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!

Friday, July 22, 2011

STAR Chapter 500 first meeting

I used to live just a few short miles down the street right on Colorado Blvd. back in 1952 and we are here visiting at Pasadena Yamaha for the first ever STAR Chapter 500 meeting.  Not only a great chance to meet some members from Delphi forums but also a number of other STAR chapter members as well. 
We waited for a Taco Truck to appear but they went and ordered pizza and then the Taco truck finally shows.  Ordered a couple small tacos and then went for the free pizza.  Hooray for Pasadena Yamah and Rac and Rose for Hosting a very nice get-together.  I won a jacket but it is made for a very tiny person with very thin arms, so no one here in the family can even try it on.

We left at 7:30 but leaving the parking lot one rider did take a spill due to watching traffic, not applying enough throttle and maybe even using the front brake.  Took a few minutes to recover with not too much damage to rider or motorcycle and then off we went.  I reach over to check left saddle bag and WHAT THE HECK, it's OPEN.  Had to pull over on the freeway and realized the liner to my very nice mesh jacket was gone.  There is no replacement, none available anywhere, I checked.  I did find a nice deal on a slightly used similar mesh jacket on E-Bay to solve the problem.  The new jacket might have a liner that will fit the one that lost the liner as well.  So either way I have a decent mesh jacket to ride in the hot summer time and with the Kool Vest and the liner can deal with temps from high 60's to well over 90 deg.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tutto Fresco in Orange scene of major bike night

Our Chapter 230 unofficial and informal Thursday 07/14 Bike Night extravaganza went like clock work.  The only timing thing was a lot of people started early.  I left my home around 5:20 PM and as I'm waiting for a green light at Kraemer and Alta Vista I see Chuck on his Gold Wing and Patty on her new V-Star 950 zip past heading for the meeting.  I catch up and the three of us arrive at Tutto Fresco to find several members already there, way before 6:00 PM. 

We started out with Chuck and Patty, John R., Johney H., Stan, Joe and me, so we go in and order.  Soon added to the group are Glenn, Brian B. and Brian H. and then to our surprise we see Three Wheel Ken, backing his Can-Am into a parking space just to show off.

It seems no one bothered to bring a goat, so the Exorcism idea went out the door.  The fact that there is even a written report at all, is due to Glenn and his insistence on having an actual record of the meeting to verify that he really did show up.  It became evident he was concerned about being able to prove where he was and it may have had something to do with our recurrent topic of discussion...the lady in the news that decided to attack her estranged husband with a 10 inch carving knife, severing a vital part of his anatomy.  So if anyone is concerned regarding whereabouts of any one, all the above attendees really did show up at Tutto Fresco and stayed until we all left around 7:30 PM.

 As usual a wide variety of motorcycle and non-motorcycle topics were covered.  It seems to me we should get some sort of continuing education credits for all the vital stuff we learn.

We also announced our meeting for next Thursday 07/21 @ 4:30 PM to ride up to attend STAR Chapter 500's very first meeting at Yamaha of Pasadena.  We will leave the Coco's parking lot on Imperial west of the 57 at 4:30 pm and hightail it to Pasadena. 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Big Bear-Chapter 230 Ride to the lakes

Our STAR 230 regular monthly ride for Saturday July 9 starts out virtually as every other monthly ride does.  I leave home around 7:30 AM figuring that when I arrive at the Best Buy lot there will be time to catch up with those attending and then there would be a meeting at 8:00 or so and we would be off by 8:30 AM heading to Big Bear Lake and whatever adventure that lies ahead.  The meet and greet part goes well and then there's more meet and more greet until it's about 8:30 AM and still no meeting. At one point I figured we had been there so long that most had forgotten why they were there, I know it was fading from my short attention span.  Finally things get going, the meeting starts and it's now a little after 9:00 AM before 29 motorcycles line up ready to head out.  I wind up in Group Two.

Johney our Sgt. at Arms does a road briefing and mentions there will be a portion of the road that is just gravel and dirt and that is true but it is just 3 or 4 hundred yards at worst.  As we head to Big Bear, clouds start gathering ahead of us and holy mackerel we are getting rained on and I mean really wet big drops of rain at around the 7,000 Ft. level.  When we hit 8,000 ft it tapers off until we head back down into Big Bear where we catch the rain again.  So far it's been a dirt road and rain and we have not hit Big Bear yet.  What else could possibly go wrong.

We pull into our stop for lunch and Johney, Stan and Cody head for Taco Bell while I stick with a group including Ed, Susan, Chuck, Patti, Dan, Mark, Evlee, Glenn, Charlie, Carol, Floyd and one new rider.  Ed and his son join us and so does Luis and Minita as we wait for lunch at Old Country Inn, while a number of others including Terry, Ed, Gail, Scott, Gregg and a lot of others stop at the Mexican restaurant next door.  Our lunch takes forever and the food is C+ at best in my opinion.  I order the club sandwich with potato salad (if you can call it that) and classify it as edible but not worth $12.  Why oh why did I not go to Taco Bell with those other guys?

Since we are going to be heading back into San Bernardino (or so I thought) where it will be warm I break out the Kool Vest and water it down for the ride back.  We head toward the Big Bear dam and cross over heading down the mountain but not to San Bernardino and not even too far down the mountain.  Somewhere around where Hwy 18 and 330 meet we veer off back up into the mountains heading for Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and all the other lakes as well. 

