike is a little shocking, but it represents the gamut of bikes being shown at the show.   Press coverage of the event has gotten a little out of control this year.  The doors opened slightly before the show started and the floor of the Rave was filled with Nikons, Canons, and massive studio light setups…the same setups that many folks used to capture Flat Out Friday shots, which leads me to question of which comes first – fans or media coverage?  Once the doors opened to let in the (around the block) line of people, it became impossible to get an uncluttered photograph of the bikes let alone back far enough away to just take in the whole bike visually.  At it’s peak from early morning to mid-evening, the Rave was nearly as packed as a Justin Bieber show, only less teenybopper and more black t-shirt wearing motorcycle enthusiasts.  It’s a formula, but there’s no doubt it is working.

The Mama Tried Show is like spring vacation for moto-fans.  In the Midwest, spring vacation is a chance to get away from the cold, snowy weather of the region (if you so choose),  and soak in some sun in a lower latitude.  For motorcycle fans, Mama Tried Show is a respite of the winter, reminding us that when the weather does finally break, we have all these amazing two-wheeled reasons to get out there and enjoy it.  And in that sense, the show’s strength is really its timing.  To be able to see toe-to-toe motorcycle racing, some of the best custom builds the nation has to offer, and mingle with friends like we do on rides during the summer is invaluable – it reminds us winter folk why we love motorcycles.

Until next year!

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