Monday through Friday Christine Pizzo (aka @cloobird) from Boston, MA is a Director of Design at Intrepid, a digital product development shop (they build apps and websites). When she is not running a team of 32 designers and apprentices, she is riding motorcycles and having fun with her posse of friends including the Boston Moto Babes and The Litas Boston. Christine, a well spoken seeker of thrills, joined up at Babes Ride Out in Joshua Tree and took a detour from her normal bike to try something new, a Triumph Bonneville, and it was love at first ride. Read on to find out more about Christine, her riding history, the amazing things she got to experience and people she has met due to riding, and why her next bike is going to be a Triumph.
How long have you been riding motorcycles?
This year will be my 4th “season”, since we can’t ride all year round in New England I eek out a road life existence from April until a few random good days in early December.
Why do you ride motorcycles?
Is there one answer? I constantly get asked how I got started riding, maybe it’s the being a tiny perky blonde thing, that perplexes people. After my dad having one and being on the back of friends for years, for fun I started perusing Craigslist. Then the perfect bike popped out at me and I thought, “Well, I’ve done dumber things with $1000”; and the rest was history.
There isn’t a time I’m on the bike that I don’t get amazed and a bit baffled that I ride motorcycles. Saying that, “I ride motorcycles”, is surreal. I feel proud and brave and I’ll smile cheesily inside my helmet on the way to work, because I’m doing something most people consider crazy and yet it’s amazing to me. This lifestyle, for it’s not a hobby, never fails to shock and impress me.
There is nothing like leaning into a curve on a gorgeous stretch of road, knowing you are the only thing controlling a machine a hairs width of a slip towards disaster. It’s exhilarating, and maybe I’ve discovered my inner adrenaline junkie.
Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past.
1. Started with a 2006 white Honda Rebel, found on Craigslist for $1K from another girl rider.
2. Upgraded to a 2016 Harley Street 500, so I could do long rides and highways.
3. About to buy in April by dream bike, a Triumph Thruxton, probably white.
What made you choose your model over the other Triumph Models?
I rode a new T-100 Bonneville to BRO West 5 as a rental. A. to test if I loved the way they rode as much as I love the way they look. A bunch of New England ladies have Bonnevilles and rave about them, I wanted to test the best and also one I felt comfortable I could be confident driving the same day no practice. B. No way would I desire or have the time off to drive across country alone, ha.
I called into Vegas Eaglerider the same day Babes Ride Out posted on FB about having discount codes for certain rental dealers. Spoke to Dave and as I was the first reservation, I got to choose which bike… of course I went for the brand new 2017, the pumpkin model (fitting for October).
Can you go into detail on how it felt to ride it and your experience riding this amazing machine?
I’ve said this to so many people and I mean it: In thirty minutes I felt like I had ridden the Bonne for years. It’s unbelievably smooth, with great getup and beautifully responsive. I had high expectations from other ladies raving, but I was impressed. It’s kind of like the difference of your first ‘good enough’ car you get when you’re 16 versus the first car you buy when you have a well paying job.
The riding position, longer seat, upright controls all were huge factors in creating a good fit for me on a long ride. I felt confident in controlling the weight and may have zoomed a few times a bit faster than limits allowed.
I’m really big into how my bike looks, but after East my hips hurt so bad from the wide tank of my Harley and long drive… I realized my riding position and comfort is a big flipping deal. It’s the main reason I wanted to test something new for BRO West, and I’ve been crushing on Thruxtons for too long. Riding the Bonneville, even though not a Thruxton, convinced me 100% on what my next bike will be; and I can’t wait for my shopping spree.
What has been your favorite adventure you have taken on a moto?
Honestly, joining the Litas and Boston Moto Babes, and even hanging with the Boston Café Racer guys has fundamentally changed my life and riding experience. Every memorable adventure comes with others attached. I’ve made unexpected friends in an instant because they do the same crazy thing the rest of the world things we shouldn’t.
There were so many moments for BRO West, but a particular one stands out. On the way back to Vegas, we were going over a stretch in the flats, perfect weather, stunning landscape and Stevie Knicks’ Landslide in my helmet. It was pure blank bliss, just zooming and realizing how good the weekend was and life can be when you take a leap to do something scary. That calm scene flits through my brain almost daily, especially in situations I need to zone out or take a breather. Something to remember and serenely smile.
I also have a soft spot for the Harley Davidson sponsored Salem Witch Ride every Halloween. Hundreds of bikers of all brands in hilarious costumes, riding through a veritable parade of neighborhood onlookers. Last year about 30+ of us dressed up as Mad Max – and we will for the next few years. Think more leather than usual, a sea of studs, chains and fur along with gnarly makeup. Add on feathered helmets and rusted metal bike additions and banners waving to herald our passing. I’ve never had more pictures taken of me in a singular day – paparazzi status.
Do you have any fun road trips planned?
This year I aim to take a moto camping trip, in addition to BRO – one self-planned. Ideal would be upper Maine, such as Camden and the White Mountains. Charming tiny New England towns, beautiful seaside views and then up into the windy mountains and forests.
Tell us about your experience at Babes Ride Out?
I’ve been to two BRO events now, both East & West in 2017. East was so fun, the brand new and exciting amazingness that is a bunch of badass ladies riding bikes. When I learned West was on my birthday, it felt like a given that I had to go.
I decided to head over to West alone, getting out of my comfort bubble in hopes of meeting new ladies… and hands down did that pay off. When I was planning my trip a BRO Blog article posted groups leaving from major cities and their routes—but they were all leaving Thursday, whereas I could only swing Friday. I contacted the Vegas group anyways, in hopes to double check the pit-stops and gas stations—riding by myself in the desert seemed daunting. But in true moto spirit, the Sin City Moto Girls and @outgoing68, hooked me up with a Friday crew, who not only graciously let me tag along, but switched their meetup location to grab me at the rental shop. Tears, all the feels. As we were leaving, another babe shows up at the rental to get the last Bonneville because her bike died barely outside the city, so our crew grew. Serendipitous timing. Along the way to BRO we scooped 4 other single strays and I couldn’t help but gleefully appreciate how the moto lifestyle is really arms wide open.
The ride there –in the crazy wind—set the tone for the whole weekend. I won my first raffle EVER, a dope @dietryingTX patch. Convinced @mommacatavalon to wake up at 7am on my birthday to join the Triumph photoshoot and then celebrated with ice-cream near Pioneertown. And then before I hopped on the plane home after turning in my rental, new bestie @missjacquierae trustingly let me ride her Ducati through a 50’s era picturesque first tour of Red Rock.
I fundamentally believe everything is what you make it. If you’ve been to a bunch of events, it might feel the same, but if you push yourself to do something in a new way—such as going alone—it changes everything. Too many stories, too many good memories and grateful smiles… personally, I want to go to every BRO or any lady driven moto event. Nothing compares.
Want to test ride a Triumph? Click HERE to find a dealer near you
Want the specs on the Thruxton? Click HERE
Want to join us at Babes Ride Out East Coast 3? Click HERE