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Velocipedes And Motor Buggies

Roughly a year and a half ago, I took up bicycling. Not in a competitive or team recreational sense; The car I’d been using as my main source of transportation died, so I purchased a cheap two-wheeler to facilitate local commuting until I could acquire another motor vehicle.

TheMolting_bicycle

I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since I was in high school, but the simile “like riding a bike” held true. The experience took me back to the adventures I had whizzing down dusty bike trails as a teenager, and I enjoyed the physical aspect of peddling in the elements (I journaled about these cruising crusades in the post I Rode My Bicycle Past Your Window Last Night).

At the time, I was in the heart of pre-production on the musical film The Devil’s Carnival: Episode One. Production followed, then post, and then months of touring the completed project, so free time to break away and car shop was non-existent. Moreover, the more I relied on the bicycle, the less enthusiastic I became about car ownership. It’s been nineteen months, and I’m still using the bike.

TheMolting_graffiti

Cutting through narrow alleyways and neighborhood necks, I enjoy traveling outside the Los Angeles mainstream. Further, I dread the idea of reassuming the wages of high gas prices, costly auto repairs, insurance payments, and SoCal traffic. The sad fact, however, is that it’s very difficult to exist in a city as expansive as Los Angeles without a motor vehicle. Sure I get around my hood on the bike and bum rides from friends when possible, but my roaming options are severely limited. And even though the city of angels is one of the world’s largest, its public transportation system sucks. In other words, I need to get another petrol-powered bucket.

Ch3_Sp01

One of the things I enjoy most about bicycling is that while cruising at slower speeds and being unconfined, I notice things I’d never catch in an automobile. Some of the things are positive—odd color combinations on the surfaces of neighborhood houses or bizarre lawn statues. Others are negative—road kill stuck to gutters and litter heaps. I also notice passing motorcycles.

In addition to the motorbikes being loud and cool-looking, motorcyclists seem more aware of their environments than passing cars. They also appear more cognizant of their fellow two-wheelers, including me.

Motorcycles

Bicycling on city streets has made me quite the defensive driver. Almost daily, I’ll encounter distracted car and truck jockeys who come dangerously close to hitting me while texting or simply not paying attention to the road. Sometimes drivers will look right into my eyes as I peddle through an intersection and then turn their vehicle into me as if I wasn’t there. They always appear horrified as they slam on their brakes to avoid crashing into me, so these folks aren’t sadistic, just absentminded.

Motorcyclists, on the other hand—probably because they too are defensive drivers by necessity—generally give a wide berth and patiently wait for me to pass if they need to move through a lane I’m occupying. Through helmets, black goggles, and grizzled beards, I often get nods of solidarity.

TheMolting_bicycles

These experiences opened up my mind to the possibility of making my next vehicle a motorcycle instead of a car: a perfect middle ground that would transfer many of the enjoyable aspects of bicycling into a vessel better equipped for navigating my fair city. Plus: motorcycles are cheaper than cars, cheaper on gas, and cheaper on auto insurance.

Last weekend, I enrolled in a motorcycle training course where I learned the basic biker ropes. The school provided not only instruction, but trial motorcycles and helmets for their students. For me, it was literally a “crash course” as I tipped a bike during a drill and scraped up my knee and elbow. At the end of the class, us students were given the driving portion of the DMV’s motorcycle test. I passed!

ScrapeKneeBandageBandages

I have an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles the first week of July to take the written exam for the M1 license. Once this is obtained, I’ll be able to legally drive a motorcycle in the state of California. I’ve already begun the hunt for a bike and gear and will post photos once all are acquired.

Pictured above are the four basic types of street motorcycles: Touring, Cruiser, Sport, and Standard. I know what I’m getting. If you were to join my hypothetical motorcycle gang, which type would you ride? And what should we call ourselves? Please share your suggestions in the “Comments” section below.

  • Samantha_Derryberry_Jung

    Oh my, I feel faint.

  • Samantha_Derryberry_Jung

    Oh my, I feel faint.

