View Full Version : My participation in Trikefest going forward

Billy Golightly
03-30-2022, 11:19 AM
Wanted to make a post here, because everyone still reading/lurking here deserves to see it and know it.

A few months ago I gave my intentions to the TF Planning committee of passing the torch to someone else.

This has been a pretty hard/difficult realization to come to, and I'm not saying I won't ever go again or be part of things, but for now it is time to take a step back from the planning and responsibility from it. I'm burnt out.

Trikefest has for years, and years, been the highlight of the year for me. The life long friends I've made at and associated with the event, doing the photography and capturing some of those exact moments in time, and the crazy campfire stories that could last a millennia retelling have been the best parts to me. I don't want the event to grow into something that I dread because of the overhead, and ruin that nearly 20 years of love I've had for it, but it's been drifting that way for a few years now. I also have some personal obligations now that make taking a week and being there like I have been in the past, not really feasible for the time being. The last few years, it seems like I have hardly any time to even hang out with and get to know new people because of the demands of the event while I'm there.

I know preparations for 2022 are already under way. It is still amazing to me to ride/walk around at the event and just see everyone there and what the thing has grown into. It is very humbling and also just awe striking. From a band of misfits that liked riding three-wheelers wanting to find a riding park that would actually host "them illegal threewheelers" to a multi day 100s of people event now with escorted parades, city issued permits to ride on the streets, closing down the literal main street in town for us to do the "bar run"...it's really pretty flabbergasting.

There have been a lot of instrumental and key people over the years, hardly anything I did all on my own. I want to take a moment to recognize a few of them and comment on their impacts, and I'm sure I'll still wind up leaving a few out inadvertently..

. Howdy is and always has been an integral part of it. He does so much behind the scenes coordination and things that are not recognized. He's manned the swag trailer for hours and hours years on end getting absolutely bombarded by people to the extent he barely has time for his own enjoyment (or meals!!!). Man will literally give the shirt off of his own back to help someone out. Simple things we may take for granted now, like ordering and coordinating our own portalets for the event before Haspin had any on the grounds that they paid for, Howdy setup and coordinated that, swag ordering and coordinating, coordinating with Haspin and in general kind of being and overseer over the whole thing, too. John Swinehart before his passing was also such a key player and component, I just cannot over state his impact on the event and how much is own efforts and input made everyone else's experience there at the event. MIK6 is as most of you know the "Mayor of Trikefest" and no one has done a better job of meeting and greeting new people and old timers to make them feel welcome, and try to help bridge the gap between the different factions or "cliques" that formed over the years just by virtue of the size of the event growing so exponentially. Jim Smith and crew have been there since day one, and Jim's jaw dropping display of bikes and his camp have always in my mind brought a level of perfection and impressiveness to the pond campground area, that no one how old or new they are to event must stop by and oogle and chat for a bit. Another individual that has passed on, Roger Steffens (Sandpuppi101) was instrumental in elevating the level of the drag race event in some of the earlier years and the concept of the annual bike build/giveaway. Curt (Itrike), Louis Mielke, Jonathan (Xowner), Dale Shively, Gary & Kamela Crum, Cori and Kevin Shively, Mike and Andrea Stratman, Jeremy Crisp, over the years have been big moral support and help for me individually as we usually all camped kind of together. All were also big factors in further pushing and promoting the TF Drag races to the next level and were factors in the push to get our own timing tree system years ago also. They've all been knee deep in mud doing something or another to help make the event better for you all at some point over the years when they should have been at camp eating breakfast or off riding actually enjoying themselves. Lou also was basically the sole coordinator for all awards and trophies more years than I can even remember, plus built a top notch giveaway build the one year. Hagen. My big tall German friend. Love you like a brother. You've always made such beautiful parts and pieces and also helped elevate the quality of parts in the threewheeler aftermarket scene in the early years before anything was popular like today. No one was laser cutting and making precision parts like you in the early days. 15 plus years ahead of your time. Your cultural exchange of European beers stuffed into your suitcase as you flew over to share with us is iconic and always will be. Rich Kirk, ditchmud has always been available to help out and pitch in for help whenever he saw a need for it with various events, riding around and passing the word of events scheduling changes, and just overall general promotionship of the event. Jason Hall and the Hall family always brought their A-game to the individual events and the overall event itself. From the time the boys were little kids Jason and family have been highly competitive in bike building, winning races, and helping people out. Jason's hybrid building and high-level competitive level bike building is another thing that people always have come to TF looking forward to seeing. Sandy's development of the Ladies of TF group and the TF calendar over the years has always been a favorite and again, yet another thing that has helped elevate and build excitement for the event for everyone every year. Derek Adams has been instrumental in helping firm up and organize some of the competitive events and was the sole organizer of a fairly treacherous group poker run we did some years ago. Helped with a lot of MX races there over the years, and brought some legitimacy to them, too. The Keisters, Bill and Tim, have worn a lot of hats over the years at TF and helped out with various stages of event planning, running the drags or motocrosses, overall event participation, and general shenanigans (like an annual canned meat lunch hard tail group ride through the fence line trail...I mean common :lol:)that bring many wonderful smiles and memories to all of us. The Swingers...Dave and Regina have been a lot like the Keisters and Ditchmud...always willing to jump into anything with both feet to help service the overall event and the experience that all the attendees had. Picking up some of the event management when others were not able to, developing new events such as the circle track, taking up the Ladies of TF Calendar. The Wickershams...Scott and Carl are just icons of the event at this point. The humor, the innovative bike builds, the fun times at camps, the scale of which the unofficial night-time barrel racing event grew into over the years, the fun everyone has with that. Teddy is another one that is just an icon at this point. Always a successful participant of the races in the 110 or 200x classes, and as die hard as they come. I remember the one year he told me "I was told if I came here this year I'd be getting a divorce...here I am." It's been fun to see his nephew Zach become part of the second generation of TF also. Jason Specht, Kyle Kiser, and Andy (Crazy70man) helped develop hands down the most notorious unofficial event that I to this day still have a hard time wrapping my head around (Despite personal participation by me a few years ago...lol). The Herk and Jerk. It's controlled chaos, I do not know how else to explain it, if you haven't seen it or been in it, you can't understand it. It's another one of "those things" that just makes TF the way that it is. Andy also has always had a penchant for building crazy machines that will make you crank your neck or start rolling on the ground in laughter as they pass by. The freaks brothers...Matt and Scott Keller and the boys is another group that if you hang around them much you're guaranteed to have a good time. Always purveyors of cool assed vintage parts too. So many crazy stories and good times over the years. Probably a 60/40 split on what can't and can be actually retold...lol. Shane (Captainweezy), Greg (Hoosierlogger), have helped out with various annual bike builds and sourcing parts and been willing to help spread the word around camps and places when things needed done. John (fabiodriven) for being another one that I think articulated and felt like the early years of TF were sort of a spiritual zen like place, and helped promote it that way. I'll always remember during one of the most terrible downpouring of rains he was on his 225 heading down the driveway in the rain heading towards the river, just for the experience. Flyin Brian has been another consistent high level TF competitor in drags, motocross or circle track races, and always helped out and contributed immensely on certain raffle trike builds. Studd and Pagel (aka beverly) have also always been iconic characters of TF that has brought many a cramp to my sides and yours probably in laughter and disbelief at times. Funny as hell to hang out with. Bryan Ditch, for getting the whole "Ditch Ride" started with the trip to the bar and coordinating with Bev at the Long Branch that seriously brought new inroads to the event with the town of Laurel and again was another one of those moments in time that I think the entire event just broke through to the new level of awesomeness. Pete, that was the long time and former manager of Haspin was so incredibly gracious to us, I can promise ALL of you, if it had not been for old Pete vouching for us in the early years, this thing would never have gotten near to the scale and level it has in recent years. Pete gave us a chance, and was also an instrumental part in the original "parade" through town. In the early years, Pete would hand me keys to the 450 John Deere dozer and I'd go cut the peaks off the MX track where it wasn't as aggressive for us before racing and basically rebuild 3/4 of the track for our specific use. Much to the ire of many dirt bikers! How many other parks and places do you think would allow that to happen? Glenn, equipment operator / grounds at Haspin has always been an integral component over the years and made whatever happen that we needed to have our events. Even if there was 4 inches of rain the day before Glenn would re work a track and make a way for us to do what we all came to do.

