The One Motorcycle Show

Bike culture ousts Fred and Carrie in Portlandia.

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

Twenty-twelve marked the third anniversary for the One Motorcycle Show, put on by See See Motorcycles in Portland, Oregon. The spirit of the One Show has always been about the one bike—as in the one bike that is out there for you, no matter who you are. Over the three years it's been held, the event has showcased hundreds of motorcycles and the stories of their builders and pilots. But it's more than a showcase for one-off customs: Ever-present are the themes behind the machines, the elements of the world that have influenced their creation.

If I had to come up with a theme for this year’s show it would have been, “Turn Up the Volume.” See See Motorcycles and The One Motorcycle Show have done great job doing just that. The grand wizard of the operation, Thor Drake, has managed to steadily ramp up attendance and floor space each year. This year, he found a gem of a venue, Sandbox Studios, conveniently located mere blocks from the future See See Motorcycles and Coffee joint, coming “real...soon,” according to Thor. The space fit the event like a second skin.

This year’s event was able to supply nearly a few thousand folks with beers and bike culture over the course of two days. On top of that, there was live music. This year, DANAVA, my personal favorite, played a special set Saturday night. The whole thing was amazing.

There are 10 awards to be claimed at the show. The most coveted is called simply The One Show Award. The other categories, easily understood if you’re paying attention, include: Eye of the Tiger, Best Norton, Best Triumph, Best BMW, I’d Ride That, Looks Fast, Sketchy Bike, Made in the USA and Italian Stallion. The winners are chosen by a party consisting of an old guy, a hot chick and some dude named Matt Limo. While everyone is drinking and gawking, the judges roll to each machine for scrutiny.

This year’s winner of The One was a random bike gypsy from Canada named Ashly. His steed: some boring stock old Harley with a zillion and six miles on it. He showed up with and old Honda 50 in pieces strapped to his bagger. He downed tons of beer, assembled the 50 with some friends at the show and stole the judges’ hearts.  He did have a smooth-ass haircut and a dangerous road beard. Now, maybe, you understand: The show is set up for stray dogs to roll in and rub elbows with dudes like Roland Sands and Max Shaff. It is for every kind of person with an interest in motorcycles to step in and become inspired.

The One Motorcycle Show will be on again in 2013, and I suggest you not miss it. If you are looking for a place to be indulged, feel inspired, or just sip a cold frothy beverage while talking shop, then the One Motorcycle show is where you need to head. Unfortunately it won’t come to pass for another whole year—venue to be determined—but if you are the right soul, then you will hear about it. If you aren’t, hopefully somebody will drag you along.

Bio: Drake McElroy was born on two wheels and has never been able to shake the need to get rad. Drake raced motorcycles off and on from 1985 to 2000. In 2000, he started to dabble in the world of freestyle and in 2002 won an X-Games bronze medal. At 19, he became a father and had to grow up fast. Now 28, Drake has lived four lifetimes in the one he is presently in. He has a knack for just about anything with two wheels and isn't to shabby with a paint brush either. Motorcycles, tools, music, art, and a wonderfully lovely Wife and three kids fuel his fire to keep it awesome.

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show

The One Motorcycle Show