  • Kailey Anne

    I’ve already planned to start a Vespa street gang. We will wear only eco- suitable, recycled gear from the thrift shop, and instead of leather jackets, denim fringe vests with Vegan and hipster patches. And we only get one tattoo of a Celtic knot, and inside the knot is the only place we can add more tats. If you want to join, do it before it becomes a fad. …… IM JUST KIDDING. We won’t get Tattoos. That is Too Mainstream. ;p

  • Kailey Anne

    I’ve already planned to start a Vespa street gang. We will wear only eco- suitable, recycled gear from the thrift shop, and instead of leather jackets, denim fringe vests with Vegan and hipster patches. And we only get one tattoo of a Celtic knot, and inside the knot is the only place we can add more tats. If you want to join, do it before it becomes a fad. …… IM JUST KIDDING. We won’t get Tattoos. That is Too Mainstream. ;p

  • Samantha Dutchie

    I can’t even ride on or drive a quad without screaming. BUT, if I had to choose, i’d get a Ninja if I had the balls to ever ride one.

  • Jester

    I haven’t been on a motorcycle in a good 15 years (still afraid of getting killed), but I’d definitely favor a standard or cruiser model, and it’d HAVE to be a Harley. No crotch-rockets, no exceptions. I came across a jester-inspired leather hood which would be cool to pair with a bike so I could ride around supervillain-style! Not sure what your biker gang should be called. Considering your creative projects, there’s so much potential for cliché Hell/Devil-related names. Hell On Wheels? I’ll get back to you on that ;-P

  • Samantha Dutchie

    I can’t even ride on or drive a quad without screaming. BUT, if I had to choose, i’d get a Ninja if I had the balls to ever ride one.

  • Jester

    I haven’t been on a motorcycle in a good 15 years (still afraid of getting killed), but I’d definitely favor a standard or cruiser model, and it’d HAVE to be a Harley. No crotch-rockets, no exceptions. I came across a jester-inspired leather hood which would be cool to pair with a bike so I could ride around supervillain-style! Not sure what your biker gang should be called. Considering your creative projects, there’s so much potential for cliché Hell/Devil-related names. Hell On Wheels? I’ll get back to you on that ;-P

  • Charlie

    Cruiser probably, although my Uncle tends to go for Sports and my boyfriend Standard bikes. I absolutely adore riding pillion and much prefer it to travelling in a car. Motorbikes are the way to go so go for it!!

  • Charlie

    Cruiser probably, although my Uncle tends to go for Sports and my boyfriend Standard bikes. I absolutely adore riding pillion and much prefer it to travelling in a car. Motorbikes are the way to go so go for it!!

  • Amanda

    My fiancé went through 3 bikes before getting a truck: ’97 Harley Sportster (the “dealer” who sold it to us totally jipped us and didn’t have it completely inspected and worked on as it should have been; resulted in him going down on it; thankfully it was at a slow speed and he hasn’t gone onto the highway or interstate yet), a 2011 Yamaha Stryker, and a ’90-something, completely custom Heritage Softtail.
    Then he decided to go with a truck ’cause he needed something with 4 wheels (more practical despite being more expensive). As much as I miss riding with him, I don’t feel quite so paranoid when it comes to being on the road now. Going through intersections I was always afraid someone who decide to run through and hit us.

  • Guest

    shihigh

  • Amanda

    My fiancé went through 3 bikes before getting a truck: ’97 Harley Sportster (the “dealer” who sold it to us totally jipped us and didn’t have it completely inspected and worked on as it should have been; resulted in him going down on it; thankfully it was at a slow speed and he hasn’t gone onto the highway or interstate yet), a 2011 Yamaha Stryker, and a ’90-something, completely custom Heritage Softtail.
    Then he decided to go with a truck ’cause he needed something with 4 wheels (more practical despite being more expensive). As much as I miss riding with him, I don’t feel quite so paranoid when it comes to being on the road now. Going through intersections I was always afraid someone who decide to run through and hit us.

