Common Tread

Chopper rodeo: Iron horses and a lot of bull

Oct 05, 2015

Russian twists? Is that a type of pretzel?

The last time we ran a staying in shape article, I couldn’t help but think about how my own routine varies just a tad. My type of people don’t have formal workouts. We split wood for the campfire, yank our engines out of our bikes unassisted, and open and close the door of the beer fridge in the garage.

While we may not be regular gym rats, that doesn't mean we don't enjoy some sporting competition. Playing games after the day’s riding is done is a tradition in the Harley and chopper world. Dirt and dualie riders tend to play games, too, I have found. I can’t say I have heard of this sort of thing occurring after a track day or at the Honda Hoot, but I see no reason it shouldn’t! Motorcycle games are a great way to pass some time and have a few laughs without very much risk of injury. Bragging and shit-talking pretty obviously go hand-in-hand with this type of thing. The stories are the best part, though. Try a few of my favorites the next time you’re waiting for the campfire to finish dinner.

Two pilots await the anticlimactic starting gun of the slow race. Photo by Lemmy.

The Slow Race

This is an old favorite. Spurgeon and I actually play this when we’re stuck in Philly traffic together. He calls it the "turtle race," but I have never heard that from anyone but him. He's weird, though. And he's not as good at this as I am. The goal is to ride to the finish line as slowly as you can without putting a foot down. The rider with the best throttle, brake, and clutch control will win. If you ask me, this is more fun to watch when dudes on tall dirt bikes and with great clutch-feathering skills are doing it!

The Weenie Bite

OK, this might be PG-13. If you are not 13 or older, please brush your teeth and go to bed. The Weenie Bite is a team sport for rider and passenger. A hot dog slathered in mustard is hung from an overhead frame. As the rider slowly rides beneath it, the passenger must take a bite of the swinging frankfurter. Messy faces and good pictures are the result. Of course, I have heard some lewd jokes at this event as well. You've been warned.

The Fuzzy Ball Challenge really requires two separate skillsets from both rider and passenger.

Fuzzy Ball Road Course

Riders must have a passenger for this one, too. Cones are set up at intervals on the course. Passengers are given a bucket of tennis balls, which they must place upon the cones. The team with the highest number of balls placed successfully wins!

The Keg Roll

Contestants begin at the start line with their front tire touching a beer keg flipped on its side. Kegs must be rolled via pushing to the finish line.

Riders who lose in the Balloon Toss guarantee everyone watching pretty much wins. Photo by Lemmy.

Water Balloon Toss

This game, like the Weenie Bite, requires an overhead frame. Riders start with a filled water balloon and must ride under the frame. Riders toss the balloon over the top of the frame and attempt to catch it without breaking the balloon.

What do we do when we fall off the horse? We get back on the horse. Photo by Lemmy.

Barrel Racing

For those of you who have been to the real rodeo, this is the same event, but performed on bikes. (If you are not familiar with barrel racing, watch this clip. Thirty seconds of video will make more sense than my incoherent rambling for half a page.) Essentially, you’re trying to dance your bike around three barrels in a cloverleaf as quickly as you can. This is always a good one to watch because bikes and riders go down. Get your camera out! (Protip: the kegs from the keg roll can serve double duty here.)

Yup, that's gonna affect your time a little bit. Photo by Lemmy.
Will these games get you in shape as quickly as actually working out? Judging by my own midsection, no. But they're probably more fun than those Russian twists. (With mustard, please!) Just don’t be afraid to lay your bike down in an effort to get the best workout possible.