Thursday, June 25, 2009


inside the San Francisco Motorcycle Club
Folsom Street
Wednesday noon


I first moved to the bay area in 1997. I was burned out at college, so I took a semester off and moved in with some friends in a house in Oakland. Before I went back east to spend my last year in college, I swore I would move back here when I was done. One year, one month, and one day later, I was back.

I decided to come to San Francisco originally because I have family here, and it was about as far away from college as I could get without needing a passport. When I came back in 1998, I lived with my aunt while I looked for an apartment, no small task during the dot com boom. I finally landed a place in Hayes Valley and got a job in South Park that gave me a front row seat to the rise and fall of the startups. It was a spectacular time to be young in San Francisco.

In 2003, I left San Francisco. I was feeling a bit stuck, so I sold most of my belongings, shipped the rest to my parents, and rode my motorcycle across the country to settle in New York. I quickly remembered why I had moved to San Francisco in the first place, and moved back within a year.

In 2006, I found the SFMC. It was a great place. A room full of friends once a week, and fun rides to boot. During a particularly tough time in my life, the club was an incredibly important support. It gave me stability when everything else felt very unstable.

This year I'm the club's Road Captain. It is a great deal of work, and no small amount of hassle, but it is my way of giving back to the club. I look at it as paying my dues. The club is more than pine walls and trophies. The people here are family, and the organization is a living piece of history that I am proud to be a part of.

There is no better place to be a motorcyclist than the bay area. The weather is just about perfect most of the year, and the quality and variety of roads is unbeatable. I really can't see myself living anywhere else.

ps.: This summer I'll be going on a motorcycle ride in New Hampshire to benefit the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, where my sister's cancer was treated two years ago. They were a great help in a difficult time, and this is my own small way of giving back. If you can afford it, any donations are greatly appreciated.


Char said...

a great tribute to the city and a wonderful observation of the rise and fall of the dotcom boom.

AphotoAday said...

Well, what a wonderful blog -- your writing (and photos) are so interesting...

And I seem to finally have tracked down the elusive Tango-Baby -- thanks to Plug1&2, but of course we're both big fans of Ramsey's Fog-Photo...

And yeah, I recently spotted the SFMC -- the building is simple and decorations artistic -- but I stayed on the other side of the street -- oh, you know the reputation some of these motorcycle clubs have -- imagined that they might not take my photo-snapping kindly and come out and rough me up a bit... Sounds like that's not the case at all...

All the best to you, T.B... So interesting reading about your life... Way to go with helping out at Pets Unlimited... I should get off my butt and do something like that -- I've got years of good experience dealing with the little individual I call Kitty...

elk said...

such stories here ...feeling the wind in my face

John A said...

Hey Tucker,

Sums up my feelings about San Francisco, being Road Captain and being a member of the SFMC perfectly ... cool pics, too

-- John A