  • Catitia Rowe

    Good to see ya blogging again, brutha. 🙂 A motorcycle does seem like a good compensation. Cars are certainly absurdly expensive to own. I’d probably end up brutally crashing everyone via the domino effect if I were to be in this hypothetical motorcycle gang, so… LOL.
    Anyway, stay safe out there.

    • LizRose13

      You can ride bitch with me Catitia if I ever dare to get on one lol

  • Guest

    the shihighs

  • Catitia Rowe

    Good to see ya blogging again, brutha. 🙂 A motorcycle does seem like a good compensation. Cars are certainly absurdly expensive to own. I’d probably end up brutally crashing everyone via the domino effect if I were to be in this hypothetical motorcycle gang, so… LOL.
    Anyway, stay safe out there.

    • You can ride bitch with me Catitia if I ever dare to get on one lol

  • Guest

    the terrances.i’d like to be a terrances more than anything.

    • r

      wouldn’t that be ‘the Terrancists’?

  • Laura Perryman

    I’m not a huge fan of sport bikes.Touring bikes are nice to ride on if your a passenger. If I ever get one of my own, I’m partial to cruisers but a standard would probably be more my size. maybe you should name your gang the Intrusions.

  • Laura Perryman

    I’m not a huge fan of sport bikes.Touring bikes are nice to ride on if your a passenger. If I ever get one of my own, I’m partial to cruisers but a standard would probably be more my size. maybe you should name your gang the Intrusions.

  • Full Size

    Welcome to the Community! If you come through Phoenix my Brothers and I would be Proud to ride with you and show you our amazing State. I have to agree with everything you said in this blog… You have found one major truths in life! Only a Biker understands why a dog hangs it’s head out of the car window…. Keep up the good work. I can’t wait for what comes next!

  • Sarah D.

    Probably standard or sport for me…as for names, I’m inclined to say “The Roaches” simply because they, like motorcycles, are very cool and rather speedy. (plus being on this blog long enough will get roaches on one’s brain, haha)

  • Full Size

    Welcome to the Community! If you come through Phoenix my Brothers and I would be Proud to ride with you and show you our amazing State. I have to agree with everything you said in this blog… You have found one major truths in life! Only a Biker understands why a dog hangs it’s head out of the car window…. Keep up the good work. I can’t wait for what comes next!

  • Sarah D.

    Probably standard or sport for me…as for names, I’m inclined to say “The Roaches” simply because they, like motorcycles, are very cool and rather speedy. (plus being on this blog long enough will get roaches on one’s brain, haha)

  • LindsayM

    Defiantly a cruiser with “Scarafaggios” on the backs of our Leather jackets!

  • Christina

    Repo Men. The Carnies. Graverobbers. The Wilted Flowers. I have a standard but cruisers are nice. If you like noticing your surroundings it sounds like you would want a standard or cruiser too. 🙂

  • Christina

    Repo Men. The Carnies. Graverobbers. The Wilted Flowers. I have a standard but cruisers are nice. If you like noticing your surroundings it sounds like you would want a standard or cruiser too. 🙂

  • LindsayM

    A cruiser with “Scarafaggios” across the backs of our leather jackets!

  • LindsayM

    A cruiser with “Scarafaggios” across the backs of our leather jackets!

  • spring

    Nighster, longer rake, with suicide bars!A good MC …hmmm that would take some thinking! CIMC…..CALIFORNIA INFESTATION
    Simple but catchy, easy to spread, infectious!

    • Spring Allison

      Congrats on the road rash. Riding has been a way of life for me. The best feeling is an open road, a full tank of gas and two wheels.

  • Mal.

    I’m a standard and cruiser road bike girl. Do not like the crotch rocket’s. Not sure for a name. though.

  • spring

    Nighster, longer rake, with suicide bars!A good MC …hmmm that would take some thinking! CIMC…..CALIFORNIA INFESTATION
    Simple but catchy, easy to spread, infectious!

    • Spring Allison

      Congrats on the road rash. Riding has been a way of life for me. The best feeling is an open road, a full tank of gas and two wheels.

  • Mal.

