The L.A. Times Ain’t All Bad — Throttle Jockey’s Back


OK, that headline is a gratuitous jab at the one paper I read EVERY DAY. But when your relationship with your local read starts starts to get increasingly abusive, it’s hard to feel the love. But I soldier on, weathering the insults (like this and this) because I physically need the smudge of newsprint on my hands each morning.

And these days I can be proud yet again in the LAT for who should it bring back but Susannewest Carpenter, the paper’s resident Throttle Jockey. If you remember (or care to follow such things) Carpenter’s popular weekly column on motorcycles and motorcycling was discontinued in July 2008 (read here for a brief explanation and the resulting comments from mostly peeved readers).

Carpenter’s been writing stories for the paper’s other sections but returns to the two-wheeled world in the Up To Speed blog, which also features bits and pieces on transportation from Pulitzer-prize winner Dan Neil and some other Times’ staffers. WhileCarpenter has blogged many motorcycle-centric stories, it appears that she’s now back to reviewing bikes — something that made so much sense to me (given the paper’s circulation) when Throttle Jockey first launched.

Her latest is a review of the Vespa GTS 300 Super, the largest displacement scooter in the Italian company’s lineup. Before this, she spent some time on the Honda DN-01, a bike that looks as if Honda had been charged with building the motorcycling version of a platypus. And word has it that another review is currently underway (don’t know the bike, though).

Throttle Jockey heyday. BMW, Ducati and Genuine oh my!

Throttle Jockey heyday. BMW, Ducati and Genuine oh my!

Yes the newspaper industry is suffering badly and yes cuts need to be made and new ideas need to be thunk — I get it, I really do. But there’s only so much a guy can take. I truly appreciate that Carpenter’s two-wheeler work is back in print (or whatever a blog is). It’s a great feature for an area so densely populated with motorcyclists. As for the ugly and awkwardly executed front-page ad and other creepy advertorials I’ll go on the record as saying YUCK.


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