Motorcycle Diaries

Everybody falls, some get up, some can’t, and some don’t. Pay attention. Have a blast, and try not to be too stupid.

Name: Alexandre de Moura, M.D.
Age: 50
Station: M.D. Spine Surgeon and Medical Director New York Spine Institute

Be aware. Give bikers the right of way. As an orthopaedic surgeon I have seen what happens.

James Dean. Freedom. Exhilaration.

The Harley was good to learn on. It’s a very stable large bike. But presently I have the MV Agusta Brutale, which is the Lamborghini of Italian bikes. It is a smaller company than Ducati and puts out handmade bikes. These types of bikes are built for speed and are very agile. I am also partial to Italian cars and motorcycles—my wife is Italian.You can tell a lot about a biker by the bike he rides.

Name: Alex A. Garcia
Age: 51
Station: Chief Operating Officer, New York Spine Institute
Ride: Harley Davidson Fat Boy Lo

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Motorcycle riders are among the nicest people you will ever find. At least, 90% of us. A close friend, riding in front of me at a high rate of speed when entering a ramp, crashed and died. I warned him not to do this, but he did not listen. I stopped riding for 30 years before I was able to get back on a bike. I completely forgot how awesome and incredible the feeling of riding is.

I’m free. Relaxed. Happy. And enjoying the view and the feel of the open air. Pure…

Name: Zig–Andrew Leipzig
Age: 54
Station: Artist
Ride: ’02 Sportster Custom Chopper

I remember air shifting (like air guitar but with motorcycle throttle/shift) as a kid. It was the ads in comic books for “Build your own Mini Bike.” The closest I got was a three-speed Schwinn and an imagination.

It’s not a cheap hobby to get into, especially if you want a Harley.

Riding is a natural rush of power and control with a massive amount of totally cool. A shot of O2 injected directly into your lungs.

As an artist, motorcycling is a creative expression with a big fucking engine between your legs that screams to go faster, harder faster harder…

I wanna ride.

Name: Jim Vitelli
Age: 50 or so
Station: President of Sea Crystal Pools Inc.
Ride: 1993 Harley Davidson
Heritage Softail Classic
First Bike: 1968 Schwinn Stingray with a 2.5 HP Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine

If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand. Pouring rain on the Throgs Neck Bridge with 30MPH WINDS. There’s nothing funny about it. You can’t find a better friend when you need help.

Icon: Peter Fonda in Easy Rider
Dream Trip: Sturgis, SD.



Name: Chris Kent
Age: None of your business
Station: Attorney and Partner, Farrell Fritz, PC
Ride: 2005 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail

When riding, it’s you, the bike and the road. It’s your journey and you have no one but yourself to rely upon. You must be overly cautious and aware of others who may not be aware that their journey may impact your journey. That’s the scariest thing on a bike, the lack of attention of others and how their actions can have tragic impacts upon those around them. But that’s the way it is in so many aspects of our lives when coexisting with others.

Hope you always enjoy your journey, wherever it takes you.

Name: Ellen Cea
Age: Old enough to have my motorcycle license
Station: Director of Tenant and Community Development for Rechler Equity Partners and the Hampton Business District
Ride: Harley Davidson FLSTN Softail Deluxe

I grew up in Alabama where I rode dirt bikes. First bike was a Sportster. I loved it. Later I tried a Dyna Wide Glide. After that, I found myself wanting a larger bike.

Years ago there were misconceptions. Today, no. The person to your left may be a member of Hells Angels and the person to your right is the CEO of a multi-million dollar company.


Name: Christine Benjamin
Age: 48
Station: Director of Amazon Heart, provides adventures for women living with women’s cancers
Ride: Harley Davidson Heritage Classic 2010

I was new and parked in a space that was on a decline. Later, because of the decline, I couldn’t budge it. There was a Sporty parked in front of a bar on the corner. I went inside and right there was a guy with a leather vest and no shirt drinking a beer. He said, “That’s a big bike for a little girl.” “Yes,” I replied, “I think it’s bigger than yours.” We both laughed and he got on my bike and backed it up without a problem. He was really sweet, didn’t give me shit for not being able to back out. I just couldn’t resist ribbing him about the size of his bike. I guess size does matter!

Only bad-ass men covered in tattoos ride motorcycles. In reality, bad-ass women ride bikes too. And by bad-ass, I mean people brave enough to live on their own terms.