Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Sometimes when you go on a moped ride it's just a ride. You're going from point A to point B and your mind just kind of fades out to the drone of the engine. But once in a while you have one of those transcendental moped rides.

you know what i mean. Or if you don't know, you'll know the second you get it. You're riding, and suddenly you're having this kind of slow-motion euphoric experience and you can't think about anything except how sublimely perfect this moment is, and something in that moment changes your perception of mopeds so fundamentally that you're never the same again.

The first time you ride in a pack and that feeling of being part of the swarm, that sensation of controlled chaos as stop lights are blocked and the whole mass moves through the city as one unit.

The first time you ride a fast moped, and you feel it just keep pulling and pulling and puulllinnnng... and you realize you're holding your breath because you're not sure when it's going to stop speeding up.

(personal favorite)

Night rides through the city. Barreling through tunnels and darting under street lamps that seem to strobe with your speed. I remember with such lucidity my first city night ride; swerving to slalom through concrete pylons, along the banks of an aqueduct, looking over at Mark Ryan and feeling like he's Kaneda and I'm Tetsuo and we're both such fucking badasses.

but tonight... _a challenger appears_


I'm at work when i hear thunder, go outside and see a crazy looking shelf cloud like something out of Independence Day with glowing lightning inside it. I wrap up my cell phone in plastic, whisper determinedly to myself "you can beat this thing home" and take off on a mostly stock 2-speed Puch. I get about 8 blocks before the cold front hits me in the back at 40mph.

Rain dumps on me. I don't have a front fender and water starts flying into my face and fogging up my glasses. As I approach the corner the wind suddenly shifts direction and gets a lot more intense, suddenly the air is full of leaves and garbage. I hear a massive groaning sound and all the lights go out around me. The stoplight goes black and two cars barely evade crashing into each other.

_and at this moment, i transcended._

I'm not hurrying home anymore. I'm having a riding experience. i weave through the chaos of the blacked out intersection, and immediately see half of a tree has landed in the street, and knocked down power lines into the street. doesn't phase me. the rain is moving sideways in front of me, i cant see anything as my tire throws greasy water on my glasses. at the last second i see a leafy tree branch the size of a VW Bug right in front of me. No time to stop i tuck down and ride through it.

I ride past a graveyard, over the railroad tracks and over the bridge into the countryside and as the horizon opens up I can finally see that there's a 30-foot wide path of destruction cutting diagonally across the zig-zag route i take to get home.

Yet all I feel is that serenity of being in a moped moment. Police and fire trucks speed past me in the opposite direction, i dont care, its a moped ride. I ride through a puddle deep enough to submerge my exhaust, I see cars pulling over because the weather is too crazy. But I keep riding. I keep riding and loving it and all i can hear is that Band of Horses song playing in my head.

as i round the last corner before the 3-mile stretch of open country riding that eventually comes back into town and right to my front door i realize that my seemingly indomitable spirit has inspired a line of a dozen or so cars to carefully follow me through the chaos and out of town. including a police car. I turn the corner and suddenly the wind is at my back and it's pushing me. its pushing the water away from my face too, which means i can start to see whats going on. lightning is striking the ground all around me. suddenly i realize the wind has stopped blowing. and then a lobster-sized piece of wet tree bark falls from the sky and hits me in the visor. the wind is back, but it's swirling, buffeting me from all directions and pushing me across the lanes. 20 yards away in a field i see a tree bending to touch the ground and watch as a branch rips loose and floats slowly, almost magically right up to me and hit me square across the chest.

i just smile, too immersed in the moment to care about the personally dangerous implications of watching the landscape around me is being dismantled. Its just me and my moped, riding in a kind of surreal dreamland and i'm humming _"doo doo da doo... I'll be ready for the funeral..."_

about a mile from home the wind suddenly hits me so hard that i am phisically lifted from the Puch, and i fly into a ditch. My first thought is "look at that, the bike is still idling. that new condensor did the trick."

