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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

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!!!

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 7

Wrapping up my photo coverage of last year's Mama Tried Motorcycle Show.  This year's show is only a few days away!

Details, details, and more details...

This thing looks so much fun:

Nice custom badge:

Something about rodents & motorcycles...

I didn't forget about the concerts... One (Metallica tribute) was awesome and Weedeater was an experience.  Those photos are up next.

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 6

Lots more photos from Mama Tried 2018. If you're anywhere near Milwaukee, the 2019 show is this weekend!

Biltwell brought their dual-sportster:

So many awesome details on this bike:

Chvrch!

Rear fender done right.  I love this:

Amy's bike (built by Kevin):

Forget Bondo... I'm pretty sure this bike was made of saltwater taffy:

Heavenly light:

Moooooooo...

Check out the sticker:

Nice use of satin paint:

I'll finish up Mama Tried 2018 coverage tomorrow with one giant post full of motorcycles and concert pics.

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 5

Here's a bunch of photos from the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show in 2018.  Remember that this year's show is THIS WEEKEND!  I was lucky enough to have early access so you'll see a lot of photos during setup and without the crowd.  Once the door opened, it got packed.  The Rave Eagles Club was an outstanding venue and I think it made for some great photos but I'll let you be the judge.  I took way too many photos to try to organize them by bike. They're pretty much in the order I took them, revisiting some bikes over and over and over again.

This bike was incredible.  A lot of people didn't think it worked but it's ELECTRIC.  Let that sink in.

The room was filled with incredible motorcycles but this shovel was one of my favorites and looks a lot more like a rider than a show bike:

Many more photos from the show are up next!

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 4

One last post from Flat Out Friday 2018 and then we'll get onto the big show.  I''ll start with a center-track, almost-up-the-nose selfie.

Mini-bikes!

Willie G. approves!

Mini-burnout!

Pedaling mopeds!

Side saddle:

Speed blurs:

Fan Favorite: The Inappropriate Class!

Larry the Enticer!!!

Snowmobile tread burnout!

Larry pointing out where he's "just gonna send it!"

Victory doughnut!

Me and Larry:

After the racing, concerts kicked off across the street featuring Oozing Wound and The Atomic Punks.

In case you couldn't tell, The Atomic Punks is a Van Halen cover band and they were awesome.

Photos from Mama Tried 2018 are up next.  Don't forget that this year's Flat Out Friday is THIS FRIDAY!!!

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 3

More Flat Out Friday 2018 photos!!!  It was a fantastic experience taking photos from inside the track.

Thrills 'n' spills:

Intensity:

It really isn't Flat Out Friday without Rusty Butcher wheelies

A preview of things to come... yes, that's Larry the Enticer.

Kids race!

Intermission, featuring Evel Knievel vs. Mad Max.  I can't explain it and won't attempt to.

Hammered!!!

The zombie corpse of Evel Knievel, about to be sent back to the grave... of course:

Even the guy on the left can't believe what he's seeing... and he's in the show:

Back to the racing!

If you ain't slidin', you ain't tryin'

Gabe!

One more post from the racing to go and then I'll post a bunch from Mama Tried.

Mama Tried 2018 - Part 2

Flat Out Friday 2019 is only a few days away and it's an awesome way to kick off the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show.  Here are a bunch of photos from last year!... starting with a birdhouse.

Gabe!

Kegforge Customs:

Erik!

Hard to believe there are two bikes in this photo:

Mini bikes!

Willie G. approves of the burnout:

Even more Flat Out Friday 2018 photos up next!
         
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