Everybody SHOULD Ride the Bus in LA!

Today I took my new Zero to a shop in Culver City to get the seat fixed. It was too short, now I love it! The story of how I got home is far more interesting…

 

I checked to see how long it’d take on the bus. 1:40. No thanks. Lyft claimed they could do it in :40. So I took Lyft line. And he immediately got on the 10. At rush hour. And stayed there. By the time we got to the 110, I was so bored I decided to get out downtown, run some errands, and take a Metro bus the rest of the way home.

 

If I lived downtown, or anywhere served by the Metro rail lines, Lyft wouldn’t even have been an option. The shop was only a mile from the metro station, an easy walk for this ex-New Yorker. I really miss living someplace walkable. DTLA is currently too expensive and too choked with the dust of construction and all the diesel vehicles serving those sites. Most of the rest of LA isn’t walkable. Yet.

 

Walking through DTLA is one of my favorite pastimes, and taking the bus home was fun too. It was so enjoyable, I took the bus the whole way back to pick up my bike the next day. Which wouldn’t have been ideal if I had to be somewhere, but my schedule was pretty open. I like the busses that don’t have that black mesh on the window. Those huge windows make for a far more entertaining trip watching the scenery pass by. For instance, I saw a homeless encampment high on a hill in echo park I’d never have noticed from a car window. And a stunning Victorian in Pico-Union I’d never glimpsed before.

 

Metro has an Office of Extraordinary Innovation currently doing a study to determine how best they can compete against the rideshare apps stealing their customers. I fear that by the time their study is complete, they’ll have been innovated out of business. Yes, riding the bus in LA is slow and tedious. Yes, we need those tunnel boring machines to dig faster. But what can we do to ensure LA doesn’t just give up on Metro entirely in the meantime? At Move LA’s conference, they were pretty optimistic. But more people keep moving here, and all stuck in this old LA mentality they saw in some stupid movie where everyone has a car.

 

Newsflash Flatlanders- the cool kids aren’t driving cars here anymore. They’re biking and taking public transit. And yes, hailing a rideshare when it’s actually faster than public transit or cycling. And it’s not always faster, you know.

 

My hopes are for more Metro bikes, especially along the LA River. While I don’t want Metro to steal all of Spoke & Coco’s bike rental biz, I’d sure like to be able to use one to commute while my bicycle is waiting for its fly paint job. It’d also be great if Metro would just dive in and do some test routes. By compiling TAP card swipe data, they could see which connections are most common and come up with more direct routes. Or even try some rideshares themselves, using DASH buses to serve “smart routes” or something. I know that once we have enough affordable housing in central LA, and a complete* Metro rail system, LA will be an awesome place to live.

 

* I won’t consider it complete until there’s a subway under the Sepulveda pass, from the valley to the airport.

 

More pix from my trip…

Things you see walking to the bus stop…

 

I like how Heaven Market just plastered their sign over the old 7-11 sign. And LOVE how multicultural LA is. No matter how much I whine about this place, I will always love that.

 

Remember how in Mr. Robot everyone ends up selling stuff at flea markets in the street to survive? Well, that’s life here on Alvarado st.

 

My bad blurry pic of a moped rider in a rad pink vest.

When Biker Chicks Drive Cars

In December, after 26 years of safely riding through intersections, I managed to finally get nabbed by one of the dreaded “Left-Turners”. Yes, it’s her fault. Yes, there’s things I could’ve done differently, including driving a car. Instead, I covered my favorite jackets in this rad reflective spray paint from Albedo 100. Hopefully that will do the trick, at least for night rides.

 

While I couldn’t ride (due to a broken wrist, luckily the worst of it), Fiat cut me loose on the streets of LA in a 2016 500e to see if it could be as fun around town as it is on the track. I’ve driven both manual & automatic 500s, and a broad range of other electric cars. None of them as fun as the Fiat 500e. And it’s not just one biker chick saying this, plenty of car guys agree too. Charged magazine has the most comprehensive story on the 500e here. Motorcyclists in California (and most of the world) are spoiled. We never have to sit patiently in traffic, we just “get in where we fit in.” I wanted to see if the Fiat was fun enough to enjoy without being able to lanesplit. I managed to squeeze it into some pretty tight spaces, making it fairly exciting. Rest of the story on Gas2…

Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?

On Wednesday morning I woke up feeling like my entire country had been raped. I felt so hopeless, powerless and terrified. So I did what I always do when I feel like that. I called my mom and cried it out. That gave me the strength to call in sick and take a mental health day. I spent time with good friends and commiserated on the horrific state of the nation. That night, I went downtown to meet my boyfriend for dinner and we decided to join the protest at City Hall first. Speaking my mind on CNN felt so empowering. Marching with hundreds of my fellow Angelenos made me prouder of my city than ever. Los Angeles’ diversity is her greatest asset, and it felt so good to be a part of that at it’s best. We all came together to protest this travesty that has befallen our nation.

Continue reading Is It The End Of The World As We Know It?

Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

Pinkyracer caught on film Sunset Blvd blog

Recently, LA Times reporter Robin Abcarian contacted me through our mutual friend Arlene Batishill of GoGo Gear. She was looking for a motorcyclist to take her lanesplitting during rush hour traffic. As this was slated to be legalized (officially), she wanted to write an informed article on the subject. A true professional journalist! So refreshing.

