Back in March I let you know I’d be attending this annual event. Well, the weekend has come and gone, and I had a blast. The Gulfport racetrack was alive with the sound of bikes of every make and model this weekend, and the festivities started early and carried on well into the nights. Drag bike pilots were greeted by perfect racing weather on Sunday morning as race teams from around the country began their qualification runs down the track. The smell of burnt rubber, race gas and hot engines permeated the air, and the adrenaline-induced euphoria was almost enough to make me want to enter my own bike in one of the (decidedly lower tier) brackets. While the official numbers are still being crunched, it’s safe to say that attendance was ’up there,’ and the proceeds from the event should leave the Gulf Coast Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Boys and Girls Club, and other charities well-funded. Remember folks, this was an entirely charitable event hosted by the ASGARD MC, and it represents just one of the many ways that the club gives back to the community.

Continue reading for the full story.

33rd Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Memorial Day Blowout Report Exterior
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As I sit here nursing my sunburn (bet you thought I was going to say hangover, but alas, I stayed sober as a judge), I recall the interesting people and organizations that I came in contact with. Folks from all over the continental U.S. (plus Hawaii) attended this event, so there was no shortage of conversation, to be sure. First, I met Theodore “Teo” Schizas with RM Leathers out of Indianapolis, Indiana. He runs a burgeoning leather company that fabricates custom leather apparel and seats, and he did a spectacular (and fast) job of sewing some patches on for my friend and fellow Blowout attendee, Ricky. His display consisted of one of the largest collection of patches I’ve seen in one place, which is impressive considering the temporary nature of the location.

Folks from all over the continental U.S. (plus Hawaii) attended this event, so there was no shortage of conversation, to be sure.

Then I was treated to some salsa made by “DJ” with Baby Girls Pickles out of New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to being a biker, I’m also something of a ’foodie’, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this was some of the best salsa that I have ever wrapped my gums around! Alas, I couldn’t score the recipe, but at least I know how to get some more of this tomato-based ambrosia.

Next, I met the Firefighters Motorcycle Club based out of Station 114 in Gulfport, Mississippi. This is a relatively new organization peopled entirely by firefighters, both active and retired, as well as other individuals closely related to the profession. Much like the ASGARDs, they are all about charitable contributions to the community, hosting such endeavors as cancer patient contributions and food drives for fire professionals and their families during the holidays, and they support the ASGARD Toy Run, which gathers toys for needy children just in time for Christmas. Noble causes all, and precisely what one would expect from those dedicated to public service.

33rd Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Memorial Day Blowout Report Exterior
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Speaking of service, the Armed Forces Motorcycle Club — all members are active or inactive/retired military — was well-represented, and a finer example of Americana would be hard to find. Not surprising since the Memorial Day weekend is all about showing our appreciation and respect for those who have sacrificed so much for us.

Finally, I made my way to the big display of bikes, books and apparel run by the Hellfighters Motorcycle Club. This is a Christian-based organization founded at a Sturgis rally back in 2005. In addition to making the circuit of motorcycle rallies, these folks run a homeless mission out of Laurel, Mississippi, that acts as one part ministry, one part homeless shelter and one part rehabilitation clinic. The mission is funded by bike sales from their shop. The shop takes wrecked Harley-Davidson bikes, fixes them good as new, then sells them to the public. Club member, Sean, and the club chaplain, Craig, filled me in on their mission activities, while the club shop manager, Scott, brought me up to speed on their ’Born-Again Bike’ program. Nice guys, and definitely committed to repairing broken bikes as well as broken people.

33rd Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Memorial Day Blowout Report Exterior
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Last, but definitely not least, the ASGARDs presented themselves as capable and experienced hosts, which is no mean feat given the size of the event and near-military level of organization. I would like to give a special mention to ASGARD Smokey and ASGARD Curt for their efforts on my behalf. These guys jumped through hoops to make sure that I had all the access and support that I needed throughout the day, and they are definitely guys that you want in your corner when the going gets rough. In spite of my impressively toasted, cherry-red body parts, I am already looking forward to next year. I may even take a couple of runs on my personal scooter down the drag strip, though I hope I will remember the sunscreen. In closing, I think it is safe to say that a good time was had by all, yours truly included!

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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