The tri-fecta of birthdays that started this little soiree four years ago are still there but like a lot of things the Dress Up Drags has taken on a life of it’s own. To say this one was bigger and better that those before is fundamentally correct but each has been unique and they tend to deny comparison. One thing they’ve all had in common though is that it’s always been a great day at the races.
People began to trundle up to the Temple in the top end of the afternoon heat. Burdened by layers of polyester and adorned in a mish mash of pagan artifacts. Biking bling. There was a flirty Flash, a Serious Syrian and a Hindu bule who was rather true to form. Characters like Evil Knievel and a biker called Opie were more the stereotypes you’d normally find rideing motorbikes while a female Mexican storm trooper was taking her own tack. And they just kept on coming.
We had “droogs” (A Clockwork Orange), yep two of them. And neither conspired to create the gang prior. A father and son as a mother and daughter. A gimp in an Ocean exposure suit, a graduate, a king, an Indian chief, Pocahontas, an evil fairy and many, many more. So many in fact that we will publish portraits of these people and their rides in the coming days to really add depth and breadth, for now lets say we had most bases, ages and walks of life, for that matter, covered.
The back yard had a buzz. Engines blurted to life. Beer flowed and pockets of chatter popped up everywhere. Many in costume though a lot more, sat or stood and stared in awe. A great thing though was that smiles and laughter became the common denominator. It was awesome.
Now if all of this madness and mayhem wasn’t enough, we were also as pleased as punch to have a surprise guest. He’s a guy that regularly does over 100,000km’s a year on two wheels, today he was coming to play and he’d brought his own TV crew. Charley Boorman, who just happened to be in town to do a show about biking, heard about this little rice paddy ritual and had turned up, all dressed up as if he was Evil Knievel. This would be interesting.
Riders mounted their anarchy of motoredness. There were C70′s S90s. A few CB’s. SSX’s a plenty. A GL or two. A DR 650 and even a SR 400. Most had been tinkered, tampered and crafted by the owner to create something new, Phoenix’s. Then like some technicolour biker gang we set off from the Temple along our main road towards a dirt track in the back of some developments where we’d been holding the drags for the past three years. Passerby one and all stopped and gaped as this rag tag entourage passed by headed up by a grudge match in the making, Charley and our own king Temple rat, D_HUMP.
For the next few hours we dissolved into something akin to a benzin driven dream. Motorbikes of every shape and form took to the packed limestone to one up themselves against their competitor. Nothing was too serious and more often than not when the racing wasn’t taking your attention, concentration fell to the starting girls who we have to thank for dropping the sarong again and again to start the races. Locals crept in lured by the sounds of revving bikes and crowd cheers. They soon became infected with our merriment joining in the fun, laughing and caring on. No losers were had, we were all winners just for being there.
As if on cue a wheel stand went wide on the uneven surface spilling the rider onto the track and the bike into the crowd. No serious injuries were had and our paramedics were on hand. It was the right time to call it a day and as one we drifted back up to the Temple to let the evening begin.
Babi Guling, Balinese suckling pig was set up out back. Hunger sated, we moved onto some drink. Sweat soaked costumes slowly removed and discarded as people settled in for an evenings entertainment. The Gypsy Cavemen pumped out their blend of soul, funk, rock, afro-beat, and even some freestyle hip-hop.
Charley got on stage to give cakes to those whose birthdays it was. Of course that went tits up pretty quick when D_HUMP thought it would be funny if Hindu Dave wore his and a cake fight ensued. But throughout the entire evening smiles and laughter rang out. After a great day like this, a little sticky cream wasn’t going to tarnish anything.
Thanks to all those who came, rode or watched and if you didn’t, well perhaps we will see you next year.