Why We Ride

I recently came across this trailer for a film about motorcycling and thought it worth sharing:

It seems to be made in the US and features a broad range of riders, bikes and riding. Three people stand out for me:

The woman in the Motor Maids t-shirt at 01:27. More info on them can be found here. I wonder if they are associated with WIMA in any way?

Ted Simon (pictured at the top of this post) is in there at 01:46 — I recommend his books about his own travels by bike if you haven’t read them, especially since he was an inspiration for the Long Way Round / Down etc travels that Ewan MacGregor and Charlie Boorman undertook a few years back. Also he has his Foundation which is a source of inspiration for motorcycle travellers.  Not so long back he visited my home town of Tunbridge Wells and was wheelclamped. Shame, because I usually manage to get away with leaving my bike in all sorts of weird and wonderful places and as far as I can tell the town is reasonably motorbike-friendly.  Free parking in all the car parks, and a good number of SERV Kent volunteers live there too.

Simon lives in California now, which is coincidentally where I’m writing this post — though I’m in So Cal and Simon is based up north, past San Francisco. I’m in an area that enjoys 329 days of sunshine a year. Any Brits ever feel like we have 329 days of rain a year?

It’s also home to some fantastic riding: how about Route 2, the Angeles Crest Highway, over the San Gabriel mountains, or the Kanan Dume Road from the 101 at Agoura down to Malibu, or The Green Valley Road from Paso Robles to Cambria through a stunning wine region? All routes that are right up there with the best of them, and all in locations where the lack of traffic, warm weather, sunshine and good road surfaces all add up to fantastic riding.  British riders will feel right at home on the twisty stuff and outpace most of the locals. Just watch out for the cops around Malibu as they’re supposedly a bit harsh on speeding. And I’ve been warned that helicopters are frequently dispatched to clean up the remains of riders who fall off the Crest. Paso is so hot that you’ll want to take it nice and easy and enjoy the view, especially if you’ve sampled the local produce the night before…

And the third person? I’ve got to admit that the kid talking at 02:00 freaks me out a bit. Who the hell thinks about having children at that age? Weird….. Maybe he needs to ride more.


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