How I came across the idea to blog about bikers you ask? It happened when biker Rosie, retired bar owner, from Montana stopped in to visit with his old biker buddy Marty to reminisce and shoot the shit over old times. It was finally the time to blog about bikers after all these years of these guys stopping in the gallery to visit with photographer Martin Garfinkel and telling their fun adventures and crazy motorcycle stories. They are so interesting and sound unbelievable at the same time.
These bikers hold so many priceless memories that no new age rider today will ever be able to experience this day in age, it just will never be the same. It was like routine every year for them to ride the ride to Sturgis, the motorcycle mecca of the world, not haul your motorcycle…but to…ride the ride. In the 70s, photographer Martin Garfinkel took to the open road to follow his passion of shooting street photography and the Sturgis biker’s rally was the best place to be at the time. Capturing some of the most unique images everything from tattoos and piercings to motorcycles and leather outfits which today this extensive black & white collection is displayed at Roadside Gallery.
That ample collection of bikers consists of tattoos on eyelids (which the artist had to put spoons under his eye lids so the needle wouldn’t go through to his eyes).Women who had piercings on the boobs with earring connected to the nose ring connected to her ear. Hundreds of leather jackets and ripped jeans, unbelievable hand built motorcycles, cops with sticks, couples with matching clothes at 70 years old taking their last ride. Some had patches with crazy sayings like “try burning this one asshole” with an American flag patch right above it all sewed up on their leathers. Each one of these amazing images of black & white street photography has a fun, hilarious story to go with it. The women who rode on back on the motorcycle (also known as ‘riding bitch’) with her man would most likely have the 70s hair dew with big dangling earrings and real low cut sexy outfits. They all hung out for days together some camped out and some not it was like one big family reunion, they said. And of course, they all got older got smaller bikes and many do not go to Sturgis anymore which over the years has got a little too yuppie for them. One of the stories I heard in the gallery one day was how the Outlaws is one of the oldest biker groups and they even name the skull on their jackets, Charlie. One guy said he would rather see his sister in a whore house than ride a Honda. Another, Elizabeth Taylor even attend the motorcycle mecca of the world with Forbes who bought her a purple Harley Davidson motorcycle then she made the perfume named purple passion after her bike. In the past, senator of Colorado, Ben “Night Horse” Campbell, also rode up there to Sturgis with them all. These precious memories these guys hold in their hearts is the reason I decided to blog about bikers. That is just a slither off the top in stories there are so many I would have to write a book not just a blog about bikers.
You know when you were young, for me anyways, and you would see a group of bikers wearing flames, chains and skulls come in the bar/restaurant you are eating at with your parents and they seemed like real bad asses, like trouble makers, like someone your dad would never let you date well it’s just the opposite. When really a majority of them are real intelligent people with well to do careers, like lawyers, FBI agents, architects, etc. with big hearts who say they need to get out and get grungy and smell the orders earth has to offer and just simply let loose once in a while. At least once in the summer time they all get together and do a run to raise money for an important cause.
There are two walls in the Roadside Gallery that occupy all the local bikers, community bikers, Rolex riders, Virginia City bikers and we call it the wall of fame, some say shame but, its fame. Unfortunately, some of them have passed away not from motorcycle accidents either; the others still come in and reflect on past events from their good old riding days. With all these cool photos and stories I felt like I needed to blog about bikers they are some of the mot interesting people in the world. The Roadside Gallery has sold numerous Sturgis books and many images from our biker collection and available for purchase today. You can also have your biker image printed on tote bags, lamps, jewelry, throw pillows or coasters. So when you find yourself strolling around Carbondale, CO stop in and check us out and we are always happy to tell more stories and most likely there will be a biker in the gallery at the time of your visit.
Director/Designer of Roadside Gallery
Debbi Fadli has lived in Carbondale, Colorado for 20 years after raising her two beautiful children in Morocco. She has a passion for fine art photography and for the past 7 years, besides doing sales, being chief marketer, she also has taken the work of photographer Martin Garfinkel and designs an astonishing range of fine art photo merchandise.