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, August 31, 2012

Bike Night in Costa Mesa-8/30/2012

Tonight’s 230 Bike Night meeting in a new Costa Mesa location was not a good turnout it was GREAT! We had a superb group in attendance considering it was a new location and several regulars were unavailable for various reasons. For instance, our President Ed is recuperating from major surgery with a complete new aftermarket knee replacing the OEM version installed at birth. It will definitely be a while before he is back on two wheels, so for now, aided by his 4 legged walker modified with high speed tennis balls on two of them, he will be zipping around the house in no time. I visited with Ed and Susan to see how he is doing, and who else is there but Taz-Richard Green our new Sgt. of Arms among his several duties. Chuck on the other hand is out trying to even the score over a bunch of birds dropping their “markers” on cars by flocks of Doves. He heard someone put out a contract on several hundreds of those pesky flying things and will be out there to collect on a big hit by shooting a number of them as an example. Daveta Jo is still dealing with a vertigo problem and Stan had to attend to other plans as well.
I left my visit with Ed and got on the 405 Fwy to head to bike night on Harbor, thinking it was quite a ways down the road. I entered the freeway and after a couple exits there’s Harbor and before you know it I arrived at 5 Guys. Did not have to wait long until Wayne wearing his "Old Guys Rule" T-shirt rolls in, then Johney and the rest of tonight’s attendees start arriving for the first meeting here in Costa Mesa.

Wayne on his V-Star 650, Johney, then Carolyn-on her Harley, Ken Indorf on the Gold Wing, Ralph Lewis from 415 on his Road Star, Rick & Barb on the 950 V-Star, Bill on the Trike, and finally Brian H. all made it a fun and warm meeting as is usual for our group. Ralph is from 415, has ridden with us previously and I even had the privilege of acting as his Shepherd but since he is an accomplished and skillful rider it was just no trouble at all. Rick & Barb live close by and if we change to another location down the street closer to Huntington Beach, they might be able just to walk to Bike Night.

Tonight was the big unveiling of a new and important acquisition in our group with Johney arriving and showing us his new Invicta Russian Diver watch. It is bigger than I had imagined after seeing the photos and is really impressive. Those things are huge; just ask anyone that owns one. Before you know it someone else will own one, due to SWAS-Sudden Watch Acquisition Syndrome, I’m betting.

It can be difficult trying to relay all the topics covered at tonight’s important gathering, but luckily we had Carolyn there sharing the experience of trying to add to the star tattoo on her neck. I think the tattoo artist wanted to jab just one point or pixel per day to keep the pain down, making the job last for years but that would not work for Carolyn, or maybe she just did not like what he planned to do but either way no extra wings or anything added as yet.

Ken will be leaving soon to meet Gail in Sweden on her epic European tour and Wayne and Mitzi will be jetting to the Philippines for a long visit.

The upcoming Chapter ride to our local mountain lakes including Arrowhead and Big Bear will provide another opportunity for one or two ride captains to see how fast their GPS can correct and re-route after missing a turn or two, should be a fun and entertaining ride as always.

I ate too many peanuts as usual, but everyone was having so much fun and good times we all hated to leave it seems. Don’t miss another fun event like this…we do it every Thursday including Sept 6 at 5:30 PM and will be at Blake’s BBQ on Mira Loma 2 blocks west of Kraemer Ave. in Anaheim.

I get home and the latest issue of RIDER Magazine arrived with the front cover showing “6 Ways to Soar-the Latest, Most Exciting New Motorcycles”. Too bad there was not one Yamaha among the bunch, but there was no Yamaha advertising in it either

Thursday, August 16, 2012

230 Thursday bike night-Fuddruckers

The Real Motorcycle Riders of Orange County, the perfect title for a great new cable TV show. A show about how a tight knit group of motorcycle riders handles day to day conflicts, problems, tragedies and good times and how they resolve these life issues as they pop up while riding motorcycles during everyday adventures. If this show really existed then maybe it would make my job of doing meeting write ups easier as there would be really juicy stuff like you see on other “reality” shows to write about. As usual however, what actually happens is much simpler, nicer and calmer than the stuff you get fed by most of the cable TV reality shows, so our Chapter 230 meetings are fun times catching up with friends who share the interest and passion of riding motorcycles with a lot less drama involved.

