Then living in Long Island, N.Y., he took his used Harley-Davidson sportster for a seaside ride that began in Queens. Four hours later, he felt like he was still moving.
Shelley is a committee member and also heads up security for the South Carolina State H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally.
Shelley was at the Bike Show in Barnet Park on Saturday.
Harley-Davidsons leaned on their kickstands, chrome glinting in the midday sun and featuring eye-catching custom features.
Three judges circled about 20 motorcycles, including sportsters, softails and trikes. Shelley said judges were looking for Harley-Davidson custom parts, paint and other custom features.
People go to great lengths and spend “huge” sums of money to customize their motorcycles, he said.
The only time you see bikes that look alike, he said, is in the showroom.
Shelley cannot think of a single bike not “tweaked in some respect.”
Some owners make minor changes, while others pour their life savings into their ride, he said.
Shelley won awards last year with his motorcycle, a tribute to 9-11, painted in red, white and blue. He said he sold the motorcycle to a Gaffney man who was serving in Iraq.
Dr. Thom Allred, his wife, Jeni, and their 2-year-old son, Jack, are all lifetime members of the Harley Owners Group.
Allred’s motorcycle, called the “nightmare,” was one of the contenders in Saturdays’ bike show.
It has customized chrome skulls in the front and back. The headlights are 50-watt halogens. The turn signals are functional with amber eyes in the front and red eyes in the back.
The handlebars are chrome femurs and the kickstand is a chrome skeleton foot.
Judging from the bike, one probably wouldn’t guess that Allred is a Spartanburg physician who treats infants.
The “nightmare” has been a work in progress since 2006.
“It is the only bike that looks like this in the state, if not the country,” Thom said.
Jeni wants a custom leather insert for the seat that looks like a pelvis and there are plans to replace the levers with skeletal fingers.
Allred asserts the handlebars are anatomically correct. The skulls that serve as blinkers are also anatomically correct but of a non-human primate.
The “nightmare” won second place in the softail division.
People voted Stan Shannon’s motorcycle best in show.
Shannon, of Columbia, also won first place in the trike division. Shannon said the only thing stock on his 2010 Harley-Davidson Street Glide is the frame. Shannon’s Harley features a “diamond cut motor” and customized air suspension for a smoother ride. The paint is a deep shade of pearlized blue with streaks of fire that makes it look as though the motorcycle is going through fire as it thunders down the road.
Shelley says Harley owners are passionate about their motorcycles.
It’s a passion that goes deeper than the thrill of taking to the road, or that thunderous sound that he described as a “unique” that no other motorcycle manufacturer comes close to duplicating.
Many Harley-Davidson owners are veterans, he said.
“They’re Americans. They believe in America. They believe in buying American, and that’s another passion that they have — to keep it in the American family,” Shelley said.
The American motorcycles have a history that spans more than 100 years.
When Shelley gets on his Harley, he might not have any destination in mind. Nor does he need a GPS.
“It doesn’t matter where I’m going. I’m not in a rush to go there. I’m not in a rush to get back,” he said.
Shelley takes his time and discovers new roads and areas.
“Eventually you’re going to come out on a main drag somewhere.”
Article source: http://www.goupstate.com/article/20111009/ARTICLES/110091024