When I first saw Walter he was unconscious. He had just ridden across country to California to go on the El Diablo Run and was fast asleep face down in an empty office at Biltwell Headquarters taking a hour snooze before he got up to ride again... to Mexico. Holy shit I thought, this guy is the real deal. Meeting Walt was a blessing to me, he is a dad, husband, builder, business owner, and producer of several events, one of which I attended a few years ago called the Gypsy Run. On this epic annual ride through the Catskills that takes place in Sept, I met the first girls who rode motorcycles and friends for life, Virginia, Kat aka Lady Wolf , Leslie (Breaking Hearts and Burning Rubber, and Rachel (DoomedNYC). Since then I have ridden with these ladies multiple times, even though we live on opposite coasts, because of that 1 ride. The Gypsy Run is a well oiled machine that covers all the basics and more. You can tell Walt works his fingers to the bone on everything he touches and with this being their 10th year, I can only imagine how incredible it will be and we strongly recommend attending this one of a kind event. We want to personally thank Walt for all his help with Babes Ride Out East Coast. He is one of our main go-to's for many things and we want you to get to know the mythed stage manager of Bon Jovi..Boston? Wait, was it Bruce Springsteen? It was one of them, anyways, meet Walter Gemeinhardt of Kickstart Cycles aka Camp Bear:
What do you do and how long have you done it?
I fix motorcycles. I sell some parts, but mostly fix old stuff.
What’s new with you? What do you have in the works?
This February we put on the first Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet in Asbury Park, NJ. It went really well and we can’t wait to do it again.
This May we are putting on a Flat Track Race in upstate NY. We have been working on that for a while. I am really looking forward to it! We are calling it The Country Mile. It is going to be a combination of the Gypsy Run and unsanctioned motorcycle racing. Should be fun! This September will be the tenth anniversary of the Gypsy Run. I can’t believe we have been doing that for ten years! Amazing.
What has been the hardest or best (or both) parts of your job?
The hardest part is making the time to get everything done.
The best part is the people I get meet because of my job. Motorcycles are an amazing social lubricant. “What? You have a bike? Ok then! Let me buy you a drink while you tell me all about it.”
Tell us about your life in motorcycling. How long have you been riding / favorite bike / what are you currently riding etc.:
I have been riding since I was about thirteen years old. I learned to fix motorcycles the same way everyone does, I bought an Ironhead Sportster and couldn’t afford to pay someone else to fix it. By the end I had it running pretty good.
Favorite bike… any Shovelhead and my FXR. Altho… I just got a stock 63 Panhead that I am really into right now. My friend called it a “gentlemen's bike”. Ha!
Tell us about your best moto trip:
It is impossible to pick one. I used to travel a lot for work. I saw a good part of the world. I can’t think of a better thing to help you grow as a person than travel. Getting away from what is familiar and comfortable. I like the “diving in the deep end” of it all. That being said, traveling by motorcycle is a completely amplified experience. You are part of the landscape, instead watching it from the window seat. It is more challenging and more rewarding. Thankfully, It is not for everyone. Every trip I have taken is gratifying in it’s own way. I couldn’t pick just one.
When is your next trip?
I have been talking about riding to Cape Spear in Newfoundland for a few years. Cape Spear is located on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John's, is the easternmost point in Canada, and North America. I am going to build a sidecar rig for that one.
GPS 47 31 20.59 N 52 37 24.12 W
How did you hear about Babes Ride Out?
You told me about it. Ha!
What did you think when you first heard about it?
Men can be assholes. Especially when women take more than a passing interest in an historically manly pursuit. If women need to eliminate a set of chromosomes for a weekend to be feel comfortable, empowered, and truly a part of something bigger than themselves, I am all for it.
What makes you interested in supporting Babes Ride Out?
Cause you guys are awesome. (What? Little more than that? Ok.)
Because any event that promotes the real benefits of motorcycling needs to succeed. If you don’t show people there is a option to Sturgis and Daytona you might as well by a moped for your Starbucks commute because it ain’t gonna get any better.
Amen Walter! Now, let's go "crack some skulls" - A & A