Roland Sands talks Moto Beach Classic
Interview by Maggie Gulasey
The team at Roland Sands Design has been dreaming about a beachfront moto event for years and they have finally been given the keys to the kingdom at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Partnering with Sea Legs Live, a legendary concert venue on the sand, to bring a day of reggae with Black Uhuru and Wargirl and a night of punk rock with Lit and Unwritten Law. If that wasn’t enough, they are also taking Super Hooligan Flat Track and motorcycle drag racing to the beach. Throw in a West Coast Board Riders Surf Comp, art show, demo rides and unique vendors, and you have an incredibly entertaining day at the beach with something for everyone. We recently caught up with the man himself, Roland Sands, to pick his brain about the inspiration behind the upcoming event.
Bolsa Chica beach is a distinctly unique venue for this event, particularly for a flat track race. Why hold this celebration of motorcycle, surf, music, and art at the heart of one of the most heavily frequented corners in Orange County?
I think you just answered that question with a question. Thank you. We want to bring racing to the people. The best way to get new people involved in something is to take it to them where it’s hard to ignore. Plus it’s right down the street from where I grew up and currently live and I could put everything I dig into one event at one place with a bunch of great people. We want to see everyone, kid’s, teens, boys, girls, newbies and pro’s and old vets come and see the event. I think a solid crew of like minded people from all walks of life are going to show up and have a great time and see something new no matter where they’ve been. The majority of motorcycle racing or lifestyle events are either rallies held beyond the confines of major cities and suburbs, or races that take place at outdoor tracks or speedway venues. Those events are great, but the problem is that they largely end up only reaching the core motorcyclists. Right now, we need to find ways to bring the glory of motorcycles and the incredible lifestyle associated with riding to brand new people. That’s why we’re so stoked to have this incredible venue, right in the heart of suburban Southern California where its significantly easier for families to come out and enjoy a totally unique type of event that everyone, from the parents to the kids, can enjoy. It’s exactly why our sponsors like Indian Motorcycle and BMW are excited about this event.
It cannot be an easy task to custom build a flat track next to the surf. What was the inspiration behind hosting this race beachfront?
It’s a pain in the ass. We had to wedge it into the parking lot there next to sea legs and re route the boardwalk. We’re brining in 20 truck loads of dirt starting Monday for a week long process to build the track. It’s not cheap or easy, but it’s going to be bitchin. People have told me I’m crazy, guys like Brad Oxley who’ve been doing this for years have told me I’m nuts. But with no risk there’s little reward. And no matter what happens were going to have a gas racing next to the beach with all our friends old and new. There’s a shared DNA between surf culture and motorcycle culture. More and more we’re seeing action sports and guys who love to both ride and build custom bikes. It’s all about freedom and taking risk and enjoying life. So that relationship is a big part of it. The other critical aspect is the ability to more easily reach a whole new set of consumers by bringing an event like this to a beach venue, where a far wider range of people are going to be present.
It seems as though you have been very focused on hosting a handful of one-of-a-kind events recently. What has motivated you to be on the forefront of the hooligan racing movement?
For me personally it started very organic. Literally showing up on the bike I road to Costa Mesa Speedway and entering Harley night 12 YEARS ago. And having a gas and winning a few races on a stock bikes on street tires. And it’s just grown slowly and consistently from there. More and more people have come out to ride and started building bikes. And everyone has gotten really good. We’ve got stunt riders, motocross guys, road racers, old pro’s, industry guys, creatives, magazine guys and plumbers all riding against each other on bikes many of them built in their garages. It’s literally the everyman class of racing. We’ve just elevated it and partnered with some of the raddest bikes shows in the world. The One Show, Mamma Tried, Wheels and Waves and the pro races with AFT to make it something special. 10 races all over the US, ending at Bolsa Chica with a double points paying round to win a 50K Indian FTR. It’s insane. There’s no better adrenaline rush than when you’re pushing a motorcycle…truly “sending it” and you don’t have to necessarily be a pro to do that. With Hooligan racing, we’re trying to demonstrate the “riding” side of owning a motorcycle and the fun and excitement of getting together with friends and pushing the bike and pushing each other in a manner that’s intense and thrilling, but way less formal that pro racing.
What is the significance of connecting motorcycles with art, music, and other action sports?
It all blends doesn’t it. I’ve been watching live music, surfing, going to art shows and creating art, Skating, partying with friends, building bikes, racing and generally finding excuses to have fun my whole life. Throwing that all into one event just makes sense. There are a ton of shared lifestyle elements between motorcycles, art, music and action sports. First and foremost, each of these things is about self-expression. Each of these things were born out of some level of rebellion against the norm and the desire to express your individualism in a totally unique way. Each of these things carries its own brand of “awesome,” whether it’s the adrenaline rush of riding or surfing, the gorgeous beatify of a piece of art, or the power of good music. To bring these things all together in a single event is kind of a perfect storm where everything fuels and feeds of each other. Not to mention, it creates an environment where there’s something for everyone, regardless if your thing is motorcycles, surfing art and or kick-ass live music. It’s not an event I’d want to miss.
If you can’t make it to the event, is there still a way for us to watch the fun from home?
We’ve got the MotoBeach Classic live feed powered by Valero if you can’t make the show but want to watch it.
You can go to MotoBeachClassic.com or if you follow any of our sponsors you can potentially check the feeds there… or on META’s Instagram & Facebook!
And I before I go, I want to thank all our sponsors:
Indian Motorcycles, BMW Motorcycles, Baume & Mercier Watches, Redbull, Geico, Ducati Motorcycles, Pacifico, Law Tigers, Hurley, Waves for Water, Dunlop tires, Iron and Air, Motul, Cycle Zombies, Fast Surfboards, Von Zipper, West Coast Board Rides, Sport of Kings, Bell Helmets, K and N filters, Bonnier.