Since I've lived in Brooklyn I’ve seen separations in the community based on brand. This deeply saddened me, and (spawned) the dream to create an all-inclusive event.
Autumn has fallen … but new events are still springing up in New York’s badest borough.
The first annual Brooklyn Biketoberfest hits the Arrogant Swine in Bushwick Sunday, Oct. 4, featuring a bike show and judging with cash prizes, live music and DJs, and of course the local beer garden’s own brand of Carolina whole hog BBQ.
“Being a hospitality professional, this has been my goal, to bridge my career and passion,” said event founder/co-organizer and longtime moto enthusiast John O’Donnell, the food & beverage manager at the Mandarin Oriental NYC.
“Since I've lived in Brooklyn I’ve seen separations in the community based on brand,” O’Donnell adds. “This deeply saddened me, and (spawned) the dream to create an all-inclusive event. The show will have open classes in which Ducatis can go against Harleys. Our goal is to have a diverse community show and rally.”
To that end, the Brooklyn Biketoberfest will welcome ALL makes and models of motorcycles, with a show entry running you a ‘Jackson’ ($20). Registration will be a ‘day of’ affair starting at noon.
Numbers wise, organizers are aiming to have 100-plus bikes attending with 20 to 50 show entries. Competition classes include stock, semi stock, full custom, vintage and ‘best of show’.
Brooklyn Biketoberfest hopes to unify riders of all makes and models — Haley Watt
This is true DIY show that we have established and boot-strapped out of our own pockets, with no plan to profit. I hope to continue this show for years to come, with the possibility of adding a spring show.
"We have amazing custom trophies built from spare parts by (Queens-based build shop) SLNYC (@slnyc_inc) and our head judge will be Alex (Sasha Alexander Lerner), the owner of SLNYC cycles,” O’Donnell said. “And one of our main sponsors and supporters, Gotham Speed Shop, will be entering a few of their amazing builds.”
Even Williamsburg’s Triumph Brooklyn is entering a ‘trumpet’ build.
The Arrogant Swine venue, located at 173 Morgan Avenue, has already been playing host to the weekly ‘Motorcycle Mondays’ gathering, which returned in later summer due to COVID restrictions.
“Our Monday bike nights have had a great core group (but) we’ll be moving to Thursday nights next Spring to reach more riders.”
As to Biketoberfest, organizers are still looking for more sponsors and vendors and will accept offers up until event day, Oct. 4. Those interested in vendor and sponsorship opportunities should email O’Donnell at BrooklynBiketoberfest@gmail.com.
Current vendors/sponsors include SLNYC, Gotham Speed Shop, Triumph Brooklyn, Misguided Spirits, Founders Brewery, and Boro Supply Co.
“This is true DIY show that we have established and boot-strapped out of our own pockets, with no plan to profit,” O’Donnell said. “I hope to continue this show for years to come, with the possibility of adding a spring show.”
You can find more information on Biketoberfest on Instagram @brooklyn_bikefest, or email: BrooklynBiketoberfest@gmail.com.
With coronavirus numbers again on the rise, event attendees are encouraged to be safe, follow up-to-date CDC guidelines, practice social distancing, and wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.