East Coast Action: Sportsters Invade Deal's Gap


It's no secret that many ChopCult readers dig three things over all else: riding, attending grassroots events, and Sportsters. One event that caters to all three is the Bastard Bash. We got in touch with Bastard Bash organizer Rob Taylor to see what's up for 2011. Here's what he had to say.




“Bikes are meant to be ridden”" and “the best things in life are free" are two tired old cliché’s that until a few short years ago seemed to be very much at odds with the goings-on at many high-profile “chopper” events. Frequently held within the gated confines of some parking lot or fairground and burdened with distractions like mechanical bull riding, over-the-top theme bikes, and row upon row of trinket vendors, these events too frequently seemed more concerned with selling five buck beers and commemorative gee-gaws than with riding and customizing.




It was shortly after such an event when the seeds of the first Bastard Bash were sown among a group of friends with a passion for garage-built Sportsters. Having grown tired of attending over-hyped and overpriced events, we elected to skip the tradition of attending someone else’s party and throw one of our own.




Low-key and cheap became the watchwords in planning the first Bastard Bashes in Ohio and Texas, and that ethos is still in effect today. This year’s event will once again take place at Deals’s Gap, just south of the Tennessee/North Carolina border and on the tail of the “Dragon," a stretch of US Highway 129 famous for its 318 curves in a twisty, 11-mile stretch through the mountains, itself only a small part of the thousands of miles of secluded roads in the area.




Last year’s gathering at Deal’s Gap was noteworthy because the casual observer was hard-pressed to realize that an “event” of any sort was in progress at all. After riding hundreds of miles of prime pavement, hundreds of Sportster freaks in groups big and small dropped kickstands and cracked beers to the sound of spinning wrenches, tall tales and the chirping of cicadas in the distance. The generosity of our event sponsors insured that a ten-dollar raffle ticket provided not only unlimited beer for the entire weekend, but that everyone in attendance received generous amounts of free product. The fun wasn’t confined to just the Sportster riders, however, as several sportbikers in the area stumbled upon the party and opted to share in the revelry. The highlight of the final night was most definitely the Haints-led hellfire-and-brimstone reading and subsequent sacrificial immolation of the Dark Customs handbook before the scores of worn-out riders retired to their rooms and tents before a final day of riding.




This year’s event is already shaping up to be another memorable one. While our focus in on sharing the joy of riding home-built, Sportster-powered motorcycles, all bikes and riders are welcome and encouraged to attend. 




For more info, email, or check out the event webpage for the most current information and inspiration at

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Comment with Chopcult (27)

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 04:16 am

The midnight ride on the Tail of the Dragon with the bears was one of the coolest rides ever. Big thanks to all of the sponsers!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 04:38 am

I met some of the QCB guys at last weekend's Big Mountain Run. Very cool guys that RIDE THEIR MOTORCYCLES!!! I hope to be there in August!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 05:27 am

hey, whats up, new here, i love this hole culture, just wish it was bigger in memphis tn.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 07:49 am

Fucking bears!! Midnight run was...fucking epic and spiritual all at the same time!!! really hope my chop is up and running by then

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 07:55 am

Thanks for the article! I think I'll be part of the midnight bear run this time around!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 09:34 am

I can't wait for August !!!
The midnight bear run was epic !!!

Big Thanks to last years sponsors

And an early Thanks to this years sponsors!!!!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 09:55 am

Those rodes look Epic.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 10:17 am

I think the Bear run will a much larger group this year, I know I'm planning on it.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 10:23 am

Right in my backyard! ill at least be there on Thurs, my girl and i both work weekends and can't afford to take time off really, the smokeout is already gonna cripple us money wise. hopefully i can have the nightster done by this though.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 12:39 pm

Looks like a great time!!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 01:56 pm

Sounds like a great time. I hope that there is a good turn out for you guys. I will be overseas at the time.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 02:08 pm

Hells yeah!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 02:26 pm

I wish I could get another Dark Custom book to sacrifice this year, but I had to sell my soul to get the last one. I'll try to find something else to read to y'all again this year ;-)

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 03:55 pm

This looks way cool, maybe next year.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 04:03 pm

Wow.. looks like a perfect first-time grass roots event to me!

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 07:07 pm

That looks like an awesome event. I'm sure there was a ton of cool sporty's there and it looks like a great location.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 07:10 pm

I had fun last year. Lots of fun. All I spent money on was gas and 10 bucks for all the beer I could drink. I'll be there again.

Commented on 5-27-2011 At 09:04 pm

You haven't riden, til you've ridden a Sportster!

Commented on 5-28-2011 At 12:30 am

You haven't riden, til you've ridden an old Sportster! and until you've rebuild her

Commented on 5-28-2011 At 10:18 pm

Another event making me want to move to the east coast. QCB

Commented on 5-29-2011 At 08:39 am

I hit the tail on my sport bike 2 years ago, that road is Epic! Every motorcycle rider custom, sport, harley what ever... Needs to ride the Tail of the Dragon once in their life. No road will ever compare again. It is beautiful!

Commented on 5-29-2011 At 09:56 am

i love the second photo down. awesome shot. ive heard its an incredible place to ride

Commented on 5-29-2011 At 06:18 pm

Just might have to check this out. Real riding and not Hooters nights five milers that make me laugh. lol

Commented on 5-30-2011 At 12:41 am

Plan on doing this again this year. Last time burning books, tweakers trying to sale shit, giant purple rain bagger hahaha....just remember those fucks getting their truck stuck on the hill. Thought they were going to slide off and crush some tents. Shit was amazing.

Commented on 5-30-2011 At 12:07 pm

Had the time of my life last year, I'll be there again for sure this year EH!

Commented on 5-31-2011 At 11:17 am

this looks like a 'must attend event'!

Commented on 6-1-2011 At 02:54 pm

HELL yeah this will be badass... first bash ever

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