Chris Rose shows off his custom Harley and his second place trophy.

Rose’s custom ride shines at Sturgis Rally

Seven years ago Prince Rupert's Chris Rose was recovering from a motorcycle accident that almost killed him.

Seven years ago Prince Rupert’s Chris Rose was recovering from a motorcycle accident that almost killed him, but today he is celebrating his success at the Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show held in Sturgis, South Dakota in August.

Consisting of approximately 100 custom bikes, the 26th Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Show was held on Aug. 7, with Rose being encouraged to enter while he and his ride were in the area on vacation.

All the contenders were reviewed by an international team of judges in 16 categories and even though he initially didn’t feel his custom 2004 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce was worthy, Rose placed second in the over 1,000cc Custom category of this year’s contest.

The win was significant for Rose as his motorcycle is more than just an outstanding custom, but a representation of his battle against death.

“It’s not just a pretty bike with a paint job,” said Rose.

“It has a story and meaning behind it.”

Back in 2007, Rose and some friends took their bikes on a trip to Ketichikan, Alaska, deciding to park for the night and go out for some drinks.

Shortly before the trip Rose had gotten an eye surgery. He wasn’t told it could affect his night vision and he wasn’t wearing a helmet because they weren’t required in the community. Rose drove into a pedestrian sign at 25 km/h as he turned a corner, flying over the handlebars and head first into the curb.

The accident stopped his heart, caved in his skull and ejected one of his eyes from its socket, with paramedics reviving Rose three times before he was airlifted to the University of Washington Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle. Because his brain was swelling so badly, doctors induced a coma that Rose would remain in for 11 days.

After being transferred to Vancouver General Hospital, Rose underwent various surgeries including procedures to rebuild his face, with his jaw having to be broken and reset three times.

After completing eight months of rehab Rose was able to return to Prince Rupert, and the following year he returned to Ketichikan.

“I ran into a taxi driver (who witnessed the accident). He told me ‘I was the first one there, me and my buddy were holding onto you. He had your head and I was checking your pulse’,” said Rose.

“He started crying and said, ‘you were dead, you had no pulse’.”

And it seemed like death had it out for him, with Rose’s father passing away shortly after the accident, followed by his mother and brother within two years.

After recovering, Rose made the decision to build his custom bike, completing the revamped Harley Davidson two and a half years later.

Rose’s near-death experience was the inspiration behind the design airbrushed on the bike’s body, with his concept being elevated by artist Mike Gariepy. Images include the Grim Reaper, a pocket watch being broken by a cross, a rose bush growing in a graveyard and three crosses to represent his lost family


“This was showing the Reaper that I’m not ready to go yet; I have a lot more to do,” Rose explained.

Just Posted

Tsunami warning lifted for coastal British Columbia

Emergency BC issued the warning after a 7.9 earthquake off Alaska early Tuesday morning

Tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 8.0 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Raiders claim the crown in Terrace

The Prince Rupert Adventure Paving Raiders went 3-0 in the Terrace Classic

Kaien Anti-Poverty Society robbed again

The Prince Rupert society was robbed of food for a second time this month

Cause of Kitkatla seaplane crash released

TSB report on seaplane crash during a water landing in May 2016, Inland Air has since changed policy

VIDEO: New whale rescue equipment comes to Rupert

Fisheries officers took to the water to practice saving stranded whales

Carriers wanted for the Northern View

We have open routes for carriers all over Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

UPDATE: Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Most Read