The CityBike traveling circus, AKA me, my beard, and the most social of my personalities I could muster, headed to Portland, Oregon, the weekend of February 9th for the now-legendary One Show. This year’s show was sponsored by Harley-Davidson and Yamaha, both of whom had a variety of bikes planted on-scene, ranging from “Fuck yeah, that’s what an SCR950 should be,” to a handful of bikes that elicited comments like “Isn’t that a stock Softail?” But with nearly 200 bikes on display, a bit of brand whoring from sponsors is ok with me.
And what an array of bikes it was! Flat trackers, legit classics and rarities, crazy customs worthy of the Quail or the Dirtbag, gorgeous café creations, and truly exceptional builds like Alta’s factory-backed “The Crapshoot.” I’d tell you my favorite, but there were too many contenders.
The emphasis on moto-centric artwork seemed even bigger this year, with seriously cool pieces hanging almost everywhere, grand murals, and a giant squiggly wrench sculpture featured front and center in the entryway.
Although I’m given to “goddamn hipsters” grumbling, I’m always struck by how massively cool and simply massive the One is—poor souls without media passes looked to be waiting a long time to get in. Given the size of the moto-culture in the Bay Area, and the fact that more and more Bay folk seem to be heading to the One each year, it’s baffling that we don’t have anything even approaching this level of real-dealness here. They don’t even have lane splitting in Oregon!
In spite of that glaring issue with the state, if you haven’t been to the One, you should go. Next year’s the tenth One, and they’ll surely pull out all the stops.
The One Pro
In addition to the One Show proper, Saturday evening’s good-timin’ options include flat track racing at Salem Indoor Speedway, an hour south of the elbow-to-elbow, days-long party atmosphere inside the Pickle Factory. We’ve long considered flat track as one of the last bastions of “regular folks” racing, and the sea of riders waiting for practice at the One Pro—men, women and children of all shapes and sizes aboard a similarly diverse array of machinery from “seriously?” to seriously professional—definitively proves that hypothesis. The scene is like a documentary about down-home flat trackin’, with youngsters in steel shoes shuffling to the track from an endless array of vans and trucks.
Along with kids’ classes from “mad dog” mini to 85 cc, vintage, 250 and 450cc classes, there’s serious money on the table here: $1,000 each for first in the Women’s and Super Hooligan races, and $10,000 total—$6,000 for first—in the Pro Unlimited race.
The 1/8th mile indoor track is insane, and insanely loud. I forgot my earplugs, and though I made a half-hearted attempt to find some on-site, I figured my hearing was already so gone it wouldn’t matter. I was wrong.
If you head to Portland for the tenth One Show in 2019, make sure you check out the racing, too. Just don’t forget your earplugs.
This story originally appeared in our April 2018 issue, which you can read in all its original high-res glory here.