The Garage Fridge saves the day by Kyle Smith from Hagerty.com
The garage fridge is not a tool. It does not actively assist in the completion of a project. If anything, the cooler in the corner often conspires to defeat productivity. For me, recently, it did just the opposite.
Taking the one motorcycle out to compete in cross country, motocross, flat track, road racing, trials, and finally on ice requires a lot of time in the garage.
So much that I was getting burnt out. Luckily this final conversion only required three items: studded tires, over fenders, and a tether kill-switch.
‘Nitro Circus’ star, ex-motorcycle racer team up to open creative business campus in Zaferia
A gearhead and an adrenaline junkie meet at a trade show. There is no punchline.
Andy Bell and Roland Sands hit it off immediately nearly 20 years ago and have been friends ever since. The two went on to create separate businesses—Roland Sands Design and Sweatpants Media—and, after years of operating out of their respective headquarters, have come together to create a joint home base in Long Beach’s Zaferia neighborhood.
The companies together purchased a multi-building property at 1365 Obispo Ave. with a vision for a creative campus. Along with their firms, the graphics company Spin Imaging and Moxi Roller Skates also will call the campus home in a building separate from Sands’ and Bell’s space.
“We just wanted like-minded but different companies here to fuel a vibe of people that are stoked and doing rad stuff,” Bell said.
“People we can hang out with,” Sands added. “Fabrication, 3D fabrication, film, photography, graphics, printing—it’s all here. Almost any project is possible here, and that’s a pretty special thing.”
The friends almost missed out on the space, Sands said. The building was listed in 2018, but he was not in a position to take on the project by himself—and Bell was not ready to jump into such a massive undertaking. But when another buyer went into escrow on the site, the pair said they instantly knew they made a mistake.
“This place was built in the ’40s, and it’s gorgeous,” Sands said.
After months in escrow, the deal fell through, and Bell and Sands pounced. They bought the property for about $3 million in July 2019.
The Roland Sands Design custom motorcycle shop inside the company’s new Long Beach headquarters
The tenant had a few months left on their lease, so the roughly $2.5 million buildout did not get underway until just before the pandemic, which slowed progress on the rehab. But after nearly two years, the companies are celebrating their grand opening Saturday.
The space features a retail store (open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), a screening theater, 3D and other fabrication facilities, a wood-working space, a motorcycle garage, design rooms and a slew of offices. It also includes a bar, a two-chair barbershop for special events for clients that could also be utilized by a tattoo artist, and dozens of motorcycles and helmets on display.
A third building is currently set up as a jam space for musician friends of Bell and Sands. The room has a stage and is full of vintage and modern musical equipment. The two said they have toyed with the idea of turning it into a legitimate music venue, but that won’t happen until well into the future, if at all.
Bell and Sands each had a career riding motorcycles—the latter racing on the roads of the U.S., the former flying through the air in freestyle motocross—before they met each other in the early 2000s at a motorcycle trade show in Indianapolis.
Sands, a Long Beach native, grew up around motorcycles.
“I was fully immersed in the culture because my dad was in the motorcycle industry,” Sands said, adding that he would work in his dad’s shop as a kid.
In 2005, after a racing career that included winning the 1998 American Motorcyclist Association 250cc Grand Prix Championship, Sands turned his success—and name—into a brand. The firm specializes in creating custom bikes and parts (some of which are 3D-printed). The company has grown to include a clothing and apparel line as well as a racing team.
Bell, meanwhile, was not so much into the technical side of the sport.
“I’m more of an adrenaline junkie,” Bell said, sitting in his new office complete with a beer tap. “I never liked building and working on the s—, I liked riding and jumping them.”
After his professional freestyle motocross career, Bell went on to become a stuntman, appearing on numerous TV shows and films, including “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory” and “Jackass 3D.” Most notably, Bell starred in the “Nitro Circus” films and MTV series alongside Travis Pastrana and a host of other extreme-sport athletes.
Bell founded Sweatpants Media in 2012.
“I needed a change from getting hurt for a living and all the crap we used to do,” Bell said. “I didn’t know anything about production, but I’d been around it as talent. I’ve never owned a real business before and a decade later, here we are.”