    I’m a standard and cruiser road bike girl. Do not like the crotch rocket’s. Not sure for a name. though.

  • Guest

    Oh man Kailey Anne I wanna be in your vespa gang so bad. Can we get please get Public Radio tattoos!

  • Guest

    Oh man Kailey Anne I wanna be in your vespa gang so bad. Can we get please get Public Radio tattoos!

  • Jenn

    Our gang would be called The Wonder Chins.

  • Jenn

    Our gang would be called The Wonder Chins.

  • Rachel

    Ok, first of all, what could be hotter than Terrance Zdunich. On a bike. I need a moment. 😉 The Touring feels the safest and is comfy for two people to ride. I wouldn’t be the driver of one. Idk about a name, and please stay safe.

  • Rachel

    Ok, first of all, what could be hotter than Terrance Zdunich. On a bike. I need a moment. 😉 The Touring feels the safest and is comfy for two people to ride. I wouldn’t be the driver of one. Idk about a name, and please stay safe.

  • Myreli

    I recommend the cruiser.

  • Myreli

    I recommend the cruiser.

  • Allison M. Pratt

    Hmm. As much as I like Harleys, I think I’d go with a Inazuma 250. Nothing fancy, good on the pocket book and gets 60mpg. Great for city riding and daily commutes across town. Works for me, since I wouldn’t be traveling on one. And for some reason Hell’s Babushkas keep popping into my head. xD I heard it somewhere during my travels, and it stuck. Thought it was funny.

  • Allison M. Pratt

    Hmm. As much as I like Harleys, I think I’d go with a Inazuma 250. Nothing fancy, good on the pocket book and gets 60mpg. Great for city riding and daily commutes across town. Works for me, since I wouldn’t be traveling on one. And for some reason Hell’s Babushkas keep popping into my head. xD I heard it somewhere during my travels, and it stuck. Thought it was funny.

  • Che

    I was actually in the process of picking up a Honda Shadow until the owner sold it to another guy who beat me there by 2 hours. But if I could purchase whatever bike I wanted it would be a sportie (Harley Sportster). Being not so tall and not much upper body strength it’s one I can touch ground on without doing a ballet point and can pick up if I ditch it.
    If I were to do long distance I would go with a road king or touring style bike, but I am not that confident and will drive my impala. 🙂

  • Che

    I was actually in the process of picking up a Honda Shadow until the owner sold it to another guy who beat me there by 2 hours. But if I could purchase whatever bike I wanted it would be a sportie (Harley Sportster). Being not so tall and not much upper body strength it’s one I can touch ground on without doing a ballet point and can pick up if I ditch it.
    If I were to do long distance I would go with a road king or touring style bike, but I am not that confident and will drive my impala. 🙂

  • werewolfkeeper

    We shall call ourselves THE VELOCIPEDERS.

  • werewolfkeeper

    We shall call ourselves THE VELOCIPEDERS.

  • Larry Andrews

    As you well know sir, i dont own a car, have been riding in los angeles traffic for 10 years now without an accident. i am glad you have finally decided to step over to the dark side.

  • Larry Andrews

    As you well know sir, i dont own a car, have been riding in los angeles traffic for 10 years now without an accident. i am glad you have finally decided to step over to the dark side.

  • Mistress Freyja

    I think my dad had a cruiser when I was really little (like 5 or so) and all I can remember was how awesome it felt when he would take me out on it around our sleepy little hamlet. Since then I’ve been a sucker for a guy on a bike (or in a classic car, but that’s another story). Congratulations on embracing the wind in your hair (and the bugs in your teeth). As for a baker gang name, no idea BUT I have an idea for a biker friendly dive bar that I want to call ‘The Pit’. I’ll save you a seat at the bar if it ever becomes a reality.

  • Mistress Freyja

    I think my dad had a cruiser when I was really little (like 5 or so) and all I can remember was how awesome it felt when he would take me out on it around our sleepy little hamlet. Since then I’ve been a sucker for a guy on a bike (or in a classic car, but that’s another story). Congratulations on embracing the wind in your hair (and the bugs in your teeth). As for a baker gang name, no idea BUT I have an idea for a biker friendly dive bar that I want to call ‘The Pit’. I’ll save you a seat at the bar if it ever becomes a reality.

