Birthplace of the American Biker
Located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia, the Copperhead Lodge is a most welcome retreat for Motorcycle enthusiasts and visitors in general. Continually hosting special events throughout the year, the Copperhead Lodge hosts four events specific to Motorcycle Enthusiast including a Spring and Fall “Thunder in the Mountains” rally and two Summer events, “Rusted Iron Weekender” and the “Smoky Mountain Bourbon Run”. Born To Roam was lucky enough to interview Copperhead Lodge owner and motorcycle enthusiast Michelle Evans to find out more about the resort and why “No matter the season, there’s always a reason to visit“.
B2R: How long has CHL been in operation and what has been the focus of the business in bringing people to the lodge?
CHL: The lodge was built in 2006 as a motorcycle only destination. I purchased the Lodge and surrounding properties in 2009. Our unique features include: all paved roads, covered motorcycle parking and private garages at all cabins. The focal point of the Lodge includes a large rock fireplace with a motorcycle in the rock. Seasonal entertainment includes live music each weekend and several motorcycle specific events, rallies, charity runs, etc.
Copperhead Lodge, A "Made for Bikers" Mountain Resort
B2R: The CHL seems to have many activities for it's visitors throughout the year. How did your motorcycle specific events come to be a part of these activities?
CHL: We are a “motorcycle” destination resort that welcomes everyone (not just those on two wheels) so the motorcycle events are part of our basis of customers. We are heavily involved in charity fund raising but focus our efforts on local individuals and to those organizations that are in of need our assistance. Special Olympics is our largest fund raising effort to help send our athletes to the annual Dream Ride (an annual ride from Florida to Connecticut) that CHL is involved in.
B2R: It looks like you presently have four main Biker events covering the Spring, Summer and Fall. Are your “Biker themed events” for Bikers only, or can anyone get in on the fun?
CHL: All of our events are open to anyone as is our restaurant, bar, and lodging.
B2R: Being in such a scenic location, what are some of the popular attractions for Bikers?
CHL: We are home to the world famous “Gauntlet” of the North
Georgia Mountains. Locally known as the "133 miles of
Smiles" (visit GauntletGA.com for more information). We are also located near other famous roads like: Tail of the Dragon, the Cherohala Skyway and the Moonshiner 28. The CHL also coordinates “guided rides” for guests including waterfall, dam, and adrenaline tours
B2R: So you have guided rides?
CHL: YES! We provide guided rides, maps, and customized rides. Some are listed on our website and can also be navigated with electronic maps. This adds tremendous value to our lodging customers. The area riding is really quite endless. In fact, an article was written by a customer and published in several magazines a few years back about this called “5 to 10” meaning their 5 day stay turned into 10 because of this service we provide.
B2R: CHL boasts “No matter the season, there’s always a reason to visit". Anything going on for the Holidays?
CHL: Yes! Halloween is our biggest party of the year. We also had 280 people in attendance at our Thanksgiving buffet last year. We are closed for Christmas, although some folks will still stay in our cabins or at the Lodge for Christmas as there are many activities in the area. Our New Years Eve party is our second largest (to Halloween) event. Valentines is also a long tradition at CHL with our Heart Ball with great entertainment and multi-course, fine dining.
We want to thank Michelle for taking time to tell us about Copperhead Lodge and all it has to offer Biking enthusiasts! For more info visit them at www.CopperheadLodge.com .
Take a tour of the Copperhead Lodge by clicking the image above.
When a friend asked Don Molk to do some etching on his motorcycle, he had no idea what the impact would be and how he would become a true “Master of Metal” in motorcycle artistry.
You see Don Molk of Etchings by PIG (Portraits In Glass) had been doing etchings for quite some time using a widely known technique of acid. Don used mediums such as mirrors, glassware, plexi glass, wood and just about anything else he got requests to do. But after realizing that this process had a tendency to fade over time, he became determined to find a way make his artwork last “forever”.
Don began to experiment with sand blasting, and soon realized that this process was the answer in reaching his goal of a permanent means of etching his artwork that would last even when exposed to the elements. He also perfected a shading technique which gave his artwork more detail and depth.
About this time a friend of Don’s asked him to etch a mirror of his two dogs and Don found this to be the perfect way to apply his new method. Needless to say the project turned out “Awesome”. His friend loved it so much he requested Don to do some work on his motorcycle. Always up for a challenge, Don agreed.
Not only was sand blasting new to Don, but working with metals presented a whole new challenge.
Don got busy and, you guessed it, the parts turned out “Awesome”! Later his friend would enter his Motorcycle into the “The World of Wheels” in Chicago and win 2nd place. A new passion arose for Don in etching whatever people wanted on their motorcycles!
Since then Etchings by PIG has done thousands of images for customers across the United States and around the world. All makes and models of motorcycles (though mostly
Harleys) and various parts and finishes. If you are looking for a way to personalize, memorialize or just beautify you motorcycle, we encourage you to see the many projects displayed on Don’s website www.EtchingsByPig.com and see why Born To Roam finds Don Molk to be a “Master of Metal”.
Don Molk of Etchings by PIG
"Man's Best Friend" Motorcycle Derby Cover by Don Molk of Etchings by PIG
What does a cult classic film starring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin, a raucous biker weekend in 1947, Life Magazine and Hollister California have in common? Just one thing, Johnny’s Bar and Grill!
