Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Savage Harley Roads...

I have ridden in many many countries and there are so many amazing roads to ride. I have ridden many of these and some are on my bucket list. Sit back and imagine yourself on your Harley blowing down these magnificent Savage Harley Roads... vroom

Click on the pictures to see large res photos!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Ben Hardy, The African American Man Behind The Iconic Captain America Chopper

By Marissa Johnson

Remember the famous chopper in the 1969 movie Easy Rider? An African American man named Benjamin “Ben” Hardy built that. Of course, he did not get the credit he deserved for it because of his race. Also, the fact that the chopper is not named after its inventor is also a problem that made tracing the origins of the chopper more difficult.
Often, Cliff Vaughs gets credit for building the chopper. He is also an African American man, but his role was to be in charge of obtaining the motorcycles and hiring the labor to work on the motorcycles. Vaughs was a civil rights activist and a member of SNCC (the Studet Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). So, it is not a surprise that he would recognize the talent of a fellow African American man and hire him to build the iconic “chopper.”
Sometimes, Ben Haggerty, a white man, gets the credit for building the chopper, but he was simply the man who repaired the chopper and often was the bike’s handler. Plus, Cliff Vaughs and his crew were fired and replaced early on during the production of the film.
Cliff Vaughs worked for a news outlet when Peter Fonda, the film’s star who rode the Captain America chopper, was arrested for “pot.” Vaughs was covering the story. He met Fonda, told him about his passion for “chopper” building, and told him he could be found on any given day in his back yard working on bikes. Fonda visited his home when he was released from prison, and Vaughs was put in charge of obtaining the bikes for the film.
Surprisingly, the Easy Rider bike was made from a two decades old up cycled Harley Davidson. It, and the other choppers from the movie, were bought at a police auction. The movie is credited with making choppers popular across the world in Russia and in Asia.
The chopper’s true creator, Ben Hardy, died in 1994 before he’d gotten the credit he deserved. Nevertheless, the bike was auctioned off and was estimated to be worth between 1 million and 1.2 million dollars. Also, it is the only surviving authentic chopper from the movie as the three other choppers were stolen before the film’s release.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Tiny Houses of Christiania in Copenhagen Denmark

"A town within a city, a rebel neighborhood within a well-ordered society. This is Christiania (Freetown), Denmark, a small community smack dab in the middle of Copenhagen, Denmark. Within this community are tiny houses, built by hand and with whatever materials are within reach.

Christiania began in 1971 as an occupation of disused army barracks in the southern portion of Copenhagen near a lake. The 900 or so freethinking individuals who inhabit the area are a self governing community who refuse to pay taxes to the Danish government, run their own businesses and schools, live without cars on unpaved roads, build their own houses, restaurants and civil buildings and even have their own currency.

Until 2004, one of the main attractions in Christiania was a series of hash stands on the main thoroughfare, which was named Pusher Street. While hard drugs have always been banned by community law, the hash trade was a burgeoning business for Christiania until the Danish government finally cracked down and the town was forced to refocus its business ventures. Visitors now come to Christiania for inexpensive, ethnic food, music concerts, coffee shops, yoga studios, farmers’ markets and handmade gift stalls. However, there is still a drug element in parts of the town.

The tiny houses of Christiania are wild, free form, colorful and charming. A vernacular architecture that blends in with surrounding trees and flowers. Walking around the park-like neighborhoods, you would never guess you are right in the middle of the city. Birds are singing, there are fish in the large lake in the middle of Christiania and community members ride around on bikes.

Some of the Christiania houses are even re-created from old shepherds huts, bathhouses and gypsy wagons.

However, photos of the houses, people, children and Pusher Street are discouraged. This is a hippie throwback community, but it is still home to hundreds of people who choose to raise their children in Christiania rather than out in Copenhagen proper. Most pro-Christiania citizens believe that the Danish government wants the community disbanded, probably because they are located on one of the most expensive and beautiful areas of the city."

Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to visit Christiania and see it for yourself. When you do, don’t forget to pick up a “Bevar Christiania”, or “Save Christiania” sticker. 

