Motorcycles and Art in the Steel City
Hey, Pittsburgh! Your annual vintage and custom motorcycle show returned this year on Saturday, September 25 at the national historic landmark of Carrie Blast Furnaces. Glory Daze was back in a big way with a new lineup of custom bikes from builders throughout the country, many of which returned to the Steel City from the last round in 2019 with new creations. After the whirlwind of 2020, this year was off to another uncertain start with a pandemic hangover causing supply and labor problems, a new virus variant, and the unpredictable worry of more occupancy restrictions. Watching the news or scrolling through social platforms caused daily anxiety that impacted planning tremendously, but after having to call off last year's event, the only option was to hope for the best and power forward. People were eager to get back into the bike show groove, so I knew that once the gates opened, the motorcycle community would have our backs and take it from there.
This year we were treated to an even bigger turnout and perfect late September weather. In addition to the indoor invitational motorcycle show and the bike-only courtyard we had last time, the show was expanded to now include another area with outdoor vendors and swap meet spots. Due to the roadway changes made at Carrie Blast Furnaces, the entryway and exit became a one-way loop that circled around the outside to a much larger parking area near the outdoor vendors.
The powerhouse building was filled with groovy motorcycle builds from around the Pittsburgh region and beyond. I like to think of the indoor show almost like an art gallery, with each motorcycle having an impact on attendees in different ways. From the mind-blowing engineering of Christian Newman's stainless, turbocharged 8 valve ULH chopper to the creative use of musical instruments seen on J Shia's pair of 1972 Harley-Davidson Aermacchi SS350s, there was something for everyone. Great art influences us in ways we might not truly recognize at the moment, often creating waves of inspiration for years to come. We can't thank the invitees enough for their dedication and craftsmanship. The show wouldn't be what it is without them.
Alexa and I would like to thank presenting partners Iron City Beer and Bell Powersports for having a big presence at this year's event. You could grab some IC swag at their merch table to go along with the cold Iron you were drinking. Bell Helmets had acclaimed painter Skratch set up inside doing live pinstriping and helmet painting during the show. The Trippy Ten helmet art exhibit also returned with ten new artists displaying custom-painted Bell Moto 3, Bullitt, and Custom 500 lids.
We'd also like to thank Rivers of Steel for their work in preserving this amazing site and venue. Big thanks to show sponsors Old Bike Barn, Uptahn Metalworks, Lowbrow Customs, Youngstown Cycle & Speed, and ChopCult for their support. Events like this wouldn't happen if it wasn't for great companies helping out and taking part. Check out their websites, follow them on social, and give them some love when you can. Last but not least, thanks to our team of volunteers for keeping things as organized as possible. We truly appreciate your help in creating such an impactful moment in time.
Glory Daze is returning on Saturday, September 24, 2022. Mark your calendars, tell your friends, and plan your winter motorcycle projects. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
- Kurt Diserio, event organizer