INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis is known for its racing scene.
In the town of Speedway, Marion County, a street is home to some of the motorcycling world’s most amazing stories and experiences. The legendary street is home to many grocery vendors, motorcycle shops, machine parts suppliers. Gasoline Alley is home to daredevils, hard workers and dreamers, including Northbilt Customs owner Brett Johnson.
“I started riding motorcycles when I was a kid. I was 11 or 12 with an all-terrain bike and always wanted to be an entrepreneur, ”Johnson said. “Honestly, when the pandemic started, my business was less than a year old. I was ready to fail. (My business) has grown! It doubled in size. During the pandemic, motorcycles were one of the few things people could still do. This is not normal for a city. In fact, I would challenge you to find more games in other places in the world where you have more of a cottage racing industry embodied, where you have all these vendors to do things. You are probably not going to find a concentration of these people anywhere on the planet other than here.
Jimmy Light is Director of Operations at Horsepower Inc. He has seen business explode during the pandemic.
“We’re known to do HBI or aspiring power because pretty much the name is pretty much what we’re known for,” Light said. “Gasoline Alley was every Indycar team in the ’70s and’ 80s. It was every car on the (Indianapolis Motor) Speedway. It is now; it is more. There are other manufacturing companies here, but there aren’t really that many racing cars anymore and we just tried to destroy the street as much as we can to make people realize it’s now you. know, it’s our street, it’s gas. Now it’s cool stuff that comes back strong you quickly know this kind of stuff ”
The bike night at Gasoline Ally brings together people from all over the country, including Marshall Tucker of LA Choppers.
“It’s just about getting together over a beer, grabbing food for the catering truck and having fun and spending time with your friends and doing it while the Ferrari guys and guys of the Ferrari team are walking here because they heard all the noise. They didn’t even speak English, but they wanted to come and see what it was about and that’s why motorcycles don’t have to speak the same language, ”Tucker said. “You don’t have to do all you have to do is write two wheels and you will break the language in between out there everyone understands the passion for two wheels as long as you have that the language doesn’t ‘importance.”
“One of the things I would see on bike night, you’re definitely going to see a lot of burnouts and wheelies. You’re going to see, you know, a lot of great bikes, ”Johnson said.
Light said the increased interest in motorcycles can be felt across the business. Bike parties, especially amid the pandemic, have allowed people to connect and businesses to sell more products.
“These bike nights started out just because we wanted a place to go that wasn’t a bar, to get locals and like-minded people to come here and have a good time and that wouldn’t help us. to sell products and show people what we’re doing in town, ”Light said. “For a long time, everyone was trying to figure out what could bring people back to motorcycles. Some blamed the millennials for not buying motorcycles. They weren’t in that… culture. The older riders were doing well. I think the pandemic has made people realize that motorcycles can go extinct, which is good.