There’s something to be said about the power of a moment. It has always fascinated me how certain events could essentially become checkpoints throughout life, impacting the psyche so intensely that they shift a person’s perspective or spark an interest in a new creative craft. The good vibes that radiate throughout Glory Daze are an example of this force and a representation of the motorcycle community as a whole. It’s rare to find such an odd mix of contrasting personalities all together in one place. The combination of a magical venue, loads of art, and a shared passion for two wheels creates a moment where people can be as free and authentically weird as they want, all while absorbing a sea of inspiration.
For those unfamiliar, Glory Daze is a vintage and custom motorcycle show held every September in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the historic Carrie Blast Furnaces. This national landmark is an extremely rare example of pre-World War II iron-making technology that towers 92 feet over the Monongahela River and provides a very unique and soulful atmosphere. Thanks to Rivers of Steel for their work in preserving this incredible site.
Glory Daze has a funky psychedelic theme with the layout split up into a handful of different areas. The invitational bike show takes place inside the powerhouse building, where motorcycles from builders both local and throughout the continent are displayed in a curated gallery style alongside show sponsors and vendors. The outdoor courtyard is a bike-only hangout area with food and beer vendors. The show also has an outdoor vending and swap section that is adjacent to the main parking lot.
This year we were treated to a wide variety of different style builds. While the curated show ultimately leans towards a chopper majority, there were quite a lot of groovy cafe racers, restorations, flat trackers, and even a Japanese Bosozuko build from Philadelphia. The dedication these builders put into their machines is easy to notice once your eyes start to wander from detail to detail. You have to admire them for continually pushing boundaries and honing their craft in a world of constant distractions.
Once again, Alexa and I want to give big thanks to presenting partners Bell Helmets and Iron City Beer for continuing their support of our grassroots event. When I was first getting ideas together for this project back in 2018, Bell was the first sponsor to jump on board, green-lighting my drive to actually make it happen. Similar to last year, acclaimed artist Skratch was painting lids at the Bell Helmets booth inside the show. In addition, Iron City Beer was slinging three-dollar cold “Ahrns” and free stickers throughout the day in both the courtyard and outdoor vending areas.
The Trippy Ten helmet art exhibit returned with ten new artists from the automotive and motorsports industries selected to paint either a Bell Bullitt or Eliminator helmet in a style of their choice. The artists really stepped it up this year with some fresh ideas that ranged from a twist on traditional work to very complex, detailed pieces.
Special thanks to our team of workers for making the day flow so smoothly and for the vital support from show sponsors Old Bike Barn, Uptahn Metalworks, Lowbrow Customs, American Muscle Docks & Fabrication, Youngstown Cycle & Speed, and ChopCult. The custom motorcycle industry thrives because of great companies like these, so please show them some love when possible.
Next year’s Glory Daze motorcycle show is scheduled for Saturday, September 23, 2023. Our team will have some new additions to the event, so stay tuned for more. We encourage everyone to carry the good energy from this year into the next round. See you all again soon! Peace + Love.
- Kurt Diserio, event organizer