Central Florida Wheels of Steel Puts Pedal to Medal for 3rd Year
by James Coulter
High Seas Rally is the one and only motorcycle rally on a cruise ship. Next year, it will be setting sail from Oct. 29 – Nov. 5 with more than 3,000 bikers on board for a full week cruise in the Caribbean.
Until then, its cruise director, JT Waters, recently attended a motorcycle event on dry land in Lakeland, Central Florida Wheels of Steel. He visited to promote the cruise, as well as support many of the custom builders who regularly attend his annual cruise, including the event’s co-chair, Jason Hellman.
“So this is a nice way to support them because they support us and it is the perfect opportunity [to advertise],” he said. “The bikes on display, some of the best builders in the nation, it is awesome to see them all grouped together in one spot.”
Several dozen custom bikes were showcased last weekend during the 3rd Annual Central Florida Wheels of Steel hosted at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Bike builders and enthusiasts gathered there from across the state and even across the country, even from as far away as Fresno, Cali.
The two-day event serves as a fundraiser for the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County, a local non-profit organization dedicated to providing access and resources for education and child care to local families. By supporting such a noble cause, Wheels of Steel has drawn support from attendees far and wide, explained Lt. Tony Allure, event co-chair and founder.
“That is why we are still successful,” he said. “A lot of these motorcycle guys and builders have a big heart and they realize it is for a good cause. They want to participate to build the industry and their presence in the industry, but they also want to assist a good cause.”
Lt. Allure started the event with his partner and co-chair, Jason Hellman, who owns and operates Cycle Stop USA. With more than 18 years of motorcycle industry experience, Hellman wanted to create something to draw motorcycle builders and enthusiasts like himself.
Since its start, the event has more than doubled in size and attendance, with plenty of repeat visitors and even new faces. Part of the overall appeal has been allowing motorcycle fans, especially those new to the industry and scene, to connect with one another from far and wide, explained Lt. Allure.
“It is a great opportunity for the people out there who have a bike and want to get it out of the garage to come and talk one-on-one with these builders who are making the most amazing bikes in the world so they can get face time with them and pick their brains,” he said.
“I like that there are so many different kinds of classes,” said Hellman, “So while we do have professional builders, this is an awesome opportunity for someone building a cycle n their garage to measure their skill set against some of the best on the planet. So, if you are someone who has an interest in this, you can pick the rains of some of the best builders in the world.”
Both Hellman and Lt. Allure hope to see the event continue to grow and expand. They have high expectations in the near future, especially with many repeat visitors making this event a scheduled shop on their tours. Hopefully, more cyclists will consider paying them a visit next year.
“I would say, the way the event has grown exponentially, which was unanticipated, was from the motorcycle industry community, [which] has taken a notice of it,” he said. “It has become a must attend show if you are going to have a very high-end motorcycle. We want to keep the stronghold of builders that we have now, get them some show and exposure and network them with the people we have here. Without losing the intimacy of this type of venue, it lends itself to the art side of things, and that is what we want to cast a light on.”
For more information about upcoming Central Florida Wheels of Steel events, visit their website at: https://cfwheelsofsteel.com/