Blue Cat Motorcycle

Viva Midwest

Open Tuesday-Friday: 10AM-5PM | Saturday: 11AM-3PM | (651) 645-1172

Something borrowed, something Bluecat

Posted on 02 Aug 2011 in Events, Friends Of The Shop | 3 comments

Last autumn we bought a building. This ’50s service station turned alternator workshop was definitely rough around the edges. In the months that followed, we made it our own and continue to tweak and optimize the space. Thing is, we didn’t purchase our little building on Prior Ave for its classic mojo alone. We wanted a space all our own — a space we could use as we pleased. No landlord hassles, and no sharing a larger facility with other tenants. This baby is ours and while it’s a big commitment, it gives BlueCat Motors the space it needs to breathe, grow and thrive. It’s been a great season so far this year. We’ve had busy lifts and busy mechanics keeping old bikes alive while the shop has transformed around us.

Amidst all this change, we actually lost somebody. Well, sort of. Long time BCM mechanic and still friend of the shop, Jake, wasn’t able to work for us again this season. He’s still a Blue Cat, no bones about it, but we definitely miss having him around the shop every day. So when Jake asked, of all things, if he and his lady Jenny could get married at BCM, how could we refuse? It’s our space, after all. So who’s to say we can’t have a wedding here? Furthermore, how rock & roll is that? Motorcycles are definitely romantic, sexy machines, and as focused as we are on repair — on making that romance last — what better place to have a good friend tie the knot?

We closed our business doors on Friday night to begin the transformation from motorcycle shop to wedding venue. The lifts were folded down and moved into the storage bay. Everybody’s benches were wiped down. Tools were put away. Dirt was swept. Bathrooms were scrubbed. Chairs arrived and soon we barely recognized the joint. The tool chests and big manufacturer signs all just looked like decor now — as though we were a motorcycle-themed rental hall rather than a working repair shop. The transformation was striking, and even kind of eerie (in a good way). We had no idea the space was so versatile. More than anything, especially knowing that there was a wedding afoot, it just made the whole place feel really special.

Saturday afternoon came and it was time to do some hitchin’. Big shop fans were blowing from every direction to stave off the summer heat. It was a touch muggy, but not awful. Two lifts were set up as a stage for the bride and groom, and for our own Mutt Posey as officiator. Three of our shop bikes were lined up along one side and Jake’s BSA was on the other. I arrived about an hour before the actual wedding attendees started showing up. Jeff and Ryan were both buzzing around grabbing last minute food for Jake and Mutt and keeping everybody in the wedding party sufficiently hydrated (and lubricated) as the fellows got into their tuxedo pieces. It’s a tough call. What do you wear to a motorcycle wedding? Should the groom have a helmet on? Jake and the other gentlemen definitely classed up the joint, wearing high-waist tuxedo pants with suspenders over crisp, white shirts. The bridesmaids wore simple black dresses with thin straps. The whole group looked perfectly “summer wedding.”

People finally started arriving en mass about 30 minutes before starting time. It was a lot of familiar faces. Friends of the shop, regular customers, and lots of people I recognized from Bearded Lady the weekend before. What I found most striking was just how fabulously fashionable the group was. There were several guys in vintage ’60s suits complete with matching eyeglasses, cufflinks, tie tacks and hairstyle. Nearly a dozen lovely ladies were in full-on ’40s regalia — dresses as bright as their lipstick, and hair styled in the appropriate vintage. If someone in a Rocketeer outfit had wandered in, he wouldn’t have looked entirely out of place. It wasn’t all dieselpunk and jet age fashion show, but where the vintage clothing ended, the ink continued. Those of us without tattoos were definitely in the minority. Great ink too, not just a bunch of ratty drunken skin doodles, but real pieces of body art. Great stuff, really. The temperatures were hot, but the audience was cool.

As people shuffled in, the place filled up quickly. Elvis played in the background, just over the whirr of the fans. No sooner did our shop-turned-venue fill up, the music shifted. The wedding party filed in. Mutt took his place, looking like Commodore Posey in his long-tailed coat. In a literal rock & roll move, one of the wedding party split off, picked up an electric guitar and he played the bride down the aisle. Jenny was beaming, and Jake was transfixed. We couldn’t blame him. Mutt delivered one of the shortest, sweetest ceremonies I’ve ever witnessed and before we knew it, Jake was kissing the bride. Mid-smooch, Jeff and Ryan hopped on two of the bikes off to the side, cranked them up and revved the hell out of them. This was all planned, of course, but it put the finishing touch on what was already a memorable wedding. Jake and Jenny marched out and that was that. They’re stuck with each other now.

The receiving line formed outside the shop in the bright summer sunshine. It was hugs all around as everyone greeted the newlyweds. Inside, we struck the chairs in record time and quicker than you could say “sorry, no, we don’t work on Goldwings”, the lifts were back in place and that shop was itself again. It wasn’t quite the same though. The space seemed blessed somehow — full of possibility and new beginnings. With the guests now scattered to the parking lot and some folks even already making their way to the reception at Gibb’s Farm and Museum, we unstacked a handful of chairs, formed a circle and toasted Jake and Jenny. Good luck, you two. Thanks for making us a part of it.