Today, Sweatpants has numerous high-end clients, including Toyota, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lexus and Japanese powertool manufacturer Makita. With over 15 million views on YouTube, Sweatpants’ “The Pitch” for Toyota was the most widely viewed commercial in the U.S. in the third quarter, Bell said.
“The Pitch” – 2022 Toyota GR Supra Commercial by Sweatpants Media (15 million+ views since June 2021)
Bell and Sands try to utilize each other and their respective businesses as much as possible. The companies have teamed up on projects, including creating a custom bike for BMW with an accompanying video. After the premiere, the pair and their wives rode BMW bikes around Italy’s Lake Como.
On another project, Sweatpants flew three Toyota trucks into Vietnam and then drove them across the country. Sands and Bell were two of the three drivers who made the trek.
“We don’t like to fake s—,” Bell said. “Instead of pretending we were in Vietnam and pretending we flew trucks under helicopters, we actually did it. There is a tinge of adventure in everything we do.”
“We like to combine work and play,” Sands added.
Sands convinced Bell to move into a house around the corner from his on Naples Island in 2010. The best friends were neighbors for years before Sands moved to Park Estates.
For the last 12 years, Los Alamitos was home to Sands’ business, but he said he has always wanted to open a space in his hometown, closer to where he lives. For nearly nine years, Sweatpants operated out of the historic Villa Riviera in Downtown. But the two are looking forward to the quasi-business merger.
“We’re stoked. It’s fun being best friends and business partners,” Bell said. “There’s a little bit of yelling and a lot of hugging; a lot of wanting to punch each other and then a lot of wanting to drink beers together.”
“Thankfully for us,” Sands added, “we want to drink with each other more than we want to fight.”
The Roland Sands Design retail space at the company’s new joint headquarters with Sweatpants Media
AMA LongRider Program – Recognizing AMA Members Who Love to Ride
The AMA LongRider program is your chance to show others that you’re serious about riding your motorcycle. AMA members are invited to earn patches for various mileage milestones.
Mileage awards are available at 10,000, 25,000 and 50,000 annual miles. In addition to the awards, AMA LongRiders will be recognized on the AMA website.
If you don’t get a chance to ride that often, let your miles accumulate for a Lifetime Mileage award at 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, 250,000, 500,000, 750,000 and 1 million miles. Riders who achieve 1 million miles will earn a special AMA LongRider plaque.
Long Rider Rules:
Must be current AMA member
Must agree to abide by AMA verification rules and procedures
Must register for program (miles begin to accumulate once registered)
May use multiple motorcycles
How it works:
Riders register using the AMA LongRider Application. Click Here.
Mileage counts from this day forward, unless you can provide verification of previous mileage with documentation from an AMA-chartered club. The AMA will consider verified mileage awards from non-AMA groups/clubs/dealers on a case-by-case basis. Mileage will not be credited for years that you were not an AMA member.
If you were enrolled in the AMA LongRider program in 2008 or prior, previous verified AMA LongRider Emeritus mileage counts.
Send a current odometer photo with your AMA card in the photo or other verification as listed on the mileage award form. Odometer pics and other verification will be kept on record with the AMA.
If multiple motorcycles are used, mileage will count from time each motorcycle is registered with the LongRider Program.
AMA LongRiders receive a decal and patch with registration.
Forms can be sent to AMA LongRider, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. It’s recommended to make a copy or keep a record of the mileage you are submitting, so you know when to submit for awards.
Once you reach a milestone, return the AMA LongRider Mileage Award Request Form (Click Here) to AMA LongRider, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147. It’s recommended to make a copy or keep a record of the mileage you are submitting, so you know when to submit for your next award.
Send an updated odometer photo with your AMA card in the photo or other verification as listed on the mileage award form.
Only verifiable mileage counts toward AMA LongRider Awards (odometer vs. “trail miles”). This is a road/adventure riding program.
Share Your Achievements:
Share photos of your odometer, patches or photos from a trip using the #AMAlongrider on social media.
Email email@example.com with your photos, name and contact info. for a chance to be featured on AMA social media or in American Motorcyclist magazine.
