Season 1, Episode 1
California: Pacific Coast Highway
On this ride up the PCH, Norman and his friend Imogen check out some beach dune buggies, ride the bike of the future and drop in on a podcast.
Ride with Norman Reedus will return Sunday, November 5 at 11/10c.
Norman Reedus describes how he first moved to Los Angeles in his early 20s, where he fell into a crowd of outsiders, rebels, and bikers. Now that he's back in Los Angeles, he's excited to take his ride up the Pacific Coast Highway, "one of the most savagely beautiful roads you can do anywhere."
Before setting out, he stops in Long Beach to pay a visit to Roland Sands, an award-winning, record-breaking, racer-turned-custom-bike artist. When Norman arrives at Roland's shop, he says it's like a museum for bikes. Roland combines different parts of bike culture into some of his most iconic pieces. Norman asks if he can ride one of Roland's bikes; he picks out a BMW nineT and the two of them hit the road.
Norman and Roland ride down the freeway while Roland performs impressive tricks on the back of his bike. They stop along the coast and gaze out at the beautiful shoreline. Norman asks if he can borrow Roland's bike to make the rest of the trip, and Roland is happy to oblige.
Norman swings by West Hollywood to pick up Imogen Lehtonen, a biker from New Zealand whose family invented the skull ring. She once invited him to ride the PCH and now he's finally taking her up on it. Before they head off, Imogen picks out Norman's first skull ring from her shop, The Great Frog.
Norman and Imogen hit the highway after nightfall. Norman points out his old haunts, including the pizza place where he first became an actor. "Let's just say I was in the right place at the right time... And the rest is history," shares Norman. They then ride to Santa Barbara to stay the night in an airstream park.
In the morning, they suit up and hit the Pacific Coast Highway for 104 miles. They rejoice when they finally see the ocean.
They arrive at Pismo Beach, one of the only beaches in America where you can ride on the beach. Norman and Imogen decide to ride dune buggies.
After racing on the sands, Norman and Imogen get back on the PCH and ride through the night. They visit Nitt Witt Ridge, an abandoned-looking house that's actually a tourist attraction built out of junk and filled with oddities, including a number of toilets.
In the morning, Norman and Imogen ride the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. Finally, after 400 miles, they arrive in Santa Cruz.
They head to Zero Motorcycles, the pioneer of electric motorcycles. Scot Harden, a championship racer, gives them a tour of the facility. One of the staff members at Zero shows Norman his tattoo depicting a scene from The Walking Dead comic. Scot takes Norman and Imogen outside to show them his fleet of electric bikes. Norman and Imogen marvel at how quiet the bikes are when they're running. They ride through the Redwood forest on their silent bikes.
When Imogen and Norman return to Zero, one staff member comes up to Norman and explains how his late brother was a huge Boondocks Saints fan, and how a battered DVD of the movie was recovered in the wreck that killed him. Norman is moved and happy to sign it in honor of the man's brother.
Norman and Imogen arrive at the Re-Cycle Garage, which is also the home of the biking podcast, Motorcycles and Misfits. They meet Liza, the host of the podcast. Liza teaches people how to work on bikes without being a mechanic. Liza says the podcast started when she and the gang of misfits wanted to bring their conversations about bikes to the world.
On the podcast, Liza asks Norman what the best bike would be in the zombie apocalypse. He says he would use a Zero bike with a solar panel to stay quiet.
After riding with the misfits, Norman and Imogen make their way back south. Norman thanks Imogen for joining him on the trip.