Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Love Vintage: Bowery Bicycles

I love me some vintage old stuff.

Growing up with avid antiquers I have developed quite a fondness for the old and unique. I also have a love for gadgets and gizmos which means that I love old electronics. I recently purchased my first antique television just last Thanksgiving in Wrightwood, CA. Its a 1949 Philco! It works but I can't seem to get a good picture... other then the electronic static noise or snow. I hope to repair it someday and then have a christmas party at our place where we all sit around and watch It's a Wonderful Life on our 7" B/W Philco! How awesome would that be.

Anyways, I am becoming distracted. Recently, my dad has been in the market for a bicycle to bike to work on. He loves the vintage as well and has found Bowery Lane Bicycle Company which hand makes bikes in New York.

Extraordinary Paths Series - Albert Pereta from Share the Path on Vimeo.
They currently have three different models with the Bronks Raw being my father and my favorite. Its made from steel and instead of painting it a solid color they leave it bear. They weld marks are clearly seen. Its really a great looking bike. I hope he buys one soon because I would love to test it before I take the plunge and buy one myself.

Now I know I haven't mentioned anything motorized on this Scooter/Motorcycle blog... but this bike reminds me of the Genuine Stella and the vintage look it inspires...

BOWERY LANE BIKE ASSEMBLY from Joe Tomcho on Vimeo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saw a Stella rider today..

Going about my work duties in Santa Monica I noticed a rider on a Stella! I then realized that I don't think I have even seen a Stella out in the open and in use before. Looked like he was having a grand time.

I recently started following the California Scooter Company CSC blog and noticed that they recently completed a scooter get-together where they road their CSC scooters from LA to the Angeles Crest Highway. Their pictures looked a amazing and just continues my crazy desire to let loose on these quite roads. Here is a link to the specific blog entry I am referring to.

Has anyone else ridden the Angeles Crest Highway? I would love to hear your thoughts and the routes that  people have taken. I do know that one of the stops along the highway is a WONDERFUL little town called Wrightwood. Katie and I were lucky enough to be able to stay at a cabin with friends over Thanksgiving. We had an incredible time and would absolutely try our hardest to go back again this next fall. Here our two films I produced while in Wrightwood.

The Cabin:

Lighting of the Christmas Tree:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Genuine Stella; One of my Favorite Scooters!

NoHo Scooter's Beautiful Blue Stella!
Its true.
The Stella is one of the first scooters that caught my eye and started me down this path of the 2 Wheel America Challenge. The scooter is just gorgeous and oozes with vintage sexyness!

A Stella Lineup at NoHo Scooters
As soon as I saw one I knew that it called for the open road... not those populated highways or even urban neighborhoods but the lonely lost roads of days gone by.

Royal Enfields at NoHo Scooters
After a haircut today I stopped at one of my new favorite scooter toy stores, North Hollywood Scooters! They have an exceptional selection of Scooters from, The Genuine Scotter Co, SYM, Lancer, and even a few used Vespas. They also have several Royal Enfield bikes and ones has the attached side car. So cool looking.

When speaking with Mike (I believe that was his name), who worked at NoHO Scooters, he advised me that the Stella is not made for long trips but I might prove him wrong one day... Maybe... Right now, he knows more about scooters in his little pinky toe then I do in my entirety! Anyways, maybe one day I'll own a Stella and test Mike's advisories.

Now, as far as going cross-country on a Stella... Well, that would be a mighty good challenge. :)
A Beautiful Red Vespa P200 (can you see that yellow Lambretta)

A Lovely Red Stella outside NoHo Scooters

Friday, August 26, 2011

I found my MISSION!

So... I've creating this blog and the whole "2 Wheel America Challenge" in secret and haven't told my wife yet. I didn't want her to squash the dream before it even began. Now I am not saying  that my wife is a dream crusher but she is the practical one in the family and sometime my dreams are a little ridiculous.

So, last night, before we went to bed I told her that I wanted her to see something. I showed her the blog. She said she liked it... then she said, "wait... is this you!?!" Needless to say, I think I shocked her a little. She immediatly told me that it sounded like a great idea but it was missing something big. It needed a mission. Katie hit the nail on the head. This whole Challenge needs a reason... something to ride for.

Katie's immediate suggestion was Communities in Schools, a non-profit drop-out prevention program that she just started working with just a few months prior. It was a perfect idea. Communities in Schools send people to high drop-out schools with the mission to keep kids in school and provide a great education. They are in 200 schools across the nation and each year they grow and take on more schools.

Right now my idea is to ride to each school involved with CIS acoss the southern portion of the nation. At each school I would present my passion and career of film production. I would be a guest speaker to all those who would listen. I would explain what I've done in the industry, how I got there with help of my public schooling, and the films that I would currently be producing as I travel the "2 Wheel America Challenge."


I have such a passion for public schooling and would love to lend my services in hopes of helping kids stay in school. I think my next step is to actually connect with Communities in Schools and see if they are actually interested in my proposition.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The First Blog Entry: The Challenges

This is the first of many...

Ever since I read Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in high school I have been enchanted with the idea of hitting the open road and exploring the old and forgotten. I enjoyed Robert Pirsig's commentary on "quality" but i fell in love with his descriptions of the world through the senses of one riding a motorcycle:

You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

The dream of hitting the lost and forgotten roads of America never left me as I graduated college, married, and moved to LA but nothing ever came of it.

This is what the 2 Wheel America Challenge is all about. I figure that if I don't do this now while I am young and able I may never do it. But the facts remain: I don't have a route, I don't have a bike, I don't have a motorcycle license, and I don't even know the first thing about riding one. This is the largest portion of the challenge; being able to even depart.

Now this all might sound crazy but here's the kicker: I'm hoping to not spend a dime...heck, even a penny. I'm planning on traveling the lost and forgotten by extending my services as a filmmaker and through marketing of products.

My wife and I have been able to enjoy several resorts and cabins throughout southern California using this very method. We would create web promotional films in exchange for free stay and sometimes even food. I don't see why this same method wouldn't work for the 2 wheel America Challenge.

My plan is to document the whole trip, each and every day, through photos and short films in which I would showcase products, businesses, and explore them through daily blog posts. Thanks to the iPad and iPhone, I can shoot, edit and deliver to the web on a daily basis.

I've given myself a year to prepare. Hopefully this enough.