 

Continue reading Taking an LA Times Reporter for the Ride of Her Life

How To Plug A Tire

plug cut

Many years ago, as a motorcyclist surviving the streets of NYC, I had a great teacher. Armen Amirian taught me a lot of things, including things about myself. That I’m more a rider than a wrench, as I lack the patience to do most motorcycle maintenance. One of the more valuable lessons he taught me was how to plug a tire so it will stay plugged. Most bike shops won’t do this for fear of litigation. You can do it yourself quickly and easily on any roadside. Of course, this is all at your own risk. I’m only telling you what’s worked for me. I can’t guarantee that this will work for you. Armen prefers the mushroom type plug, which requires a fancy set of tools, the ability to separate the tire from the rim, and basically a proper workshop. If you’re stranded on the side of the road, or can’t afford to pay someone else to do all that, this is what has worked for me…

Continue reading How To Plug A Tire

Hair & Skincare for Bikers

 

Yes, we're all Aries here.

Yes, we’re all Aries here.

My ego simply adores telling people my age and seeing the look of shock on their faces. I look a lot younger than 44. After almost 30 years on motorcycles, I can tell you what’s worked to keep me from looking like  leather face in Grease.

Saving Face

First and foremost- since one year before the helmet law went into effect in California, I’ve been wearing a full face helmet every time I ride. Not only is this protective in the event of a crash, it’s also great for your skin and hair. It keeps the smog and crap off your skin and keeps your scalp’s natural oils where they belong- on your hair. Yes, hair can get a bit greasy wearing a helmet, but that’s why we have washable helmet liners! I highly recommend wearing only a full face helmet with a removable liner. Plenty of times I’ve gone too long between washings and the amount of filth that comes out is astounding. Those cheek pads absorb quite a bit of the tailpipe gunk that would otherwise end up all over your face! Most major brands have removable liners.

 

The main reason I’ve noticed the excellent anti-aging properties of a full-faced helmet is that my neck is starting to show my age. It’s the only part of my body that gets exposure to the elements when I ride, and the only part that has any real signs of aging. So now I’m faced with ever more costly skincare treatments all in the name of vanity. If only someone had told me 20 years ago to keep all that smog & wind off my neck! Now I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing a scarf tightly wrapped around it on every ride. Be sure to tie the scarf in a knot and tuck it securely into your jacket. When I find the cure for neck tightening, I’ll share it. Continue reading Hair & Skincare for Bikers

2014 Zero S Review- Your Range Anxiety is Bullshit

2014 Zero S Malibu

This bike was not only fun to ride, but blew my mind with the range. Sure, it’s got twice the battery capacity of my Zero FX, and weighs a lot more, but wow. I could totally sell the R1 and go all-electric… Full story on Gas2.

Photographed juicing up at my favorite westside lunch spot- Malibu Country Mart.

Freedom Cookies!

freedom cookies

I know, this is not a baking site. But! Ride to Eat, Eat to Ride. The only way to live! However, we can’t ride very far or fast (especially on the pedals) if we’re bogged down with a bunch of crap food. So I’ve finally perfected the double chocolate chip cookie. Thanks to HeatherVescent for the perfect starter recipe. Hers is great, but I needed it to be Free. Gluten Free. Sugar Free. And Dairy Free. I’ve been afraid to ditch the dairy, but finally crossed over completely. You could call these Coconut Chocolate Delights, there’s so much Coconut in them. And they are truly delightful. Trust me, I know chocolate And these are the best cookies I’ve ever tasted.  All ingredients are organic and fair trade whenever possible. Especially the boiling water… Continue reading Freedom Cookies!

Picking your Battles | Survival Skills

Zero at home

my precious babies safe at home after both enjoying some riding today

Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me. I have to work hard to develop it. But sometimes it’s easy.
Riding a motorcycle means I….
Lanesplit
On the Freeway
At Night
In the Rain
In Los Angeles (where nobody knows how to drive in the rain).

But even I have to draw the line at doing all of the above right after the Superbowl (or any other major drinking event). A simple detour to one of my favorite quiet surface streets made a potentially fatal ride home quite pleasant. Beverly can get you from Hollywood to DTLA just as fast, even faster sometimes.

Today I also got to ride my R1 through sand, out in Joshua Tree. That was exciting. But I kept my speed down (around 6mph!) and didn’t make any sudden moves, and we made the half mile trip (each way) successfully. It was exciting, especially having to turn corners where the sand was actually a couple inches deep. Luckily traffic wasn’t an issue. I am dying to play in the dirt more, now that I’ve learned how to do so through Shelina Moreda’s dirt camp, which I did last year. In case you missed it, the full story is on RideApart.

Winter has finally come to SoCal, let’s all keep the shiny side up!

Zero Motorcycles Press Intro | International Motorcycle Show

Zero FX

The FX may be the perfect city bike, but not with those tires. Those are your Saturday tires, for playing in the dirt. Get some Zero S wheels to run street rubber on this bike for everyday use.

Here’s a recent article I did for Gas2…

 

Zero had a massive showing again this year, with a central spot on the show floor at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, CA. As press entered the show we were greeted by a pair of ladies handing us Zero brochures and reminding us not to miss their presentation.

Judging by how late most of the paper magazines were to report on these bikes, some even reporting on 2013 models when they’re all sold out, you’d have think they missed it last year. You know we didn’t. Full coverage here. And exclusive video interview with Zero owner Terry Hershner on the completion of his first (of MANY) cross-country trip on the Zero S. Oh how that bike has changed over the year! It was sad that the only Brammo at the event was the wheelie “ride” bike I saw outside near the stunt arena. The show continues in New York this coming weekend. Story continues on Gas2….