I love California for many reasons, but speaking as a motorcyclist/biker/hooligan/whatever y’all call me, California is damn hard to beat. Here’s why:
Lane splitting. If you don’t know what this means, get a motorcycle and come to California—you’re basically immune to traffic. Commuting by moto is the only way to go! A couple of years ago, when I started working at ReputationDefender (now Reputation.com) I was commuting from Sacramento to Redwood City each day. It was about 2 hours each way by bike, but by car it was often over 3 hours each way. Moving to San Francisco solved that particularly problem, but I would have burned out real fast sitting in the car for that long. Commuting by bike is fun!
The “riding season” never ends. Yeah, it got down to 34 degrees when I rode Mount Hamilton a couple of weeks ago, but take a look at these photos and you’ll understand what I mean. It’s December (almost Christmas!) and it’s sunny, and there are tons of bikes in the city.
So what are you waiting for? Get on your bad motorscooter and ride!
I headed out last Sunday for a quick loop over Mount Hamilton, across Del Puerto Canyon Road to Patterson, then back over to Mines and back to San Francisco. Check out my route and for extra points, the Yelp reviews for Del Puerto Canyon Road: “Why is there an option to review a friggen road?”
Good question, but it turns out there are reviews for Mines Road (“Yes it is a HELL OF A RIDE!”), Mount Hamilton (“Amazing views. A drive not for the faint of heart.”), and of course, The Junction (“Awesome, motorcycle haunt in the middle of no where. 10 stars for the food.”).
It was a classically Bay Area-beautiful day for a ride: temps stayed between the high forties and low sixties, and the roads were reasonably clean and dry for the most part. Surprisingly, I only saw a few other riders, including a slow-moving noob on a little dual-purpose bike. High five for your gumption, noobie!
It was clearer than usual, so I stopped off on Treasure Island to snap some photos of the city, where a friendly tourist took this photo of me with my bike. Here’s hoping the weather holds so I can get in another ride this weekend. If not, I can also tinker with my bike—I have some new bits from Touratech and TwistedThrottle to bolt on in the name of adventure via accessory purchases.
I’m really not a racing fan, but the history and sheer awesomeness of the Isle of Man TT coupled with the beauty of the island make for a pretty compelling “Hey darlin’, we really need to make a vacation of this” story. The Catalina Grand Prix (on again for 2012!) is another. I’m mostly interested in motorbike races on beautiful islands. ;)
I really enjoy listening to Guy Martin – he’s an interesting cat.
I’m pretty consistently retro-grouchy about new bikes. “These new-fangled motorbikes you kids are riding look like something outta that movie about the robot cars. Whattya call those? Trans-foamers?” Believe it or not, I’m extremely conservative about how motorbikes should look. It typically takes about five to ten years for me to like “edgy” new designs. So I was hesitant to jump on the Motus bandwagon. The concepts sounded great early on – especially the engine – but the drawings were ugly.
After seeing the video of the MTS-01 on HellForLeather this morning, I’ve changed my mind. It helped that they made the bike’s styling substantially more conservative than the early drawings – less ugly to my jaded, aging eyes. And it sounds OMG AMAZING. Rumbling, roaring, BAD ASS. Check out the video below to hear it for yourself – this is what motorcycles should sound like.
Successfully launching a new motorbike company is extremely difficult. I wish Motus the best – this looks like an awesome bike. Check out the Motus YouTube channel for more awesomeness.