January 21, 2015

Two Wheels, Tacos and Friends

Along Interstate 5 with Madhavi and her custom Honda Shadow 750
After a week from Hell, taking a ride on my Indian Scout up the California coast was just what I needed to clear my mind. My friend Madhavi and I wanted to attend the Quality Control Show in Long Beach, The Motolady's 4th Anniversary and Helmet Show. Heading out from San Diego under cloudless skies in 70 degree temps, we were both all smiles and filled with anticipation.

Certainly we could have slabbed it up Interstate 5 the entire ride and been there in a couple of hours, but we wanted to see some sights. We hugged the coast on Pacific Coast Highway, known in these parts as PCH, and even took some city streets to look around. It was challenging to fight the tourists and all the stop lights, but the breathtaking views made the extra effort worthwhile.

The Quality Control Show was absolutely Motorcycle Rider Entertainment. Guests arrived on a huge variety of customized motorcycles, ranging from Triumphs to Ducatis, Hondas to Harleys. It's very possible my Scout was the only stock bike in the bunch. My first disappointment of the night was I couldn't see most of the 200 motorcycles which sat in the parking lot because it was so dark. But this was a helmet show, not a bike show, so the real display was the helmets inside.

Madhouse Kitchen was cooking up my favorite food in the entire world; Tacos! For only a few bucks, I grubbed on tacos and checked out two-wheelers for awhile, chatting with complete strangers about customized bikes.I was in way over my head, so mostly I just asked questions.

I hauled my heiney back inside when I heard the Back Alley Barbers starting to play. The band rocked the joint to the ground and  I have a mad Girl Crush on lead singer Sara now! I hung out with Enrique for awhile, a guy I just met, chilling and talking about putting Ruffies in drinks.

Motolady Alicia Elfving really knows how to throw a shindig. Half of the helmets on display were for sale, the other half for raffle, all with mind blowing artwork. I wouldn't want to actually wear one for fear I would drop it and damage it.
Back Alley Barbers Rocked!
(Photo courtesy of Motolady)
 Icon coughed up a jacket for the raffle that I wanted bad enough to blow $15 on raffle tickets. My second disappointment of the night was that I didn't win this $500+ jacket for 15 bucks. (Ikon personnel! If you read this, please get me the Fairlady Jacket in Large!! *shameless begging*)

My third and final disappointment of the night was realizing the party was over. I had such a good time I didn't want it to end. Alicia had rounded up some other pretty cool raffle prizes, a motorcycle piñata, and an amazing crowd of chill folks who were friendly and unapologetically cool as Hell. Alicia is not only genuine, she's dynamic, funny and brash. I love seeing her, even if it's only once a year.

Alicia, The Motolady & creator of Braap!
During the ride home I felt really good in my skin, soaking in some sunshine, and grateful to be alive and on a motorcycle I love. With my sweet friend Madhavi along for the ride, a sense of completeness came over me, knowing she accepts me just as I am and I never need to be cautious about being myself with her. To spend time with like-minded riders after having such a shitty week being bashed by the Facebook group of Lady Bikers of California, I learned a valuable a lesson.

Just because I'm a woman who rides a motorcycle doesn't mean I fit in with all women's groups.


I'm much more comfortable sitting in a bar with a bunch of guys calling each other "dickheads" than I am sitting in a chain restaurant with a bunch of women who are chugging wine and bitching about their lazy and cheap husbands. I seemed to have forgotten that. When I started riding I had no idea what style of rider I would be. I never intended to belong to a particular group, so along the way I've met many men and women with whom I click, and a few with whom I do not. There's nothing wrong with that. It's the way we determine our comfort zones and find places in life where we can feel safe being authentic and unabashed. I'm truly sick and tired of filtering my language and my behavior to please others. I've learned that no matter how hard I try to please others by being "considerate," eventually I will slip and say something that offends them.

The Quality Control Show was incredibly comfortable for me, even though I only knew a couple of people there. It's funny how we know when we fit in. No one needs to tell us where we belong; we just know. Traveling the country has helped to open my mind and my heart to others and to accept them as they are.

All I needed were a couple tacos, two wheels, a good friend and a long road to set me straight again.

Seriously my favorite helmet of the show!

Madhavi and I had a great time meeting other riders
When was the last time you went to a party and hit one of these? (photo courtesy of Motolady)
I love Alicia's sass!
Enrique watched my drink for me and promised he didn't Ruffie me!
For only $4 I got a pretty hefty shot of Makers Mark in my Coke
Madhavi and I seem to read each others minds while riding, knowing when to lead and when to follow
The ride along the coast was as beautiful heading south as it was riding north

Special thanks to The Motolady for use of a few photos. 



  1. What an awesome ride out for you. Sounds like you really needed it too!!

  2. I had so much fun riding and hanging with you! Looking forward to our next moto adventure! Xoxox

  3. I wish we had these sort of events anywhere near where I live. In Wales, all motorcycle gatherings consist of bald, grubby dudes on decades-old Suzuki sport bikes eating sausage sandwiches. Not my scene.


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