Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Steel Ponies and Racing: “Easy Rider” Meets “Easy Hayden”

by Guest User | Aug 03, 2012

One thing I do to mentally and physically get away from day-to-day work every now and then is to spend time at the “Racing Capital of the World,” the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In fact, one of the cool things I have the privilege to do during race events at the Speedway is work for the public relations department. Yes, it’s hard work, but it allows me to get very close to something I’m deeply passionate about: racing.

Since this past weekend was NASCAR weekend at the Brickyard, racing was heavy on my mind. If I wasn’t at the track, I was recording other racing series on the DVR (MotoGP and Formula One) and watching those races in the evening. With all of this diversion (a pseudo vacation of sorts for me), I still found a way to mentally steer back to the Eiteljorg and Steel Ponies.

Steel Ponies is definitely in the local consciousness. And if the locals aren’t taking time to see the exhibit, they’re busy recommending it to visitors of our fine city. Over the weekend NASCAR’s Miss Sprint Cup 2012 tweeted about the Eiteljorg and Steel Ponies. Through Twitter, we also learned that a crew member for Columbus, IN native Tony Stewart (“Smoke”) came to see Steel Ponies. Clearly there’s a connection between the racing folks and motorcycles.

More specifically, there was a direct connection between MotoGP and Steel Ponies this past weekend. One of the most popular and well-known bikes in the exhibit is “Captain America” from the cult classic film “Easy Rider.” With the international series MotoGP making it’s first of two consecutive United States stops last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, Owensboro, Kentucky’s Nicky Hayden sported a special helmet themed after Henry Fonda’s “Easy Rider” helmet.

The helmet was painted like Fonda’s and featured a couple of tweaks. The back included a logo with the words 'Easy Hayden' and the lower front was painted to appear as an open-face, chopper style helmet just like Fonda’s.

Although Steel Ponies will be gone by the time MotoGP makes its second U.S. stop in Indianapolis August 17-19, I’m hoping the “Kentucky Kid” will don the “Easy Rider” livery one more time…representing freedom, man.

 Bert Beiswanger is the marketing manager


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.
© Eiteljorg Museum. All rights reserved.