By the time I arrive at my house, there are sirens and flashing lights on darkened street corners all over town. tree limbs and garbage cans litter the streets. I walk through my front door soaked from head to toe, one leg covered in mud and grass, and find Power Animal Michael on my living room floor watching the weather report on tv.

"You'll never guess what I just did!" I say. "WOOOOOAAAAH!" he replies, "...WAS IT CRAAAZY???"

"yeah" i say. "it was perfect."

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Charles Cole (OFMC) /

Yeah. Almost every time I ride

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Sullivan & Sullivan,llp /


at least not on my phone anyway

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Jimbo Grand Daddy /

Pics or it didn't happen.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

) Cupermcnewbster ( /

i'm intoxicated, but my favorite ride was at flock yeah 2:

me, peter, jimmy, dean and aberle were all stupid fast and blasting through the streets of downtown LA. We lost almost everyone except a stray cuperteen, and it was intense. Crazy accel through every light, people almost getting hit by cars and one another on rouge u-turns to find the pack, overshooting thegroup, blasting up and down hills, hitting potholes, and so on. Almost all of us made it out with a creature or two joining at the end, and it was intense. Tight riding with utmost focus to keep up through the rear of the pack and beyond. Sure, we rode very illegaly, but it was a blast. The rest of the rally was cool, but that night was the current pinnacle of moped technology on the streets all at once. SSooo much fun. I'm sure everyone there remembers.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

My second pack ride with the WRL I was loaned Brett's very fast G3... I can still remember the feeling of blast. I have been trying to find it again ever since.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

i feel that everytime my bike turns over. its like nothing can phase me. also akira is the shit

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

This is a beautiful story.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

I am at work at 6AM in the weather center, this made me smile so much reading this.... I would be in heaven if this happened to me.... mopeds and tornadoes..... the perfect way to pass-on in my opinion....

Thanks Quatto for sharing the details.

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Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

no groms no blasters /

quatto #1

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Ϫ‡☄ಬ∞ ƀƖḬƝƊ ƤǂƿƎ ∞ಬ☄‡Ϫ - Hoke from Black Pipes Moped Gang /

when i ride to work at 545-6 am and i see the sun rise over my city, and shit gets purple and pink and its still and almost deserted except for a barely baffled proma circuit.....

yea bro good times no bromo

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

nerdzilla NoPeds :( /

hmm that time i got hit by a car and thought i was gonna die. that REALLY changed my life. alot.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)


can somebody please photoshop this to add a moped and Quatto's face?

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

wow quatto.


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Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

holy shit. that gave me chills. still have them 5 mins later. wow. that stuff doesn't happen in real life. band of horses = perfect.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Wow, two awesome things, mopeds and tornadoes. Way to go!

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

dude this story was fucking awesome...even if it was a lie...not saying it was but we all have run across a fibber or two in our day! brings to mind all kinds of stories for me! loved it!

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Nice story buddy, I loved it. I do have one question though...

Why the fuck aren't you a landsquid yet?

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Moped Game Sally Struthers /


and there really isnt a valid reason i can find that quattos not a landsquid.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Nate, what are you talking about? It wasn't even stormy here last night, and you fell asleep on the couch at 8pm watching Americas Got Talent!

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I know I don't have to justify my colorful storytelling to anyone but just for fun i took some pictures of the carnage being cleaned up on my ride home last night.

this is the tree that fell across the road. a few things to notice in this picture; the blown transformer and wound up power line, the fact that this tree is like a million feet tall, the huge gaping hole in the house behind the tree. i could see right into their living room.

right across the street, this is a tree in the VA park that looks like it was twisted apart.

a little further down the road, this poor dude's roof was pretty messed up too.

here is a couple lousy pictures of the big branch that i ducked and rode through.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

quatto you are a badass

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

Listening to Apocalyptica def. made this read more awesome.

Re: Life Changing Moped Rides (an essay)

I had a ride like that once.

The whole way home this massive great white shark was trying to eat me. I finally had to blow it up with a scuba tank!

BTW, I enjoyed your story. All the more cool with follow up pics.

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