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Old 05-30-2007, 08:40 AM   #1
snowface
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Location: Satan Rosa
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Name: sal
SF to Corona ride - 05/24 (long)

the story

Hit the road this Memorial Day weekend for a wedding down in Corona, CA (east of LA). This was a wedding on my wife’s side of the family, which thankfully has an affinity for motorcycles. Talks started early of a ride down from northern California…

the group

My farther-in-law, Ron, has about 40 years of riding experience. He began riding down in southern California on an old 200cc enduro as a cheap and easy way to get to work. Speed runs in his blood though and I’m sure that was part of the attraction. He moved up to bigger and better machines, mainly metric cruisers, until buying his first Harley only a few (<10) years ago. His current (and second) Harley is a 2006 Street Bob.



He’s a shorter man and the reach is perfect for him. It’s not your typical floorboard-toting, custom-paint, poser motorcycle. The only thing separating this bike from any other sport-tourer is the more relaxed seating position and low-slung weight (and the lack of all the usual farkle). As he’s said himself, “…if it doesn’t make you go faster, then get it the hell off…” This bike moves through straights and twisties with speed and grace. Albeit a bit loud at times…

My brother-in-law, Tony, has about 20 years of riding experience, starting out young on dirt as many lucky riders’ kids do. His first real street bike was a Suzuki 800 Intruder. Second bike was a Superhawk. Currently rides a 2004 Harley Deuce. It’s much more on the “chopper” side of the harley line-up with a skinner front tire and a longer rake. Other than that it is fairly similar to Ron’s.



The last time we rode to a wedding was last summer. It was also our first true tour, and the longest ride Tony and I had ever been on. We went up to Boise, ID in two days, spent two days there, and returned in two again. I was still on my first bike (cb750) and it was remarkably well suited for the trip. There were a few main qualities I was still yearning for however, so I did my research and invested in a 2002 Bandit12 only a month ago. Compared to the nighthawk, the power, brakes, suspension, and coolness improvements are just astounding. The bigger tank keeps me from holding everyone else up. And there’s no better way to get used to a new ride than to hit the road…

[Note: These guys are not ones for stopping and taking pictures. Its point A to point B at the quickest legal speed possible; the mission is to pound out miles with efficiency. This highly limited my picture opportunities, so I will try to make it up with descriptions and sounds whenever possible.]
__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura

Last edited by snowface; 05-31-2007 at 04:24 AM..
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:49 AM   #2
snowface
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day one



I started my day on Thursday in Davis. Packed up the new ride with luggage for the first time (and not well, but I’ll get to that in a bit).



Hit the road bright and early to get to work in SF.



The view from my company’s balcony is fantastic…



Spent half the day pretending to ‘accomplish target objectives’ while perusing the kitchen sink. I was way too excited to concentrate on work. At noon it was time to head out as the guys were meeting me in North Beach for their favorite cuisine. Parked the Bandito up on Columbus after spotting their bikes. Found the two at Calzone's Pizza Cucina enjoying themselves and as usual, waiting for me to catch up. I went for the spaghetti and meatballs instead of my usual seafood dish just to be on the safe side.





Tried to capture the two lovely ladies down at the far end of the restaurant without getting caught…



The food was delicious, and the weather was absolutely perfect – clear skies and a slight ocean breeze. I didn’t want to leave. We had to get moving sometime though, and once the bill arrived it was go time. I lead the way out, my first and only time leading on the trip. Broadway up through the tunnel, left on Van Ness and down the 101 we go.

Dancing in and out of the coast on this ride made dressing appropriately quite a chore. I was wearing my leather jacket and air-flow pants. While chilly up in SF, it got warm very quickly after leaving the bay. It then got cooler once again as the 101 made it’s way back to the coast. The Bandit and the 101 became fast friends. The aggressive riding style of my fellow riders, and the fact that we were traveling as a trio, left me with many opportunities for quick decisions. The mindset of this group is that the lead rider sets the pace and takes passing opportunities as they come. The riders behind then either take that same opportunity, or simply wait for the next and then catch up. I like this style a lot because it’s fast, and it works well with an experienced group. In this case it doesn’t get much more experienced than a father/son duo who have been riding together for years. The nighthawk used to leave me second-guessing and powerless when I needed power the most. The Bandit has none of these afflictions and eats slow-moving hybrids and trucks for breakfast. I found myself often sitting back when I felt a passing move coming, just to gauge the situation and gather as much input as possible. As well to keep the traffic behind at bay should the pass not happen. Yet when the Harley pipes roared out their intent, and I saw a window for me to join the fun, the Bandit was oh so happy to oblige. Downshifting is a thing of the past for me now… this powerband took some getting used to… but oh once I did……
__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:52 AM   #3
snowface
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Windburn, sunburn, and multiple temperature changes really took their toll on us that first day. One of our jaunts was 157mi without stopping. Besides that I had really packed poorly and every bump or brake was shoving the bag into my back (and my nuts into the tank). We were planning on Santa Barbara, but decided on Pismo instead. The fog beat us there and had no mercy on my open vents and mesh pants. It was both refreshing, and exhausting. We pulled into a Best Western, but they had no rooms of interest to us. Best Western recommended a local operation down the road called the “Lighthouse”. As we were suiting up to head down there, Ron completely forgot his ‘helmet’ and was dragging it on the rear footpeg as he made his way to the end of the driveway. I jumped on my bike and gave chase waving at him with my left hand. As soon as he saw me he realized his miss. Those skullcap helmets really freak me out, especially when he said, “Whether I have it on or not, feels the same, so it’s easy to forget…” He laughs at me and says I’m missing 50% of the sights and smells. To each his own.



