The First Chopper

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The Beginning of the Story

The discovery that the first chopper ever built still exists, was a mind bending example, of how the actual facts of historical situations are often much stranger that what everyone had thought was the reality. In a remote barn in Northern California in 2007, a story started to unfold that would reveal the life of a truly amazing man. This man was the single force and vision that would result in the uniquely American phenomena of the chopped road bike. His creative genius and oddball renegade life, have come to impact thousands of men's lives, in ways that we are just beginning to know clearly and that continue to unfold to this day.

As has often been the case, men who are true legends can seem to have been forgotten by humanity for a while. The ebbs and flows of the general public's valuing are fickle, and the mainstream's memory seems selective at any particular time. Perhaps this is why the legacy of the First Chopper was somewhat lost for a time, for over 60 years.

True legends are never completely lost, though. Threads of awareness always remain in the tribes and communities of the people that the legend's life touched. Their personal energies will always resurface at strange times and places, seemingly but never randomly.

In the first decade of this century, as two young men would ride their bikes through small communities in rural Northern California, they both loved connecting with old bikers that they would run across. For all their youthful “piss and vinegar”, an old guy's term, they still inherently enjoyed hearing the perspectives of older men, seasoned men with lots of miles on them. It may not have looked like formal eldering, often occurring in the small town saloons and beer halls, but it was a valuable window for the two young men to look at themselves and explore what life was about.

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