I remember the first time I told my mum I wanted to get a motorbike. I was eight and I had always loved motorcycles since I first remember seeing one. I liked older cars, thanks to my dad. He was a hot-rod head, drag-racing lover that adored his older cars (when I was a toddler the family car was a red and white 1950s Chevy Biscayne which was always so fun to be in.). My mum could appreciate a nice looking car, also staying true to her Mod styling and loving mopeds. Bikes were different though. My mum had a personal – and valid – reason for not wanting her first daughter to have a bike when she was older. It was strange because the only things I wasn’t allowed to do when I was a kid was watch Clockwork Orange and Fire Walk With Me before I was 18
So, I thought I’d give her a few more years to get used to that.
Fast forward many years later, and my stepdad has his first bike. Theeeen his second. After a little bit of buttering up, some assurance to always be safe and a nudge of convincing to ride on the back, my mum was hooked. Even though I don’t have my own special lady in my life, I love getting on the back of a bike any chance I get.
My parents go to meet-up rides, quick trips to visit my sister and I or just decide to go on more spontaneous adventures to the mountains and beyond. They love going on the Black Dog Ride each year as well as watch bike shows. Now a family favourite – The Walking Dead star, Norman Reedus – has a fresh, killer new show on AMC that’s. Just. Awesome. Let me tell you why..
1. It’s A Fresh, Fun Bike Show.
My family watches a lot of bike-shows and docos. As a Ewan McGregor fan, I loved Long Way Round, I’ve seen bike building shows with my step dad and some about the whole US bike culture. Unfortunately it’s become really stale; with overly butch men you can barely hear what the hell they’re trying to say, the same places over and over, bikini girls (although much respect for the platform heels they have to wear for hours on end with no clothes on) sometimes even the same soundtrack. “Ace of Spades” is one of my favourite Motorhead songs too. And yes, being Australian, I know AC/DC’s whole songlist too. I will blast “Runnin’ With The Devil” while making pancakes. We get it, you’re really hardcore for riding a bike! Now it’s time for something new and different. It’s not necessarily the “new blood” that the show is presenting, it’s more the fresh look to the people behind the bars that doesn’t skimp on the coolness around bikers and riding.
2. The People Are Awesome
Scot Harden. The fun people at Re-Cycle Santa Cruz. Howling Moon. Babes Ride Out. You might have heard of some of these names, you might not have heard of any of the names I just mentioned. Until now. The thing I really love is that these are really cool, hard working people that have had an underground popularity, but now I feel like I’m a bit closer to the US and snuck into The Cool Club. These are definitely places and people I’d want to meet, or people and places I’d check out if I were on the road-trip. I feel like I am actually right there on the adventure. The places Norman and his guest go might be a bit odd, weird or random, but I’m odd, weird and random myself.
Speaking of guests..
3. The Guest Riders Are Cool As F*ck
Peter Fonda. Legend. Balthazar Getty. Oozes coolness. Imogen Lehtonen. Cool hot chick (that represents Oceania, what’s up, sister!). I’m pretty sure if Steve McQueen were alive he would be on this show, or perhaps Ann Margret still has it in her and will roar out of no where on a Triumph Bonneville in the last episode. That last bit is just me wishing. It doesn’t need big name actors or musicians on the show to be awesome; although seeing Ewan McGregor, Billy Connolly, Angelina Jolie and Norman Reedus all on one ride together would be the blissful death of me. A+ celebrities don’t need to apply though, it’s not that show and I’m glad it isn’t. RIDE isn’t for the blingy people who tune in each week waiting for the special guest in the last few seconds of the show ; it’s a show about Norman and his love of bikes as well as other fun, bike -loving people riding with him.
4. It Really Incorporates Female Riders
I was really surprised to see so many fellow ladies being shown as part of female clubs or just involved in different areas of what is still seen as a male-dominated culture. It’s a shame I felt that way, but it’s just damn awesome to see it represented on screen. Not just a couple that like the weekend drive with the woman on the back, passively shown in the background to make the show seem gender-friendly and give a bit of eye candy. No, it’s young ladies around my age organising rides, respectfully shown as part of the culture and community in so many ways, cementing that riding is for everyone regardless of age, gender or race.
5. Norman Reedus, Obviously.
If you think I’m going to gush over Norman Reedus, you are soooooo right. How could I not bring up the star of the actual series, especially since he’s been one of my favourite actors for over 15 years? I feel like a proud mum seeing him succeed in his craft and now with his own tv series, about bikes no less! Norman is a chill, modest but charming host of this series (as he is in in the flesh), showing the audience that you don’t have to be gruff-voiced beefhead to host a show about bikes and the American culture surrounding it. His approachable, honest but still super-cool attitude is what people love about him most, and it makes him so easy to watch and fall in love with every time he’s on screen. Even though Norman is now a very recognised actor who gets asked for photos and autographs everywhere he goes, he’s human and it shines right through every time he’s on screen. He’s not an actor with an inflated ego that tries to do a nice, chilled-out show to convey how un-celebrity they are. Norman is just a guy who likes bikes .. who just happens to be much more well-known for his job than most people. RIDE wouldn’t be the same with another host, hell, RIDE wouldn’t be RIDE.
No word yet if there will be another season of RIDE, but I hope so -and if you’re reading this, Norman, and think an Australian season would be awesome, you know where to find me.
RIDE with Norman Reedus is currently playing on AMC in the US, no word on when it will be broadcast in other countries, including Australia, but we’ll keep you up-to-date!