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Old 12-14-2006, 04:11 PM   #1
zeefrenchspy
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First Road Trip - California Coast

Finally figured out how to embed all the images into the post, so this is turning out to be more of a photo-essay of sorts Of course cut up into pieces to comply

So after having my bike for a couple months and riding it up and down the bay, I decided it was finally time to dive off the deep end, so to speak, and go on my first moto-road trip. (yes, I got a 600 as my first bike, but I've got my flame-suit on, so if you haven't had your daily flame yet, enjoy, it's my treat ) And what better destination than LA, via PCH most of the way? Since I'ld been wanting to do the drive for a long time but never got around to it, it was an easy decision.

Not a fan of road-tripping (at least on a bike) by night, I decide to leave super-early in the morning in order to arrive earlier. Worked out well since my buddy Ehsan lives in Monterey and he owes me breakfast

Leaving Palo Alto, I ride down the 101 (cold and damp) and admire the sunrise on the way there. Breakfast is at this awesome place called Loulou's on the pier:
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:11 PM   #2
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The view off the pier isn't too bad either since it's about 8:30 at this point:
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:12 PM   #3
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Gas up in Carmel before hitting the coast so that I don't get butchered too badly when I need to stop for gas. The ride is awesome, great views, the smell of the ocean along the way (lived in San Diego for a while, so it brought back memories) and not too many brutally slow tourist in front of me (it's a Friday after all).

Make sure to stop for pictures and shake out every so often to not get cramps or anything, but mostly to admire the view:
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:13 PM   #4
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Make sure to include the bike in a couple shots as well so that it doesn't feel left out:
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:13 PM   #5
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In a way, I was kind of glad that I was outrunning the storm, because all the clouds in the sky were gorgeous!

Anyways, great ride down the 1, only hit one section of gravel where they were working on the road, the rest was pretty cruiser. It was pretty exciting with the storm brewing too, as there was on really low bridge just before SLO where the waves were crashing on the bridge. Got lucky on the timing and the car in front of me got pounded and I sneaked through dry

After hitting the 101 for a bit, I went off on the 154 to change things up a bit. In all fairness, the 154 is more interesting than the 101, but not by much, the first 2/3 of it (going south) are pretty boring, and when it gets better in the last part, there are too many cars in front that won't pull over

Get a nice view of Santa Barbara, and then get back on the 101 till I can take off on PCH again


Gorgeous day in SoCal at this point, and I have to stop and take off all I can while still leaving protective gear on, kind of a nice surprise. Of course, going to LA, I make great time the whole way, only to have to over an hour splitting my way down the 405

Since that was by far my longest ride, I was quite happy when I arrived, as my palms were getting uncomfortably numb, and I was starting to split at higher and higher speeds to get it over with.

Sadly enough, the numbness stayed with me for the next couple days, making riding not too pleasant. Guess I have to work on having less weight on my arms.
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:28 PM   #6
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Cool. I was thinking about doing the same thing also but going down into san diego to visit family. I probly will come next summer. Looks like you have a great trip. Glad to hear there weren't any acidents.
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:44 PM   #7
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On the ride down at least, as screwing up on the upper part of the 1 would launch you into the ocean.

I'm typing up the return trip part and it's taking a while
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:58 PM   #8
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The only thing that im concered with is that fact that as bad as the bay area drivers are. San diego drivers are worse. No one uses there danm blinker. I was there for a week and i swear i rarely saw blinkers come on when they switch lanes or turn.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
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The plan was to ride down Friday, chill in LA on Saturday, and ride back up on Sunday. Of course, since I was visiting the gf in LA, my start Sunday morning wasn't quite as early (probably only got under way at 11). Route plan for the way back is more twisty goodness, with 405->101->33->198->25->101

Leaving late, I cruise at a good clip on the freeway to make up some time, at the same time trying as much as I can to keep weight off my hands. Finally get off the freeway and start heading up the 33. At this point, it's not raining (thankfully), but the road is wet from earlier showers Gas up in Ojai before I start up the hills since I'm not quite sure where the next gas station will be and I'm off once again.

Going up the road, I'm enjoying the twisties and my newfound comfort in leaning the bike over at relative speed. Nevermind the fact that the road is wet, doh!! I don't even get 5 miles up the road that the cars in front of me eventually turn off, leaving me with the full road to play with. Cruisin' along, I prep myself for the upcoming left-hander. What did that sign just say? 25 mph? Better start scrubbin' some speed as I start leaning into the turn. At this point, I'm going through the turn a little quick, but ok. As I look through the turn however, I see the radius decreasing rapidly, ohhhh shit.