This is a press release from American Motorcyclist Association.
Montana becomes the third U.S. state to allow filtering in traffic.
Montana has become the third state to recognize lane filtering, with the Gov. Greg Gianforte’s signature on a bill legalizing filtering of motorcycles under certain conditions.
“We applaud the efforts of Montana’s motorcycling community and the state’s legislators, and thank Gov. Gianforte for signing this legislation into law,” said Russ Ehnes, chair of the AMA Board of Directors.
S.B. 9 allows the operator of a two-wheeled motorcycle to overtake stopped or slow-moving vehicles at a speed not in excess of 20 mph, to filter between lanes of stopped traffic traveling in the same direction as conditions permit, and specifies reasonable and prudent motorcycle operation while lane filtering.
“With the signing of S.B. 9, Montanans have recognized the benefits of lane splitting, which allows motorcyclists the choice to filter in traffic when it is safe to do so,” said Tiffany Cipoletti, on-highway government relations manager for the American Motorcyclist Association.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Russ Tempel (R-SD14) and state Rep. Barry Usher (R-HD40), was signed by Gov. Gianforte on March 2 at a public signing ceremony in Helena. Ehnes was in attendance. The bill takes effect October 1, 2021.
California (A.B. 51, 2016) and Utah (H.B. 149, 2018) were the first two states to codify and sign lane-splitting or lane-filtering legislation. Efforts to legalize and formally recognize lane filtering/splitting is under consideration in three other states during the 2021 legislative session.
The AMA endorses lane splitting, given the long-term success in California and the University of California-Berkeley research study showing that the practice enhances motorcycle safety. The AMA will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting and/or filtering to their state.
“As lane splitting support continues to gain traction across the country, I am eager to help more motorcyclists engage their state legislatures on this issue,” Cipoletti said.
California State Parks OHV grants and cooperative agreements program seeking public comments – AMA Action Alert
The American Motorcyclist Association believes you may be interested in providing input to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. This period provides an opportunity for the public to review and provide factual comments to the preliminary applications submitted for consideration during the 2018/19 grant cycle.
You may also submit your public comments in writing to the OHMVR Division at the address below.
California State Parks
1725 23rd St.,
Sacramento, CA 95816
Attention: Grants Manager
If you are not yet an AMA member, please join the AMA to help us fight efforts to restrict responsible motorized recreation. More members means more clout against our opponents, and your support will help us fight for your riding rights – on the road, trail, racetrack, and in the halls of government. To join, go to AmericanMotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
Please follow the AMA on Twitter @AMA_Rights and like us on Facebook.
Thank you in advance for your interest in this important program. If you submit written comments please email a copy to the AMA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Nov. 6 General Election just around the corner, the American Motorcyclist Association is reminding motorcyclists to research where candidates stand on motorcycle-related issues and "Vote Like a Motorcyclist."
The AMA is a non-partisan organization and doesn't make political endorsements. But the national association encourages riders to cast their ballots based on candidates' positions on motorcycling-related issues as well as other issues of importance to them.
The AMA provides tools to help its members make informed choices on Election Day and offers tips for getting involved in campaigns.
Motorcycle-only checkpoints, restricted recreational access to public land and health insurance discrimination against motorcyclists are just some of the issues used to rate federal congressional and state gubernatorial candidates in the 2012 AMA Voter Guide.
"The 2012 AMA Voter Guide gives AMA members important information about political candidates," said Wayne Allard, a former U.S. representative and U.S. senator from Colorado who now serves as the AMA vice president for government relations. "The guide includes a rating for every federal and gubernatorial candidate of the major political parties who returned an AMA questionnaire.
"The rating shows how closely the candidates' answers align with AMA positions," Allard said. "The 2012 AMA Voter Guide also features scorecards for federal incumbents seeking re-election that shows how closely their voting records and other actions match the positions held by the AMA."
Voting and getting involved politically are important because the results of Election Day lay the foundation for legislation and laws, Allard added. If anti-motorcycling candidates earn elected office, then they could legislate away opportunities to ride, cut back or eliminate funding for rider safety training, or even wipe out other programs that motorcyclists have spent years working to implement.