For those who don’t know yet, I am the man behind Clockwork Motorcycles, a custom shop near Montreal. I’ve been in the business for 10 years now and those who know me know that my passion for motorcycles and the bike community has always been at the centre of my interests. From Meet & Greets under the Van Horne overpass in Montreal on Thursday nights to the Fooligan Derby on the dirt oval, it’s in my blood to find and set up exciting opportunities for motorcycle enthusiasts to come together and share their passion. Pascal Richard noticed the flame that drives me. When he approached me with the offer of becoming his partner in the Roll the Bones adventure, and potentially taking over the show, I was immediately honoured to take on the challenge. Having vintage choppers and custom culture in my blood, I knew that was where I belonged. Being familiar with the essence of RTB since the very first year when I appeared as a guest builder, I knew that this already well-established event had a lot of potential for the future !
All of this started to take place near the end of 2019. Pascal and I were already planning the 2020 edition when you know what came up, messing up our plans. We tried until the very last second to put together a show for 2020, but with all the constraints, it unfortunately was impossible. So, we redirected our efforts towards 2021, hoping that the situation would improve. Since the RTB has always been held towards the end of May, the plans were the same for 2021, but we once more had to postpone the event to September, hoping to have luck on our side. Organizing an event during a pandemic is no easy task ! We had more than one obstacle in our path : the closing of the American border for our American builders, a limit to the number of people allowed in a room, a ban on serving alcohol in a room without proper seating, a vaccination passport requirement and to top it off, a completely demolished street in front of our event space ! Despite all this, we were desperate to put together the best event possible and determined to finally get everyone together, after over a year and a half without an event ! Up until a few weeks before the event, we felt like everything could still fall apart. But the stars aligned in the end and the event finally took place !
Since the event was held at full capacity at Club Soda in 2019, we opted for a larger venue this time around ! The famous Paradox Theatre, a huge old Catholic church in the west end of the city, was our new venue of choice. There’s something special about filling a Catholic church with old choppers. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, it just fits ! By Friday night, the excitement was palpable ! Builders from all over Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, and more were rolling their two-wheeled works of art into the church. What took us almost two years to put together in our heads had finally become a reality. Motorcycles were rolling by on the freight elevator, exhibitor booths were being built and photographers and artists were hanging their work for the next day ! While we were busy putting everything in place, the weekend was already underway with the Pre-Party taking place at the Idle Garage. Beers, BBQ, motorcycles, and BloodShot Bill’s performance were on the menu !
The next day, at 5 a.m., the alarm clock was already ringing. The night was short, but the day was going to be long and exciting ! In the early hours of the morning, the square was already bustling with life. The exhibitors were putting the finishing touch on their booths, and the motorcycles were nicely lined up. Outside, the vintage cars were arriving; we love old cars too, of course ! On the terrace, the treasures of vintage parts were being unpacked in the Swap Meet section, the pizza oven was heating up, the bar was stocking up and the Forges de Montréal brewer was heating up. It was finally time ! People and motorcycles were filling the street from all sides !
For those of you who didn’t have the chance to be there in person, here is a little summary of what you missed. We had 50 bikes on display, personally selected by Pascal and me ! There were freshly built vintage looking choppers like Greg’s Shovelhead (Hot Knife Fab), Charles Bilodeau’s Panshovel and Jason Parker’s Panhead, survivors straight out of the barn such as Alex Beaulieu’s Panhead or Ross Herrgott’s beautiful Knucklehead. We also had some rare original bikes such as Alex Ouzilleau’s Panhead and Claude Roberge’s Servicar, to name a few ! There was something for everyone, within the old school bike range, of course, though performance enthusiasts could still admire some well-modified FXRs and Dynas.
Because RTB is also an art and photography exhibition, you could admire the work of several artists and photographers such as Bryan Helm, Evan Shay, Alex Brault, Mélanie Vachon, and many others. You could also see artists like the talented Vicky Rhéaume and her various hand painted items or Dominic Simard from L’atelier 12 oz pinstriping live at the event ! There was so much to see during the day, it’s impossible for me to list everyone in this article, but that doesn’t mean we forgot about you !
On the terrace, we could witness a performance by Emma Williams and the Ramblin Men, a Montreal Rockabilly band that got people dancing while the Forges de Montréal showed us how to work with metal to create an old-fashioned sissy bar ! You could also find a flea market or “swap-meet” section to rummage around, find the missing pieces to your projects or even leave with a new project !
While the DJs were spinning their old vinyl records, we had a silent auction where you could bid on Jerrycans that had been hand-painted by several tattoo artists on the “Easy Rider” theme. The auction raised nearly $1500 for the Breakfast Club of Canada ! On the Paradoxe stage, people could learn about the history of motorcycle clubs in Quebec from Dan Fielding’s captivating exhibition of historical artifacts and hundreds of photographs ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s ! In Les Loups Moto Co.’s booth, we had the opportunity to see a unique exhibition of photographs by Ronald Labelle, a renowned photographer who spent the 60s with the Satan’s Choice in Quebec and Ontario !
There were plenty of things and people to be throughout the day ! It was good to see something other than our own bikes in our own garages, but the best part was finally being together after a year and a half wait ! Seeing old friends and making new ones, that’s what RTB is all about.
I can tell you that Pascal and I are very proud of this edition of RTB ! I must acknowledge the companies that support us in this adventure. Our valued main partner, Harley-Davidson Montreal, who has supported us since the very beginning, Harley Canada, Silverwax, Hipertech, Pabst Canada, Drag Specialties and Parts Canada ! Without you, RTB would not be the same, and we thank you for supporting the community year after year !
I would also like to thank Pascal Richard. He has contributed to the advancement of the motorcycle community over the past 35 years and has passed along his passion to an exceptional number of people. He has come to the decision that it is time for him to pass the torch, and I am honoured to be the person he entrusts to take the lead ! Thank you, Pascal, and don’t worry, RTB is in good hands ! As for me, I am already working hard to bring you a 2022 edition that exceeds all expectations ! We’ll be back in the spring, as usual, on May 21, 2022, at the majestic Paradoxe Theatre ! Start getting your motorcycle projects ready, winter goes by faster than you think ! I can’t wait to see you next year !