‘The thrill of the open road’ | TheUnion.com

‘The thrill of the open road’

The weather has warmed, daylight is shining longer, and motorcyclists are starting to hit the scenic Sierra roadways and dirt tracks en masse.

Grass Valley motorcycle and accessory shop Moto Elite has seen more sport bike enthusiasts flock to their store in recent months as the seasons changed.

“Business picks up in the spring and begins to slow down mid-summer when it gets dusty,” said Erik Kreizenbeck, owner of Moto Elite.

Moto Elite caters more to motocross, speedway and enduro bike enthusiasts than typical road riders.

The motorized sports have become increasingly popular in recent years, Kreizenbeck said.

“There’s a lot more TV coverage and more shows geared toward sport bike racing,” Kreizenbeck said.

The local store, which opened two years ago, is merely one barometer of the area’s thriving motorcycle scene.

“This is absolutely beautiful country to ride in,” said Steve Shoemaker, a local American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education member. “I feel so sorry for our brothers in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco who have to ride the freeway.”

ABATE, a national nonprofit motorcycle education and advocacy group, is one of the numerous motorcycle clubs with a Nevada County branch.

Grand Fathers Motorcycle Club, Sisters of SCOTA, Dirt Diggers North 36 and the former Nevada County Road Riders are just some of the many Nevada County area motorcycle clubs.

In many respects, area motorcycle club members don’t fit the common hell-raiser, tattoo-adorned biker stereotype.

ABATE sports retired individuals, businessmen, engineers and technicians, Shoemaker said.

CrayZman, a Grand Fathers Motorcycle Club member, volunteers to help children abused or neglected navigate the court system.

But CrayZman also is the owner of Old School Tattoo Parlor in Colfax.

He’s a tattoo shop owner, who like many other area motorcycle clubs, feels an obligation to give back to the community.

Grand Fathers Motorcycle Club serves Thanksgiving meals at Gold Country Community Center at fairgrounds and collects canned goods for homeless and low-income residents.

ABATE raises money for injured motorcyclists who are cash-strapped and Sisters of SCOTA raises money for breast cancer research.

Still, it’s the beautiful scenery and the thrill of open road drawing motorcyclists to the area.

“It’s a nice ride up here from Sacramento,” CrayZman said. It gets him away from smog and crowds, he added.


To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@theunion.com or call 477-4234.

Favorite rides

Steve Shoemaker

• Georgetown

• Forest Hill

• North San Juan

• Downieville

• Sierra City


• Anywhere along the Pacific Coast Highway

• Highway 20 to Lake Tahoe

• Belden Town off of Feather River

• Washington

• Old Lincoln Highway to Lake Tahoe

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User