It'll be a long time till Miami becomes synonymous with motorcycle culture. But as it stands, the Dirty South's largest city is rapidly on its way to forging an identity within the two-wheeled lifestyle. And this Sunday, Will Call will host the third Black Sunday Vintage Motorcycle Swap and it is proving to be the biggest one yet and a marquee event in South Florida's biking community.
We here at Crossfade had a chance to discuss the upcoming event and a little bit of motorcycle culture in South Florida.
"Two years ago, Alex from Metal 305 wanted to do a swap meet at [Churchill's], just to see what would happen and it turned into a success. Last year's was even better. This year, we needed a bigger space so they asked me what would be the best place in Miami to do it," Nicky says.
"I know the guys over at Will Call, and when I approached them, from the get-go, they were like, 'Whatever you guys need, whatever you want.' With the parking space at Will Call the vendors will have plenty of space to set up, and there will be plenty of room to grow in as the day progresses. The Miami bike scene just gets bigger and bigger."
One thing that stands out about this type of event is the lack of factions and sectarian attitudes that usually mark motorcycle culture. After all, Sons of Anarchy is a TV show, and it's good, but not every leather-clad rider is an outlaw.
This makes motorcycling in Miami different from other communities, in that there's a greater sense of camaraderie. Just look at how it came to be: Metal 305's Alex Mackenzie and Matt Atkatz bonded over a #motoguzzi hashtag back in 2012.
In Bowe's 16 years astride a bike, he's seen certain trends come and go in the motorcycle world.
"Back then, it was choppers, big fat tires, and you are talking about 25 thousand dollar motorcycles," Nicky recalls. "All you'd see on the street in Miami was scooters and a couple of Vespas."
But soon, along with Mackenzie's Lambretta shop in Wynwood "before Wynwood was what it is now," Bowe say, "when it was a pretty rough place," Donkey Barn, and Esteban Dalpra's Hellbound City Tattoo took their passion for biking from a hobby to a lifestyle -- and a Miami motorcycle scene started to come together.
"I've also seen more girls riding around on motorcycles now," Nicky points out, "which is also cool."
Will Call will also have drink specials throughout the day basically rendering the day-long moto-centric festival into one giant happy hour. There will be a bike show too, which will be a good indicator for those looking to get into motorcycles to see what kind of styles and products are available locally.
And remember to "always look out for motorcycles!"
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Black Sunday 305 Motorcycle Swap. Sunday, November 30. Will Call, 700 NE Second Ave., Miami. Call 305-577-5900 or visit willcallmiami.com.