Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monkey Butt Radio, Day 2

monkey butt radio
Day 2 of our 3-week motorcycle road trip to Denver had us spending a full day in Phoenix by going on air live with the crew at Monkey Butt Radio.

Monkey Butt Radio is three guys, all of whom named Mike, who talk about motorcycles.

The day actually started with Sash and I working out of our hotel room getting our normal work done. I had some website development to continue with, and Sash had some marketing stuff to work on.

But the day was really about getting on Monkey Butt Nation.

I had to loosen myself up by getting a beer at Skeptical Chymist, an Irish Pub with a decent selection of craft beer. I say that because in the United States, Irish Pubs are purveyors of your typical garbage-variety brews. We threw some buffalo wings and chicken tenders into our stomachs, and then finally showed up at the Monkey Butt Studios.

The radio show crew was there with boxes of pizza and six-packs of Kilt Lifter Scottish Ale waiting for us.

More important than Sash and I, they had another guest, Aaron Cutrano, who's organizing the AZ Troop Run, a benefit run for the children of fallen soldiers, which is taking place in the Phoeniz area this Saturday, April 26.

"I've been on a lot of radio shows", Cutrano said to us after the show. "But this was by far the most entertaining show I've been on."


Monkey Butt Radio really takes on the soul and spirit three guys, each of whom are veterans, who just talk bikes, throw down beers, and what one of the Mikes says, "We care take of our own", meaning they support local causes and promote their guests and sponsors. They do have a staff that keeps everything running, and they know ahead of time what they're going to be talking about, but overall it's really just guys hanging out and having fun.

They're also looking for sponsors. With 4,500 listeners who tune in live or catch it on YouTube each week, they're interested in mentioning your name on the broadcast. Get in touch with them at http://www.monkeybuttradio.com/

skeptical chymist
Having a beer at Skeptical Chymist in Scottsdale, before the show
monkey butt radio
Me & Sash on the right, and the Monkey Butt Radio crew, minus Big Mike, who had to leave right away.
cutrano az troop run
Aaron Cutrano display his bike run t-shirt. Learn about it at http://cutranoaztrooprun.org/

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

San Diego, CA to Phoenix, AZ

san diego to phoenix motorcycle
Three weeks of being on the road is a long road trip, considering most folks only take a week off from work at a time. But then again, when your last road trip was 6 months long, three weeks seems like a weekend getaway.

The destination? Denver, CO.

The reason? Many.

The road from San Diego to Phoenix is a four-lane stretch of desert scrub and tumbleweed generating a monotony of empty looks and blank stares some 350 miles long. There are certainly ways to make it more interesting, like practicing riding without hands, or experimenting with the coolest camera angles at 80mph. But this time around we have more of an itinerary to keep schedule of.

By the time we dropped into the Imperial Valley, temperatures reached 97 degree F. That's 36 degrees C if you're on the new math. But once we got east of Yuma, it managed to rise up a few ticks to 100 degrees F. Not bad. I've ridden in hotter.

But this time of the year the scenery is more colorful, about as colorful as it gets for the desert. There's a stretch of Highway 85 that runs from Gila Bend to Buckeye with swashes of yellow Smoke Trees against Pipe Organ Cactus and reddish-brown hills that reminds me why I tolerate the long stretches of dull superslabbery.

And why take the Interstate?  Why not take the back roads?  First, there are not a lot of choices getting from San Diego to Phoenix.  Two, when it's 100+ degrees out, you want to get there fast as you can.


Phoenix is said to be the "Valley of the Sun", but these days it seems to be the Valley of Freeway Construction. The town just keeps on growing, ever sprawling further out and drowning in the stop-and-go rhythms of a inch-worm on a cholla cactus.  And there's no lane-splitting in Arizona.  So when the traffic slows to a crawl under the late afternoon broil, the misery-meter starts to rise.

When we pulled into our hotel room around 6:30pm, all I could think of was a shower and a cold drink. And then Sash discovered that we were supposed to meet the Monkey Butt Radio guys for an evening barbecue around that time. So we showered and got dressed got right back on the road.

Monkey Butt Radio is three guys, each of whom named Mike, who talk about motorcycles and everything within a degree or two. We're going to be in the studio with them to do a show.

The big reason why Sash and I are headed to Denver is so that she could take part in the first annual Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit, where a bunch of motorcycle riding women are getting together to pat each other on their backs.  But my brother lives there, so I'm going to see him.  We also have a client there, Thanasi Foods, who advertises on my beef jerky blog, so we'll be visiting them.

As it turned out, we had a great time. I mean, we got to ride motorcycles all day and then partied till midnight. I guess it was quite a day on the first of our three week trip.

interstate 8 imperial county line
Interstate 8 has some fun riding along the Imperial / San Diego County Line
interstate 8 imperial county line
Me taking a shot along Interstate 8 on the Imperial / San Diego County Line
johnny's burritos el centro
Having lunch at Johnny's Burritos, El Centro, CA
honda st 1300
Me trying to find a creative photo shot while cruising some long straights in the desert.
monkey butt radio
The guys of Monkey Butt Radio

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mira Mesa Bike Night

mira mesa bike night
Every Thursday night, around 8:00pm, in the parking lot of Mira Mesa Market Center, on the corner of Westview Parkway and Mira Mesa Blvd, is the Mira Mesa Bike Night.

It's probably one of the only bike nights that gathers around a Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery.

Bikes park in the parking lot under an amber-colored parking lot light and folks just stand around and talk about the motorcycle life. You can go in for a hot Sumatran Roast or an ice cold chocolate chip waffle cone, but most seem to be fine standing with the bikes, lighting up a cig, and reenacting a more miniaturized version of Zorba's on a Thursday night.

But then again, Southern California is full of competing bike nights. On the same evening, Cycle Gear runs a bike night at their San Diego and San Marcos locations, which tend to draw more people due to free food. After the weenies and Mountain Dew have been depleted, many riders gather at Mira Mesa for the night cap.

Sash was a little spoiled because her only two bike experiences were in Tulsa, OK, which was medium-sized, and the big one in Memphis, TN at Beale Street. Mira Mesa Bike Night is rather small, albeit it was only April, and bike nights usually don't get going until the Summer months.

We met up with an old counter-part of mine from my earlier days of rolling with indie riding clubs, Alex. Alex had been the VP of the California-chapter of Twisted Riderz, while I had been a co-founder of Heatwave RC. In those day, we had kept track of each other and our respective RCs. There were times when our clubs joined up on some outings. As the years went by, Alex left his club while the Heatwave kinda languished into hiatus. I had lost touch with Alex until I had crossed paths with him at a Cycle Gear one afternoon.

Since then, we're back to keeping an eye on each other, though still only hooking up once in a blue moon.

mira mesa bike night
Sash is in the lower-right while Alex is seen deep into the lower-right corner.

For Sash and I, hanging out at a bike night is like taking a break from our work, getting out of the apartment, and getting some of the local motorcycle culture back into our blood.

Somehow, seeing all the sportbikes in the parking lot and the guys wearing various sportbike club colors, makes me want to get a little 600cc rice burner and roll with them. But they're all in their 20s, and I'm now in my late 40s. To them, I'd be like the Piney lugging around an oxygen canister.

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)