The Saturday ride makes its way through Griffith park and on into the hills. Breathtaking views give way to Bel Air and back down to the Sunset strip. Carney’s hot dogs are worth the wait but after several hours on the back of Kyle’s bike I’m photo-sore, I pound a hot coffee and head home to rest up for the evening party. Our newb journalist makes it the entire ride and I’m loving snapping pictures of my bike all back-lit and awesome.
Saturday morning starts slow at Lucky Wheels with registration, coffee, and breakfast margaritas. Last night’s mysterious young journalist shows up again. Even though I’ve already made plans with the shop to leave my bike behind when he wusses out, he takes bike for a test ride and happily agrees to do the whole ride. I’m not optimistic I’ll see my bike in one piece again but he looks like he’s having fun. The ride gears up, bikes are starting and Portland Kyle kindly offers to let me dubs for photos.
The first full day of the Woolly Bullies’ Hot Dog Rally on February 15th brings people from across the country to rainy Los Angeles (it IS the wettest month.) Meetup at Crawford’s and ride out to Chinatown for a shop party. A rainy ride, a couple of wipe-outs on those train tracks, and the guys from Lucky Wheels showed up just to get carried away. Lots of hugs, lots of two-stroke, lots of airport pickups.
Dave and Wendy’s desert hideaway is great spot to rest and thankfully Wendy’s extensive medical knowledge finally helps get Lucy patched up. Getting a fresh start on the final race day feels great, with the top teams within an hour of each other the competition is going to be tough.
Flew in to Las Vegas straight from a family wedding, catching up with the race already in progress. The teams have finished 8 out of 10 days by the time I join them, riding from Florida and ultimately landing in Long Beach, California. Total miles traveled will come to over 4000, the first leg having taken place Summer of 2017 spanning the East Coast and landing in the South. As I arrive at the house of our host in Vegas, teams are just 2 days from from reaching the finish line. Tensions are high but most are in good spirits despite some injuries and only about 45 minutes separate the first and second place teams.
For 2018 I sadly had to miss out on the National Rally in San Fran for moving and packing and cleaning reasons, but I am very excited about rumors of a Valentine rally in Los Angeles for 2019… will it be a chance to un-seat Portland as ‘Best Strip-club Steak Dinner’ champion? Time will tell. In the meantime, here’s a little bit of 2016:
Sunday starts at Chrissy field with whiskey and MD 20/20, because that’s how the best days start. The legendary ride over the Golden Gate bridge was beautiful and we stopped shortly after for group photos up at the bunker. James got naked, but that wasn’t the only law being broken: after several miles of lane splitting and traffic holds the police intervened to let us know how poorly we are adulting. Hillary’s law enforcement experience was much better though with the angry demands that she, “tell your friends to take their dumb little scooters or whatever and go home.” After many hours we rode said dumb bikes back in to the city and formed the world’s dumbest/comfiest cuddle puddle. Hugs were had by all. Thanks SF, you did it again.
Lucky Wheels, the DIY Moto garage has graciously started stocking moped necessities (2-stroke oil) since Choke closed in 2015. Last weekend they allowed a new workshop, led by Boyd, for moped newbies to learn the basics on safety and buying bikes. More workshops to come in the future plus the Bullies brought food. There were a few fresh faces plus Pizzanista, smokes and beers, good times.