GALLERY : Saddle Up Them Hogs

To those who see the motorcycle as the true successor to the horse, and to those who see the Harley-Davidson as the true motorcycle, this is what a rodeo is supposed to be.

The Easyriders Motorcycle Rodeo, named after the biker magazine, has been touring the country since 1987, playing some of the same fairgrounds that the traditional rodeo circuit visits. This year the tour had its grand finale at the Orange County Fairgrounds, where a crowd of about 3,000 watched motorized cowboys compete in traditional--and untraditional--rodeo events.

Besides the usual barrel races and sled pulls, bikers competed in the “wienie bite,” in which a passenger tries to chomp the biggest bite from a suspended, mustard-covered frankfurter, and the slow race, in which the last to finish without falling is the winner.

Outside the arena, there were beauty contests--including best-looking local cycle and most crowd-pleasing tattoo.


For those keeping score, Matt Poisson (pronounced “poison”) of Flint, Mich., was this year’s No. 1 rodeo biker. At the end of the Costa Mesa rodeo, he was presented with a $5,000 check but probably earned triple that amount during the five-month tour, officials said.