Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Americade 2012

Every June motorcyclists from around North America commute to a small lake town in upstate New York.  Thousands of motorcycles come to Americade.  Americade is the biggest touring motorcycle rally.  Meaning that people who like riding touring motorcycles are the ones who mostly come, the old guys on the Goldwings and full dressed Harley’s make up most of the people who come to Americade.  But there are also young riders and middle-aged riders of all types.  You’ll see African American motorcycle clubs, women riders and I think I even saw an Asian dude.  This is my third year attending and is the 30th anniversary of Americade.  Now you may ask what exactly happens at a motorcycle rally?  Well Americade offers many different things to every type of motorcyclist, even the dudes who truck their bikes in.  I go mainly for the demo rides.  There are many motorcycle manufacturers that show up to Americade to let everyone try out their products.  This year BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, Kymco, Motor Trike, Roadsmith, Victory, and Yamaha/Star were all at Americade.  I personally took out many of these this year.  I tried out many different kinds of motorcycles that I would never own myself including a sport bike, a duel purpose bike, the reverse trike and even a scooter.

But the bikes I enjoy the most are the Victory’s and Star’s.  I rode three models made by Victory, including the Vegas8-Ball, TheJudge, and the Hard-Ball.  At last years Americade I rode several of the Victory’s and enjoy just about all of them.  I would say that Victory Motorcycles are my second favorite motorcycles, right behind the brand that I own Star Motorcycles by Yamaha.  Last year I got my hands on probably the best bike I’ve ever ridden the Yamaha RaiderS, but this year I got to ride two new versions of both the Raider and the Stratoliner.  The first Star I rode was the StratolinderDeluxe, and then I got to ride the new RaiderSCL, probably the best and coolest looking bike I’ve ever ridden.  The great guys at the Yamaha tent took a great picture of me on the SCL.

There was also a great article in Rider Magazine about the SCL.  But there is more to Americade then just the demos.  There are the vendors both down on the Million Dollar Beach and at the Lake George Expo.  You can find anything you need for motorcycle gear there and even more parts for your bike.  And though I’ve never done them there are guided and unguided tours around the Adirondacks and Vermont.  There are also poker runs and scavenger hunts.  One thing that I did both last year and this is a scenic boat cruise around Lake George.  Yamaha sponsored the cruise I went on, last year I won a door prize last year but wasn’t so lucky this year.  Then on Friday night there was desert and fireworks at The Great Escape.  The fireworks were amazing but the ride home after was difficult.  It was pouring rain and dark, two things that make riding a motorcycle hard.  The one thing that happens every year at Americade is rain, you can almost always expect it.  At the end of the week the Lake George Rotary Club throws a BBQ, this year the weather held and it was amazing.  Americade although usually a bit wet is always a good time filled with great people and amazing motorcycles.  But when Americade ends everyone gets on their motorcycles and heads for LaconiaBike Week the third biggest rally in the U.S. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Story Of Sammy Danger

Sammy Danger was born in 1980.  He grew up in the small town in Vermont, and from a young age had a love of movies.  Nearly every day walking home from school he would stop by the local video store.  He often would rent the same movies over and over, films like Big Trouble in Little ChinaBill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Short Circuit.  He would also watch moves such as Back to the Future¡Three Amigos!The Princess Bride and of course Return Of The Jedi on VHS recorded off TV.

By the time he reached junior high school he had discovered Jackie Chan movies though his older brother.  He loved the imaginative fight scenes, and found himself looking at different places wondering how a fight scene would take place there.  His eighth grade teacher told him he should go into filmmaking.  The seed was planted.  Years later he found himself in the Television Studies program at small State College.  But Sam had no interest in doing the television news.  The one thing that he did like was backyard wrestling.  When he was nine, Sam became a fan of Professional Wrestling; it was something he could watch with his grandfather.  One of Sam's college buddies started a wrestling club, which Sam of course joined.  Once a month the group would put on shows in the college gym.  It was here that he first created the character of Harley D.  

Harley was a no nonsense biker dude, who didn't mind cheating or using brutality to get what he wanted.  Though the first three shows put on, Harley won two of the biggest titles.  After the club closed down, Sam moved his wrestling to two different places the first was the Vermont Championship Wrestling.  This was an organization much like the college club, with many of the same people from it, but Sam ran the show while everyone got a say in the plot.  The other place he went was Extreme Backyard Wrestling, which was run by his friend from school, John Lacroix.  EBW ran their shows in southern New Hampshire, so once a month Sam would drive down and perform.  His run in EBW was from the end of 1999 till EBW shut down in 2002.  Sam made many good friends there and got to use his creativity with plot lines and characters.  Everyone in EBW had several characters they portrayed.  The main two Sam used were Harley D and his brother Sexy Sammy D.  Sam enjoyed much success in EBW, and had lots of fun.  Towards then end of his backyard-wrestling career Sam was enrolled at his third different college. Sam finally got to study filmmaking.  In his first screenwriting class Sam wrote a movie and used his Character of Harley D as the hero.  He adapted the character to a pro wrestler who also worked as a bounty hunter. Sam met some new and interesting people that would be major players in his life.  First there was the Air Force guy with the Anarchy tattoo.  Then there was that weirdo who kind of looked like Quentin Tarantino.  The Air Force guy was Travis J. Kehoe, who Sam became close with and enjoyed watching and talking about bad movies with.  The weird guy was Mark Covino.  

One day while working on their final projects for college Travis had Sam read a short screenplay he wrote.  Travis had taken the Harley D character and given him a back-story.  The story of how he became the man he was.  Sam immediately loved the script and decided it would be his final project.  He spent the next semester casting and prepping the script into something he could make.  He also was helping Travis with his project as much as he could, and Mark was helping both.  By the time Sam was ready to shoot Travis had been transferred to a different Air Force base and ultimately ended up in Iraq.  But Mark stepped up and helped Sam produce his movie that Travis titled Apotheosis.  The story was of Harley D whose father had been a successful pro wrestler but who had ended up in a small town working for a French Canadian gangster.  The gangster ended having Harley's father killed, and years later Harley ended up working for the gangster Andre Reboe.  And from there moved into a revenge story.  Sam, with the help of Mark and some other friends, spent about six grand and almost a year working on the movie, which kept him from graduating with Mark and Travis.  But, after a while, Mark and Sam had it edited down to a working short film, Sam was quite proud of his work.  Before graduating from college Sam also worked on a film with Anna Nicole Smith called Illegal Aliens.  A couple of years later, he worked on a film with Tom Arnold called Moonlight & Mistletoe.  Sam worked on some other short films here and there but he has also helped Mark with his documentary A Band Called Death that premiered at the LA Film Festival in 2012.

Now Sam works as a projectionist at a movie theater, and has taken up several hobbies that keep him occupied.  In 2006 Sam bought his first motorcycle, which he used in his movie.  He is now an avid motorcyclist and has gone to the rally in Lake George, New York called Americade for the past several years.  In 2011 Sam bought a guitar and been taking lessons for many months, but still hasn't quite gotten the hang of it.   Most recently Sam has taken up shooting.  His grandmother gave him her M1 Carbine rifle.  After that, Sam took a handgun class at the Sig Sauer Academy in New Hampshire.  He then went out and bought a new Beretta M9A1 9mm pistol.  His brother also gave him a pistol, a Sig Sauer SP2022 9mm.  Sam is now starting a blog to share his interests and opinions with the world.  So look forward to his writings on Movies, Motorcycles, Guns and Guitars, and maybe some wrestling and other topics that interest him.