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Old 05-06-2008, 02:39 PM   #1
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Searching for Answers.....

To life's big questions. Yep, it's one of those philosophical threads.

You know the questions. They've all been posed here. You know, like, "What's the Ferrari of motorcycles?" Or, "Do BMW riders know how to have fun?" Or even, "Where the hell does that road go?"

Being a faithful member of the BARF community, I took it upon myself to head out on the road in search for answers to these pressing questions. It turns out that I had a ready-made excuse. My daughter's birthday is in late April, and she lives way down south. Every year I take her out for dinner on the last Saturday in April in honor of her birthday, and that requires me to ride to and from Santa Barbara in a weekend. It's tough, but someone has to do it.

Most years I've done the ride solo, but this year NoGall decided he'd join me to ride as far south as Coalinga, and Waterboy from NBSR came along to fill out the crew. We met early on Saturday at the *$'s in Pinole. It was so early, no cameras were awake yet.

After an uneventful slab down to Hollister, we stopped for fuel, finding that while a camera had awakened, it wasn't clear if any riders had.



With gas in our tanks and sugar in our bellies, Tom led us out of town and into the wonder that is Hwy 25. Nothing more to add to what has already been written about this road, other than it's nice to ride it during the spring when the grass is still green and wildflowers are blooming.

Tom led a nice pace on 25 to the turn-off for a road I'd never been on before, Los Gatos Creek Road. Now this is great! Almost no traffic, almost no centerline, almost no pavement! Umm-umm, good! The road was so great that our only option was to stop for a cigarette and a nap.



Once we recovered, it was on to Coalinga for a lunch and gas break. Phil & Donna's Hamburgers seems to have closed, so we wandered until we found a little Mexican place that served a fine lunch. It was the southern terminus for Tom & Tim, and their route would take them west on 198 to intersect with the southern end of Hwy 25 for their ride home. For me it was just mid-day. They were so upset at having to part ways that their emotions got the better of them. Can't blame them, really....



So, I continued southward alone....
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Last edited by flying_hun; 05-06-2008 at 03:46 PM.. Reason: fixing photos
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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Continued

It had been my plan to visit Parkfield, that legend of California Rock & Roll, this trip, but I needed to be in SB in time for dinner, so I skipped that part of the route, and headed down 33 to 41, looking for Creston, and Rossi's driveway.

No pics. I was in a hurry. Anyway, Joe has documented the joys of 229 far better than I ever could. Just keep in mind, I ride just as fast as these guys.

Com3 on 229

Out to Santa Margarita with miles to go before I sleep, 101 took me south past SLO & Pismo to the turn off for 166. If you head east a bit on 166 and keep your eyes open, you'll find one of those mid-coast gems, Tepusquet Rd. It seems that most of my favorite roads lack a centerline, and this one is no exception. What is cool is that its pavement is even newer than that on 229, and traffic is lighter. Woo-Hoo! The downside can be - other than the obvious huge drop-offs - that there are lots of very slippery tar snakes on this road. The upside is that these slippery fellas provide the occasion for the BMW's back tire to step out while accelerating, providing us with the first answer of the trip: Yes, BMW riders know how to have fun!

Nice views too!



The southern end of Tepusquet has washed out, so you have to detour back towards Santa Maria to get to Foxen Canyon, a great road, featured in scenes from Sideways, and Los Olivos. From Los Olivos, it was a short jaunt to the moto museum in Solvang to hunt for the Ferrari of Motorcycles.

I got lucky and caught the last weekend of $5 admissions to this hotbed of moto history. It's now $10, but still a bargain.

Remembering that I was looking for something red and exotic and Italian, with a storied history of GP success, I paid my admission and started drooling.

Just inside the front door sat an American exotic that was recently featured in Cycle World, the Crocker. Sort of a motorcycling Dusenberg, but not a Ferrari.



Behind it you might see a sort of obscure Italian bike of little real note, other than being named after some English guy who won most of his races on other brands....

Working my way around, I found the next piece of exotica - some real eye candy. Definitely exotic in that there were only a handful ever built, and even this one is a replica. Still, it's Italian, and it raced in GP's, but its short history means it's no Ferrari. A Guzzi V-8 is a very cool thing.



Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. It's red, it's Italian, it won a sh*tload of races, and it is even signed by one of the greatest motorcycle racers ever (and an Italian too!), Giacomo Agostini! The MV Triple.





Could this be it? The Ferrari of Motorcycles?! More data is required.
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Old 05-06-2008, 03:37 PM   #3
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More data

What else did they have in this fine establishment that could prove the point. Looking across the room, I saw it! Another MV! Woo-Hoo! And artwork, and another Ago autograph! This one is a four! And the artwork appears to be the iconic image of the man at Ago's Leap at IOM-TT.





All these bikes. All these wins. Ridden by the legend like Agostini, Hailwood & Read. They must truly be the Ferrari of Motorcycles! Another question answered!

Heading towards the door, I nearly stumbled over another obscure Italian brand, but I knew that Littlebeast would want to see it.

The first generation Ducati 750SS!



One note before heading out the door. For some odd reason, this old bike makes me want to sing Boola-Boola (look it up!).

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Old 05-06-2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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Wrapping It All Up

Hey, the questions got answered. See what a good road trip can do for you? We know that BMW riders can have fun. We know that MV is the Ferrari of Motorcycles (despite what Littlebeast thinks ). We know where Tepusquet Road goes, and that it's washed out at the southern end.


And, we know my daughter had a happy birthday (and I even like her boyfriend).



All in all, a good trip, and that was just the first day.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
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Great pics. You couldn't have had two better traveling companions.

I've always wanted to see that museum in Solvang but my timing never syncs with their hours.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:23 PM   #6
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Great pics. You couldn't have had two better traveling companions.

I've always wanted to see that museum in Solvang but my timing never syncs with their hours.
Yeah, those two are great riding buddies, and Tom introduced me to Los Gatos Creek1

If you're in Solvang and the museum is closed, call them up. Sometimes they'll come down and open it for you.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:48 PM   #7
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Awesome report, great museum photos!

. . . .






. . . .




And your daughter is pretty darn cute.
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Wow. When did I post that? I'm not saying I didn't post it, I just have no idea.
It is definitely something I would post and forget about.
There's nothing to see here, move along.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
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And your daughter is pretty darn cute.
Thank you! I figured that picture would bring the leghumpers out.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:50 PM   #9
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Tepesquet Road truly is God's country.

I took a friend riding there one time and now he tells me he rides it practically every week!

Beautiful pictures from the museum.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:01 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing

Let me know next time your in the area and maybe I can tag along.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:35 PM   #11
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Awesome write up. Thanks for getting me out on the open road, I had almost forgotten how fun it could be. Tim and I ran into a Chippie on ou way home at a rest area on 280... He asked if we had seen anyone exposing themselves

It was a good day, and good company
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:52 PM   #13
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Love the museum! Looks like a fun trip indeed.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:09 PM   #14
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In my dreams, my hands are gently but firmly supporting the contours and curves of that guzzi tank, while licking drops of melted valrhona chocolate off of the gas cap...
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #15
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Love the museum! Looks like a fun trip indeed.
Thanks! Much fun.

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In my dreams, my hands are gently but firmly supporting the contours and curves of that guzzi tank, while licking drops of melted valrhona chocolate off of the gas cap...
You remind of that scene from "When Harry Met Sally". You know, "I'll have what she's having."

For me the most amazing bike in that museum is the Britten. It's just so amazing. Worth the admission just for that one.
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