Friday, July 08, 2011

The Bull City Rumble – Rockers vs. Mods!

If you’re like me, you stay off the roads during holidays like Labor Day. This year, I’ve marked my calendar to be sure to see the second annual Bull City Rumble, September 2nd and 3rd, 2011.

Similar to most festivals and events in Durham, it will draw an even mix of visitors and residents. This year the Rumble will be held along West Main Street in the Historic Brightleaf District of Downtown Durham with an event Friday night at the Geer Street Garden in the rapidly emerging self-identified NoCo District a few blocks away. These organic, uniquely Durham districts provide the perfect backdrop.Capture

I love the poster this year, especially the logo which also comes on other merchandise such as patches and shirts. It isn’t just because I ride a retro-styled Harley-Davidson Cross Bones, I just like type of vintage vehicle including old farm tractors.

The event features the café racers and scooters from the late 1950s through the 1970s that will be on display at the event. Not American-made bikes like my Harley but English bikes like the Norton my friend Bill Kalkhof tells me he rode in college.

These bikes’ roots trace back over a half a century during a period when Rockers or Ton-Up boys evolved as a biker subculture that originated in Great Britain and spread across Europe. Rockers were also known as “greasers” to Mods (Modernists) who rode customized scooters such as those making comeback now.

Just think Gene Vincent and Be Bop A Lula vs. The Small Faces. The Rolling Stones are more like Rockers. The cross-over Beatles initially dressed like Mods.

The bikes you can see at Bull City Rumble will be “riders”, not “trailer queens” as the producer notes. This will add even more to their authenticity and the event is more than vintage bikes and scooters. It will also feature the vibe of uniquely Durham neighborhood districts and independent businesses and entertainment venues.

Making this event even more organic is that it is partnering with Preservation Durham which will also benefit from the proceeds.

In my best Michael Buffer imitation: Let’s get ready to Rumble!

(Click here for information on visiting Durham including the master calendar of community events.)

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