The lighthouse proved perfect, notably both the garage space to protect from the fog and the added security of that cover. We cleaned up and headed to McFlintock’s…



Biking makes me hungry: Bacon-wrapped filet (medium-well) with shrimp over a bed of rice pilaf. Sipping Mark’s Mark on the rocks. Pretty ghey view from the restaurant out:



On the way back we’re suiting up, and an older trio is above us on the entryway balcony. The oldest was this scraggly character who shouted down, “Hey you, yeah – the one in the yella helmut. Don’t you know the curse maaan???” (I wear a bright yellow helmet covered in skate stickers and an orange A* jacket. The others wear all black). I replied, “No sir – what is it?” “That one sumbitch who wears bright shit, like orange, or yella,” he breathed, “is the guardian angel, cause he’s the one that drunk is gonna see and then go hit instead of the rest of us!”

It was pretty funny and definitely got the other guys laughing, his voice and old gray moustache – just funny.

On the way back we opened it up a bit on a long stretch of straight road.

Picked up this lil’ setup – then proceeded to the balcony to just shoot the shit.



Balcony view:



__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
snowface
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day two

I felt so much better on day two. Started out right with a great big cup of coffee at the hotel while packing up. I updated my bag setup by turning it sideways and using my cargo-net to secure it. It worked beautifully and completely alleviated this other suspension problem I was having through slow turns too. We then rode maybe 6 blocks down the road to a famous cinnamon roll spot.

“Would you like the extra cream-cheese-sugar-icing on top?”
“Yes Maam, I would.”

And another cup of coffee.

We were dressed well for the route this time. The TV weatherman declared, “…60 on the coast – 70 slightly inland – and 80 as you get further inland.” Gotta love California. We hit the road through Santa Barbara. Cut over to the 154 and entered the town right. That is a wonderfully paved back road, with many opportunities to pass and accelerate, and long high speed turns. Coming over the top of the mountain and the smell of kelp, sand, salt, just takes you back…

Decided to take the 126 through to the 5… Didn’t expect all the red lights…



Other than that it was a nice road. Ended up behind a lemon truck. For a few minutes there just kept thinking that this was the “cleanest smelling freeway ever”.

It was the last clean smell I would have before hitting LA.

The 5 slammed into us like a brick wall. Tired from the wind and the long ride down, we were a bit unprepared. LA moves 10mph faster than anywhere else. Every lane is a passing lane. Down there it’s not about where you live but what you drive.

We got our eye-opener when we were passed by a LEO moving fast while we were in the second to fast lane pulling 85…

We got aggressive back quickly and fought our way through. Used a few techniques such as blocking (sweep cuts over, leads move into space provided), glaring, shaking my head, giving the shame finger , and the points-at-eyes-and-gives-evil-glare…

Lane-splitting with bags sucks. Fortunately this song came into my ipod just as we entered the fray. Helped me get my mood right…
MP3 #1



Finally found our exit. Went to Jack in the Box for a quick taco and a HUGE soda.





Got to the hotel and apparently it was brand new. They didn’t have permits for their pool yet so we couldn’t use it. Hopped the fence anyway just to read for a bit and sip some more of that Knob Creek and Belvedere…

Found the “Fiesta Bowl” to be a great little family-run Mexican restaurant. I highly recommend the carne asada and huge margaritas. Funniest comment was Ron stating that he “…wanted to dip his face in it.”

