We Ride At Dawn
I went for my first ride on the back of a Triumph on a dirt road on my grandmother’s farm. It felt like flying, still does.
I’ve always been a gearhead—a mechanical type of guy. My first job was building stealth fighters. Of course, I can afford bikes and cars, and I can’t afford a fighter plane—they go for a few hundred million each, and even with zero percent financing, the payments are pretty steep. There’s nothing as quick or fast as a sport bike for less than a hundred grand.
The difference, generally speaking, between sport-bike people and cruiser people is that sport-bike people like performance skill and wear safety gear; cruisers like chrome, noise, and style. It’s funny to me to separate them because I ride both. I prefer performance cruisers like the Honda Valkyrie I had or my Triumph Rocket III.
I’ve seen sport-bike guys who can’t ride and cruiser guys who can. The funniest experience is when I’m on a Ducati in the morning and the sport-bike guys wave. Then I’m on the Triumph in the afternoon and the cruiser guys wave. The Harley guys are consistent—they never wave at all.
Racers are a different breed; they crash and go fas-ter. They are also young and heal faster.
I once read you should never try to go fast in a slow corner, then I learned that’s pretty damn good advice. I was exiting Turn 2 at Buttonwillow; it’s a slow double apex right-hander. There was too much throttle coming out, and when I let off I high-sided. You know, it’s funny how things slow down when you’re airborne. I knew the landing would hurt … and I was right.
There’s no a stigma against women who ride in my world, unless stigma means “hella sexy.”
If you think a hottie is sexy in chaps, you should see one in racing leathers unzipped about halfway. And don’t get me started on umbrella girls…
My favorite vehicles on two wheels are the Ducati Diavel, which is possibly the best bike I’ve ever ridden; the Triumph Rocket III, which proves that, yes, size does matter; this awesome 2013 Victory Judge; the Ducati 1098 (what a sound!); the Honda Valkyrie, the bike I’ll always regret selling; the Suzuki Hayabusa, which doesn’t accelerate so much as it amazingly sucks the world into you; and the Honda Gold Wing (one day I’ll own one—it’s the only way to travel).
I used to ride with Diamond Dave, the owner of Body & Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks, CA. After about a year hanging with him I got my first tattoo, of a jester. They say if you hang around a barbershop you’ll get a haircut—my head was already shaved, so I went with the ink.
Of all my tattoos, I probably like the drama and comedy masks with the words “Laugh Now, Cry Later” the best. I also like the jester because only he could make fun of the king … but if he wasn’t funny, off with his head! I like the idea of working with those stakes—it would eliminate a lot of hack comics.
Biker gangs wear patches that most of them take far too seriously. I get it that’s it’s a way of life, but if you’re in a street gang killing over a color, a bike gang killing over a patch, or a government killing over a religion, lighten up.
We used to meet for breakfast and have race leathers on. The waitress would call us Power Rangers, and we loved it. Biker gangs don’t like being called Power Rangers. They have no sense of humor.
I once heard those who don’t wear helmets have nothing to protect. Good advice: Wear a helmet and pay attention. On that note, you can get my comedy DVD Who’s Paying Attention? on Amazon.com or iTunes or at Blockbuster (hey, remember Blockbuster?).
Being funny comes naturally to me. Plus, if I crash and burn onstage, I don’t literally crash and burn. Asphalt hurts.
What’s scarier: getting tattooed, performing improv, or rain starting to fall when you are out riding? If I had to pick, I’d say rain because I live in L.A., and when it rains, L.A. drivers get even worse.
I’d be scared of a tattoo artist I’d never met or one whose work I’d never seen. I never understood how people just walk in a shop without checking them out first. But comedy? That doesn’t scare me—not even comedy in the rain while getting tattooed.