Ask anyone around and most would love the opportunity to meet someone famous. Whether a movie star, sports figure, celebrity, or just someone they admire, everyone wishes they could have that one opportunity to do so. Some achieve their dream of meeting them, but all they may have to remember that moment is a photo, autograph, or sometimes just a memory. For one local man, the dream isn’t just meeting someone famous, but to actually work with them.
Kevin Bloom is trying to take that dream to the ultimate degree. An avid motorcyclist, Bloom decided to take a chance and enter in the Discovery Channel’s “Dream Chopper” contest, with the hopes of having the ultimate motorcycle as a prize. That dream suddenly had a chance at being real, as he received a message back that he was entered, and at that point it was all up to the people.
The prize: a chopper motorcycle that was personally designed by Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Choppers, and featured on an upcoming episode of the popular Discovery Channel show.
“I have watched the show from the beginning, and everything from Orange County Choppers is just simply unbelievable,” Bloom said. “Each bike was different from the last, but you knew it was an O.C.C. bike. But, those bikes are certainly pricey, more than what I can spend.”
So, when the chance came up to enter for a chance to win a chopper completely designed by Teutul Sr, he took it, but was skeptical.
“I’ve seen competitions like this before, and I just wasn’t sure,” Bloom said. “But then I got the email back that said I was entered, and I just got excited.”
But that excitement was just the beginning, because since he first started showing that he was in the contest, he had to ensure he would receive enough votes to keep moving forward. Bloom could not believe the support that started coming in that kept him in the running as each round passed. Bloom was getting support from not only friends and family on his Facebook page when he shared the link to vote, but also people from the entire community suddenly were behind him in a time where it seemed that people were turning on one another.
“The way things are in the country right now, things like this make you feel good,” he said. “Lots of people are talking about it now, many pledging support; it really shows how far you can reach in the community.
“All the support is overwhelming. People are voting once every day, commenting on my threads. I really never thought I’d get this far (in the contest).”
Bloom’s desire to have an Orange County Chopper build stems from everything he saw on the original television series to now, from builds like the fireman bike that paid tribute to the 343 firefighters that passed away on Sept. 11, 2001, to the old-school design that Teutul Sr. helped build, or even the Statue of Liberty bike that included actual copper from Lady Liberty. For him, it was just the attitude the chopper bike has that really makes him love the look.
“The design behind the O.C.C. builds, I just like everything. The large tire on the back, the old-school designs, the long front ends; it just looks awesome.”
The idea for Bloom’s bike is simple and more his style, as his profile on DreamChopper.com showcases. His dream bike is one that would have a gothic style with hints of a Viking theme. A black, red and silver color design, along with a lot of chrome. Also, in his own words, “an ape hanger is a must, along with a big, fat rear tire.” Bloom also wants a high-radius gas tank, along with a long front end and forks, plus a stocky rear end and radius exhaust.
For Bloom, winning the chance to have a chopper built by Orange County Choppers has a bigger meaning since it also has brought awareness to many of the fundraising efforts his Legion Riders chapter are involved with each year. He said that any money raised goes directly back into the community, and everyone that has been sharing, voting, and talking about the project has also donated to his cause.
At the same time, there is one other thing he is wanting to do with the bike if he ultimately wins.
“I’m going to Sturgis for the first time in my life next year,” he said. “It would be a dream come true to show off my new bike there.”
That goes towards another aspect of some of the custom motorcycles that have been built, whether by O.C.C. or other custom shops, is the idea that some of the motorcycles are just loaded in the back of a truck or trailer, and hauled to an event before it is rolled off and either just shown and only used during the event. Bloom made it crystal clear that he had other ideas.
“That bike will be on the road,” he said. “These bikes never sit. That’s why you buy one, to ride and have fun. That’s a bad stigma in the community if you trailer your bike in. We (the Legion Riders) ride everywhere.”
Come Thursday, the current round of voting will come to an end, and at the moment in his group, Bloom sits fourth, so he is not yet guaranteed to move into the next round. He is asking everyone to go to DreamChopper.com and vote for his design. Voting is free, and one can do so once a day for free via Facebook. Bloom constantly is promoting the contest as best he can to keep getting votes, and even he thinks it could be a bit too much on occasion.
“Sometimes I hate bringing it up sometimes, since it gets repetitive,” he said. “But, that is what you have to do.”
The experience for Bloom from just being considered for the sweepstakes to where he is now is almost overwhelming, and he knows that he has a good chance at moving on, but he also understands that it could end at any moment. Whether he continues on, or his run of luck comes to an end, this has done so much good for him and his surrounding community, it was worth every moment.
“If I don’t win, I will cherish the experience,” Bloom said. “It’s been a lot of fun. The way things are right now in this country, it makes you feel good about the people you surround yourself with. I would love to win, but this has been a lot of fun.”