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!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ride with Chapter 500 to Big Bear

As I was riding to Pasadena this morning at 7:00 AM to meet up with Rac & Rose and other members of STAR Touring Chapter 500 for a ride to Big Bear, I wondered what the ride report would look like and could I do a report on a ride that I never actually went on and just sort of phone it in, seems simple enough but the reality of writing a firsthand report means you have to be there and actually do the ride, meet the people, navigate the roads, see the sights and experience the adventure, so I had to go plus I already know several members and riders anyway and the weather seemed near perfect so far.

Our ride this morning will be very similar to one I had done a couple weeks ago with Chapter 230 up to Big Bear returning via the back way to Redlands, only this time we will stop on the way back in Yucaipa at Buckles and Belts for some shopping.  Chapter 500 is a group just getting started, but on its way to bigger and better things I believe.  A lot of it is due to the efforts of Rodney –“Rac”- Chapter President and Rose as Secretary plus her duties as all around cheer leader.  Rodney or Rac as he likes to be called has really taken on a challenge to organize, build and run a group of motorcyclists and all that is involved, but he seems to be doing a really marvelous job to say the least.  
 Motorcycles, Riders and passengers gathering for the ride meeting.

The ride up to the mountains includes a side trip through the Upland area or as I call it the Neighborhood Pot Luck Ride; turn down a road and see what you get.  Now they knew exactly where they were going as mapped out by Will and we even wound up on old Route 66 around Devore area making for a nice diversion.   From there it’s up past Lake Silverwood, stopping in Crestline for a few photos. 

One item became obvious rather quickly as we were heading up the hill and that was the 2 V-Star 650’s and the exhaust noise.  I’m not a loud pipes save lives kind of person, mine are all stock, but many put aftermarket pipes on a motorcycle for whatever reason, making more, to a lot more noise and rumble in the process.  What struck me was the type of sound they made, reminding me of an Ultralight Aircraft I flew a couple times; very fast noisy engines with little mufflers.  The whole ride when I heard them, it was like flying in formation rather than riding in formation.  The V-Star 650 engine makes sort of a sewing machine sound anyway and this just made it a lot more noticeable.  By the end of the ride I no longer really heard it.
One note for future reference, if you are in town and come to a crosswalk with a pedestrian on the road but he is waving you through, look to make certain there is no one else on the other side also walking across or you could very likely get a ticket for not stopping.  I have done something similar where I did not see a pedestrian coming from the other side and went through, if you impede their progress you could be cited.

Something else I noticed on this and other rides; lady riders even with limited experience often are really quite competent riders as I noticed on today’s ride.  I think it stems from being able to listen to valid instruction and put it to use in the best way possible without trying to invent some other method that does not work.  I only mention it as I had the impression at least one has been riding for a relatively short time.  As a matter of fact everything and everyone did very well on the ride even with the rather tight twists and curves going up the mountain and on the return as well.  Even though the chapter is new(er), every rider acted like a seasoned veteran of the two wheel world, there were no beginners.

Arriving in Big Bear and what a shock.  All these years of going to Big Bear I do not believe I ever went through the actual downtown Big Bear.  I was just astounded that there even IS a downtown, how come no one ever told me.  Our ride leaders took us to downtown; we parked and went to Boo Bears for lunch.  As is typical with STAR rides I was not expecting gourmet food and they met my expectations.

I sat with two members of Chapter 500, Joe and Albert.  Joe rides a new Kawasaki Vaquero-1700 and Albert is on a Harley Road King.  I sat on the Kawasaki and it seemed like it could work as far as fit for legroom goes.  It is obvious why he traded the Raider for it.  Photos by Rose...

To sum it up, it was a fun day of riding with friends and fellow STAR Touring members and getting out for a ride into the mountains and back.  Oh yes, arriving in Yucaipa the temperature climbed into the 90’s and on the way back it even hit 101, HOT for sure.  You know I brought the Kool Vest and put it on before leaving Buckles and belts, Rose bought a Kool Vest; she wore it and now probably understands why I wear mine.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Bike Night meeting Ch. 230 Huntington Beach

As I rolled into an open spot in the parking lot of Woody’s Diner I first noticed some classic cars parked on the lot (see photos) and then I look up and see Ed and Susan walking toward the front of the building and my first thought was, Oh, oh, are they leaving or something. Ed spotted the look of panic on my face and later at the table mentioned he saw my look of concern whether something was wrong or if anyone would show up. It is obvious that being able to hide how I feel in many situations has long gone out the window, no wonder I don’t play poker.
I was not sure that attendance would be significant for our Thursday gathering due to it being new and much further south than we normally meet for our regular Chapter 230 moving bike nights. Tonight certainly proved just how viable adding new locations in the Huntington Beach area are turning out to be. Not only was it a significant number of attendees but those that did were all special as well. I walk in to the patio and Ed, Susan and Richard “Taz” Green are already there. It was a rare treat to have Taz, who lives in the area, on board, but because our meeting locations have been more inland, it is not fun dealing with north bound traffic to the City of Orange area. Another couple Anna and Gary Felkel made a very rare appearance as well and again it is proximity and not having to contend with crazy traffic going north. With us tonight is Barb making a solo appearance, another beach area member, but not Rick due to his attending a training class.