  • Dani TheTutors Protege

    ow ow and double ow, well I’d join and I’m sure a name has been chosen! I’d ride standard

  • Dani DeathBringer

    ow ow and double ow, well I’d join and I’m sure a name has been chosen! I’d ride standard

  • LizRose13

    I could see you on a cruiser. You’d look like one of the Sons of Anarchy guys.

    I’ve been around bikes most of my life, though have never been fully comfortable on one. Sure, I’d love to have my own tricked out crotch-rocket with Harley Quinn painted on the side and speeding down the highways in a leather cat-suit just like every every girl dreams about! However, they still make my nervous! It’s something I’m going to need to get over soon though. My man is hell-bent on getting me on the back of the one he’s looking to buy and modify…

  • I could see you on a cruiser. You’d look like one of the Sons of Anarchy guys.

    I’ve been around bikes most of my life, though have never been fully comfortable on one. Sure, I’d love to have my own tricked out crotch-rocket with Harley Quinn painted on the side and speeding down the highways in a leather cat-suit just like every every girl dreams about! However, they still make my nervous! It’s something I’m going to need to get over soon though. My man is hell-bent on getting me on the back of the one he’s looking to buy and modify…

  • Shannon RepoGeneticoperafan Mu

    I wouldn’t ride due to an accident that my presence caused. I was crossing the road with my daughter and the cars on both sides had stopped for me. I began to cross, seeing it was safe, when suddenly two motorcyclists went around the cars on the far side. The first one made it by me. The second, however, realized I was crossing with a baby and didn’t think he could make it. He then dumped out. Threw his bike down, the bike went one way, and he went quite a long distance in the other. He was no small man either. To see him flying down the road like a ragdoll tossed by a tantrum throwing toddler was frightening. PLEASE promise me and the rest of your family/friends/fans that you will be safe and not go around stopped vehicles. But if you were part of a biker gang you should be the cruisin’ carnies! or lucifer’s lunatics!

  • Shannon RepoGeneticoperafan Mu

    I wouldn’t ride due to an accident that my presence caused. I was crossing the road with my daughter and the cars on both sides had stopped for me. I began to cross, seeing it was safe, when suddenly two motorcyclists went around the cars on the far side. The first one made it by me. The second, however, realized I was crossing with a baby and didn’t think he could make it. He then dumped out. Threw his bike down, the bike went one way, and he went quite a long distance in the other. He was no small man either. To see him flying down the road like a ragdoll tossed by a tantrum throwing toddler was frightening. PLEASE promise me and the rest of your family/friends/fans that you will be safe and not go around stopped vehicles. But if you were part of a biker gang you should be the cruisin’ carnies! or lucifer’s lunatics!

  • Kimmi

    This year I am planning to do the same kind of “crash course” for my license too. The bike I am looking at is a green 2010 Triumph Street Triple which I plan to airbrush and name Johnny 5. I think ‘our biker gang’ should be called The Exoskelletons.

  • Kimmi

    This year I am planning to do the same kind of “crash course” for my license too. The bike I am looking at is a green 2010 Triumph Street Triple which I plan to airbrush and name Johnny 5. I think ‘our biker gang’ should be called The Exoskelletons.

  • Shannon RepoGeneticoperafan Mu

    and one more thing…we need to see a wider shot of the top left picture…TERRANCE, YOU’RE TOPLESS! *swoons*

  • Shannon RepoGeneticoperafan Mu

    and one more thing…we need to see a wider shot of the top left picture…TERRANCE, YOU’RE TOPLESS! *swoons*

  • Katie Pitts

    Ouch! Be careful next time!

  • Katie Pitts

    Ouch! Be careful next time!

