Posted by: GeekHiker | October 12, 2008

Hell’s Angels Lite

Traveling to various trailheads in the Angeles and Santa Monicas, one thing that’s unavoidable are the motorcyclists that cruise through the mountains on the weekends. Singly or in groups, they’re always along the roads going up and down the hills.

I find that there are basically two groups. The first are the older guys (and girls, natch) who are out for a lazy cruise. They average 40 miles per hour and take the whole day to ride through the mountains.

The second group are the ones on the high-horsepower bikes. They race along the roads at 100 miles per hour and the sounds of their engines can be heard whining miles away from the road.

As a general rule, I don’t have a problem with either group. The only exception are the speedsters who want to treat the highway as their own personal raceway and tailgate any car in their way. Notably my big damn truck that can’t exactly do a mountain highway at 100 mph. Well, at least not without flipping the damn thing on a curve.

I have no problem pulling over when safe to allow them to pass on their merry way. The key words here are “when safe”. Seriously, I hate being tailgated when I can’t pull over because if I have to stop, well, my tailgate will eat the bike and its rider.

But I digress.

Driving back from my hike today I saw something truly unique. cruising down Zuma Canyon Road, I passed by a group (gang?) of ten riders on… Vespas.

The funny, and dare I say annoying, part of the group was that they acted like motorcycles. They would try to drive quick, slip between cars, and cut in and out of traffic.

Thing is, when a motorcycle cuts in front of me, he accelerates. When one of the little Vespas cut in front of me, they… didn’t.

Sorry, my little Vespa friends, but you really shouldn’t cut in front of a 4,000 pound truck unless you have the horsepower to accelerate the hell out of my way.

Still. 10 people in full size motorcycle helmets and leather jackets on Vespas. Chatting up the guys on Harley’s at the stoplights.

You just don’t see that every day.



  1. That’s hilarious and somehow Darwinian. You should get one of those crazy semi horns and scare the crap out of them next time they cut you off.

  2. That’s adorable. Annoying, but very, very cute. It just wants to make you nudge them doesn’t it? Just a little nudge. They can’t go very fast so all it would make them do is tip over. Heh.

    On the subject of crotch rockets: They hurt my soul. Not all of them, I would totally own one if I had the money and wasn’t so damn accident prone cause I am just arrogant enough to think I would look hot in the leather. *grins* But seriously, the people that drive like assholes bother me. How do you forget that you have no metal cage around you and go cutting a truck off at 100 mph?

  3. As a reformed mountain-riding-asshole, let me assure you that if you slow down just the slightest with a sportbiker behind you, you’ve completely accomplished your small twinge of revenge. 🙂

  4. Couldn’t you rig your rig in James Bondian fashion with a hose that would release a 50 foot wide oil slick with the touch of a button?

  5. GH, you should have taken a picture. It would have been hilarious.

    Every time I see a motorcycle weaving in and out of traffic in my rear view mirror I get this urge to whip my door open when they’re passing. The only thing that stops me is it would really mess up my door and getting blood stains out of the upholstery is a bear.

  6. Seasoned motorcyclists have a name for this type of rider…they’re called “organ donors.”

  7. The Hubster would laugh at these people and then pull his Harley infront of them so it could have a nice afternoon snack.

  8. hahaha, maybe they just wanted to show off their vespas to you? i wonder what the harleys had to say about the vespas

  9. Thats fabulous! 10 guys on Vespas acting macho. We really do live in LA. Now, what about those guys on the road bikes, you know the kind with pedals, powered by muscles – they have no fear, and they kinda scare me…

  10. Wow I can’t even begin to picture this! Too funny. They’d be toast up Angeles Crest!

  11. That’s quite the image. 😀

    Your truck would have thought it had had a tasty treat….

  12. Mrs. Chuck Bartowski – Oh, I like that idea!

    Rachel – Only when they would slow down in front of me. I’ve known too many people I’ve know hurt on them to ever own one…

    Aaron – It’s an idea, but I don’t feel the need for revenge. I just don’t want to hurt anyone, even if I’m not at fault.

    Dingo – That’s an idea, but they looked so innocent!

    Homer-Dog – But photographing and driving is a bad, bad idea. LOL – yeah, best to keep the car clean!

    Phil – But do they ever learn?

    TheCoconutDiaries – Heh, that would be fun to watch.

    Seine – I couldn’t hear the conversation, but I was curious…

    Aly – The bicyclists are a whole ‘nother issue, believe me.

    Mel Heth – I’m not even sure they could get up the hill…

    Just A Girl – I felt so big around them, and my truck isn’t a big truck!

  13. Okay, perhaps I’m a huge loser…I’d die for a Vespa. They’re all the rage around here, you can legally throw them on the highway and get to school and they get like awesome gas milage.

    I digress. Perhaps I should go back to work. Hehehe…

  14. Seriously. Awesome.

    I agree though.

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