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.
I’ve been a fan of the series since Rossi was racing 250’s. In fact, when I started racing in 1998, I couldn’t race an EX500 like all the sensible kids. No, I had to race an Aprilia RS250 like that adorable Rossi kid. Plus it’s a much prettier bike and everyone knows 2 strokes > 4 strokes.
In the 15 years since I first attended a GP, at Assen, I’ve been to 22 rounds in 5 countries. I’ve been to every US round except 2. All of my vacations revolve around motorcycle races. If there isn’t a race there, it’s not worth visiting. As a race fan, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on airfare, hotels, transportation, dining, museums, and shopping. But when Rossi retires, there’ll be nobody left to root for. I was really hoping Marquez could take his place. Sure, nobody can compare to the G.O.A.T., but Marquez at least had spunk and incredible talent. Pedrosa is proving himself now that he’s healed, and he’s a lot more comfortable in front of the cameras than he used to be, but he’s not a powerhouse. Lorenzo is incredibly talented, but he’s like our pet Greyhound- an absolute machine on the track, capable of winning races with ease and grace, but has the personality of someone who spends all their free time in a cage.
Continue reading The Death Of MotoGP
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.
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…
When Midnight Ridazz started rolling through my neighborhood on Friday nights, I was curious. I wondered what it would be like to ride with them. Years later, I was living downtown when the first CicLAvia flyers were posted. They warned us that our street would be closed. I knew I had to try this cycling thing for myself, and that CicLAvia would be a great way to try it. So I borrowed an old beater from a friend and pedaled around DTLA for the first time ever.
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.
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
Sure, pretty much everyone at the track loves motorcycle racing. We wouldn’t be there if we didn’t. Some love racing more than others. But some love more than racing. Some, like me, love feeling special. I like feeling like I’m in the inner circle, not just a fan among fans. I was feeling very introspective this weekend, being at a GP without the press pass I’d grown accustomed to wearing. I had to think about where I most wanted to watch the races. Not just this weekend, but in the future. Everything has a price, or a trade off, and race spectating is no exception. Everyone at the track has a role, and is helping keep the sport alive through their passion.
Some of the roles I’ve held are:
Fan (general admission or varying levels of ticket access)
Guest (well, usually not for the entire weekend, as sponsor guest passes are really for the sponsors)
Volunteer worker (riders for health)
Roles I’d like to hold, in order of awesomeness:
Team Press Officer
Grid Girl (not just for the access but for the validation)
Racer’s wife (less of an option now as most racers are young enough to be my kids!)
Sure, I’d love to be a racer, but I discovered in my club racing days that I really didn’t have it in me. So I’m content to watch the talented ones do their thing.
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.
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….
On the Freeway
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!