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Gophers And Cheese

Gophers and Cheese is a motorcycle blog focused on Minnesota and Wisconsin near the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Since 2010, Gophers and Cheese has featured original photos and write-ups of motorcycles, great places to ride, and local events in the area.

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Content Posted by Gophers And Cheese

Tidying up

2020 sucked. Don't get me wrong, there were some good things about it, but it was bad for motorcycle-related stuff.  Most events were cancelled, blah blah blah...  I don't have to tell you.  You know.

Anyway, I went to my first motorcycle event in over a year yesterday (Polar Devils Vintage Racing) and have the itch to post some photos because I took a ton.   Look for those over the coming days.  The blog has not been well maintained (obviously) and probably won't be again.  It's extremely time consuming.

If you want current stuff, just follow me on Instagram (@gophersandcheese) or Facebook.  That said, this blog remains a great place to archive and organize large groups of photos from past events so you may still see a rare post here and there (no promises).  If you want to relive local events from 5-10 years ago, then look no further - this is the spot.

The store (Cheese Shop) is closed for now so I removed the links.  If you just can't live without a t-shirt or some of the stickers I used to sell, contact me.  If you would like to purchase any full-resolution, non-watermarked digital versions of the photos on my site, that can always be arranged too. 

As for the blog, you might notice it looks a lot different now.  It needed a refresh.  I finally switched over to the Dynamic View template.  I love the "infinite scrolling" and it makes it very easy to find some fun and nostalgic blogposts from the past.  You can change the layout too (I prefer "Magazine").  Hope you like it.  As a reminder, here's how it used to look:


 

Snow Monkey vs. Minnesota Winter

I threw the banana ski on the Evil Monkey (my 1976 Honda Z50) and rode around on Saturday.  The snow was deep so I carved a track with my snow thrower.

Here are some action shots of me riding it (I posted some video on Instagram and Facebook):

Nothing beats the winter blues like a monkey bike with a banana ski.

2019 Progressive International Motorcycle Show

I wasn't sure if I was going to attend the 2019 Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis this year so I didn't apply for a press pass.  It had nothing to do with the show (I've attended every year since 2007) and more about this winter bumming me out.  The best thing about this particular show is it's timing - right in the middle of winter, when you can't ride (unless you have studded tires).  At least you can walk around, look at bikes, and sit on bikes.  It gets you looking forward to Spring.  I made the last-minute decision to go and took my son.

This year was a bit different than past years.  I always enjoyed the stunt show but they didn't have one.  Instead they had more interactive activities including riding electric bikes (both Zero Motorcycles for adults and Stability Cycles STACYC for kids) and a wheelie training machine.  My son tried out the Stability Cycle and had fun.

I tried out the wheelie machine because... why not.  You start on the bike on the right and it just lifts up and down on its own like a carnival ride while a guy explains what you should be doing.  Then you switch to the bike on the left where you actually have control.  It was weird.  I'm a little embarrassed to say I've never wheelied a full size motorcycle before (it's definitely on my to-do list).  Even with mini bikes, I've popped the wheel up lots of times but not really sustained a wheelie for any significant distance.  On the trainer, once I got the wheel up, it was oddly boring.  The setup was very safe so there was no danger and, while the rear wheel was spinning fast, I wasn't moving so it didn't feel like I was riding.  It seemed like a good way to practice the basic mechanics without any real world dangers but it didn't feel real to me.  I'm glad I tried it though.

As usual, there were a lot of custom bikes but, disappointingly, there weren't any choppers.  There are so many great local choppers but no one apparently entered them in the show.

Yes, Rick Fairless' chopper was there, but it was there last year too and it was technically part of an insurance display, not the custom builder competition.

The custom I really liked was this 1946 Indian Chief named "Stella's Mettle".

The main draw of the show is seeing brand new bikes from all the major manufacturers.  My favorite was the brand new 125cc Honda Monkey.  I love my 1976 Z50 "Evil Monkey" and I need to finish my 1977 Z50 chopper and restore the 1978 Z50 that I bought for my kids to ride.  The 2019 is really cool though.  Anyone want to buy me one?

The strangest new bike/trike I saw was the Yamaha Niken.  Don't get me wrong, I'd test ride anything, and this bike might be awesome, but it just looks really, really odd.  Look up photos and videos online.  It's unlike any other trike.

A very different type of 3-wheeler was this Vanderhall.  It looks way more retro than a Polaris Slingshot.

Confederate Motorcycles are so different than other customs.  They always seem very beefy and mechanical.

I'll wrap up with a few from the vintage section.

Next year, I'm not going to let winter get me down and I'll just plan to attend for my 14th year in a row.  See ya there!

Monkeying around in the snow

After watching Flat Out Friday live streaming last night, I think I was inspired to get outside and ride.  I carved a track in the backyard with my snowthrower, put my studded tire on the Evil Monkey, and had a blast.  My daughter took the riding photos.

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 8

The Mama Tried Motorcycle Show isn't just a bike show, it's a full weekend experience.  When you consider the show itself, Flat Out Friday, a visit to the Harley-Davidson Museum, multiple concerts, and ice riding on Slippery Sunday (weather permitting... and it did not cooperate last year), you really can't ask for more.  I'm bummed I'm missing it this year but I hope everyone that attends has a blast.  The last few years will be hard to beat, but the show seems to get better every year.  Have fun everyone!  I'll leave you with some photos of One (Metallica tribute) and Weedeater at last year's show.

These guys were so good.

Pushin' and shovin' in the pit (Rave security was not amused):

Weedeater was fun to photograph.  The facial expressions are fantastic.

Bottle's empty?  Show's over.

Have fun at Mama Tried this weekend!!!
         
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