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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Shane Mulholland, who rode in on a 1971 BMW, checks out the bikes during the Ride or Rod Vintage Motorcycle Show downtown on Sunday.

  • Chad Stephenson rides in on a 1977 Kawasaki KZ 1000 during Sunday's show.

Monday, August 20, 2018 1:00 am

Resurrecting old bikes

Ride or Rot Vintage Motorcycle Show draws 120 classics

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Jennifer Stevenson had a term for the motorcycles lining a downtown block Sunday: art resurrected.

The approximately 120 bikes – including Hondas, Januses, Kawasakis and Yamahas – gathered for the fifth annual Ride or Rot Vintage Motorcycle Show, which sought bikes at least 30 years old.

Its name acknowledges what can happen to neglected bikes, organizer Kyle Stevenson said. He added that some on display were restored from a deteriorated state.

Jennifer Stevenson compared the scene to “an art show on the street.”

The Fort Wayne couple started Ride or Rot after attending similar shows elsewhere and recognizing a need for one here, they said.

“We just wanted to build the community,” Kyle Stevenson said.

The four-hour afternoon event on Calhoun Street drew attendees from other Indiana cities as well as neighboring states, he said. Attendance has steadily grown, he said, noting this year's turnout was the largest yet.

“We really filled the street this time,” Kyle Stevenson said during the awards portion. Prizes recognized the best motorcycles from the 1960s, '70s and '80s as well as the best custom bike and best in show.

Matt Schrock, owner of Cycle Works in Goshen, returned for his second year – this time with about six others. He wished Kyle Stevenson continued success with the show.

“We're going to come back next year for sure,” Schrock said, calling it a “great little event.”

First-time attendee Jason Stuller of Fort Wayne brought his 13-year-old son, Elliot. They showed a 1973 bike, which Stuller generally rides on the weekends.

Alex Thomas, meanwhile, attended without a motorcycle to enter.

“Mine's in pieces,” the Fort Wayne resident said.