As minutes pass more arrive with Doug and Cindy rolling in and then to my surprise none other than Daveta Jo and William. It was really encouraging to see Daveta able to walk in as her bubbly self while dealing with a very pesky inner ear problem. For me personally, I could revel in the quiet joy of seeing her able to make the meeting and be with a great group of 230 friends. We could not get any potato salad commitment out of Will, but continue to work on it. The meeting cannot get started until Brian H. arrives and sure enough we can finally get going. Last time I failed to mention the knee problem Cindy is dealing with, but it seems we are building a rather substantial armamentarium of medical expertise in the areas of head, sinus, knee problems or surgery up to and including replacement, so don’t hesitate to bring us your intractable medical condition, we can handle it and look forward to evaluating what ails you. Be sure to bring your medical insurance card to the next meeting, it might come in handy.
We are missing a number of our regular attendees including Glenn, Chuck, Patty, Carolyn and Mark all heading to Reno for Street Vibrations. If they would visit Yorba Linda more often, the regular occurring earthquakes could fill that void in their lives. Stan and Connie met with Teresa Ruhland so they could not make it as well. Johney had other commitments.
This Woody’s location will likely not be on the regular rotation as the patio is the only area offering barely adequate accommodations for our group, along with service that was a lot slower than desired, the food however met with approval. There is another Woody’s on Adams near Brookhurst that might be better suited and worth a second try.
The meeting tonight was all about being able to look to your right or left and across the table and see a friendly face and hear a welcome voice, you can’t get this on Facebook, Twitter or off the internet and it all happens because of our common passion for a rather unique form of transportation for fun, excitement, travel and adventure.
One other note, Ed sent out an e-Mail with a summary of upcoming trips for Chapter 230, if you are not on board yet with some of them check it out. It is a very handy guide and really thoughtful to make that available. Plus the fund raiser party planned for November will be at a venue offering all sorts of amenities, games and fun, be sure to watch for info. Well that’s the report, now I have to go watch another episode of The Mentalist. Johney and Stan have Sons of Agony/Anarchy, I have The Mentalist. Looking forward to seeing everyone at Portillo’s in Buena Park next Thursday.
These were here for a meeting as well, I know John would know everyone of them most likely.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Bike Night Report- Tutto Fresco 9/13

 t starts with one person then there are 5 and soon more arrive until we have a group of 15 in attendance for tonight’s Chapter 230 Bike Night, making it a solid turnout for a warm Thursday evening at Tutto Fresco in Orange. Ed seems to be doing a little better as his rehab therapy progresses on his recent knee surgery. Next on our medical roster is Daveta still dealing with a case of vertigo, and then Stan shows up with Connie in a wheel chair recovering from an ankle injury. Johney is recovering from a head and chest congestion problem but my hot towel sinus treatment method helped speed up recovery a little or at least I hope it did. Chuck is still helping his step son who also had knee surgery, but the tile people made him arrive a little late tonight. That’s the medical report for our group of the walking wounded; let’s hope it does not get worse.

Tonight’s attendees include Ed, Susan, Johney, Joe, Chuck, William, Daveta, Carolyn, Glenn, Stan & Connie, Doug and Cindy, Brian, and me for a total of 15. Brian arrived a bit after I had taken the photos, so again he is left out, but we are appreciative of his effort to attend. One problem seems to be solved, that of Doug and his Gold Wing with the leaking shock absorber. Dealer was able to find and fix the problem rather quickly and hopefully it will not re-occur. I have to mention that Glenn had a good time banging his head three times on the light fixture hanging above him, (see photo) it must have helped clear his thoughts.
Ed was providing a crash course on knee mechanics with a couple x-rays thrown in as visual aids...we should get a copy and post it here if possible. Other news included the new 2013 lineup of motorcycles from the STAR line by Yamaha. This is not an objective report due to hopes of seeing some major upgrades or changes but the only new model of any note is the V-Star 1300 in a new “Deluxe” version with fairing, GPS, other electronic gadgets, hard bags and no sissy bar very similar to the Stratoliner Deluxe model upgrade. There appears to be little if any changes on any other model except for a lighter clutch pull on the Stratoliner/Roadliner models. They still have Royal Star Tour Deluxe’s from 2009 in the pipeline as well as V-Star 1100’s from 2010 still listed in the 2013 lineup.
 Our President Ed is having one heck of a year with more drama to contend with than we can fit into 5 episodes of Days of Our Handlebars and now knee surgery, our hope is that he will recover soon and be back on a motorcycle and looking forward to a second term as president of Chapter 230. I certainly think he has been doing a stellar job, plus he laughs at some of the stuff I write, what can I say. Our next meeting location will be announced shortly, watch for e-mail bulletin and also on Facebook. If you are not linked on Facebook let me know.
 Glenn could not avoid hitting that hanging lamp.

Special added feature: last Tuesday, Chuck, Carolyn and I rode to RJ's breakfast and lunch cafe in Dana Point and had a great breakfast.