Our first time to Cleveland Ohio; the reason why? The Fuel Cleveland show!! I am “The Ornery One” along with my wife, Stephanie. We traveled from Northwest Arkansas to Cleveland Ohio hoping to see some kickass bikes and meet some inspirational people. Not knowing what to expect we went in with eyes wide open. Honestly, I do not think I blinked from the moment we pulled up.
We arrived around 3:00pm and the streets were full of bikes and people. Any type of bike you could think of or dream of was there. It was already getting a little rowdy and the characters I saw throughout streets made me feel like I was going to fit right in. We walked through the chain-link gates of the parking lot in front of the warehouse which is where I thought the show began.
However, little did I know, these were people that rode in and parked out front. There was so many rad bikes in the parking lot and outside of the venue, that it took us over an hour to make our way to the entrance. Once we stepped into the warehouse, the atmosphere and the excitement filled the air. The warehouse walls alone were fascinating and lined with great artwork and inspirational photographs. I was SOLD! The Fuel Cleveland show was not what I had planned but bigger and more impressive than I had imagined. The freakin bikes, I was taken back with. Each individual bike held so much originality and uniqueness. You could tell that every piece was well thought out and designed just for that bike. I walked through the entire warehouse seven times; my feet and my back where starting whine.
From there we moved onto the vendors, which were unique themselves and more than willing to take their time with you and share stories. As we made our way outside there were several food trucks which provided a variety of grub to select from. Just on the other side of the food trucks was what looked like another warehouse. I was shocked as we walked into the “Skidmark Garage” and being able to walk through this ongoing working community to see first-hand personal bikes being built. This community garage is where different skills can be learned and used to build the best bike, a place where everyone can feel comfortable with no regard of their skill level and where art comes to life!
Towards the end of the garage, we found their sweet lounge and bar which was perfect to relax for a moment, listen to live music and enjoying a cold beer. As we sat there kicked back, taking in our surrounds… I could not help but think how every town needs a Skidmark Garage.
The evening was not over and the night was young as everyone made their way over to the after party at Hoopples. We ate, we drank, we laughed, and we made lifelong friends. Hoopples is a small quaint bar with an awesome outdoor patio and an amazing view! The only down side of Hoopples: they do not have pickles for your hamburger. Overall, the entire experience of Fuel Cleveland definitely left a mark on our lives and was a remarkable event!