Photos Courtesy of Harry Thomas

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Weasels USA

Bill "Jawz" Wiedel
Jawz RIP
Founder of the Nashville Weasels

Rest In Peace

 Weasels "Chapters"

The Weasels USA was founded in 1993 in Agoura Hills, California. We don't really have "chapters," but over the years groups in other states have contacted us and asked if they could be Weasels as well. Since the Weasels started out as a joke, the Original Weasels told them, what the hell, go forth and be Weasels. Many of these groups have fallen by the wayside, some others have flourished, and new groups are being founded all the time.

That said, all Weasels "chapters" are independent from the Original Weasels USA. They don't answer to us, we don't answer for them. Below are links to some of them. If anyone has a problem with any of them, take it up with them individually.

The Weasels

A Society of Temporarily Useless, Pissed Idiots and Drunks (S.T.U.P.I.D.)

Part I

As of this writing, which is being written today, it being December 1st, 1996, also known as the first day of the twelfth month in the year of our lord nineteen-ninety-six (Jewish and Chinese Weasels may figure their own dates), Weasels have proliferated throughout the land so profusely that they have become more of a pest than the wholesome entity they originally were intended to convey. Although The Weasels were originally founded with the idea that rules are for morons, too many morons have become Weasels, necessitating rules and bylaws and, in effect, negating the entire purpose of The Weasels.

Be this as it may, I, Red Baron (aka Kai Raecke, Intergalactic Editor of Easyriders Magazine), have bestowed upon myself the heavy task of creating these rules and bylaws, after having conferred with a majority Weasels (or at least one, which ever may have come first) of other Founding Weasels, henceforth known as The Grand Weasels. Therefore I, Red Baron (aka R.K., I.E. of ER), being of half ways sound body and mind and not too drunk at this time, hereby decree the following rules and bylaws in the name of The Original Weasels (henceforth known as The Really Grand Weasels), with the majority vote of at least one other Grand Weasel implied and enacted.

But first, something important:

Part II

A History -- brief version
There have been Weasels.

And now, something even more important:

Part III

A History -- the long version
The Society of the Weasels (S.T.U.P.I.D.) was founded, if memory serves me right, around the 30th of February, 1994 or 3. The Original Weasels (henceforth known as The Damn Grand Weasels) consisted of nine or ten or twelve or so frustrated and drunken editors a-editing, scribes a-scribing and other associates a-associating for and with Easyriders Magazine and its sister publications (such as Biker, In the Wind, and VQ). To name these Original Weasels (henceforth known as The Grand Fucking Weasels) is impossible, as they are “Mossburger” Bob Cain, Gregg “Speed” Daniel, “Chicago” Frank Fittanto, Kit “I'm not the Devil” Maira, Dave “Phantom” Nichols, John “Commodore” Nielsen, Kim “Bomber” Peterson, Kai “Red Baron” Raecke, “Clean” Dean Shawler, Steve “Beatnik” Werner, “Rocket” Roger Winter, and Dave “Big Dave” Withrow.

Sitting at Casa Rea, the Original Watering Hole of The Original Weasels (henceforth known as The Damn Grand Fucking Weasels), this above-mentioned group came up with what they thought was an antidote to an admittedly and thus perceived uppity and snobbish club called The Hamsters (those in the know will know). The Weasels, by their very nature, have no money, ride shitty bikes, drink cheap beer, and only wanna have fun that doesn't cost a lot of money. One might say, in general terms, it was a direct outgrowth of the dismal pay conditions the Original Weasels (henceforth known as The Really Grand Fucking Weasels) experienced at the hands of their employer, as well as the constant confrontation with super-expensive bikes with lots of bolt-on accessories and high-tech goodies belonging to lesser rodents, the ability of others to produce aesthetically and technically pleasing bikes, the inability of The Original Weasels (henceforth and for the last time known as The Motherfucking Grand Weasels) to do likewise, and the specific jealousy stemming from these self-evident reasons.

Since their inception, The Grand Weasels have spawned numerous outgrowths worldwide and have multiplied so prolifically, that now these newer Weasels, or Follower Weasels (aka Follo-Weas) have looked up to the Grand Weasels imploringly and asked, nay begged for guidance in the form of rules and bylaws. After long deliberation, much libation, against our better judgment, it being no better than none, and after repeatedly coming to the conclusion that rules are for morons and bylaws not much better than in-laws, we the Grand Weasels have decreed the following section of Rules And Bylaws.

