Meet the Cycle Zombies – California Surf Family Bring Old Bikes From The Dead – Wavelength Surf Magazine

[Folowing a great summer showcasing their range of classic and contemporary bikes at our drive-in cinema, we’re offering readers the chance to win a weekend’s worth of free Harley-Davidson rental. Click here to enter. To celebrate the partnership, we’ve also been penning a series of articles exploring the unholy union between surf and bike culture. Read a potted history of the cultural crossover here, a guide to Britain’s finest coastal bike trips here and a profile on ride culture renaissance man John Eldridge here. To round of the series, we’re introducing the Cycle Zombies, a crew of surfers, skaters and custom bike builders who’ve been passionately riding and tinkering with Harley-Davidsons for as long as they can remember.]

Like so many of the most influential collectives in surf, skate, and motorcycle culture, the seeds of the Cycle Zombies were originally sewn into a dusty, dimly lit room somewhere deep in the depths of So Cal.

It all started with Big Scott Stopnik, who arrived in Huntington Beach as a baby in the early 1960s. Now known as Surf City, USA and known as the shining epicenter of the world of corporate board sports, at the time, Huntington was just a coastal suburb with rugged edges, bubbly with young energy and perfectly prepared for a counter-cultural explosion, led by rockers, surfers, skateboarders and biker gangs. In the early 1970s, Scott fell under the wing of the Hessian Motorcycle Club – founded just before on a love of Harley-Davidson and a fierce reputation. A barely puberty Scott started working in the clubhouse, sweeping and polishing the chrome and in return, they showed him how to customize the bikes. After a youth spent surfing, playing music, and building all kinds of two-wheelers, Scott hitched up to his high school girlfriend Julie and soon enough their house began to fill with little tears to which he could transmit his passions.

Scotty, Stopnik’s oldest son, vividly remembers the day he got his first bike. It was Christmas morning, just days before his seventh birthday, when he broke into the garage to find a mini off-road motorcycle waiting for him. He jumped on it and with Senior Scott running beside him, sped down the block. After an enthusiastic twist of the throttle, he hit a sidewalk and plunged headfirst into a rose bush. Far from being disheartened, from that point on he was riding on whatever he could get his hands on and before long he was working with his father to attach a motor to his stroller, so he could surrender. to the beach or skatepark as quickly as possible. During these early years, bicycles offered the perfect combination of euphoria and utility; a way to have fun as soon as the garage door has closed. Scotty and his younger brother Turkey were both homeschooled and when they weren’t boarding or biking they would help their dad with his job as an electrical engineer or go with him to chat, look up spare parts or old rusty choppers that they could bring back to the workshop. In their late teens, the two brothers secured sponsorship from Hurley (Scotty to surf and Turkey to skate) giving them the freedom to avoid a 9-5 as they approach adulthood.

Their cousin Chase lived just down the street and often walked into the fray. He too had a deep appreciation for aging artifacts and for as long as he could remember he had been inspired to collect anything that was intriguing embellished by the aesthetics of wear. “There’s a lot of creativity running through our family,” says Scotty, “It’s a weird thing to be inspired to do something, being around like-minded people and a different mind makes you want it even more. to go at full speed. “

Image courtesy of Harley-Davidson

Naturally, the four began to design and build custom bikes together, with an emphasis on resuscitating rusty, dead, or withered machines. After their designs gained some recognition, they decided they needed a name for the outfit, settling on “Cycle Zombies” as the proper description. “It was never founded, it just happened,” says Scotty. “Surfing, skateboarding, building and riding old motorcycles, it’s a life we ​​live and breathe every day, it’s not a club or a gang, but a brotherhood of family and friends who ride together and take care of each other. ”

As the boys were doing just what they always did, at some point in the 2010s the combination of their passions suddenly emerged as the trendy subculture and soon all kinds of brands called the Stopnik clan. with offers to collaborate.

Although he’s asked about it in almost every Q&A, Scotty avoids overstating the connections between the hobbies that occupy his time. “I mean motorcycles, skating and surfing – these are all such different things,” he told an interviewer last year, “but one thing I know is that you keeps young at heart. ” He also refuses to be drawn for a specific job title. “I’m not a professional surfer,” he says emphatically, “I’m a collector, collector, D grade mechanic, stuntman, actor, musician, failing artist.” More recently, he also added his father and husband to this list, having given birth to four more Stopniks with his wife Lindsay.

Image via Cycle Zombies

Despite their desire not to be cataloged, Scotty and the Cycle Zombies have amassed a large and dedicated following from across the spectrum of surf and motorcycle culture. Of course, they are celebrated for their surfer skills and their motorcycle creations; the beautiful custom Harley-Davidsons and the range of other two-wheelers they regularly bring back from the dead. But it also goes further than that, with an apparent appreciation for the healthier aspects of their lifestyle, when their boards are gone and the keys are down. Because while making a living doing what you love is always impressive, the Stopnik’s ability to do it and still have time to ride the waves, ride around the bowl when they feel like it, and spend some time. quality time with family and friends is a lot like the plan for the kind of life we ​​would all like to lead.

Do you want to go on a coastal motorcycle adventure? View the full list of authorized Harley-Davidson Rentals rental locations here and enter below to win a Free Motorcycle Rental Weekend.

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