The Riders Show | 2016

This was the second annual Riders Show in Seattle, WA. What exactly is it, you ask? A mix of vintage and custom, young and old, and organized with scrappy, resourceful, last minute planning. The result: a one day show where all of our good friends (or soon-to-be friends!) can hang out in a room full of fantastic motorcycles.

Garrett Johnson from Triumph of Seattle pulled it all together in record timing, and House Studios graciously hosted us and about 35 motorcycles. The Wick soft launched their moto themed coffee company with a mobile coffee cart serving up espresso and adult bevs. Larson Upholstery (who we share a studio with) debuted his new line of seat covers and tank pads for Triumphs and Ducatis.

This was our first time being vendors at a show, so we built a small display to show off some of our gear and brought along our rivet press and heat embosser for people to stamp their own Riders Show keychains for free. Aside from both of us here at Pack Animal being sick and pretty exhausted from getting everything ready for the show, we had a blast hanging out with friends all day, drinking bourbon mochas from The Wick, and getting to see peoples' surprised reactions upon holding our bags for the first time, finally seeing how rugged they actually are. 

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The long road to Motos in Moab

Words and photos by Jenny Linquist

Almost a year ago in May, I set out on the long road to Utah for the first annual Motos in Moab campout. It was my first big solo trip on a motorcycle...I'd been on a few long trips with my husband, Mike, and hauled my bike to far-off places in a truck bed, but never before just me and my two wheels. I parted ways with Mike at a gas station in Seattle, me heading out on my first adventure of this kind, he to a month long work stint in Charleston, SC.

With nervous tears in my eyes I took off, and it wasn't until I made it through the fog on Snoqualmie Pass that my nerves began to settle. Riding solo is a different experience; in a group, my focus is always drawn to checking and rechecking my surroundings every couple of seconds, always paying too much attention to the distance, speed, and riding quirks of the other motorcyclists around me. Alone on the road, my mind wandered. I quickly grew to love it. 

   

Before I left, the guys (Mike & Chris) worked tirelessly to get two new saddlebag prototypes ready for my trip. The design this time around was slightly different...an asymmetrical storm flap to match a design style we'd been playing around with. Two different color ways to experiment with the way the textile/leather wore in over hundreds of miles of use. 

The ride to Moab from Seattle is just over 1,000 miles. Every single day I hit a rainstorm and every night I checked the inside of my saddlebags to find everything dry. Waxed canvas is a wonderful thing. I wore the same clothes for three days straight and was starting to look pretty rough toward the end of that 1,000 miles. I remember sitting on the curb checking the forecast at a Circle K when a mother walked up to me and asked if I'd like to have her child's applesauce...she thought I was homeless. I smelled like oil and gasoline and probably looked crazy.

I had no idea how my 1976 CB550 would fare running highway speeds for the 400 miles I would ride each day, but it did surprisingly well, considering it's an old rust bucket. The worst thing that happened was running out of gas as I crested a big hill in Utah. I noticed a gas station in the distance and just decided to coast down the other side with no power, like riding a 500 pound bicycle until I magically slowed to a stop right in front of the gas pump. It might have been the luckiest I've ever felt. 

I made a few friends in Salt Lake City and rode the last stretch into Moab with them. When we arrived at the campsite, I admit I was a little let down. Having visited Moab once before, I was expecting grandiose rock faces, sagebrush, and a desert landscape. What I found was Pack Creek, a fenced in campground in the middle of downtown Moab — big trailers full of families on vacation, a 5mph speed limit, and an immediate request to keep the noise down to avoid disturbing the other campers and neighbors right on the other side of the fence. 150 people on loud-ass motorcycles squeezed into a couple of small campsites? There was only so much rule following that could be done. 

Apparently Moab P.D. received enough complaints to warrant kicking all 150 or so of us out of the campground the next morning. I kept wondering what I'd gotten myself into, riding to this campout solo without a back up plan. We had until 1pm to clear out our things, which gave the truly wonderful dudes throwing the event (Juan Coles of Loco Lobo and Rev of Salt City Builds) until 1pm to find a replacement campsite for over 100 people on a jam packed Memorial Day weekend in Moab. 

Somehow they did it, bless them. The new spot was this giant plot of land just 10 minutes away in the lower Colorado River canyon, and it was everything I hoped for when I imagined this trip. Everyones' moods rose through the roof as we pulled into the new campsite and saw the owner of the land picking up fallen trees with his front loader and dropping them into a pile, which would later become the biggest bonfire I've ever witnessed.

