We caught up with Jay Tyrrell, one of the founders of the annual Freedom Machine event that takes place in a ghost town located in Durham, Ontario, to get the low down on the event. If you're looking for something to do the weekend of July 23, you don't want to miss this!
What is Freedom Machine?
Freedom Machine is a grassroots ALL MAKES and models vintage styled custom and antique motorcycle ride in show / ride-in camp event that focuses on vintage styled custom motorcycles and the motorcycling lifestyle that comes with it. Cafe Racers, Choppers, Bobbers, Trackers, Brats, Antique Motorcycles all those classic styled bikes that beckon back to a time of simple form and function is what you will see at Freedom Machine in Frontier Ghost town. Be it 70 years ago, 20 years ago, the present, or 30 years from now, these types of motorcycles in our opinion are always going to be timeless classic iconic pieces of rolling art that will never go out of style.
Freedom Machine is July 23rd 2016 and is held in Frontier Ghost Town just north of the Town of Durham, Ontario. For those that haven’t seen the venue yet it is awesome! Frontier Ghost Town is an old holiday Dude Ranch / Ghost Town that is situated on private property with all of the outbuildings that you would expect to see in an old cowboy town back in the day. It is a place that we have been hangout for nearly 20 years now. It totally is a one-of-a-kind spot that our good friend Rick, who runs the show with us, bought back in the day to hold music festivals.
If you own a vintage styled custom or antique motorcycle we want to see you up at Freedom Machine. Bikes that meet that grassroots criteria are parked right in Frontier Ghost Town. We don’t group the bikes based on makes and models. There is no favouritism here. As long as your bike has that grassroots timeless feel that we love and are looking for we park you right in the show. Cafes beside Choppers, Bobbers beside Trackers Metrics and American Vintage Styled Custom and Antique Motorcycles thrown in the mix together and are on an even playing field at Freedom Machine. It is the only way that it should be in this day and age.
Freedom Machine is a place where you can hang out with your friends for the day, take in the show and then leave later in the afternoon after the Giveaway Bike has been given to its new owner. Or you can camp and party with us overnight celebrating that you won the Giveaway Bike by having a couple drinks or 10 while listening to some bands jam out in the Saloon late into the night.
Why did you start Freedom Machine?
The Coles’ notes on this? (laugh) The reasoning behind Freedom Machine is organic, but the passion is a little more complicated. Freedom Machine is something that has been in the works for past 6 years now. Me and my buddies decided to start Freedom Machine because we wanted to give back to the culture that we live and love every day of our lives and to also give everyone something different to expect when it comes to a Motorcycle Ride In Show / Camp Out Event in Canada. Period. We have grown up in this. This is not new to us or a fad for us. Back 25 years ago we bought crummy bikes that our crummy incomes could afford we rode them halfway around the world having a blast and learning a lot and seeing a lot along the way. We have seen the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly of the culture. We decided that we wanted to create a show that would bring it back to the basics of how it all started and what it truly is about. Comradery. We wanted to create an event where everyone feels welcome and accepted. A show that provides a positive space with no attitudes. Where everyone and anyone who loves ALL MAKES and models of vintage styled custom and antique motorcycles can come up, talk with our Showcased Builders, talk with each, hang out and not feel intimidated.
We can’t take total credit for coming up with this idea on our own. Sure we have borrowed ideas from different shows that we have been involved with or participated in but it is our hope to also show people that share our passion for vintage bikes that we have a strong culture here in Canada and we also have some very talented bike builders. Our ideals along with an awesome venue is the icing on the cake right there. On a personally note I hope that Freedom Machine does two things. I hope that it may inspire people to take a risk and get out of their comfort zone and build a bike or it might take someone who has been on the fringe of the motorcycle culture to possibly get more involved by getting on the road by taking the plunge to get his or her licence. Maybe there is an educational piece there? (laugh)
Any new plans for this year or if it’s not broke, why fix it?
Showcased Builders are still set up in front of the Saloon on the day of the show. Our Showcased Builders are a mix of Professional Builders that do this full time and Talented Garage Builders that have day jobs and work on bikes on a part time basis. We of course have another Freedom Machine Giveaway Bike. Showcased Builder Kyle Green from DG Custom Cycle is building it for us this year and we are stoked about giving it away. We got some great food trucks that are going rolling up… More bands… Oh. This year we have started a new Category of Showcased Builders called “Freedom Machine Homegrown Heroes”. This category is open to people who might have just built there first vintage styled custom bike and want to make a name for themselves business-wise or just want to showcase their talents. The “Homegrown Hero Corral” will just be off Main Street in Frontier Ghost Town. Wait until you see some of these guy’s builds. There are some truly talented guys that will hopefully make their mark in years to come. There are a few more things going on backstage at this point but you will just need to come up and see what we have in store.
Anything else you want to mention?
The biggest thing to remember that everyone is welcome at Freedom Machine. Come up and see what we are all about. It doesn’t matter if you don’t ride a Vintage Styled Custom Motorcycle or Antique Motorcycle you still need to come up and participate. We have a huge area for general motorcycle parking that we call the “Open Range” right behind the Saloon so you still get to park right in the show venue. So ride up for the day and check us out. Or, if want a little more adventure, stay and camp with us overnight. We have unlimited shaded camping areas where you can set up base camp with your friends. So pack a tent, some food and beverages!
Anything else I want to mention… You are giving me a soapbox to stand on you know that could be dangerous Lyndsey! (laugh) Anything else… I always speak from the heart that’s the kind of guy that I am. I know that I speak for all of us involved with Freedom Machine and think I definitely need to take this opportunity to thank our families and friends combined. Without their love and support of what we are doing the idea of the show would never have taken seed and for that we are all truly grateful.
We also want to thank the moto-community. We have had an overwhelming pour in of support from them. They have been super open-minded to our ideas of starting Freedom Machine and really have gotten on board with this “new” to Canada idea.
We can’t forget about our Showcased Builders that have gotten on board with us too. We have developed some really strong relationships with them and truly are thankful for all their support at pre and post how show events.
And of course last but not least I would also like to thanks our first and second year family of sponsors that got on board and believe in what we are doing. As you know ideas and concepts sometimes are hard to swallow by the old guard and all of our sponsors that have become involved with us so far have been open-minded to our ideas and concepts that we have proposed to them and that is going to be something really cool for the Vintage Custom Motorcycle Culture here in Canada.
Kudos also needs to go out to photographers that we have worked with so far and the guys that have come out of the wood work to help us on the social media end of things creating short vids of their rides up, or their take on the event. We really appreciate their support also.
We really only see ourselves as the tenders or caretakers of Freedom Machine now. The show is all about the people and is for the people. Simple.
Freedom Machine on: Facebook