Last weekend was the 2nd Annual Indy Mad Max Ride and I wasn’t about to miss it. Being the guy who loves taking photos of slums, graffiti, and the like, a Mad Max themed event is like Halloween in April! Unfortunately, life events prevented me from dedicating a lot of time to putting together a costume, but I went anyway.
I caught wind of the event last year through the local Triumph RAT Pack. The Dayton Chapter tends to be “in the know” about local motorcycle events like “Cincinnati Mods vs. Rockers”, Mid-Ohio Vintage Days, and other motorcycle meetups around the tristate. The event was basically a costume party, with an 80 mile ride around Indianapolis, including a few stops for photos and food along the way. Quite a few people took the time to get totally decked out in the Mad Max theme (including their bikes), some folks, like me, who were there just to see the carnage, while there were still many flavors in between.
For folks looking to attend the event next year, be warned, this year’s route was a steady mix of inner city and country roads. I estimated that there were around 100 bikes participating in the ride, according to accounts on the Facebook event page, around 130 motorcycles started out from the first location. The ride began at 11 AM and didn’t finish until after 4 PM with 3 major stops on the route (not including the end point). New Riders, or riders new to group riding, would probably want to avoid settling into the middle of this group. Trying to corral 100 riders on city streets, through construction, traffic, and stop lights was a major task. I’ll give credit to the event coordinators, they did a good job getting folks from point A to point B without losing stragglers in the rear of the group. That being said, folks who are very rigid about obeying traffic laws while on a motorcycle would be best to meet the ride at the designated stops.
I tend to be an advocate for safety gear and vigilance when riding a motorcycle. As such, I want to reiterate the safety concerns of events like this one. For folks new to riding, familiarity with your motorcycle, and your gear, including costume and items mounted to the motorcycle, is essential for participating in an event like this one. With over 100 riders from all spectrums of riding taste, discipline, and experience, it’s pretty much chaos weaving through Indianapolis traffic; considering the threat of a traffic accident, riders cannot afford “wardrobe malfunctions” that will only compound the danger. In my case, putting together a costume was that much more difficult because I didn’t want to sacrifice safety; it’s a 2 hour ride from Dayton to Indy; a lot can happen in 2 hours, especially when riding on Interstate 70.
While the Police did stop by the event, it was simply a misunderstanding. I mean, when random city folk witness 100 bikes rolling down the street with air soft guns, I don’t see how they might get the wrong idea? When someone informed the cops it was just “Nerf”, Indy’s finest had a good laugh and told us to have a good time.
All and all, it was a great time and I collected my war trophies (event patches & stickers); hopefully next year I will have my costume together way in advance. This year weather prevented me from making the trip to Indy the day before, hopefully that will not be the case next year. If you’re also into the post-apocalyptic genre, I recommend keeping tabs on the 2016 event next April.