By Carley Dangona
WEST SPRINGFIELD – As the 2014 Springfield Motorcycle Show thunders into town, it brings Paul Teutul Sr. and the Orange County Choppers (OCC) crew along for the ride.
The 8th annual Springfield Motorcycle Show will take place from Jan. 17 to 19 in the Young building at the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds, 1305 Memorial Ave.
Hours are Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $15, $5 for ages 6 to 12 and is free for children 5 and younger. For complete details about the event, visit www.osegmotorcycle.com
Speaking about his recent experience at a show in Florida, Teutul told Reminder Publications
, “It was like I was running for governor – I was holding birds, had dogs on my desk and was kissing babies.” He explained that OCC hadn’t done shows in awhile and that he wanted “to get back out there.”
Teutul said that interactions with the fans vary. While most are just happy to meet him some are “intimidated” and others “want to challenge me; It’s a combination.”
Teutul launched his custom motorcycle business from his basement in Montgomery, N.Y., in 1999 and has become world famous for his designs. He currently stars on the Country Music Television Channel’s show Orange County Choppers, which airs Saturday nights at 9 p.m. Previously, Teutul and his sons Paul Jr. and Mikey starred in the Discovery Channel series “American Choppers” that ran for ten seasons.
“[The show] is much better. There’s less drama and more bikes,” Teutul said of working on the new show without his sons.
“[American Choppers] had a good run; it had its ups and downs. I have a better relationship with my sons now,” he added.
Teutul will be on hand at the show Saturday to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for pictures. On Sunday, OCC crewmembers Rick Petko, Christian Welter and Evan Favaro will be at the event. Some of the OCC bikes will be on display and OCC merchandise will be for sale both days.
“I will never retire. I might step back a little bit,” Teutul, 64, commented.
When asked what he’d be doing if not motorcycles he responded, “I’d be doing bikes, or at least something mechanical,” he said. Before starting OCC, Teutul worked as a welder and fabricator.
“I’m not really a couch person,” Teutul stated. He is currently working on three bikes for himself in his home shop. He also works on cars. Naturally, he rides as much as possible.
Teutul learned to ride a motorcycle at 18 and hasn’t stopped since. One of his favorite rides is through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, along part of the Rocky Mountain range.
This year’s show will also feature a Great Paint-Off Competition, the Indoor Motorcycle Safety Poker Run, a Motorcycle Fashion Show, a “Motorcycle Timeline” exhibit presented by the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, builders from throughout the East Coast and much more.
To learn more about OCC, visit www.orangecountychoppers.com
. To catch up on the episodes from the OCC series, log on to www.cmt.com/show/orange_county_choppers/series.jhtml