In the 1960’s, Hunter S. Thompson spent over a year embedded within the notorious Hell’s Angels, documenting their ragtag subculture and crisscrossing California by motorcycle. The result was Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Thompson’s first attempt at a nonfiction novel. The book gave audiences a glimpse of “a world most of us would never dare encounter” (The New York Times) and instantly launched Thompson’s career as a writer.

Thompson, who admitted to being drunk for most of his adventure, explains:

“The only way to write honestly about the scene is to be part of it. [. . .] Anyone who tries to write about them without first-expierience is a fool and a fraud.”

Although we haven’t spent a year with the Hell’s Angels, we did open our doors to some of the best bike-builders in the country for the 8th Annual Brooklyn Invitational Custom Motorcycle Show. The event, which took place at our Brooklyn location, attracted bikers from all over the country and certainly offered an inside look at a world that lives and breathes the motorcycle lifestyle. Beer flowed freely, engines revved, and tattoo guns purred throughout the day as attendees marveled over one-of-a-kind bikes and relaxed after tackling the long ride to Brooklyn.

If you couldn’t make it (bummer), there is always next year…but lucky for you, street-photographer Aaron Berger was on the scene capturing some of the best moments.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the Brooklyn Invitational a huge success, especially the incredible founders Jessica Lee Wertz, John Copeland and Keino Sasaki – who have made this event into the world renowned spectacle that it is today. We are thankful for this long time partnership and for allowing ROOT to host this one-of-a kind event.

We would also like to thank this year’s sponsors Radeberger and Budweiser.

Keep the shiny side up.