Harley-Davidson custom bike at the Motoblot event.
Anything goes at Motoblot. No such things as rules, only suggestions.Mike Calabro

"Blót" is a Norse pagan term for a ritualistic slaughter. Blót for all intents and purposes translates to "blood," which in heathen religions, practiced by the Vikings, is one of the most sacred of fluids. Back in pre-Christian times, the Vikings would gather together for massive blót parties to appease their gods. Dudes would bring cattle, horses, and whatever else they could get their hands on to slaughter. They boiled the meat into a savory dish and drank ale. Vikings were so wild that they even had special brushes that were used to splatter the sacral blood all over each other. I didn't get to eat Trigger meat nor have the opportunity to partake in a blood shower at Motoblot in Chicago last weekend. Instead, I celebrated motorcycling's rich culture and lifestyle with 20,000 other people.

Blue custom motorcycle at Motoblot custom bike event.
From Norse gods to Aztec warriors, Motoblot had it all.Mike Calabro

I am always shocked by how much of a dead zone the Midwest is for editorial coverage. There is a lot more moto radness besides Milwaukee. Motoblot is a celebration of motorcycle and hot-rod culture where the bikes, the builders, fashion, and music all come together.

Chicago’s Fulton Market District at the Motoblot custom bike event.
Event organizer Larry Fletcher invited everyone to fill up a few blocks in Chicago’s Fulton Market District.Mike Calabro

To attract the attention of the moto gods, the beyond-worthy sacrificial offerings included bands, builder paddock, moto film festival, 30 build categories from vintage to modern and custom, Miss Motoblot pinup contest, a sacrificial pig roast, women eating fire, minibike races, and more.

Woman smiles at Motoblot custom bike event.
Marilyn Merlot—red lips, wide hips, inked skin with a huge grin. Chicago Fire Department paramedic, bartender at official Motoblot bar Cobra Lounge (cobralounge.com), mommy, heavy metal-loving tattoo enthusiast. Catch her on a Harley or making drinks at Cobra. She fell in love with pinup culture because it allows women to enjoy their own beauty without a set standard.Mike Calabro

Ritualistic music and dance were led by more than 30 bands ranging from rockabilly to ska to punk. The Detroit Cobras, The Tossers, and The Krank Daddies were highlights that inspired the followers to dance and freed them from any self-conscious fear or care. This included a spirited female member of the AARP who was moshing with the best of them.

Honda motorcycle customized with Mighty Mouse.
This mighty Honda knuckle dragger is here to save the day.Mike Calabro

The inclusivity of the event is unique, as is the location. Urban motorcycle rallies of this size are rare. The full spectrum of the rainbow was represented in the diversity of bikes and cultures. Where else can you see BMW and Norton clubs hanging with chopper clubs, super-polished bikes sitting next to a ratted-out big-wheeled bagger? Garage-based building clubs like the Roadburners and even The Bleeders, an all-female based club, all partied in harmony. All cultures including what I have never seen before at a bike show—the LGBTQ community. Everyone is welcome. People were riding in on everything including a Honda Spree. I would not feel embarrassed to ride in on my Plastic Pony, a 1990 Honda Pacific Coast.

Women at pinup contest at the Motoblot custom bike event.
Mickie Mangles, voted Miss Congeniality in the pinup contest. She is a tattoo artist at the world-famous Roy Boy’s Badlands (royboybook.com) in Gary, Indiana, by day, and a mother of three by night. In her spare time she volunteers and is a proud member of Pinups for a Cause (pinupsforacause.com) and The Modified Dolls (themodifieddolls.org), supporting local and national veterans, children’s and mental health awareness charities, and all in all making a difference in her community.Mike Calabro

The scene is growing every year and the sponsors are noticing. Progressive Insurance, Indian Motorcycle, Jack Daniel’s—we’re seeing some huge names come in. They pick the best and recognize the uniqueness of the Motoblot.

Custom chopper motorcycle.
Some of the choppers were the kinds that will actually stay running.Mike Calabro

Motoblot is an event that facilitates the dissemination of motorcycle culture fit for a Viking and noble savages alike.

More information at motoblot.com.

Man and woman dance in front of band.
I don’t know this dude’s name but I see him everywhere. He is a familiar face in Chicago's amalgam of greasers, gearheads, backstreet gamblers, and midnight ramblers organized together around retro subculture, motorcycles, and hot rods. With good intentions, questionable judgment, and an attitude forged by the sound of a revving motor and the three-chord progression of rock ’n’ roll.Mike Calabro
Front of motorcycle.
F—k.Mike Calabro
Women dressed in pinup dance.
Señorita Sari—strong, proud, single mom hails from Milwaukee. Watch out, she likes to go fast! She grew up around motors, cars, and bike shows. Her father collected muscle cars. Mopar or no car. She's loved the life ever since, and pinup style is huge in Chicano culture.Mike Calabro
Honda CX and Moto Guzzi café-racer CX custom motorcycle.
Modern interpretation of a Honda CX, rip-off of a Moto Guzzi café-racer CX.Mike Calabro
Custom motorcycle with twisted metal.
Holy twisted metal!Mike Calabro
Mitch and Sabrina from the Roadburners Chicago drinking club.
Mitch and Sabrina from the Roadburners. Since 1984, the Roadburners Chicago drinking club has struggled to manage a crippling vintage car and motorcycle problem.Mike Calabro
Fire eater at the Motoblat custom motorcycle event.
Some people don’t have the patience to blow out their marshmallows before eating them.Mike Calabro