Well, that is until tonight-Thursday at Fuddruckers! Oh my goodness, drama it seems is no stranger to our group, just ask Ed. You may already know about our soap opera titles including Days of our Handle Bars and The Guiding Taillight. Among several stories that were bandied about during our meeting include comments by one lady rider about being either a self confessed cupcake or a tart, but either way a tasty dish I’m sure. There was Glenn explaining how to use panty hose to strain paint, but we were not sure whether anyone was in them at the time, ask Glenn the next time you see him. We had both Brian H. and Brian B. (the pilot), with stories of travels including Brian B. taking John Ruhland’s son and daughter as well as Chuck on a memorial flight while Johney and I just rode to the airport, to take some of John’s ashes and release them while flying over Catalina Island area. Brian H. got free concert tickets for donating blood and he had a great time but took late into the night to get home due to freeway closures.

 Everyone shared stories and comments about the events of the past week or two making it a very warm almost family event as another special 230 Bike Night goes in the record books. Attendees included, Johney-already there when I arrived and who will be replacing my (motorcycle) front tire shortly, along with Ed, Susan and Chuck. Stan shows up along with Ken Yunk, Wayne, Glenn, both Brians, always sparkly Carolyn and Ken Indorf. Gregg tore himself away from golf and surf activities to make an appearance. Chuck spent a weekend hunting somewhere in Colorado a while back, spending I’m sure a fair amount of hard earned dollars, when all he had to do was come here to Fuddruckers and get an elk burger, and no shots were fired.
 One strange occurrence while sitting inside, a group of tourists possibly some of the same people from the rest stop on I-5 by Camp Pendleton, came over and sat on Johney and Brian’s motorcycles. I was surprised they did that and not get confronted by any of the owners except for Brian and Ken Indorf clicking their remote alarm sounding the horn.

 Not everything goes into my report-for good reasons, and for all the events, drama, photos, and comments that do not make it in, the only way to keep up is to attend these bike nights and find out about the really good stuff. As usual the food including hamburgers, and other treats were good, and all had a great time.

As we were leaving I notice Susan sitting on Brian’s Harley and wonder if this might lead to a case of SMAS-Sudden Motorcycle Acquisition Syndrome, a very contagious infection causing itching and irritation around the wallet area, leading to further complications known as SFLS-Shrinking Financial Liquidity Syndrome. There is no known cure.

 Next week 8/23 is the 4th Thursday of the month which means Portillo’s in Buena Park on La Palma for the regular 230 Big Bike Night. Since there is a 5th Thursday in August we will let you know of a location choice as soon as the selection committee finds one.
One last personal note about the picture of Paradise Tropical Tea boxes. This is a household favorite bordering on obsession and now the company no longer makes the retail packs. it is just a disaster of epic proportions, but luckily I ordered a carton of these off E-Bay as prices are rising daily.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

New position - new meeting arrangement

Back by popular demand, I am happy to announce that Chapter 230 is returning to weekly bike nights! To assist me with this task I have created a new position within the Chapter and appointed Richard Von Luft as our official Bike Night Coordinator. Richard will be responsible for selecting and posting the locations of our bike nights each week. He will also be posting his recap of the evenings events. The Bike Nights will still occur on Thursdays at 6 pm. Our original and official bike night will still be at Portillo’s on the fourth Thursday of each month – but the other three to four Thursdays will be coordinated by Richard. Please join me in congratulating Richard on his new position!!! -from Star Touring Chapter 230 Facebook
It took some effort and time along with creativity and crazy humor in writing weekly messages to get my personal meeting bulletins and meeting reports noticed by a number of people. Ed our president has been a real supporter of my efforts along the way, even when it seemed the content was misunderstood or misinterpreted at times as to what I was trying to accomplish with my creative writing style mixed in with some material a lot of folks seemed to think was rather funny or at least worth a chuckle.  The humor part just seems to pop up somehow and the rest is an effort to make reading what I wrote entertaining and informative to help boost attendance at weekly meetings.  Now that Chapter 230 will be back on track with weekly Bike Night meetings every Thursday in locations long favored by members it will make it easy to do the write-ups but I’m hoping the humor will still be there. 
Right now nothing strikes me as very funny, except for some of the new reality shows that are exposing a number of strange subcultures and hidden communities in our midst.  You have the Hutterites Colony, The American gypsies, Hoarders, people eating toilet paper and who knows what else.  It has gotten so crazy that the Amish are now considered mainstream everyday Americans.  Looking at the faces of people in these close-knit cults and religious communities you can tell there is some evidence of inbreeding just by looking at them.  This should serve as a warning among my many motorcycle friends.


