Photos: Jose Romero
When people describe motorcycle riding, they usually express how free it makes them feel.
Being alone on the road, just the rider and the bike, creates the ultimate feeling of freedom.
Even though riders experience this type of freedom because of the oneness they feel with their bikes, they also feel a sense of camaraderie when riding with others.
That’s what Pierce College’s newly formed Motorcycle Club is doing.
“Being a motorcyclist is like being apart of an elite brotherhood,” said Brandon Garrett, the club’s president. “I’d like everyone to know who everyone is on campus.”
Garrett, 34, a pre-engineering major, has been a part of the Industrial Technology (IT) program at Pierce for three semesters.
As the president of the club, he’s trying to make the motorcycle community within the campus more tightly knit.
The club’s first general meeting took place Saturday with a meet up of riders. It was followed by a ride through the canyons along Topanga Canyon Boulevard, up Sunset Boulevard and into West Los Angeles.
The drive included fourteen riders.
Jose Nunez, a 23-year-old IT student, has only been riding six months but already has over 5,000 miles on his bike.
“I couldn’t wait for this to happen,” said Nunez. “I was awake at four in the morning.”
Pre-vet major and Motorcycle Club member Randi Katz was the only female rider at the meeting.
“Everyone rode really well together,” said Katz. “It’s fun riding with the new guys, and when they see a women riding it kind of inspires them because boys are much more competitive.”
The Motorcycle Club is revving up to not only ride together, but to help shed light on the IT program on campus.
With budget cuts many programs, including the IT Department, are taking hits in classes.
“The welding industry and the automotive industry are going to be here for a long time,” said Nunez. “It would be a shame to get rid of [the program].”
Attention to the department is important for Garrett and the club, but so is rider safety.
For their first general meeting, club members drove to West Coast GP Cycles, where they were taught how to safely prepare their bikes for track racing.
“The injuries that I think are preventable are the ones of inexperience, basically riding past their ability and their experience level, and riding on city and street roads in a matter that is unsafe, ” said Andy Palmer, owner of West Coast GP Cycles. “I don’t want to ever see anyone get injured on a motorcycle.”
Though Saturday was the club’s first official meeting, it wasn’t the first time the members rode together. In fact, just last summer, Garrett and nine other riders took a trip up to Ojai, Calif.
“Hopefully, the word of mouth will spread and the excitement will spread,” said Garrett.
Their next long ride will be 28 miles past Bakersfield on Nov. 26 and 27 to Buttonwillow Raceway Park.
The club meets by the IT Building every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.