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, December 03, 2011

Saturday Dec. 3, Chapter ride-Bernardo Winery

At last a chapter ride!  I missed the November ride due to the Death Valley trip, not that I felt cheated, but the group rides with STAR members are always a real delight.   So as December 3rd Saturday rolled around anticipation was high.  Not only a ride but chapter elections as well.  Ed and Chuck were running unopposed for the President and Vice President slots.  Could that be due to the possibility there were no other viable candidates that even wanted the job?  Our outgoing president, Terry along with his wife Vickie and Ed as VP, all did an outstanding job and helped make our chapter one of the largest and most active in the state from what I understand.   We have added several new members this past year or two and many have become enthusiastic participants in chapter affairs.  I look forward to a banner year with Ed as President and Chuck as Vice President as well.

I went to Denny’s for breakfast at 7 AM and Johney stopped in just to share a few minutes before the meeting. 
 Dan, above center is visiting from Chapter 422-South Orange County.

The usual Best Buy parking lot meet and greet took until after 8 AM when we did get the meeting going, had the raffle and then election and finally time to ride.  I was in Group Two with Ed as Road Captain and our new president-elect.

Our riders and passengers included many of the members that usually show for our group rides but I wanted to mention a few that were not able to make it in hopes that we can get them out for future rides.  The list includes Luis and Minita on that new 2012 Gold Wing, Wayne with his newly acquired V-Star 1300, Joe was probably working, Stan had to work as well, Daveta Jo had family commitments but did attend the meeting, Taz was there for the meeting but not the ride, and the same for Glenn.  I’m sure all had valid reasons for not making the ride, but the more the merrier and they were missed.
I become a celebrity with a group of Chinese tourists.  If we get 15 minutes of fame, I used up maybe 2-3 minutes on this trip at our first rest stop on the 5 freeway.  

 A group of tourists, probably Chinese, certainly Asian were all looking at the motorcycles and also the pins on our vests and somehow I got in the middle of several when they started taking turns getting a photo with me and a motorcycle and then just with me.  By Monday I should be an internet sensation on some Chinese tourist website as I had probably 20 or more photos taken posing with various members of the tour group.  No idea what they were saying but we all had a good time.  If we had arrived in any type of automobile I seriously doubt we would have had any sort of attention at all.  If it wasn’t my striking good looks with that vest and pins I have no idea what it could have been. (right!).

Our destination is the Bernardo Winery near Rancho Bernardo, in north San Diego area off the 15 Fwy.  It is the oldest operating winery in California.  In 1889 5 Sicilian immigrants decided to start a winery on this spot and eventually around 1927 it was purchased by the Rizzo family and it is still owned by the third generation of the family.  Look it up at  An interesting side note, STAR does not allow riders to have an alcoholic drink while on a ride, so the wine tasting was primarily for passengers, (did I spot a rider taking a sip of some white wine).            

The ride planners found another hidden gem for us to visit here at the winery.  We probably stayed a little longer than we should have, partly so I could get a group photo but it was worth it.  I count 29 total riders and passengers.
If you would like a printed copy of this photo, drop a note with $6 and I'll send an 8x 10 print cropped to take out the date stamp, and I can even take out the text as well.
 At this point Ride Captain Ed asks if I would like to join him as wingman or co-ride leader.  Wow, that was very nice of him and I move up to his right on the road.
 Lunch break at On the Border and really good food and service for a large group but time was slipping by and it was now around 2 PM and we had quite a way to go.

Total miles for the entire trip are around 250, but for some odd reason it felt a lot longer. The trip from Orange to the Winery went by fast and easy, then just a scant few miles to lunch, which took quite a while serving this bunch. From there it was 150 actual miles to our end of the ride destination, only it seemed to go on and on as if it was another 300 mile trip. By the time we reached Santa Ysabel Junction and a quick stop for baked goods and rest stop it was getting later and much colder than I anticipated dropping into the upper 40 deg. range. Ed made several very good last minute decisions, like stopping here and also at the 15 & 91 junction where we by-passed the jammed flyover and went to the next exit to double back on the 91-Good Job Ed. 

We are now on Highway 79 heading past Warner Springs toward Temecula and the sun is getting lower and lower in the horizon until it blasts me right in the face coming around a turn making it near impossible to see ahead at times.  By the time we reach the gas station in Temecula it is well into dusk.  Everyone puts on more clothing and gear for the expected cold ride into the night ahead.  I add my fleece jacket and heavy gloves with liners.  From here it is virtually all in the dark of night on the very crowded freeway all the way to the Ball Road exit and end of the ride.  As I turned into the parking lot the thought that kept occuring in my head was that I could have been on a luxury seniors bus trip to Laughlin enjoying a nice shrimp cocktail, but no, I did this instead...what was I thinking! A few bailed out and headed directly for home, while I passed my turnoff at Lakeview and stayed with the group...hey, I’m wingman.  With so much traffic we did get split up but all made it back safe and sound and I even had enough energy left to ride over to Sizzler to meet with Mrs. Rider and our neighbors.
One last note about our lady riders.  There were 4 on this trip, Carolyn and Stacy plus newer riders Patty and Susan.  Both Carolyn and Stacy ride Harley's and are seasoned riders and I know for sure Carolyn can handle any ride and very likely so can Stacy as well.  Susan and Patty while newer, are very impressive in their road skills.  I think back when I started and at a similar early stage in my riding career was plain terrible, but they handle the motorcycle like pro's.  I hope it might encourage other women members to think about riding as well and not just as a passenger.

This blog is my own personal ride report and is not part of Chapter 230 or STAR and is not intended as such.  There is no connection implied or other wise.

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