12, 13, 14th April 2019 - report from Oil In The Blood collaboration bike exhibit & screening: Handbuilt Show, Austin, Texas, USA
The ‘Oil In The Blood’ collaboration bike was hastily collected from the Petersen and transported to Austin for The Handbuilt Show. Glorious weather and Texan hospitality greeted Gareth on his arrival, with Alan Stulberg of Revival Cycles handing over a Ducati for him to ride around town during his stay. Gareth rolled up his sleeves and returned the favour by helping Revival’s resident photographer Brandon Lajolie shoot their latest creation, the BMW Birdcage, which was subsequently revealed at the show and broke the internet. The next two days were spent collecting and positioning some of the most exquisite vintage and custom motorcycles in the cavernous and now disused Austin American Statesman printing plant. Revival transformed a drab empty industrial space into an oasis of all things fine about motorcycles. A haven for ‘moto nerds’ as Alan describes us.
The Saturday of the show came around and began with a fascinating panel presentation by Bobby Haas of the Haas Museum, Dallas. His museum not only hosts an astonishing collection of rare and significant historical machines, it also contains the biggest single collection of custom motorcycles, built by the world’s leading custom builders. Bobby communed with builders Walt Siegl, Craig Rodsmith, Alan Stulberg, Sophie Tsingos, Brian Fuller and Don Cronin.
The morning rain cleared, and as noon turned, Roland Sands hosted a round of the Hooligan flattrack series on a makeshift TT circuit set up in the parking lot. Much recklessness and shenanigans, and the occasional fisticuffs, ensued in the blustery wind.
The plan was to screen ‘Oil In The Blood’ on an inflatable screen that evening at dusk on the lawn by the river, set against the shimmering lights of the towering downtown cityscape. Our best laid plans were scuppered as the winds intensified, rendering the screen unsafe. The Revival team, as resourceful and efficient as always, concocted an impromptu plan B. Forklifts removed the race crash barriers, food trucks were repositioned, and the crew rerouted pedestrian barriers so we could project against the side of the building. Benches and chairs were arranged, creating a cosy amphitheatre by the entrance of the show in little under two hours. Despite freakishly low temperatures for Texas, a big crowd assembled to brave the elements to watch the film on the biggest screen yet. It looked and sounded fantastic.
Sunday was chillout day, where we could finally absorb the incredible array of motorcycles assembled under one roof. The Handbuilt Show certainly has its own distinct flavour, and is a premier global motorcycle event not to be missed. The weekend ended over barbeque and beers at a chilled afterparty at Revival’s workshop.
See some images of the event over on our Gallery page.