Oh, Ride with Norman Reedus, how I love thee.
We're only in the third week of Reedus' new AMC motorcycle travel series, so it's still cool to gush about it, right? I swoon over everything this show has to offer: the commentary, the cinematography, the sense of adventure. And, tonight, my ever-expanding enamor with the show includes Jason Paul Michaels.
If you've been tuning in (which, c'mon, you should be), you know that each week The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus grabs a bike, a fellow gearhead — or three — and hits the road to explore iconic biker routes and local businesses along the way.
Last week, it was Death Valley with Balthazar Getty and the badass chicks from Babes Ride Out. This week, though, Reedus picked up Michaels in Atlanta, and the two took on the Great Smoky Mountains' beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, the "Dragon" and Fontana Dam.
They cruised through Asheville as well, where they spent a rowdy night partying with the good people at A Broken Spoke motorcycle shop.
Throughout the episode, I couldn't help but wonder about Michaels. At the risk of sounding superficial, this guy is pretty darn good-looking. But above and beyond that, he was incredibly charming, funny and well-informed about biker culture.
So what's the 4-1-1 on Reedus' Smoky Mountains biker buddy? Here are a few interesting tidbits I unearthed in my sleuthing.
Here's to crooked roads, winding trails (the occasional dead end) and dangerous adventures that lead to the most amazing views of the world. And those who took the risks to travel down them no matter the sacrifice. - Photo x @ironandair _ #memorialday #edwardabbey #uralmotorcycles #sidecar #ironandair @uralmotorcycles @ironandair
On this week's episode, Michaels alludes to the fact that he started pulling the filter off his lawn-mower-powered mini-bike at the age of seven to find a way to increase air intake. What we didn't hear is that he wound up doing precisely that by cutting up and using some pantyhose he, ahem, borrowed from a local department store. He soon moved onto popping wheelies on a Kawasaki KX80 to impress girls riding the bus he passed by on his way to school.
Mama Wolf and I crushing the hat game @nathonverdugo style at the races last night. Wish you were here bro! Thanks @oilandbones for a great snap! And reminding me how creepy Tom Hanks was in The Polar Express... _ #rolandsands #rolandsandsdesign #indianmotorcycles #superhooligan #flattrack #amaflattrack
A quote on Michaels' site bio reads, "My teeth chatter, my bones ache, my soul shakes and my heart only stops for two things: my lovely and amazing wife and the other love of my life, motorcycles." Fortunately, his wife doesn't mind sharing his affection with a few motorcycles since she happens to be a biker babe herself. Named Leticia Cline (known as Letti), she describes herself as a "writer and rider" who "grew up with my dad building bikes in the living room of our house."
Well, to clarify, he has gone viral... along with Letti. Last year, David Tinsley, founder of TinMen Productions, pitched an idea to Michaels — why not shoot a video showing what it's like when he and Letti get ready, specifically that Michaels takes a comically longer time to primp than his wife? Soon after the vid was posted, it garnered in excess of 35 million views, 200k likes and 40k comments. Understandably, too, 'cause it's on point.
Shhh…. Don’t tell @leticiacline I took her Sporty out for a little joy ride. Ha! Just kidding, I wouldn’t take her bike without her knowing. EVER. She’d cut me! Thanks @sammyharlee for snapping this from the 2016 VF Brands @harleydavidson apparel catalog. Hard to believe you've got it all the way over in Australia already! Thankfully I had a @biltwell Gringo on stand-by in the truck that day. This shot would have looked WAY more lame than it already does with the “Official” brain bucket they wanted me to wear. @loadedguncustoms and @ianhalcott your autographed copies are on their way. _ #grainandglassco #harleydavidson #sportster #biltwell #iusedthreesmileyemojiconsinthispost
As a brand ambassador and modern icon of biker culture, Michaels maintains a steady stream of gigs repping well-known biker brands. His campaigns include Roland Sands Design, Triumph Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson, Ural Motorcyles and more. In the biker world, he's kind of a big deal.
DID YOU KNOW THAT OVER 700 KIDS LOSE THEIR LIVES TO BRAIN CANCER EVERY YEAR? . This is Holmes, he’s seven years old and if you were to look at him you would have no idea he has a life threatening ailment. He laughs, pokes fun at his little brother he has a smile that spreads from ear to ear despite what’s happening in his life. The fact that less than 4% of all funding for cancer research goes to children facing these sometimes insurmountable difficulties like Holmes, is saddening. . As a parent I could not imagine what Holmes family has, is and will go through in the years to come. All I can do is help in the ways I know how. So I rode up to Ashville, met with them, heard and filmed their stories and will be sharing them with all you during our project CB1100 giveaway. My goal is to of course build a great motorcycle with my team and give it to one lucky person, but more importantly, to share with all of you what I felt as a parent, a father and person being within proximity of these children. . If we can raise over $8 million dollars for prostate cancer through the DGR, why can’t we raise an equal amount for children? They’re helpless in the fight without people behind them. Is that not enough reason to get involved? . Thanks for taking the time to read this, for more info or to get involved click the link in my bio or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org _ @rideforkids #rideforkids #curethekids #cancer #braincancer @honda_powersports_us #hondamotorcycles #cb1100 #caferacer @geico @cycleworld #cycleworld
In partnership with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's Ride for Kids, Michaels' company Standard Motorcycle Co. will be taking a brand new CB1100 motorcycle and rebuilding it to pay homage to Dick Mann's iconic Honda that helped him secure a victory at the Daytona 200 in 1970. Then, they're going to give it away. Why? To raise awareness about pediatric brain cancer, which Michaels is sharing information about on his blog and social media throughout the giveaway process.
Yes, as in a dog-slash-wolf hybrid. To be precise, "he's a timber Alaskan malamute," Michaels told a fan on Instagram. He (the dog, not Michaels) is apparently the shop wolf, so keep that in mind should you ever make your way to see Michaels in action. Sidebar: Damn, could these people be any cooler?
@leticiacline says its for our guests...I think it's my dog house though. What do you think? Either way, the @standardmotorcycleco AirBNB is coming together nicely! We're looking forward to having a place to host all our friends, family and wayward Moto travelers that make their way down south. It'll be complete with an outdoor shower, access to a full service moto shop, the latest moto mags and a set of keys to a bike from our fleet. Rad or not so rad. You be the judge!
I know what you might be thinking: What exactly is a motocentric Airbnb? Well, according to Michaels, it's "a place to host all our friends, family and wayward moto travelers that make their way down south. It'll be complete with an outdoor shower, access to a full-service moto shop, the latest moto mags, and a set of keys to a bike from our fleet." So, if you're looking for a pretty fucking rad place to bed down for a night or two in the near future, look no further, my friends.
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