Green on Two Wheels

As I sat stopped in traffic for 2 hours on the 405 freeway from Orange County to Los Angeles a girl on a motorcycles pulled up next to my car briefly and then sped off between the lanes, passing up traffic.  That was the moment I decided to learn to ride a Motorcycle.  Within two weeks I had signed up for Motorcycle Safety School and passed my test at the DMV! 

I borrowed a MC(Motorcycle) from a friend and started practicing around the neighborhood.  It was a Triumph Thruxton 900CC café racer.  I really like the vintage looking bikes and Triumph makes several classic style MC’s.  I got the Triumph Bonneville 2010 that you see in this shot above taken by photographer Christina Shook, who has published a book of photos of women who ride called Chicks on Bikes. The photo above was taken at the  Cretins Motorcycle Club located in downtown LA on the rooftop of a parking structure. It’s a cool motorcycle man cave decked out in classic motorcycle paraphernalia, pinball
machines, pool tables and a bar.  Of course ladies are welcome too, especially if you have a bike!

The main reason I decided to get the Triumph Bonneville 2010 was because it was the first model that
was fuel injected and it gets five times better gas mileage than previous versions.  It can get around 45-50 miles per gallon!  Plus it still has that classic vintage look.  If you shop around you can find some great deals on bikes, even the new ones.  A good way to check out all the different bikes and gear is to go to a motorcycle show that usually tours several of the bigger cities.  The Long Beach International Motorcycle Show is coming up this month, but check their website for a show in your city.

Another way to go green with a Motorcycle is to get a vintage bike, like this Honda CB750 shown above, and save it from the landfill.  You can check eBay motors or Craigslist for a wide variety of the vintage bikes like Honda, BMW, BSA, Norton, Triumph, etc.  Some of these bikes need some work, but if you live near Venice Beach, CA you can take your bike to  SS Classics for some TLC.  SS Classics restores, services and sells vintage motorcycles, with a specialty in vintage Hondas, dating from 1960 to 1977.  The owner, Shannon Sweeney, specializes in stock restorations and creates custom cafe racer style motorcycles.

Shannon and some friends started their own club called VVMC, Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club. (See
photo below) They have had a series of vintage motorcycle rallies, and they regularly have group rides, starting in Venice.  Most of the members ride pre-1978 vintage motorcycles, but anyone with a motorcycle is welcome to ride with them on Sundays.  You can usually find me riding with them at the end of
the line trying to keep up!

 

On the eastside of Los Angeles you can find an all girls motorcycle club called the East Side Moto Babes.  E.S.M.B. describe themselves as “a group female hooligans riding moto and generally causing mayhem and confusion where ever we go and looking damn fine while doing it”! As you can see from the picture below these are your typical moto girls.  They are great group of girls and I try to get out and ride with them whenever I can.  You can read more about them and their adventures on their blog. http://eastsidemotobabes.blogspot.com/

I have met so many great friends and traveled to places I never would have imagined on a bike, since I started riding.  I admit I was one of those people who said they would never get on a MC, but I’m glad I did because it has opened up all kinds of opportunities for me.  In fact, next month I’m going to be on the cover of a women’s motorcycle magazine! 

Regardless of what kind of motorcycle you ride or what side of town you are from, there seems to be certain camaraderie among all bikers as if they were all part of the same club.  Bikers have a mutual respect and tend to look out for one another.  This kind of thinking would go a long way if people driving cars thought and acted the same way on the road.  If only more people would ride just think about all the gas we would save, the reduction in pollution and the land that would not have to be used for large parking lots.

Keep it Green!

 Learn more about Beth at http://www.ecostyledesigner.com/  

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