Norman Reedus has been everything from an Irish Vigilante in Boondock Saints to a zombie killing bad ass in The Walking Dead and even a somewhat snarky and wounded lover in Sky, but in June of 2016, Ride with Norman Reedus premiered and Norman got to play in his most fascinating role yet – being himself.
While Ride with Norman Reedus season 2 is on the horizon, most fans of the first season are watching episodes again and talking about them on social media. The show, which chronicles Norman riding around the US on his motorcycle, was definitely informative for both Norman and his viewers, but the knowledge gained wasn’t just about motorcycles.
Ride taught viewers a lot about Norman and a lot about how being on the open road is just as much about your thoughts and what motivates you as it is about the bike you’re riding.
On our holiday weekend, we re-watched Ride with Norman Reedus and reflected back on the things we learned from the series that had to do with more than just motorcycles.
First came the intimate look at the places Norman explored while on his trek across the US and at the people he partnered with on the journey. From the Pacific Coast Highway to the Florida Keys, viewers got a more personal look at the scenery as well as knowledge of the lesser known stops along the way. While each of these stops did lead to some interesting bike knowledge, there was also a look at the experience that goes along with it.
One stop on Norman’s epic road trip is the pizza place where it seemingly all began for the actor. In the same episode, we saw the pioneer location of electric motorcycles Zero Motorcycles, as well as the home of the podcast Motorcycles and Misfits. Another was Death Valley and Dante’s View which Norman said made him realize why people love the desert.
We saw a sermon about motorcycles during the episode exploring Appalachia which was an interesting thing to reflect upon. The trek then moves through Texas where we see Norman enjoy the fan experience himself as he meets Robert Rodriguez – the director of a couple of Norman’s favorite films, before sitting on a Jesse James bike designed for the film Grindhouse. They grab a bite to eat before Norman heads off to meet members of one of his favorite bands, The Well, for drinks and a show.
Another interesting point in season 1 was the final episode where he meets with Peter Fonda, the man who inspired Norman to ride motorcycles. The pair hit a few stops for food during their time together as well as a stop for some cigar making before they are joined by Peter’s friend Dink for drinks and some reminiscing. The next day, Peter and Norman finish their ride together, which was the highlight of the experience for Norman, and it was special for his fans watching at home too.
In addition to what was learned, fans were treated to Norman’s sense of humor that hasn’t been explored to it’s potential on The Walking Dead. Daryl certainly has some snark and a bit of a sarcastic bite to his person, but Norman taps into his humor a lot more in Ride. Maybe it’s the lack of the undead threatening to destroy what’s left of civilization and all that, but it’s certainly refreshing.
Perhaps the most riveting part of the series has been Norman’s zest for life and his spirit that’s been untouched by the darker side of fame. Norman is a pop-culture demigod, in high demand by fans all over the world, and his kindness is still the thing that shines brightest about him. He’s not defined by his possessions, his fortune, or the perks of superstardom; he’s defined by the ever growing and ultra-charged love he has for his fans.
Sometimes you need a little motivation, sometimes you need something to give you a little hope; watching Norman tackle the open road with people who are important to him as they record their adventures gives viewers a bit of both. What better motivation to chase your own passion than to see it happening right in front of you?
As Norman says as season 1 draws to a close.
“It’s not about where you end up. It’s how you get there and who you choose to ride with. That’s what matters.”
So while we did get some incredible bike knowledge from the show and saw some kick-ass places where bikes are stored, designed, built, and treasured; we ended up learning a lot more about Norman and what’s important to him through the series.
While you wait for the premiere date for season 2 of Ride, and for Daryl to get more screen time on The Walking Dead, get your Norman fix by watching season 1 again and tweet us with some of your favorite moments.