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

My photo
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, October 29, 2011

New rider New ride.

We finally get to see the motorcycle Dan Conner bought after finishing his MSF class a while ago.  I thought I was pretty good at finding deals on Craigslist, but Dan is the winner with this deal.  It's a Suzuki C-50 (800 cc) model year 2007 and it had about 100, yes 100 miles on it sitting in a guys back yard.  Seems the original owner bought it and just never could get into riding it, so there it sat.  After paying off the loan balance and usual DMV fees Dan was into it for LESS than $2,400 TOTAL.  I am so in awe of his waiting to find just the right motorcycle for a beginner and at such an unbelievable price, you have no idea. 

To celebrate we took off and headed for Santiago Canyon as Dan's inaugural road trip after putting on about 450 miles around town.  I thought it would be best if he took the lead on Santiago so he could set his own pace and away he went.  Really handled the road quite well for a beginner and I'm sure it won't be long before he will be out on longer trips.  Next thing you know he will be looking for more power...of course, but the C-50 is a very good beginner/moderate motorcycle for just about anyone.  Oh yes and good thing I checked the tire pressure, seems they were down to 22 and 25 lbs. not a good idea, so we filled them to 38-40.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chapter 230 over-nighter to Pismo Beach

STAR Chapter 230 in Orange did a 3 day overnight ride to Pismo Beach with a total of 14 motorcycles starting Friday October 14 winding up with a total of 24 riders and passengers after everyone arrived and returning home on Sunday October 16, 2011.

  The basic story is easy to describe, we left on Friday from our Starbucks/Best Buy location on Chapman, headed up the 57 Fwy to the 10 and from there transitioned on to the 134/101 freeway heading north up the coast to Pismo Beach in Arroyo Grande.  On Saturday there were two groups of riders, one going to the Hearst Castle for tours and the other group taking a 180 mile tour out to see the James Dean Memorial in Chalome, CA, and then ride back.  Saturday night was the big dinner occasion  and then Sunday morning after breakfast it's pack up everything and ride home for a total miles logged for me of around 650 miles.  Others had more or less depending on which rides they took. 

The actual story however is far more exciting and fun filled than just about any ride our group has ever done.  It was so spectacular that Ed Palaoro has two prospects (potential members) out looking for more descriptive adjectives. As soon as they find some really colorful adjectives we will add them to this ride report, but for now continue to use words like spectacular, laughter filled, just plain wacky and crazy funny... until they do.

You can compare this 3 day event to any family and friends party, BBQ or get-together you have ever attended.  This was family, friends and a serious motorcycle riding buddies conclave all rolled into one event.  Entirely planned, organized and guided by Ed Palaoro our Vice Pres leading group 1.  I'm sure he had a good deal of help from Susan as well and others chipped in with Dan leading group two, but I have the impression the weekend worked so well because of 50% Ed's efforts and the other 50% the people that attended making it so much fun.  For those not a member or not a motorcycle rider it is really difficult to describe how close and friendly everyone can be. 

So much for accolades- on to the ride.  We rode up with 14 motorcycles piloted by Ed, Dan & Marcia, Keith, Stacey-Victory, Patty-V-Star 950, Susan-V-Star 950, Carolyn-Harley Heritage Soft-tail, Lori-V-Star 950 (5 lady riders!), Wayne & Mitzi, Mark & Evlee, Rick, Gary & Anna, Brian H. and Me.  I thought the 230 miles would be a snap but actually riding in a group setting plus all the heavy traffic we encountered got tiring faster than I remembered.  Riding behind 4 of the lady riders, all I saw were tassels on the handlebars, what is up with the's a "Bling Thing".

Arriving and checking in at the Quality Inn in Pismo went smoothly although Brian and I were moved down to the other building and then we gathered out in front of a couple members rooms for general information sharing, or whatever you want to call it.

Interesting side note on the soap Quality Inn provides for showers.  Where in the heck do you buy slivers of soap remnants wrapped in a plastic sleeve to hand out for guest use. When the soap gets that small I squish it onto another bar, these were almost too small to squish on anything. 

Dinner Friday is just steps away from the Motel at a Mexican restaurant at the end of the parking lot.  I ordered a burrito and it was decent, along with others ordering a variety of dishes.  Walking back to the motel we see that Charlie and Carol have arrived and settling in, getting warm greetings from everyone for their appearance. 

 Saturday-Touring day. First thing is breakfast at Huckleberry's just across the street for a great breakfast for about 18 of us. I think Ed helped out with the bill by making up a shortfall in collected proceeds...what a guy.

The photos of food are all because of Susan and her photos.  Usually I just like to eat and not bother with taking pictures, but here you go.

