Inspiration: Workshop

From Sunny Santa Cruz: The Misfits

A motorcycle crew with a difference…

Opening her garage to the public, Liza Miller started out with a mission statement: ‘Re-Cycle Garage in Santa Cruz, California, is about getting old motorcycles back on the road and to teach people how to fix them…’

Norman Reedus at the Re-Cycle Garage
Norman Reedus (sitting) with Liza (standing, right) and the Misfits

It’s now grown into a must-visit West Coast motorcycle destination (even Norman Reedus stopped by on his motorcycle TV show) and it’s home to a weekly podcast called Motorcycles and Misfits. Informative, funny and down-to-earth, it’s one of the premier motorcycle podcasts out there. Always opening with the line ‘from sunny Santa Cruz, California’ it brings a ray sunshine to listeners with less fortunate weather! We corner a few Misfits for a quick Q&A and find out more about their Triumph rides.

Chris

Motorcycles and Misfits

Q. How did you get into motorcycles?

A. They were always around when I was a tyke, not sure I ever had a chance… ha!

Q. How did you get involved in the Re-Cycle Garage?

A. Introduced by a local MC member (Vampires MC) and it was obvious upon the first awkward introduction that I had found my people.

Q. What does it mean to be a Misfit?

A. Pretty hard to nail that one down. The group has quite a widespread membership base. The one similarity is the love of two wheels and the willingness to help keep whatever heap rolls into the garage from gathering spiderwebs.

Q. What are some of your favourite routes and destinations in your area?

A. There are too many to list and they are all visited regularly. At this particular moment it’s the less wet and slimy routes. I grew up in SoCal [Southern California] and will never get used to water falling from the sky on a regular basis. There is nothing quite like broad-sliding a 500lbs+ motorbike through a stream that breached the highway.

Q. Tell us about your Triumph...

A. Currently riding a Sprint ST 1050; this is my third. I have had the Triumph bug and one under my arse since falling in love with the T595 back in '97.

Q. What’s your dream Triumph?

A. I know I am making myself sound like an old codger, however, I am in the market for a Sprint GT and would love to spend some time on the Trophy SE.

Emma

Emma of Motorcycles and Misfits

Q. How did you get into motorcycles?

A. I bought leather trousers and thought a motorbike would look pretty with them.

Q. How did you get involved in the Re-Cycle Garage?

A. I was stolen from Jameson's museum.

Q. What does it mean to be a Misfit?

A. Following your own unique path in life and hanging with folks who embrace you for that.

Q. What are some of your favourite routes and destinations in your area?

A. Highway 198 from King City to Coalinga.

Q. Tell us about your Triumph...

A. I'm working on a '69 T150 at the moment... Brit bikes are charismatic.

Q. What’s your dream Triumph?

A. A Slippery Sam replica, of course!

Jeremy

Q. How did you get into motorcycles?

A. My grandpa had an old Suzuki that he taught me to ride as a kid through his fields, but apart from that – and dirtbiking a couple of times – I never really rode as a kid. I always had it in my mind to get a bike though. Eventually got a cheap scooter for commuting to school and wound up at the Re-Cycle Garage, and a year or so later upgraded to a proper bike.

Q. How did you get involved in the Re-Cycle Garage?

A. I was down to the cords on my scooter tyre and needed help changing it. My roommate had just been given a Re-Cycle business card and he told me to go check them out. I think he was scared to go down and sent me instead.

Q. What does it mean to be a Misfit?

A. Inclusiveness, a goofy sense of humour and, of course, an obsession with all things on two wheels.

Q. What are some of your favourite routes and destinations in your area?

A. A go-to route for me is to go up Empire Grade, down Jameson Creek, up the 9, down Skyline towards Alice's [restaurant], then La Honda down to the coast. Great variety of fun roads and beautiful views.

Q. Tell us about your Triumph...

A. This summer I got a 2007 Daytona 675. Triumph make really beautiful bikes, whether modern or retro they pay a lot of attention to detail.

Q. What’s your dream Triumph?

A. The new Street Triple for sure. After seeing one of them in person recently, I'm in love.

Bex

Motorcycles and Misfits

Q. How did you get into motorcycles?

A. My uncle rode and was very active in NA, which had a huge cruiser community. But he was killed on his bike. I was forbidden from riding them. Advance a few decades: in the parking lot at my UCSC apartment I came across the sexiest motorbike, turned to my friend and said: "Now that's a bike I'd ride". A few days later I found out my new next-door neighbour, Henry, was the owner of that red 89 Honda Hawk GT 650. He offered, I accepted. We had a parking lot lesson. I mentioned it to my sponsoring research professor who told me the department chair of UCSC Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology rode motorcycles. That was all I needed to confirm two wheels wasn't just for idiots. A couple weeks later I was an M1-licensed motorcycle owner and rider.

Q. How did you get involved in the Re-Cycle Garage?

A. I was introduced to the Re-Cycle Garage shortly after I started riding. While on my Suzuki GZ250 at a light, this guy hollered from a work van. Mike, Mouth or Fruitloop, as we know him, made it clear he wasn't trying to hit on me but that his wife rides the same bike as I. He was super-stoked and his kindness was clear; he wanted to share the good of the Garage and handed me a Re-Cycle Garage card. Months later I was chatting with the tech while getting my car's tyres ordered. He noticed my riding boots and we talked bike. When he gave me a Re-Cycle Garage card there wasn't a doubt in my mind I was supposed to go.

Q. What does it mean to be a Misfit?

A. I feel us Misfits are like everybody else, but not wimpy or wise enough to cover our uniqueness to 'fit in'. Wacky, good-hearted mischief, love for two-wheeled machines, and the people who ride them and the community they create unifies us at the Garage.

Q. What are some of your favourite routes and destinations in your area?

A. My favourite routes are any road I can ride on two wheels. The ride I choose to take just depends on available time. A quicky but goodie is Empire Grade to Pine Flat to Davenport and blast back to SC on Highway 1; curves, scenery and speed.

Q. Tell us about your Triumph...

A. Trinity is my 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i. She's tough tits, powerful with grace. She is a recent rescue and my first Triumph. We have a bit over a month and a couple thousand miles together. She has loved me back since I, with the help of the Misfits at the Re-Cycle Garage, have been gradually fixing her up. Though she's far from pretty and perfect, she's got power and torque that gives me thrills, as well as safety to get out of situations quick. I'm a fan!

Q. What’s your dream Triumph?

A. With visions of victory, I drool over those Slippery Sams, love the sexy allure of the Speed Triple and my soul smiles at the new-vintage Bonnevilles – the quintessential representation of the 'motorcycle' of my childhood dreams with the modernisations of adult ones.

Find out more about the crew at www.motorcyclesandmisfits.com