The First Miss-Fires Bike Wash Fundraiser

Yesterday was the first Miss-Fires Bike Wash Fundraiser, and I gotta say, it went better than I expected. I threw the idea out to the Miss-Fires for a fundraiser to help a friend with a very special cause. Since the deadline was/is so tight, I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. But to my chagrin, I sent out the bat signal and the Miss-Fires came to the rescue. The local moto garages also pitched in, and I went with the first taker, Brooklyn Moto, whom I can’t thank enough. I compare it to stone soup, throw an idea and a plan in the pot and our moto-community threw in their bits to cook up a full-blown event a few short days later.

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All funds went directly to NYC Art x Sweet Treat 311 to help children in Ogatsu-cho who were affected by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The project is an art workshop that Hannah Lamar Simmons and Yuka Miyata put together to empower children by creating a sculpture for the town’s new learning center. The children will be able to contribute directly to their community’s recovery. This project will open the door to future collaborations between individuals in NYC and the Ogatsu-cho community.

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If you’d like to donate or learn more about it, you can do so online here: NYC Art x Sweet Treat 311

Hannah and Yuka are still at it as we speak. Their next fundraiser is at Cafe Edna’s this Thursday:

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Any little bit will help. And they are always very thankful, as this hand-made plaque represents. It would be awesome to have it hanging in a Miss-Fires club house some day.

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Many thanks to everyone who donated and have squeaky clean bikes. And thank you Brooklyn Moto for being our host.

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Happy America from The Miss-Fires!

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4th of July, in Miss-Fires fashion…10389414_10152309198049608_8413275633421469591_n

The Miss-Fires have are an eclectic group of ladies and bikes and we make a point to have fun and not take ourselves to seriously. We had a nothing more than a loose last minute plan to hit up a few local parties for the 4th and see what trouble we could find…Sandra (above) rode in a vintage sundress, under full leathers on her Honda CB77, seen here setting Rachael up for a test ride. She makes full gear sexy as hell.
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Lynda was recently reunited with her VTR 250 after moving to NY from California and waiting a painful few months before it could be shipped over. She hasn’t stopped smiling since!

 

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Amanda and her Harley with Sandra and her CB77

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Rachael taking a break from her Triumph Bonneville to take Sandra’s CB77 for a spin.

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It’s so much fun, everyone wants a turn!

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Rachael and Amanda

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my 1962 Ford Ranchero with a perfectly matching Bell Bullet helmet

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me, in my natural habitat. happiness.

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my ranchero was running funny and a few of the classic car friends jumped in to lend a hand diagnosing. I was so engrossed, i never even noticed Rachael slapping my ass. ha!

 

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Suzanne and her new whip.

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Suzanne’s home made  ‘America’ cake

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Minivan burn outs

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Greenpoint Hot Rod BBQ Miss-Fires ‘groupie’

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As the sun set, full of BBQ and shenanigans, a crew suited up and hit the road in search of music and fireworks…

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Our travels led us to where else, but the Dances Of Vice Rockabilly Extravaganza where VIP parking and tickets awaited us!

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Live Bands, Swing and Jive dancing led by the Rebel Night crew, vintage vendors and a roof to see the fireworks display. Alison even won the twist off!

imageroof top Miss-Fire ‘groupie’ …right before they kicked us off.

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the ride home left us vintage car gals stuck in nightmare traffic while the moto ladies snuck on through. Lori’s 1959 T-Bird died in and BQE traffic was brought to a stand still while we managed a jump from my Ranchero. never a dull moment!

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Happy America and HAPPY SUMMER!

Corinna Mantlo

1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1971 BSA Victor 250, 1971 Yamaha AT1 125, 1962 Ford Ranchero

 

Deus Ex Machina Sunday Mass Ride in NYC

Photo by Stefan Wigand

Photo by Stefan Wigand

Deus Ex Machina, superheroes among custom bike builders based out of Sydney, Australia, brought their Los Angeles crew out east for a premier spring weekend and converted New York City into weather-loving, lane-splitting criminals, reuniting us with our long lost true loves once again.

It was Sunday in mid-May and one of the first beautifully sunny and warm days of the year. As usual, the Northeast was fashionably late in joining the rest of the country in the most welcomed season, but we greeted it with pure and unbridled enthusiasm. The warm sun finally shared its most elusive quality with the city that never sleeps, and we finally got the opportunity to straddle our summer flings that had begun to feel like distant memories and forget about the winter warfare from which we realized we had survived, not unscathed but unphased. In other words, we had overcome our seasonal blues, pulled up our literal and proverbial bootstraps, and got the fuck out of the house.

Keeping in mind that I’d purchased my first motorcycle almost one year ago, I’d heard of Deus Ex Machina but admittedly knew very little about the Aussie company. I was gratefully informed of the ride by a digital newsletter that infrequently has free, appealing events to do; and my interest was doubled when a motorcycle buddy received a flyer hand-delivered to his dealership by the very guys who orchestrated the entire day. It was on.