 Some scheduled a visit to the Hearst Castle and a number (8) went with Brian on a 180 mile loop out to Chalome, Ca for a visit to the James Dean Memorial. I went on the Brian/Dean trip. I am going to attempt a recreation of the route on google maps, but we hit a number of really crazy, out of the way, hardly marked roads all mapped and planned by Brian. He found several of these routes in a book titled "Best Motorcycle Roads in California" and they surely were. If it were not for him we never would have found the monument.

  At the last minute Mitzi decided to go with Ed on his Gold wing to the Castle.  Why she paid for a ticket is strange as they could have snuck her in in some one's purse.  Returning to the Motel who do we see but Glenn and his wife "Coco".
This is a better picture than showing Glenn, you will see his photo later on.
A small campsite developed outside Keith and Stacey's room where we all met after returning from the various tours.

SATURDAY NIGHT DINNER-A. J. SPURS Saloon and Dining Hall on El Camino Real in Grover Beach.

  This is where the ride comes off the rails and takes a turn into one of the most fun filled, laugh a minute dinners we ever experienced on a 230 ride that I can recall.  So much went on it really is impossible to relate all that was said and comments made. Everybody turned into a member of a really receptive audience for some of my comments as well as comments from others.  Somehow Ed was talking to a waitress and made the statement he couldn't hear her, and I turned to her and said, yes, that's my father Ed. Well for some reason that just got a huge laugh and all night I'm Ed's long lost son.  -Don't ask me.  There was also talk of Ed and his three wives...all reference to this subject is being referred to our new press kit for the trip, see below.

I mentioned that if anyone were to get married on the trip and the Ride-Captain officiated, the marriage is good only for the duration of the ride.  That got a chuckle as well. It seems they would laugh at just about anything anyway.

This is why for the first time on a STAR 230 ride we have felt the need to establish a pre-approved "PRESS KIT" to provide talking points and statements to any member of STAR 230 or home office administration personnel that inquires what the heck went on at A.J. Spurs and to minimize further reputation damage.  Please use the quotes shown below as a reply to any question you may receive from anyone about what was said, talked about or referenced at this historic dinner.  In other words if you missed it or you were there, what happened at A.J.'s stays there.
If anyone asks about any of the following people-simply state:
 Ed: I don't really know what was going on with all the laughing, I was at the other end of the table, besides, I'm pretty sure Richard is not his son and the wives thing was just a script treatment for a pilot cable TV show.  Turns out there already is a similar show on cable anyway.
For Mitzi, who is from the Philippines: You can say:  Apparently in Tagalog the words "Strap-on" mean something completely different.
If referring to Carolyn: After one Peachy cowboy in a blinking light mixer, she was having a great time, the second one took a turn into the hilarious and bizarre.  Oh yes, she makes wind chimes.
Susan's statement can be:  Of course, about the spoon thing, we can assure you there was absolutely no drug device or other strange use ever intended, it just landed there.
Patty: The only reason she was laughing and crying so hard was she realized Chuck would have loved to see the place with all the animal heads on the wall.  The thing with the tire and keeping the hole at the top, was just theory. 
For Mark and Evlee:  NO, they did not pick up the tab for everybody, that was just a rumor. 
Marcia: What a lovely pile of vegetables, were those trucked in special?
Wayne: Yes, he seemed dazed and confused, but remember this is Mitzi we are talking about, she  wanted the side of beef order.  It really was 35 ounces of top sirloin!
Glenn:  Please tread carefully in answering any question or inquiry...we just never quite know what will transpire.  His passing out samples of whiskey were done in accordance with all applicable state liquor laws.  Isn't his wife a lovely lady?   You can add: that color red on his Harley really pops.
Richard:  He ordered the rib-eye steak and bought a pair of Nikes.  Do you really even want to know anything more?  The- Ed is his father thing, was not an attempt to make fun of fathers everywhere.  
Dan: I think he helped Marcia with the vegetables.
Brian:  If it wasn't for Brian we never would have found that James Dean Memorial.

On our return home leg we take a new road, Highway 166 from the 101 east to the 5 Freeway. See the map below.

  Our return ride took us across from the 101 over to Interstate 5 and then south to Orange County.  Hwy 166 is quite a road and an excellent choice for a better route than staying on the crowded 101We stopped for lunch at Magic Mountain exit and Marie Callendar's.

View Larger Map

That about wraps it up. One note on the way back, at our stop for lunch at Marie Callendars, the manager thought we were a pretty sad wrung out group and brought us a big plate of free hor-dourves, very classy. For those of you that read my blog and are not part of the motorcycle community or ride but not in STAR, thanks for taking a few minutes to read and review the blog and photos, I am going to see if we can't make this required reading for our members however.  Total miles around 650