by Colette M. Armijo
RATON — Out of a seemingly quiet garage in the heart of Raton, “Hy Brasil” was born. Joseph Patrick Rodman, or JP as he is fondly known, fashioned the Show Class Magazine’s People’s Champ winning chopper by pouring over $20K and 3,240 hours of himself into this project. Rodman, now 40 years old, first began tinkering with mechanics at the young age of 10. One of his first projects was working on the major restoration of a 1955 Chevy with his dad Joe Rodman.
Born and raised in Raton, Rodman moved to Salt Lake City in 2000 where he began associating with motorcycles and networking in the building arena. He had always been fascinated by Harleys and custom motorcycles. In 2008, he moved back to the pulsing New Mexico city of Albuquerque where he met his significant other, Nikki Zabicki. Together, they are an artistic powerhouse. Zabicki is a designer of urban fashion and decor. She is also the proud owner/operator of the SHOP and Belt Buckle Maker. Hand in hand, they moved to Raton in December 2013.
“Hy Brasil” was JP’s first attempt at building a bike. It is named after a mythical island claimed to lie in the Atlantic Ocean just west of Ireland. Building this beauty consumed JP’s life from December 2014 to the moments just before final judging in June 2015. When asked about it, he responded with a face lit up with passion and excitement, “Unreal. The connections made, the hours worked, all to achieve the ultimate goal of winning. It’s just a guy’s dream come true.”
Rodman’s winning bike has intricate details and features. Viewing “Hy Brasil” does not disappoint as the first thing that catches the eye is the forward gas tank with resin inlay. Here, a beautiful rendition of Frank Frazetta’s science fiction art can be seen. The back wheel is actually a car tire and not a bike wheel. The white wall tires together with the faux fur on the seat gives “Hy Brasil” the un-mistakeable 60s low rider touch. Almost all of the parts used on the bike were either purchased via the internet or by special trips made to Denver or Albuquerque.
Show Class Magazine’s People’s Champ competition is open to bikes and builders from all around the world. Rodman’s bike was one of 24 entries. Voting then took place via social media and other internet sites to whittle the initial 24 down to 13 qualifiers. The next stage of elimination took place through the votes of builders and former People’s Champs. “Hy Brasil” made the final 6, side by side with another impressive bike that came all the way from the United Kingdom. When eventually declared the winner, Rodman acknowledged feeling grateful and overwhelmed.
Together with a feeling of huge accomplishment, winning People’s Champ 2015 earned JP a spot in a prestigious group of builders. Some of his prizes were motorcycle parts, motorcycle building supplies, a genuine handcrafted personalized leather belt, a knife in a personalized leather sheath, a custom made helmet and gift certificates. Rodman can’t wait to put these thousands of dollars worth of prizes to good use.
Rodman also took up the opportunity to showcase “Hy Brasil” at the recently concluded Wilderness on Wheels benefit. He feels passionate about this cause which creates the opportunity for disabled persons to gain access to the beautiful and scenic Colorado mountain environment.
What’s next on the agenda for JP Rodman? He has his eyes set on the glimmering goal of participating in the Yokohama Hot Rod Customer Show which takes place in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan. He is also willing to work with clients to help them realize their own ‘Hot Rod’ dreams.
If ever you are driving through the town of Raton, don’t go too fast or you may just miss “Hy Brasil” rolling on by.
“Hi Brasil” The award winning chopper built by Raton local JP Rodman
“Hi Brasil” by Raton Local JP Rodman