I’d never had the privilege of joining a group ride before, and I was equally curious and nervous. I wasn’t entirely concerned that I might crash into another rider, but I had also only recently joined the motorcycle community in my home of nine years, and I was mildly shy about not knowing anyone. Additionally, remnants of the chaos that occurred on the West Side Highway only months before still irked many motorcyclists and left cops and drivers similarly suspicious of us. But nerves had never inhibited me before, so I awoke at 8:00 a.m. to break my fast and meet my buddy in time to mingle for a few minutes prior to kicking up stands at 10:30.

From Brooklyn, I crossed the Williamsburg Bridge on my black 2013 Bonneville, took in the Manhattan skyline and headed to the Lower East Side (LES). Upon arrival at the meeting point, Freemans Sporting Club where Deus had installed a stylish pop-up shop, I turned onto Rivington Street where Triumphs and custom street bikes lined the hidden block surprisingly free from random passersby. I immediately felt like I was in-the-know. I quickly found a spot to tuck in my Bonny between other bikes, whose owners had obviously spent hard-earned money to customize, and was startled to look up to find a tattooed photographer squatting nearby documenting my arrival with his Nikon D3 (or some kind of fancy camera). I timidly returned my divided attention to parking my ride, because I was surprised that anyone would find any interest in photographs of a girl from Oklahoma riding a machine that, although sexy enough, still wore all its original, boring stock parts. (These insecurities came from the fact that I’d been fantasizing about the modifications I’d been wanting to make but had yet to have the funds to fulfill.) I quickly got over myself and noticed my buddy was parked nearby on his crotch rocket. Later in the day, he confided in me of how out-of-place he felt among all the cafe racers.

There was a good, but not intimidating, crowd outside Freemans. I noticed only a handful of other brave girls lingering about and walked over to join the relaxed group of people with whom I felt an immediate connection. I somehow related to the familiar strangers from the unpretentious vibe cast from their scruffy attire of trucker hats, t-shirts and jeans.

The Deus staff welcomed our presence by introducing themselves and engaging in friendly banter with us, which further reinforced their solid reputation from the positive personal experience I now had with them. We learned each others’ names and discussed our riding histories and their stay in New York thus far. After the small talk wound down, I noticed the motorcycle clothing meticulously organized just inside Freemans. I was curious to enter not only because of my consumerist upbringing but also because of my intense attraction to cool bike wear. Once inside, I was disappointed to learn that the clothes were designed for men. Despite having a few masculine traits to my personality, my scrawny, feminine body type isn’t becoming in XXL shirts. So I ventured back outside. Shortly thereafter, a Deus associate having limited knowledge of both New York streets and its traffic, gathered everyone for a briefing on the upcoming route through three of the five boroughs, crossing three different bridges and one river twice. We were stoked and ready to ride.

We headed to our bikes, started our engines and woke up any remaining sleepers within a five-block radius. I let those parked behind me pass first to ensure I wouldn’t cut anyone off. We poured one-by-one out of the LES and thus began our invasion of New York City.

We cut through traffic. We turned heads. We ran red lights to stay together. But despite our best efforts, the large group quickly splintered into several smaller ones causing confusion as I tried to determine which riders I was meant to follow because the beautiful weather lured other random riders out that day as well. Despite my doubts, I kept with my crew. This could have been due to the monotony of bike style or ubiquity of tattoos or the various characters found upon further inspection of the group. I kept my eye on the 6’5″ guy who struggled not to overpower his modified Thruxton possessing super low handlebars that made him appear like a hunchbacked giant, yet still incredibly cool; and the cute girl whose vintage Honda kept stalling at every stoplight, backing up the line of bikes behind her but inciting sympathy and assistance from their riders. And I definitely couldn’t overlook the photographers who rode on the back of some bikes because I envied that their arms were free to hold cameras and snap shots of us all over the city. (Thus, you’ll find a link below to their photos in lieu of any I would have loved to have captured myself.)

Our bikes stayed in second gear most of the ride through Manhattan, but once we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and hit the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), I was able to shake out the cramps in my left hand and feel the spring wind through my leather jacket. I relished in those few minutes down the BQE more than I’d enjoyed myself in a while. I was finally able to say “good riddance!” to the 19 snow storms we’d had this year and reconnect with my passion for going fast and feeling free. Nothing could divert my attention. It felt like the Buddhist teachings of living in the moment and practicing gratitude united perfectly in my mind. And even though we were all on separate machines speeding at 80 mph with plenty of lag between each bike so that it was no longer apparent we were traveling as a group, each one of us shared the same purpose – we were acting out the mantra that the journey is the destination.

It took a good half hour for all the riders to reach the midpoint meeting location at the base of the Verrazano Bridge. But once we did, our spirits were even higher than when we began a couple of hours earlier. We’d just bonded in the most unusual of ways – by sharing the experience of facing the open air at top speed while ignoring civilized behavior and any obstacle inhibiting our intrepid swarm through the city. We happily posed for more photos and took in the breathtaking view before hitting the road again to finish our day. The most significant part of the ride was behind us, and all that remained were a few more miles and some further bonding time.