I decide I'm not gonna make it trying to lean the bike over more (maybe it could have worked, don't know, not enough experience in the wet), so seeing a wide batch of gravelly/muddy pull off on the outside of the turn, I decide to stand the bike up, get on the brakes to get rid of as much speed as possible and come to a stop on the dirt. Not wanting to lock up the front on the wet, I go easy on the front brake and end up locking the rear. As the rear starts to come out I realize I'm not going to ride this one out and it won't be pretty

As I hit the dirt, the rear snaps back a bit and we go sliding down the dirt/mud/gravel. As I come to a stop, I get up and can't stop thinking "F' me! F' me! I just hosed myself!!". Fortunately, I'm only covered in mud and not hurt at all. I put the bike up on it's wheels, find a rock to put the kick-stand down on and start assessing the damages:

The chain's off the rear sprocket, I lost the left mirror, and a lot of plastic parts are cracked/broken, but other than that the bike fires right back up, so it could be worst.

I start taking the plastics off, so that I can take a look at what's wrong with the chain and after a couple cars pass by someone finally pulls over. At this point I'm really starting to count my lucky stars, as the nice guy (Darrell) who pulled over on his way back from dirt riding with his son just happened to be a Yamaha mechanic Incredibly nice guy who helps me get the chain loose from the sprocket bolts, and to my dismay we find out that one of the links is completely twisted, making the chain useless

Unfortunately, his van was full, but he offered to put a new chain on my bike if I can get it towed down to the shop in Ventura. As there was no cell coverage up there, he gives me a ride into town and I proceed to track down a tow-truck. Several hours later the tow-truck shows up, and we get the bike back down to Ventura. We get to the shop around 5:30 (crashed at 1:30) and Darrell being such a nice guy, waited for us down there so that we could put the bike in the shop and lock it up for the night. At this point I realize I'm not gonna be making it in to work on Monday since I'm spending the night in Ventura. In a way it was probably good that I wasn't able to fix my bike just there, as it gave me time to get my head straight and calm my nerves down, considering I was still 300 miles from home. The next morning Darrell comes in on his day off (shop is normally closed on Mondays) and put a new chain on for me. We check that the essentials are working and I'm ready to go.

I can't say much about the shop itself (FactoryPerformance) since it was closed the whole time I was there, but Darrell was essentially my guardian angel through all this, I can't say enough nice things about him!! He and his buddy even hosed the bike down while I was getting my gear on to get all the mud off!!

Figure I'll play it safe and just cruise up 101 the whole way. You'ld think at that point things would starts going ok for me, but no, got tagged by the roadside revenue collection

After an interesting ride home (no more windscreen and left mirror and a broken stay), I finally take the bike apart and look at the extent of the plastic damage.

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Old 12-14-2006, 05:04 PM   #10
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Cool trip, very nice job with the writeup and photos!

Edit: sorry to here about your spill, but good work riding it home.
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Last edited by ChuckBecker; 12-14-2006 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:12 PM   #11
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As I said earlier, I didn't get hurt at all in the crash and the bike only sustained cosmetic damage, so relatively speaking I got extremely lucky!!

Since by the time I hit the ground, I was over gravel/mud, the impact wasn't too hard, but that also meant the frame sliders didn't do much. Probably just acted like an anchor and got bent to all hell!!



Fortunately, the bolt bent outside the mount, so the frame is fine


So yeah, I unfortunately fulfilled the n00b prophecy of crashing my bike within the first 6 months of ownership but on the bright side of things, I walked away without a scratch, so along the way I must have done something right (or gotten very very lucky )
I definitely learned my lesson on this one, and my previously unfounded confidence went away, giving me the chance to learn and to take my time once again
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:32 PM   #12
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Thats a great ride and glad you did it,.

Not to be an ass, but you really lucked out with Darrell. I'd be buying him a six pack.

Done that road many of times, sometimes there isn't a damn soul out there. It really poured here (Pismo) on Saturday and Sunday, its probably a good thing you didn't ride through on Sunday, as it came down in buckets.

101 from Pismo to Santa Barbara sucks, there's plenty of back roads outside the 101 that will lead you to Santa Barbara.

Glad your ok.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:35 PM   #13
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Originally posted by aszreal1266
Cool. I was thinking about doing the same thing also but going down into san diego to visit family. I probly will come next summer. Looks like you have a great trip. Glad to hear there weren't any acidents.
Guess i spoke to soon. Glad to hear your ok. If you need some mirrors i got some single post mirrors you can have. They have been sitting in the trunk of my car a while.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:37 PM   #14
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Not at all, I fully realize and am extremely thankfull to have been "rescued" in a sense to Darrell. I owe him more than I could ever imagine.

He even took the time to give me a crash-course (no pun intended) on chain installation and maintenance
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:40 PM   #15
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Thanks for the offer aszreal, but eBay became my new best friend over the last couple days, and I have all the parts I need in the mail. Not to mention a huge painting project for after christmas!!!
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