The year 1947 found America still defining itself as a world power after WWII and Americans, in general, where learning how to make the transition back to “normalcy” after having their families and lifestyle literally torn apart by this world event. Young men were returning from high stressful battle environments to quiet streets and peaceful neighborhoods. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) and its various degrees would not be defined until decades later. “Shell Shock” had a stigma of defining a person who was mentally deranged or even a coward. So many “keyed up” young men missing the excitement, danger and comradery found outlets for dealing with their unpredictable adrenal rushes in fast cars, booze and, yes, motorcycles. Street Dragging, Rock n Roll and motorcycle “Clubs” began to take shape all over the country in both the Big Cities and Small towns, though mostly in urban areas.
Since the 1930’s, Hollister hosted an annual 4th of July “Gypsy Tour” event. This was a sanctioned event of the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) and consisted of motorcycle races, social activities and, of course, lots of partying. Hollister was relatively small town at the time (approx. population of 4,500) and welcomed the event as it was an important part of the town’s economy.
The 1947 event in Hollister would find the town actually doubling in size with approx. 4,000 people attending the event. Clubs as far as Connecticut and Florida came for the event. With the immense crowds and an undermanned police force ( a total of seven individuals), it didn’t take long for the little town of Hollister to find itself overrun by raucous bikers and in the middle of drunken brawls, broken bottles and racing in the streets. The shortage of housing didn’t help with partiers sleeping on sidewalks, parks, haystacks and peoples yards.
One of the local hangouts, Johnny’s Bar and Grill, found one of Bikers actually riding his motorcycle into the bar. Although this seems like a picture out of the “Old Wild West”, one bystander was quoted as saying “[the motorcyclists] weren’t doing anything bad, just riding up and down whooping and hollering; not really doing any harm at all”.
By the end of the weekend, 50 people had been arrested
(most with misdemeanors; public intoxication, reckless, driving, and disturbing the peace), no serious harm had been done with minor property damage to some store fronts. One City Councilman stated “Luckily there appears to be no serious damage. These trick riders did more harm to themselves than the town”.
Life Magazine, a major national publication at the time, picked up the story and published a small 115 word inset with a nearly full page picture of a motorcyclist holding a beer and surrounded by a pile of bottles. A caption of “Cyclists Holiday: He and Friends Terrorize Town”. The man in the picture was later identified as Eddie Davenport of the Tulare Riders motorcycle club.
The AMA released a statement saying they had no involvement in the “Hollister Riot” and that "the trouble was caused by the one percent deviant that tarnishes the public image of both motorcycles and motorcyclists" and that the other ninety-nine percent of
motorcyclists are good, decent, law-abiding citizens. Thus beginning the saga of the 1%’s or “Outlaw” motorcycle clubs.
In 1953 Hollywood would produce a film inspired by the event called “The Wild One” starring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. The movie is said to define much of the “look” and “persona” of motorcycle clubs of the era and also become a famous cult classic.
Hollister itself has seen many changes since the event back in 1947 but continues to welcome motorcyclists. Although Johnny’s has had numerous owners throughout the years, it has become an icon and the only “survivor” to the event. Continuing to recognize the significance of motorcyclists to its history and economy, Hollister will celebrate the 70th anniversary Independence Rally from June 30th to July 1st in 2017. Johnny’s, with its prominent place in history as the only continually operating bar from the time of the famed riots, draws huge crowds during the rally. It’s present owner, Charisse Tyson, bought the establishment in December of 1995 and enthusiastically embraced it’s place in history. When asked what it’s like to own such an icon she told us, “I’ve met a lot of great people and it’s been a wild ride.”
Not only the owner of Johnny’s Bar and Grill, Charisse is also an award winning author of “Born Again in a Biker Bar” as well as a Christian Freedom Coach specializing in Codependency Recovery helping women and men of all faiths improve their lives with a deeper relationship with Christ. But that is another story!
Mural on the side of Johnny's depicting classic motorcycle moments and history of Hollister. Visit www. JohnnysBarAndGrill.com to learn more.
Meet The Twins
Meet “Bull Chip” and “Cow Patty” the newest members of the Born to Roam Family of Mascots. They will have their own column highlighting our community in our monthly newsletter.
"Chip’s Champs" will highlight a charitable organization listed from one of the many partners on the Born to Roam Biker site
of Born to Roam .com. If you have or know of a worthy cause, charity or project hosted by a Biker organization and would like it to be considered as part of this feature, please take a moment submit your information on our form page by “Clicking Here”. Chips Champs is about charity awareness and the positive impact Biker Organizations have on a local and national level. To see charities already listed by State on Born to Roam Biker .com, go to our full listing page by “Clicking Here” now!
"Patty’s Pick" will highlight a picture submitted from our online community on our Born to Roam Bikers .com web page.
To be considered, print our sign by "clicking here" or visiting the home page at of borntoroambikers.com and take a picture from your favorite roaming destination. A road trip or day trip to an eatery, bar and grill, scenic area, monument or other destination. You may also want to just show off your motorcycle, project, club or organization or event. Pictures that have our sign or “Born to Roam” clearly visible in the picture will get priority. Shots with our products will also get consideration.
A Word of Thanks
Born To Roam would like to thank Michelle Evans, Don Molk and Charisse Tyson for letting us share their stories with us! Each month we will continue to bring our readers more "news" from our partners in order to help spread the word about the many and varied wonderful places, products and events available to our Roaming Community.
If you enjoyed our newsletter and would like to be featured in one of our monthly issues, please let us know and we will put you down on our list.
Please help us in spreading the word about all of our partners by sharing, liking and following us on Facebook. It is our goal to be the number one "Free Listing" website for Biker Resources.
Featured Biker Events For June