 From this point on for a number of miles it is merely a blur of tight turns, switch backs, steep uphill or downhill twisting no-centerline or narrow 2 lane roads and even intersections that we cross at least twice.  If I see the intersection into Crestline one more time I am bailing out of this.  We finally hit a real highway heading downhill when the next thing I see is a sign for Lake Silverwood...WHAT, that will take us over to the 15 freeway and Hwy 138, where in the heck are they going.  Well it turns out our fearless leader apparently was following a faulty ride map, or it had been corrected from the pre-ride but not completed so we wound up going an extra 10-15 miles on the wrong roads somehow.  The road to Silverwood was the correct route, we just took the long way around.

It seems the purpose of all this winding around is to visit every lake up in that area, even going by one guys home because he has a pond in the back...we are not going to miss any body of water on this trip!

We arrive at the Chevron station at the 15 and 138 and sure enough we are the last group to arrive, even though we left as group two so we really did get lost.  I wet down the Kool Vest again for the trip into Orange County and prepare for the 90+ degree heat.

The trip had all sort of issues as described above but the important part is that I was very happy with my motorcycle skills especially considering the crazy and I DO mean CRAZY roads we traversed, I did not get overheated, plus I got a very nice compliment from Scott about how well I did as he was right behind me.  There were no major concerns about safety the whole trip, but more important was the friendship, and sharing time together with a group of really wonderful people both at lunch and during the meetings.  What happens on the road stays on the road but what happens when we get together with our STAR friends stays with you for a lifetime.  

 Handled the heat much better on this ride, maybe I'm learning.  When it's over 90 deg. while riding a motorcycle you can really build up body heat to a rather dangerous level.  Even our esteemed president's very experienced motorcycling wife suffered elements of heat exhaustion due to lack of fluids possibly, on a previous ride, so it can happen to anyone.  I brought along some Gatorade that I froze so it would be cold on the road plus made sure to drink more fluids, watered down my jacket and also used the Kool Vest to keep body temperature from escalating.  Seems to have worked.

You want photos, try this link to Susan Palaoro's photo album it is better than I could ever take since she is able to snap on the road shots.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Diners, Drive-ins and Dives special visit

After watching a recent program of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives featuring a place called Paul's Coffee shop in Fountain Valley and then to see sitting in a booth Ed Palaoro one of our Chapter members, I knew we had to go there.  Turns out this place is across the street from where he lives and it is an extension of their own kitchen, he visits there that often.

I called Stan and then Chuck, followed by Johney who has his Cousin Cody visiting here, Ed of course jumps at the opportunity and before you know it there are 6 of us visiting Paul's for breakfast.  I left out a few people but it was not supposed to be a big group breakfast anyway. 

It's all about the food...
 My french toast order-fairly basic
 Now this is a breakfast-Chuck and Ed both order this.  I know my friend (Pot Roast) John (Cuyo) will be mad at me for not inviting him, but he will get his chance to visit here.

Ed just lives across the street so we take a look at the new motorcycle just acquired for Susan, a Yamaha V-Star 950, got quite a good deal on it.  See below

 These are amazing parrots, Ed's birds.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

More Breakfast-Tip-Top Saturday morning

Yes it's another breakfast run, this time to Tip Top in Carlsbad off Palomar Airport Rd and it's about 80 miles to get there.  What is going on, you can get breakfast just about anywhere.  It seems that if you ride a motorcycle going 2 miles to I-Hop or Denny's for breakfast is against the code or something and I am apparently caught up in this madness.  So here we go, leaving the Best Buy parking lot at about 7:40 AM Saturday we  take off with John leading, me following and next is Stan and Doc, then Ken on his 3 wheeler, with Glenn and Bryan bringing up the rear. 

 It turns into a brisk but controlled pace with John leading but not without a moment of drama on the freeway.  Seems one guy in a truck manages to crash his vehicle onto the center guardrail divider with several cars possible hit by him as well.  This happened just ahead of us and as we get to the actual scene we see several witnesses or involved parties tackle the truck driver right on the freeway just in front of us and haul him over to the side to hold him for the cops.  wild and crazy stuff on the freeway but we zip on past.

  I cannot figure out what happened to Wayne's face in this photo.  This may be the result of some time travel experiments or teleportation testing and his face just did not make it back with the rest of the body, no idea. 

Tip Top is always busy but there is parking in back for everybody.  When we pull in who's there but Wayne and Mitzie arriving by car, seems the Suzuki would not start after sitting for nearly a year unattended, what a surprise.  I suppose I should get photos of the actual breakfast but it is much better eaten than photographed.  I get the french toast and bacon.  Three pieces of very good tasting egg dipped toast with 3 strips of excellent bacon for $4.98 and add a drink. Several get the "Big John" eggs, hash browns, toast and two choices of meat or sausage plus free refills on meat for $7.98

The trip back is uneventful but traffic heading south is horrendous while we just zip north back to Orange County.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Molly Brown's Cafe

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU GO INTO THIS MOLLY BROWN'S CAFE IN VICTORVILLE, 80 MILES FROM ORANGE COUNTY, AND THE WAITRESS RECOGNIZES YOU?  She asks Johney- where have you been, haven't seen you here in a while.  Even at coffee shops around here no one knows who we are.  But 80 miles away, we're recognized.  Thursday, Johney and I ride up to Victorville for the senior special breakfast.  I have the french toast, egg and bacon while Johney devours the 2 egg, hash browns, bacon and biscuits with gravy.  Just too good to pass up.