  • Cathy Christie

    G’day Terrance! It’s been awhile! Firstly; OUCH!! As the receiver of lots of gravel rash, I feel your pain! I’ve got scars on my scars. Secondly, I like the Cruiser. My Dad has heaps of bikes; Cruisers are way cooler! Thirdly, I’d totally ride with either the Grave Robbers or at a stretch, The Roaches. 🙂 Hope your’e having a good one!!
    -Aussie Cathy 🙂

  • Cathy Christie

    G’day Terrance! It’s been awhile! Firstly; OUCH!! As the receiver of lots of gravel rash, I feel your pain! I’ve got scars on my scars. Secondly, I like the Cruiser. My Dad has heaps of bikes; Cruisers are way cooler! Thirdly, I’d totally ride with either the Grave Robbers or at a stretch, The Roaches. 🙂 Hope your’e having a good one!!
    -Aussie Cathy 🙂

  • Show Pony

    Hey. I just wanna tell you how much you inspire me. I’m a writer, actor, animator and I think you are the new horror messiah. (Praise be! Testify!) Anyway, you inspired a stop motion, puppet animation of mine. It’s about copulation, creation, and the devil. It’s not incredible but if you wanna see it I can certainly send it to you. Thanks for being awesome. Let me know if you’d like a copy.

    PS: Good luck with the bike riding. Please, don’t die.

  • Guest

    Hey. I just wanna tell you how much you inspire me. I’m a writer, actor, animator and I think you are the new horror messiah. (Praise be! Testify!) Anyway, you inspired a stop motion, puppet animation of mine. It’s about copulation, creation, and the devil. It’s not incredible but if you wanna see it I can certainly send it to you. Thanks for being awesome. Let me know if you’d like a copy.

    PS: Good luck with the bike riding. Please, don’t die.

  • Err… Bike type.. I’d say I would either get a touring or sport style. I just happen to enjoy how both look, and for the touring it seems like it would be a comfortable ride.

  • Err… Bike type.. I’d say I would either get a touring or sport style. I just happen to enjoy how both look, and for the touring it seems like it would be a comfortable ride.

  • Babygoth

    I would definitely get the sport. The sound of them is gorgeous and makes me go hnnnnnngggg every time

  • Babygoth

    I would definitely get the sport. The sound of them is gorgeous and makes me go hnnnnnngggg every time

  • me

    Around here alot of motorcyclists seem to think that they can drive in any direction on any street and also ride inside the parks that people are just hanging out in. I hope you are super careful because I would hate anything to happen to you. Happy belated Birthday, by the way! Hope you had a nice one!!

  • me

    Around here alot of motorcyclists seem to think that they can drive in any direction on any street and also ride inside the parks that people are just hanging out in. I hope you are super careful because I would hate anything to happen to you. Happy belated Birthday, by the way! Hope you had a nice one!!

  • Gwen Rue

    I would pick standard or sport since I have them in my driveway. There are seven stored there, and four in storage. We all have one and driving it is the most dangerous thing I have ever experience, yet we love it. I feel for you, in our house we have a arm band that say’s fall risk from the hospital, it is located next to our gear when someone goes down their name is written next to it. Suggested name Fall Risk, until someone else does anyway! Scared the hell out of me when my boyfriend went down because of a car almost hitting him, he got super lucky because he wore his gear only go road rash on his wrist from wearing a watch. Good Luck on learning stay safe!

  • Gwen Rue

    I would pick standard or sport since I have them in my driveway. There are seven stored there, and four in storage. We all have one and driving it is the most dangerous thing I have ever experience, yet we love it. I feel for you, in our house we have a arm band that say’s fall risk from the hospital, it is located next to our gear when someone goes down their name is written next to it. Suggested name Fall Risk, until someone else does anyway! Scared the hell out of me when my boyfriend went down because of a car almost hitting him, he got super lucky because he wore his gear only go road rash on his wrist from wearing a watch. Good Luck on learning stay safe!

  • Messr. Night

    Roadroaches? Devil’s Descent? Some sort of Grave pun?

  • Messr. Night

    Wait, wait, something AMS related! Black Wagon Gang, or The Riders of Cain?

  • Katie

    Riders on the Swarm