I'm still around, and available to talk if anyone wants to. Try and stay sane in this crazy world. Take care.

03-30-2022, 01:18 PM
Excellent Post and you are a great guy. Most people don't realize what it takes to put something like this together let alone keep it running. Thank... You and all the people that take the time to make this happen. I have had so much fun hanging out with you and all the other members of the Trike family. I hope I'll get to see you again in the future.

03-30-2022, 02:13 PM
Thanks Billy for everything you have done. Personally I understand how hard it is to be " The Guy" for stuff like this. Most people don't understand that you don't get to enjoy it the way everyone else does being the organizer of the event. I missed seeing you last year. It certainly was a completely different experience for me personally. It was the first year without my good friend Chris Filbey and just the atmosphere overall was just off. It definitely wasn't the same for me. not like years past. Given I spent most of my time "working" helping people with carb issues, Getting carb parts/kits, doing carb builds at camp (which I never recommend!) There was a couple times I literally had trikes lined up from my camp behind the pavilion to the road. lol But also it almost seamed like Haspin's new owners was bothered by us being there. Not directly but just the impression I was left with personally.

03-31-2022, 09:56 PM
I can see how you would get burnt out with everything you have to do make TF happen. I'm glad you and others took the initiative to do what it took to get it off the ground and running! Everyone did a fantastic job making it happen! Things and life happen so situations change, I completely get it. Thank you for all you have done!

04-06-2022, 05:25 AM
Thanks Billy for this post and for all that you have done over the years and continue to do. You are leaving some big shoes to fill. I don’t think that I will be there this year myself. It’s been a lot of fun but I just don’t get excited for it much lately.

04-08-2022, 06:28 PM
I havent hardly used this site in years,sold my trikes but just got another big red.I've never been able to attend trikefest but thanks for everything you and the others have done over the years