And now the really important part:

Part IV

1. There are no rules
2. There are only those rules that are written on these pages.
3. If other rules are deemed necessary for the future existence of The Weasels as a whole, refer to Rule No.1.
4. If Rule No. 1. does not apply, refer to Rule No. 2 or No. 4, unless Rule No. 3 suffices, in which case all other Rules are null and void.
5) There is no Rule No. 5.

And now the really really important part:

Part V

A) General
1. There are only thirteen or so Grand Weasels (see Part III, History -- the long version, above). They are life-long members of The Weasels without possibility of parole. They may denounce their membership in front of others, but they are still Grand Weasels, until death or wife do them part, both being the best antidotes to fun known to man.
2. All other Weasels are Follower Weasels (henceforth known as Follo-Weas) and can lose their Weasel birth-right and membership at any time and for any reason not deemed worthy a Weasel by either a majority vote of Grand Weasels or a junta of lesser Weasels, after securing their authority from a majority of the Grand Weasels, if possible, but not exclusively.

3. As a member of The Weasels, you are a figment of your own imagination.

B) Specific
1. Being a Weasel is not an honor bestowed upon anyone.
2. Being a Weasel guarantees you nothing but an orange T-shirt, which still needs to be paid for.
3. Being a Weasel implies no recognition among other clubs or organizations as such. The Weasels are a loosely structured, haphazardly thrown together conglomeration of societal misfits and pranksters who like to party and get shitfaced. This is the only purpose of The Weasels.
4. Being a Weasel means never having to say you're sorry.

And now, something you all have been waiting for:

Part VI

Membership Rules
As this is a chapter of Weaseldom which seems to cause the most problems and consternation, we have decided to dedicate a whole Part (Part VI, this one) to it.

Subpart A:

Entering Weaseldom
Anyone may become a Weasel, as long as he is deemed worthy of the cause by at least five other Follo-Weas or two Grand Weasels, unless he is such a worthy human being that no Weasel or even Grand Weasel could surpass his worthiness, in which case he is too worthy to be a Weasel and thus not acceptable as a member.

Subpart B:

Ejection from Weaseldom
Anyone (with the exception of the Grand Weasels) may be ejected from the Glorious Empire of the Weasels if:
a) The Grand Weasels say so (singly or in unison).
b) A junta of at least three Follo-Weas decide upon it.
c) The Weasel in question shows up at a Weasel gathering on a Jap bike.
d) The Weasel in question behaves highly un-Weasel-like (see bylaw c, Subpart A, Part VI of the Weasel Bylaws, e.g.)
e) One or two Follo-Weas want to get rid of someone, in which case he or they need the vote of at least another Follo-Wee or the counsel and authorization of the Grand Weasels (singly or in unison).

And now something extremely important:

Part VII


Subpart A:
Weaselettes, or the female version/lay/object of desire/etc. of a Weasel is always a welcome sight, and there are never enough Weaselettes. Although the Original Weaselettes, the Grand Dames of Weaseldom, have long since passed into history and their names become part of Weasel lore, no one remembers their names, only their faces and bodies still linger in our memories. A single rule pertains to the subject Weaselettes: If they're able-bodied and willing, let's have them.
Subpart B:
Weaselettes, as described above, are to be treated as equal members of our society (S.T.U.P.I.D.). Therefore, they have no rights and may lay no claim to such. They may lay, however, any Weasel they like, as described in Part V, Subpart B, bylaw No. 4. A Weaselette’s only purpose is to provide pleasant surroundings at any Weasel gathering and comfort the wounded and dying.

But wait, there's more:


New Chapters
Unlike most intelligent books, this little volume is written in parts only and therefore has no chapters.

And for your added illumination:

Part IX

Authorization & Enactment of Weasel-Rules and Bylaws
This authorization and enactment of The Weasels Rules an Bylaws is made valid by the signature of a majority of Grand Weasels (or the ones available at the time), attached below. These are the Ten Commandments of Weaseldom and are to be obeyed as such. Any infraction of above described and outlined rules and bylaws will be punished severely and may result in the exclusion from the Glorious Empire of Weaseldom.

And now, for the Grand Finale:

Part X

Copyright and Patent rules
The Weasels is an official society (S.T.U.P.I.D.) and as such implies all legal and illegal ramifications. The Weasels© is a registered trademark and may not be copied, published or otherwise proliferated without the consent of The Grand Weasels.
Patent pending.


The Grand Weasels