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Star-Ranch Chap. 230 10 yr. party

 We loaded into the shuttle van and went a few feet until it quit right where the guys were standing.
 That hat was a topic of discussion all morning, and she finally kept it on.  Purchased here at the ranch on first visit with 230 about 4 years ago I think.

 Really impressed with Frank from 415 showing up here with 2 casts, one for leg and one for arm/elbow, no wonder he is president of that chapter.  Accident on the way to Reno.

 Well, well, well!
 This is more like the Johney we know, with the ladies all gathered round.  This would never happen to me, the restraining orders still have a few months to go.
 Luis looks like he is wating for the quick draw contest to start

Sunday, August 05, 2012

PCH to Agoura Hills Chapter 230 Ride -Saturday

Patty and Jerry Gehrls -Jerry past President of 230

The Rain was howling and the wind was pouring or I thought I heard words to that effect.  Stories of road trips past were flying fast and furious at my table during lunch.  There was Jim R. talking about how a wind burst coming from behind once nearly tore his windshield and fairing off the motorcycle while on the road, and then Carolyn regaling us with her one day record of over 680 miles when riding solo back to Arkansas to visit her daughter.  Michael (Stratoliner) and I were listening intently as we learned that Jim has put as many as 67,000 miles on his motorcycle in one year,  and recently another 40,000+ miles, now that is a lot of riding.  When discussing the number of states visited Carolyn immediately got to working on her list of 20 states traveled in so far, even writing it down on a handy napkin on the table just to make sure she remembered them all.  I have California, Nevada, Arizona New Mexico, Utah and Colorado colored in on my sew on map patch, with two of those originally coming from a visit to the 4 Corners site on the way to Durango in 2009, since made legit on later travels.

Our Saturday August 4thChapter 230 ride takes us on a route designed by Terry B. by taking some spaghetti and throwing it on a map of roads off PCH near Malibu.
First gas stop after only about 55 miles, but it worked out quite well.

  We went up, down, around, through and over just about any kind of turn you can imagine and where did we wind up, right back on PCH just a few miles up the road. This was a great opportunity to hit some less traveled roads that I had never been on so it was really quite interesting. If you want to see some 10% grade roads there is one up there that took us right back to the coast highway, with a chance to spot a deer standing in a front yard as we all zipped by. It is always fascinating to see that people live up in these little nooks and crannies of development off the beaten track.
 No idea what road that is down there, but some nice scenery from up here.

 We get to a pullout and stop for a couple photos, very thoughtful of Ed to take the few minutes.  At this point I look down into the valley below and am shocked to find we are not at 10,000 feet elevation as I thought after all those hard turns going uphill. 

Returning to PCH we turn right for just a few short miles to Latigo Canyon Road and right back up into the hills behind the Malibu coastal area and heading up and over some more spaghetti roads towards our lunch destination.  The condition of pavement on Latigo is poor at first and it does slow me down more than I would like and I wind up falling behind a bit on the whole route, not bad but still I had hoped to be able to keep up better.  I suspect I am getting a bit tired but still doing OK otherwise.  Looking at the riders in front of me that I can’t catch up with, there is Susan on her V-Star 950 doing really well after being a newer rider for just about 2 years, very impressive.

The entire ride group consisted of over 30 motorcycles divided into 3 groups with Ed-President, Dan and Terry both past presidents leading the groups, including a contingent of riders from Chapter 109 lead by Bob Barbano on his Raider.  Because of a 10 year anniversary party Sunday we also have with us Patty and Jerry Gehrls visiting from Tennessee, Jerry was president when I came aboard several years ago. Where was our lunch destination…?  None other than the Islands restaurant off the 101 in Agoura.  Lunch went smoothly and we saddled up for the return ride on the warm but not blazing hot 210 freeway to the 57 and back to Ball Road.  We did encounter a hold up coming to the 60 Freeway that forced us on to surface streets through Diamond bar to connect back with the 57 south and I could tell I was getting a bit overheated at that point.  Good thing I drank some more Gatorade before we left the last gas stop.
Another great chapter ride goes in the history books.