What transpired over the following two days is the stuff of legends. Rain that hit so hard and fast that it flooded our meager campsite in a matter of minutes. Bikes falling left and right as the solid ground beneath their kickstands turned into thick desert mud. Tents filling with water and people scrambling through the (now) lake to get their belongings to higher ground. And the next night, motorcycles ripping around a bonfire the size of a two story house, with flames so hot that you could roast marshmallows from 10 feet away. Group rides with new friends through some of the most beautiful landscapes southern Utah has to offer. 

Motos in Moab was almost the biggest failed motorcycle campout of all time, but every mishap over the course of that weekend somehow bonded all of us together in a way I wasn't expecting. I met some of my favorite people on the earth in Moab, and left feeling inspired and grateful to have been a witness to any of it at all. I experienced a few mechanical hiccups on my ride back to Seattle, but discovered a newfound confidence in myself as a motorcyclist that can only be acquired by making the decision to get on the bike and simply go.

The One Show | 2016

This was our third year attending The One Show, and it was a lot like the others...beautiful bikes, talented builders, and a ton of civilians quietly keeping to themselves while checking out the show. We're pretty introverted ourselves but wanted this year to be different, so we started getting social.

Turns out the best thing about The One Show is the high concentration of amazing and talented people. They've always been there, you just have to start introducing yourself. We met Carter Asmann, the guy behind those sweet graphite drawings with the coffee rings, Mark from Ronin Motorcycles in Denver and the DIY garage guys from Lucky Wheels in Los Angeles. Then there's Chris who makes shop rag shirts at Godspeed Co., Matt behind Inked Iron's graphics, and the Cotter Pin Gear team, who we have so much in common with. 

The list goes on, but the fact is, if you're keeping to yourself at the Show, you're missing out on the one thing that makes it so great — the people.

The One Show | 2015

Next weekend we're headed down to Portland, Oregon for the annual One Motorcycle Show. It's one of our favorites not only because it's close to our home base, but it's always that perfect blend of shit show and beautifully crafted motorcycle magic. 

Everyone's welcome — rockabilly dudes and their pompadours, old salty dogs, long distance traveling gear heads, kids, a thousand bearded guys wearing the same beanie, babes who rode out, dogs, parrots, your mom. The variety of bikes crafted for the show draw in a great variety of riders and moto curious folks, which is one of the best parts (they're all good!)... or maybe it's just the mini bike races that we all show up for.  

Come out and say hi! We'll be there all weekend. Photos from last year's event below.


      February 12-13-14 2016 831 SE SALMON ST. PORTLAND OR

Nice to meet you!

What is all this animal business?

Pack Animal is a small team of people who want everyone to live a life full of stories from the road. Our own experiences have introduced us to incredible people, taken us to some mind blowing places, and changed us for good.  

Helping people get out on the road seems like a big undertaking, but we can chip away at the goal in a few ways. 

First, we'll be manufacturing gear that has proven itself worthy to carry your things on any road in any condition. We've designed a rugged motorcycle saddle bag perfect for a few weeks on the road. To keep your machine running, we offer a tool roll just big enough to carry some of the tools you might normally leave at home while still small enough to mount easily on even the most heavily laden rig. You'll also find our line of simple but beautiful small leather goods ready to join your daily carry kit.

Chris stitching up a prototype bag

Chris stitching up a prototype bag

Mike blocking out some leather pieces

Mike blocking out some leather pieces

Second, to help more people live on the road, we'll be organizing and sponsoring events and trips. Opportunities to meet other people who want to get out there and opportunities to learn from others in this community about how they make it work. Hopefully we can go make some stories together, maybe see something new for the first time or fix a breakdown on the shoulder of an empty highway. 

Lastly, we will scrape together as much knowledge as we can for you to use while on the road. Hacks, tips, tricks, packing lists, places to stop, places to avoid, and perhaps even a bit of lore.  Maybe it'll help you out sometime, or maybe it will just make you laugh.

Be a part of what we're doing!

This November we will be launching our Kickstarter campaign to bring this business to life. We need your help to make this dream a reality. Without funding we are unable to meet the minimum quantity orders that our material suppliers require, and we are unable to upgrade our shop equipment enough to handle sustainable  production rates. We simply cannot make this happen without you. 

We're so excited that you're here, and we hope you'll join us.

- The Pack Animals