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, March 24, 2012

The Recognition Ride

A special invitation from our president and esteemed leader Ed to join the Pre-Ride to Mt. Palomar is based on the fact that I outlined the route in the first place.  We were asked to submit ideas for ride routes and I mapped out a ride to Mt. Palomar including gas stop info and a lunch suggestion that is accepted…how about that.  The route I outlined and the one we did vary slightly to make it more interesting and avoid going down and back on the same roads, which made sense.

Everything is a bit more relaxed as evidenced by these photos...

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The basic route is down the 5 to Hwy 76 past the Pala Casino to the South Grade turnoff up Mt. Palomar then back down the East Grade road to Lake Henshaw.  As usual we stop at the I-5 Rest Stop where the regular Chinese photographers pop out for photo opportunities.

 It is a very curvy tight twisty road going up the South Grade.  That all went amazingly well for me on the Stratoliner and I figure that either they made the road wider, the curves were straightened out or possibly the whole crew went slower just so I could keep up.  Apparently none of that is true so it must mean I am adjusting very well on the new Stratoliner.

  Small patches of snow still cling to life in a few spots.
We spent a few minutes at the observatory gift shop though no one actually walked all the way over to the telescope dome, and then it’s time to head down the East Grade toward Santa Ysabel and Lake Henshaw.  I had proposed we stop at the Santa Ysabel Indian Casino for lunch but since those decisions are above my pay grade we ate at a tiny place called The Hideout on Hwy 76 near where it joins Hwy 79. 

  Exterior view- The Hideout, I have a T-shirt from my very first visit years back on a ride with some Southern California riders and I think I had a Chili dog then as well.  That group connected online through a beginner bikers forum and several are still in touch to this day. 
I had a Chili Dog and a diet Coke in a can for $9 and it was basically the same as you can get at Costco for $1.50 except for the chili with some cheese sprinkled on top.  After that, Ed was willing to take a look at the Santa Ysabel Casino option and was kind enough to let me lead the group to the top of the steep drive and park in the motorcycle spot at the casino.  After meeting with the catering manager it looks like we are set for the next ride to return for a really good deal at the casino for lunch.  So it winds up my idea on the lunch spot works out also.

This is me leading the group over to the Casino, on the road photo by Susan Palaoro

My main objective on this ride was to get better acquainted with the new motorcycle as I will be taking it on the ride to Tucson and back next week.  As far as I could tell all went very well with the ride and my stamina held up also even though it still seems to ride rougher than the Road Star.  I did shake up a couple people apparently when I had my chance to lead by coming to a stop at the 76/79 intersection then taking off at a rather higher rate of speed than expected leaving everyone behind for a while.

On the return ride up I-15 Johney and I split off from the rest and head to my home so he could pick up some supplies to attach a couple new parts to the “Liner”. On the way up the 15 while doing 75 mph or so, a motorcycle passes by us going between vehicles and splitting lanes at around 80 MPH, that guy was crazy for sure.
I tried to keep track of gas mileage but totally forgot to write down one of the fill-ups, but I am guessing around 38 MPG this trip.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The horn project

Getting the air horn installed is turning out to be a bigger deal than first imagined. Took it to a fabricating shop in Santa Ana - Cozmic Joe, who was referred by RAC from Pasadena, and he could not see a way to mount the large duo trumpet Wolo horn I had on the Road Star, so we went with the original Stebel Air Horn that did not work too well on the Road Star. When on the Road Star the wind force off the windshield at 70 MPH or more would cause the horn to lose pressure and not toot, but this time we are facing it to the rear to eliminate that problem...I hope.  Luckily Johney offered to ride down with me and as usual he was very helpful in providing some needed details and support.

Joe fabricated a simple wrap around bracket to attach the horn to the engine guard.  I would have rather had the duo trumpet model as it is wind resistant but does not look like it will work.  Next step is the wiring and relay to activate the horn. That plus the GPS bracket and wiring for a 12 Volt socket and then the BrakeAway throttle lock and we are done, once Johney gets it done that is.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Escort the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Museum.

Escort for the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Museum.
Tuesday March 13 at 9:00 we meet at Coco’s for a ride to Ontario and join with about 200 other motorcycle riders to escort the Traveling Vietnam Memorial to Tri-City Park in Brea on Kraemer Ave. just south of Imperial Blvd.  Already there when I arrive are Stan, Chuck, Wayne and right behind me are Patty and Doug Cort on his Harley.  Johney arrives with Daveta Jo as passenger and finally John R. rolls in making a total of 9 participants from our Orange County group.  Staging area is at a TA Truck stop on Milliken and the I-10 Freeway, where eventually about 200+ motorcycles arrive to help escort the traveling exhibit.

 3 vet reps and Vietnam Vets as well
 Jo is having way too much fun here

We have to wait around until noon and then its show time when we all take off in about 3 groups led by those escort vehicles with flashing lights for each group. The vehicles are sponsored by Kevyn Major Howard who played Rafterman in the movie Full Metal Jacket as well as other parts in other movies.

I pop into view at 2':38"
 Traveling on the freeway in a large motorcycle group like this has its moments as vehicles try to exit or enter and have to pass through the line of motorcycles making for a bit of slow down and then catch up.  Everyone does well and all arrive safe at the park (as far as I know).