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!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Week-Day Riders trip to Joshua Tree Nat'l Park.

If you are unemployed, retired, off for the day, business is slow, have nothing else to do, you meet the qualifications as a Week-Day Rider. Oh yes, and ride a motorcycle!  Sometimes referred to as Wrinkle Riders this group ride today 3/17/2010, is led by recent retiree Rick S. and includes Chuck another recent retiree, me, Ken Y., Barry and Lynne, Wayne, Rick's friend Ken, and our able tail-gunner Johney.  Mostly STAR/Yamaha motorcycles with one Harley-Ken, one GoldWing-Chuck, and one Suzuki-Wayne. The weather is near perfect with little or no wind compared to our Chapter ride on the 10 Saturday, it cools off nicely going through the park compared to much warmer Indio, but it's not really hot for the area and basically a gorgeous day.  
slide show of all the pictures...       

This is a link to a map of Joshua Tree Park, unable to imbed the pdf file directly on to the page.

 Our route for this trip is out the 60 Freeway all the way past Indio to the Joshua Tree National Park turn-off.  We head into the park, stop, pay the fee, (I buy a senior $10 lifetime pass), and  head to our first picture stop at a cactus patch.  The cacti known as Cholla are rather nasty plants with tiny sticker needles you do not want to touch or even get close to.  From there on to Skull Rock for more pictures, and yes it looks like a skull.  We head to Keys View at about 5,000 foot elevation  for some spectacular vistas overlooking Palm Springs Valley, Palm Desert out to the Salton Sea and over to Big Bear Mountain.  Johney thought that Dante's View in Death Valley was still the winner, but this is quite spectacular on it's own.  Further on we see rock formations in many parts of the park that are very unusual and scenic to say the least.  Many of the rocks are in neat piles and it looks like giants arranged a lot of the rocks in stacks or huge clumps.  We did not stop for those pictures but might be able to pick a few scenes from Google Earth.

In my write-up of the last Chapter ride I mentioned about not being able to take pictures, well this group has that mostly solved.  Since we are a total of 9 there is more flexibility for stopping and snapping a few pictures.  The one thing I do not like with this group is that no one offers to buy my lunch or pay for gas, otherwise there is just nothing to complain about what-so-ever.

We make two gas stops on the trip.  One in Indio off Dillon Road where I figure I got 43 MPG on the new Road Star, and one on the way back at the Chevron off Fields Road it works out to over 44 miles per gallon.   Not bad for almost all freeway or easy travel in the park.  Lynne on her V-Star 650 is the MPG champ with 56 mpg and 48 mpg.  Barry got 48 mpg & 41.  Why the big difference I have no idea.  I heard Chuck mention he got about 35 MPG, but that is a lot better than a comparable Peterbilt or Kenworth normally gets, so he is happy.  While I took on 3.1 gals. of gas (44 mpg), at the Chevron, Rick needed only 2.8 gal. for the same miles or about 49 MPG, not bad.  Lynne and her handy Blackberry provided all the MPG numbers.

Our lunch break is in Yucca Valley at the route 62 Diner and Harley dealership.  On the way to the Diner, Ken (Harley) yells out at a stop, you lost your license plate, not knowing it was a new motorcycle.  So at the Diner/Harley dealership, I picked up a free Harley paper card for a new motorcycle and will put it on the plate holder until I get the real thing.

The ride home on route 62 from Joshua Tree to the 10 & 60 freeways and then the 57 south is uneventful with no issues about heat or wind or even too much traffic.  With 8 great riding partners, a beautiful day, great scenery and a safe return, what more could you ask for?  Our ride leader Rick did a superb job in planning and leading the group on this ride as well as previous trips.  One last comment about riding like this is it still amazes me every time that it's me out there on that motorcycle, with much younger (and one older) rider, doing something I could not have imagined 6 years ago.  Going through some of those canyon roads at over 70 miles per hour takes a skill level and concentration that still has me in disbelief I can do that.

Total miles for today 330.  total miles on the Road Star now over 1,250.
PICTURES POSTED !!!  Thanks for reading.

from Rick S. our head Week Day rider: 

Thanks for the write up of our day. You forgot to mention that all nine weekday riders had to wake up early to make our 8:33 am departure. And that we made it home by 5 pm, after riding 320 miles through some great scenery. Also cruising through the park at 45 mph, was quite relaxing. Using the 60 bikepool lane in both directions, left us traffic free. This was and will be our longest ride for 2010, but we had to do it and the timing and weather was perfect. A good time with a good group of bikers.

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