On May 17, 2014 there was only one place to be in Ohio and that was at PINNED in Columbus. PINNED gives me that feeling of a new beginning to a year of adventure and fun. No more seasonal depression from what felt like one of the longest winters ever. It gives me that feeling of knowing long rides are ahead, greener fields, cold brews on sunny days, seeing all my friends in different parts of the country, and more importantly traveling with my wife to new and exciting places.
Being a main contributor for Chop Cult has provided some of the most amazing opportunities to meet a lot of genuine, honest, and hardworking people in my own state and others close by. This year’s PINNED was really special for me. It felt like a homecoming, a celebration of life, and a farewell party all in one. So many faces I have met riding over this past year showed up from every corner of the Midwest and East Coast. Dudes and gals from Baltimore, Buffalo, Iowa, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Canada, and so many more places came just to party in a graveyard of Japanese bike parts called Rice Paddy Motorcycles.
Rain fell most of the day Saturday and for some all weekend long as they ventured to Columbus. The group I was with camped in Mohican the night before, muddy and wet for most of the night, but overall a nice place to do a little pre-partying. The crew from Lowside Magazine rode all day Friday through a huge storm that wouldn’t go away. They were supposed to meet up with us Friday night but it just was not possible considering how much rain they experienced. It’s all Traveling Dave’s fault because he brings the rain where ever he goes. We left our camp early Saturday morning and rode through a little more rain on our way down to PINNED. Taking back roads the whole time, it felt almost like we turned an hour and half trip into 5 hours. It was a cold awakening kind of ride, but overall pretty fun. Finally pulling into the Rice Paddy mid-day, my eyes honed right in on how packed it already was. Seeing everyone smile and rejoicing that some more of their fellow friends had made the venture out to party, though we were all soggy and muddy…no one cared because they were too.
To paint a picture in words on the atmosphere that surrounded me; the sky was a little dreary but not one frown on anyone’s face (except this one little girl - look at the photos you will see - haha). Guys showing off their newest builds from the winter time, stories being shared of easy or torrential travels to get there, hugs and some kisses flying around, beers being had by most, cigar smoke rolling through the rain drops, food truck fare being devoured by the hungry, and smiles with laughter blaring from so many different areas of the venue. You look to one side of the grave yard of parts and you see 20 people smashing drinks to their faces on top of a shipping container. You look in another spot and there are 50 engine blocks ready to be sold to the next hopeful restorer. Parts lay every which way you turn, from gas tanks, to bars, to rims growing out of trees to boxes of carburetors. Between all the part madness, bikes were parked as close as they could possibly be so that people could walk up and down the alley to view bands playing at the main stage in the front of Rice Paddy. It was a motorcycle heaven.
If you ventured off a little more, there were shops inside the buildings that surrounded you. All of them were open to everyone. You could walk into each of them, buy stuff, hang out, or just discover something new. Rice Paddy is the main building, and then there is the Triple Six Crew garage right in the middle of the whole compound. The Gent’s Wrench garage is in the far back corner and the new Greasy Dozen Chopper Supply Co. is right by the front gate area. It’s an amazing feeling to be surrounded by so much in an even a larger area. Mecca.
There was a whole lot of camaraderie happening that day too. A handful guy’s bikes were acting up, soaked from the rain, with various little hiccups of something wrong. No one even blinked an eye. All of the guys that own shops near PINNED helped or loaned their tools to help mend the various problems. Lending their advice where they could, they got every bike working again. It was just amazing to see that sense of community. The “make yourself at home and we will help get you running and back on the road” mentality. I love to see that stuff so much. So many people these days just don’t get that and it was all over the place at PINNED.
One word to describe PINNED in a nutshell is “Fucking Fun”. Yeah I know, that’s two words, but it’s true. Amazing venue, some of the raddest bikes in the Midwest, lots of beer, good music, gnarly raffle prizes from the sponsors, and really good people! If you missed out, there’s always next year, but don't let it happen again because, seriously, PINNED Ohio is one of the most fun events to happen in the early part of the year. The adventure alone is worth the trip, and the party is the reward.
Lastly, I’d like to say that it’s pretty insane to think that one year ago I sent a little e-mail of some photos I shot of PINNED 2013 to Lisa Ballard at Chop Cult in hopes that she would post just one on her Instagram or give me a small compliment that I was doing something right. A year later and so much has happened for me since then. I can’t say thank you enough to Lisa Ballard and Chop Cult for giving me the opportunity to share my stories and publishing the super rad bikes, the shops, the culture, and the amazing people that I document. Being a part of the CC team this past year has provided some of my best memories. I have made so many friends and forged even more work relationships through my work with Chop Cult. I am forever and truly grateful to you guys. It made this year’s PINNED extra special to me. So, thank you again Lisa and Chop Cult for believing in me and the dream to have FTCL be something more than a little blog, but an actual lifestyle and brand.
FOREVER THE CHOPCULT LIFE (ahhaha See? it works on anything!)