__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:00 AM   #5
snowface
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day three

We escorted the ladies back from the airport to the hotel so we could sneak a ride in and avoid them getting lost. From there the bikes mainly sat through the weekend. The hotel had a small fire in the laundry room on Saturday and we evacuated. The fire trucks showed up – but it wasn’t anything to really react to, just smoke at that point. The firefighters practiced their ladder skills while the chief was telling us about his new Road King and how he rides it to his girlfriend’s house. He was a good guy, real friendly.



day four
The wedding…

day five
The Five…

Cutting out of LA required 5 freeways – the 15 to the 10 to the 57 to the 210 to the 5. A maze of asphalt. We left at around 7am to try to beat the tourist traffic home. A Mitsubishi 3000GT seemed to like us during this initial go. Oregon plates and probably heading back home, he stuck with us for more than 40 miles just laying back and making passes as we did. I didn’t mind the company but it distracted me and was a little annoying. Coming down the grapevine was a first for me on a bike. It was so strange to see the cars have to brake in order to control speed, while that was unnecessary on the bike (due to the weight, I presume).

The 5 freeway is like a test of manhood. It’s a walkabout, a hike, a mental challenge; especially alone with only an ipod and the wind. Growing up a Berkeley brat, I headed down to UC San Diego for college in 1997. I made the long trek up the 5 more than a few times in my years in school and memories of driving home from college flooded my mind.
MP3# 2

I counted the bolts on the back of Tony’s bike. Memorized licence plates. Imagined what it would be like if gravity gave way all of a sudden and I floated away… Would I let go of the bike?



We stopped for lunch at Harris Ranch. Normally we wouldn’t have a long sit down break, but we had been making great time and needed the extra rest. Couple big burgers and a few sodas helped sooth the soul. At this point I was noticing how my stamina starts to drop as the ride goes on. On a freeway like the 5, your body is in lock as you head down the line. I can start the morning with a 2-hour jaunt no problem. From there, I can maybe do an hour before my arse starts to whine and my hands start getting numb. After the second break, I’m down to 30 min. You know you’ve hit your limit when after a gas-up and a nice break, you start hurting as soon as you look at the bike…

Our last stop was in Patterson, right before the 580/5 split. Noticed a few sport bikers and trailers in the area but I wasn’t sure where they were headed, definitely BARF types so I hope someone can enlighten me here. The final order of business was to grab two red bulls, one for me and one for Tony. Body pains are fine, but when my brain starts to get mushy its time to wake it up. I would be breaking off from the pack to take the last hour on my own and wanted to be sharp.

I missed the guys as soon as I left them, waving as we took our separate ways. I set a goal to get to the house by 2:30 and cut through traffic. Pulled into Davis and parked at 2:45. The ol' lady had left at the same time and flown, but had only beaten me home by an hour. I pounded a glass of water and went straight to the shower, and then to the couch for a nap. Always thankful for an “uneventful” trip.



the end
__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura

Last edited by snowface; 05-30-2007 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:57 PM   #6
NoGall
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Woohoo! Trip report! Thanks for sharing

Wait... Aren't you the one who supposedly eat healthy while on the road? What's this crap with bacon wrapped blah, and extra sugar on roll? Damn, now I am hungry

* Bumping this to Moto Photo
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:02 AM   #7
snowface
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Quote:
Originally posted by NoGall
Woohoo! Trip report! Thanks for sharing

Wait... Aren't you the one who supposedly eat healthy while on the road? What's this crap with bacon wrapped blah, and extra sugar on roll? Damn, now I am hungry

* Bumping this to Moto Photo
dammit slowgall - i said no such thing! i believe my last sentence in that thread was "...be healthy at home!"

now i thought i had posted this in the right spot, and am a lil confused as to where trip reports should go now. moto photos everytime? save the ST section for ST questions and answers?

thanks!
__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:03 AM   #8
NoGall
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Name: Tom
Quote:
Originally posted by snowface
moto photos everytime? save the ST section for ST questions and answers?

Yah!
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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Wow that looks so thuper fun!!!! RYD NKD!!! LOL

Good job, great pics!!!
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:45 PM   #10
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Nice WRITEUP, man!!! That looks like it was a GREAT trip. Too bad you only had that high grade hooch and no SCHLITZ!!


Isn't the Bandit 1200 ALL power band??
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:38 PM   #11
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thanks BK, maiden!

no schlitz, i know... those guys are high rollers!

and yeah - that was my funny... 1200 is pretty much all powerband... it's making me lazy.
__________________
for me a motorcycle is more than art
it's something that brings out my instincts
the wildness and vulnerability in me
it feels nothing like
how violent it looks from the outside
it's very serene
the ground and the sky are so white
there is no boundary between them
i can't tell you how peaceful it is
shinya kimura
snowface is offline   Reply With Quote
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