We arrived back at Freemans ready to avail ourselves of Deus’ hospitality. They kindly offered us some BBQ and memento t-shirts and charmed me further by complimenting my riding. I’d been on some form of motorized bike since the tender age of 13, despite purchasing my Bonny just one year ago, but I hadn’t ridden since moving to New York. Those comments supported my feeling of the day that my riding had improved. I’d taken mental notes and mimicked others I knew were infinitely more experienced than I and, although subtle, moved my body and bike in ways that felt more skillful. The thrill of my first group ride became so much more in that moment. I not only possessed bragging rights of having ridden with a respected custom motorcycle company but now had an emotional connection with them as well. They helped pull me out of my comfort zone, which although is not that difficult to do, still is not frequent enough in my life. They helped introduce me to others with whom I now have a history and have also helped increase my level of riding. My bike is now in the shop undergoing those modifications I’d been fantasizing about, and the next time Deus graces New York City with their presence, I’ll no longer be a novice stranger but a friend and more confident rider. Until they announce the date in August, I’ll be riding with my fellow Miss-Fires and looking forward to doing it all over again.

To read the blog by Deus Ex Machina and to view their photos, click here.

by Kristen Reed

Miss-Fires Charity Bike Wash!

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The Miss-Fires first bike wash fundraiser is taking place this Sunday! Come out and help raise some cash for a good cause. Donate and get your bike washed by a Miss-Fire.

All funds raised will help NYC Art x Sweet Treat 311 with their project helping children in Ogatsu-cho who were affected by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. With your support their art workshop will empower children by creating a sculpture for the town’s new learning center. The children will be able to contribute directly to their community’s recovery. This project will open the door to future collaborations between individuals in NYC and the Ogatsu-cho community.

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If we miss you this weekend you can still contribute here:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nyc-art-x-sweet-treat-311#home

 

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Black Bear Bar Sunday!

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It’s that time again…Scoot on over to Black Bear Bar this Sunday to party with The Miss-Fires!

Bike curious? Not a member yet? Just want to make some new friends of the vehicular persuasion? Black Bear Bar Sunday is a perfect time to meet the ladies and community friends to talk motorbikes, classic cars, mopeds and racing over a cold beer.

Rides not required for this monthly gathering and everyone is welcome.

See you there!

 

 

 

It’s gonna be just like the movies…Thank god we brought the polaroid!

 

“It’s gonna be just like the movies…Thank god we brought the polaroid!” – Love & A .45 (1994)

Well…We’ve been the gang that hugs (NY Times), and now it seems we’re the bad biker girls of Brooklyn (Inside Edition)…or perhaps the next Duck Dynasty. The truth lies somewhere…um, in between i’d say.

 

Regardless of media coverage, The Inside Edition ride we did a few weeks ago  was a great excuse to get the girls out en mass for a full day of riding all over the city. geared up with Go-Pros provided by the film crew, 20+ Miss-Fires  tore down the highways and backstreets from Williamsburg to Coney Island to Queens and back followed by the Inside Edition crew hanging out of the window of their Suburban with more cameras poised on us. Full coverage!

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Stay tuned for the Inside Edition air date…God help us all!

 

1st annual ‘Split’n Lanes & Dodgin’ Gutters’ Classic Motorcycle Show

10387322_10152208523939608_8684991690218757340_nIt was a great honor to be included in the first annual classic motorcycle show ‘Splittin’ Lanes & Dodgin’ Gutters’ at Brooklyn Bowl a few weeks ago.

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Me and my 1968-ish hot rod BSA joined an amazing lineup of rare antique motorcycles.

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from a 1923 Nera-Car, shown above…

(incidently, this photo was chosen by Brooklyn Bowl on Instagram as the best photo posted that day and won me two tickets to see Dick Dale and my dear friends Screamin’ Rebel Angels in August. Woohoo!)

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…to a rare Velocette that is still raced on the track by it’s owner, a lovely BSA Victor 441 built by Fifty 50 Cycles (who recently did some custom fab work for my Beezer). and who’s  CUSTOM SEAT I made for them.

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A ’57 BSA Goldstar Flattracker built by Sixth Street Specials (that i also a CUSTOM SEAT for)  and a ’39 flathead Harley (shown above) built by Keino Cycles and painted by Skratch’s Garage. This bike belonging to a friend was by far my favorite from the show and a perfect example of a perfect, tastefully done, period correct custom bob.

10402091_10152208566894608_8441954475362929504_nBSA, 1952 Triumph Thunderbird, and my favorite Vincent Black Shadow

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It was a great day with great friends including my darling Miss-Fires who are always up for a ride and bike show, but who more importantly support me endlessly. It was wonderful to have them there.

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Nothing makes me happier to see the majority of these bikes arrive on their own volition, ’cause bikes are meant for riding!

10334471_10152209494184608_8505307658695478405_nhooligan, custom chopper taking the trophy Lee Marvin style…then joining us for beers.

Check out this awesome video of the show.

 

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Corinna Mantlo

1968 BSA Lightning 650, 1971 BSA Victor 250, 1971 Yamaha AT1 125, 1962 Ford Ranchero