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!

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.

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