Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

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Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Trips and Rides so far

Trying to keep track of some of the more memorable trips and rides I have taken on a motorcycle beginning with the lastest and working backward (mostly). Most are listed in the BLOG below anyway.

Poppy fields in Lancaster (see below)
San Diego overnight
Barstow via Lucerne Valley back on Hwy 66
Yucca Valley
Idyllwild from Banning back down to Hemet
Mt. Wilson (cold!)
Tehachapi via Angeles Crest and Little Tujunga Cyn
San Diego/Coronado Isle
Santa Ysabel to El Cajon (Back Country)via 79
Warner Springs via the 79 from Temecula (3 different times)
Palm Desert via Palms to Pines Hwy.
Ortega Highway to Lake Elsinore and back (on the V-Star 650)
Santiago Canyon, many times, a favorite
Oak Glen -three times, Not impressed with the apple pies
Big Bear -Twice, Great Hamburger place up there
Wrightwood -once
Acton off the 14 freeway (why I have no idea)
That's most of it. Not in order by date.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Poppy Fields Ablaze - STAR RIDE

Another ST&R (Star Touring & Riding) chapter 230 ride, this time out to the Poppy Fields near Lancaster, CA with the hope of seeing some blooming poppies. I learned that it was going to be up the 210 to Angeles Crest Hiway to the 14 and then up to the poppy fields. The "ACH" is a favorite mountain road for many sport bikers and for good reason with all the twists and sharp turns going up and down the mountain range. This will be my 2nd trip all the way to the 14 plus a ride to Mt. Wilson road about 1/2 way on Angeles Crest.
About 30 riders met up at the Best Buy lot in Orange on the first Saturday of the month as usual and after the regular greetings and check-in plus safety review off we went.

We were in luck the flowers were in bloom and as we got closer to the poppy fields area you could start seeing the flowers from several miles away. The flowers in Orange and yellow are spread out over hundreds and maybe thousands of acres in an amazing display of color. I am impressed with the pictues I took and hope you like them as well.
The close-up of the poppies turned out better than expected and I printed an 8x10 for framing.
Some of my hair was found in Lancaster, every one of those strands has a serial number.

The wind was blowing like mad and it really make it difficult to walk but on the Road Star was not too bad.
Those are people way up at the top of the ridge.

From the poppy fields we rode over to the Rock Inn in Lake Elizabeth area, and enjoyed a decent lunch and had a drawing for prizes out in the parking lot before heading back. Went back via Bouquet Canyon Road and Sand Canyon both a bit challenging but all went well, and again either the group was going slower or I'm getting better as I managed to stay up with the rider in front of me.

Back at the beginning at El Torito at the end of the ride and voting in a couple new members, Johnny and another rider I do not know. they needed a little help from a couple Ladies of Star and it seems every new member needs some help from a lady or two in the group Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed this one.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ST&R BBQ in San Diego

The ST&R (Star Touring & Riding) BBQ event in San Diego over 2 nights March 28-30, 2008 was a first for me on several levels. My first ever overnight adventure on a motorcycle, so I had to pack carefully as space is limited with just 2 saddle bags and a "sissy bar" bag on the back, compared to loading up the trunk of the Lexus with everything we own. I took more than enough of everything as it turned out anyway. There were going to be about 300 motorcycles and riders from a number of STAR chapters around the western USA, including ours from Orange County chapter 230, staying at the Sheraton 4 Points hotel off the 805 Fwy in San Diego.
My new STAR vest!

Early Friday morning, I headed for the Best Buy lot in Orange to meet Ken, a member from 230 and my room-mate for the weekend. When I arrived there were two other riders from 230 waiting as well, Tom and Ed, and so we all headed out for Paul's Kitchen cafe in Mission Viejo. Luckily I knew where it was so I took the lead.

This is Ken

We arrived, met up with some other 230 members, including John, Joe, Stan, Wayne, who waited until we finished breakfast, then off toward San Diego we went.

Upon arriving we found the hotel to be in a remodeling condition, but the rooms were OK even if the hallways were stacked with mattresses and furniture. Got checked in and met up with chapter members from 230 and other local chapters as well.

First thing to do was go over to the Yamaha factory truck and set up a demo ride. This is a real benefit to someone like me as I have only ridden the ones I have owned or at these demo rides. This time it was a V-Star 1300, the same model as Ken's new motorcycle. The guy leading the group took off and just expected everyone to follow and luckily I was right behind him and managed to keep up for the most part. A little fast but we all arrived back safely. I have to say that the 1300 V-Star is a very nice package and feels lighter and very manageable compared to the Road Star. Would not trade but it would be a replacement if something ever happened to the Road Star.
This is Wayne (from Mt. Wilson trip, and Stan, both 230 members.

The rest of the day was mostly meet and greet other members with a formal get-together at 6 pm that night.

unloading a special motorcycle:
Part of the Meet and greet including Karaoke

Next morning, Saturday...Poker-Run. We are given maps to two different routes and being the non-risk taker that I am, went for the coastal route over the Coronado bridge and down the coast then inland. What amazed me was a comment by a fellow rider that they did not want to go over the Coronado bridge due to the height or something. Since Ken and I had done that bridge a few weeks ago and knew it was simple, my only comment was just be careful and don't fall off the bridge as you go over it.

Ken and I discussed going it on our own but we decided to stick with a motley crew of others that didn't know the way either. We pick up two cards when we leave, then 3 other cards when we arrive back and that makes up your poker hand, highest hand wins. The trip itself was fun even though we did get lost several times including a trip down a long dead-end road around Otay lake. Turned into a great opportunity to practice U-Turns, and let me tell you some of these riders need some U-turn practice. I am not perfect but can make a "U" without putting my foot down in most cases now.

Arrived back and had a lot of time during the day to visit vendor booths, watch a dunk tank, and see some motorcycles on display. There were so many motorcycles I just got tired of looking at them if you can imagine that.

Saturday evening, there was a banquet with everyone attending including Alan Cease the president/founder of Star. Good food, but where in the heck was the BBQ? Roast beef, veggies, potatoes, no Bar-B-Cue in sight.
We waited in line before going in.

Noticed it was getting misty out so went and covered the motorcycle as best I could. In the morning everything was WET, damp, cold and we were heading home in it. About a mile or two from the hotel the rain stopped, and it all dried up.

This is not going to be my last trip like this for sure. Meeting with a lot of the members, getting to know many of them better and sharing all kinds of war stories made this a really awesome trip that I will treasure as a unique part of the motorcycle experience and lifestyle.

If you read this far, thank you for taking the time. I wish I could do these things twice, once for the experience and then again to remember to take all the pictures.