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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!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ch. 230 Bike Night, Birthday, PGR and more 10/25/12

 If I took anything away from tonight’s Chapter 230 Official Bike Night meeting it was the sage advice from Patty G. about buying gifts for wives in particular, since we celebrated Genevieve’s October 24 birthday with a cake here tonight and the subject of gifts came up.  You might wonder what was this rather noteworthy gem of deep insight that instantly has a solid ring of absolute truth about it?  “Never buy your wife a gift that has to be plugged in”.  That’s it, profound simplicity itself.  Buy her a Jaguar one year, the next you drop down and buy her a hand held plug-in dust vacuum and the following year you get a divorce-WORD.





 I was going to save this one in case I needed a loan or gift from Glenn but could not resist.


 I’m taking back the blender ASAP…no never bought it.  Naturally the thought of going all out this year for this milestone birthday of LXXV years (figure it out), for Genevieve and maybe getting her that new Victory Cross Roads Core Custom motorcycle she has always wanted would be just the thing to make a real impression instead of some not very creative jewelry or perfume.  If only it was that simple or if I wanted to actually buy it, at least she liked the cake and flowers.  The rest is still in the works.

I can't take credit for this batch of flowers, sent by some friends.
Turnout was very good with a few not so regulars showing up as well as many of the steadfast members of our Thursday bike night crew making a consistent appearance.  Beside a sharing of some tasty Albertsons Birthday cake and a round of “Happy Birthday” offered by everyone; the conversations went from Death Valley to Yucca Valley to Chino Hills, to motorcycles and beyond.  I learned that Vicki Fry now has a V-Star 650 of her own and will be riding it around locally to develop her two wheel skills- Way to go.  Brian was having CB antennae problems on the Gold Wing but is now considering using semaphore flag signals instead to reduce static and interference.  Waving those flags around to send a message will take some getting used to on the mountain roads I would guess.

We had a special guest from STAR Chapter 415, their President Frank joined us tonight as well as seeing him on today’s Patriot Guard mission at Los Alamitos air station as escort service for Thomas R. Macpherson SGT. US ARMY Killed in Afghanistan 10/12/2012.  Joining me on this sad mission was Johney H.; Stan P. and Chuck G. along with hundreds of PGR motorcycle riders, police, sheriff and military personnel, it was a huge turnout for a fallen hero with his former high school turning out every student and faculty member to witness the cavalcade pass by.  A moment was taken to remember John Ruhland and his faithful attendance at many of these missions. 
Stan, Johney, Me, Chuck





















Standing out in the sun on the rather warm asphalt and concrete can be very draining and sure enough one PGR Rider standing in front of me started to go down and several of us grabbed for him and a couple guys caught his arms to keep him from falling hard so he gently collapsed due to the heat.  Military people came over and whisked him away to a cooler and shadier location.  I had been rocking and flexing my legs, feet and bending at the knees keeping me from suffering the same fate.

The list of tonight’s attendees reads like the chapter roster so let’s hope I get everyone.  First and foremost is President Ed and Susan, VP Chuck and Patti, Mike and Vicki, Johney, Wayne, Brian B. (Flyin Brian), Brian H., Bill our trike expert, William but no Daveta Jo,  Luis and Minita, Glenn, Carolyn, Ken I., Richard G. (Taz), Mark & Evlee, and Genevieve and I.

As the meeting started to wind down, Carolyn brought out an amazing collage of postcards showing all the states she traveled in on her Wisconsin trip with the centerpiece a fabulous on-the-road photo of her on a Malibu ride, the photo is the total essence of her passion for riding motorcycles.  There were lots more but I guess you had to be there to really know what happened…be sure to make the next one.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bike Night Ch. 230 Thursday -5 guys

Our Thursday meeting officially started when Wayne, Johney and I walked into the 5 Guys Hamburger place in Costa Mesa. It looked like several members were already there and just waiting for our grand entrance before lining up to place their order, I should be so important. We enjoyed several milestones relative to this meeting including Wayne selling off his V-Star 650 to a young waitress from Ruby’s Diner in Orange. 
 
This is quite a story; as Johney and I were dining at Ruby’s a couple weeks ago, we saw one of the waitresses looking at the motorcycles and a conversation got started when she came by our table. Turns out her car was wrecked while parked on the street and she wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle and in need of transportation. Johney mentioned that Wayne had this rather used but running V-star 650 she could learn on after taking the Motorcycle Safety course and if she called Wayne, might be able to work out a deal. Well one thing led to another and this very Thursday, Julie from Ruby’s paid for and had someone pick up the 650 and it was a done deal. Naturally Johney would not let a pretty girl, a motorcycle, and money go by without a photo or two.

 
Of course I gave her my card and we told her about STAR Touring and 230. My name never really came in the whole deal at all.









 
I was delighted to witness the turnout for this meeting as we had 17 attendees by the time Brian Beach arrived on his newly reconstructed Harley. All I can say is that he has waited quite a while to get it back after they finally decided to replace just about every part of the motor including the casing but luckily they were able to save to logo.
 
Along with Brian (Flyin’ Brian), Brian H. Wayne, Johney, Ed & Susan, Chuck, Barb & Rick-the local folks, we also had Gary and Anna who live close by, along with Mike and Vickie. I finally figured out Vickie’s name but left it off one of the Pismo photos and will go back to correct that. Also attending- Doug but no Cindy-she makes the best darn cookies you can get your hands on, and Glenn who pours some of the best Tequila you can get your hands on as well, plus Stan and me for a total of 17.
 
One other note is that I have been picked up for the next season of Days of Our Handlebars as well as the Bike Night Coordinator job, which basically are synonymous in my thinking, as Ed asked if I would like to keep on in my duties and I said so far so good.
 
The report was delayed due to my being in what seemed to be a coma from all the peanuts, fries and accompanying salt on same, ingested during the meeting. Whatever you do be sure to try and limit salt intake if you want to keep blood pressure under control. That’s the report for Thursday October 18. The next meeting is our 4th Thursday meeting at Portillo’s in Buena Park and hope to see lots more folks there.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Son of Pismo-The ride back. 10/12-14/2012

While this is a blog of my personal motorcycle adventures I thought it would be interesting and educational to start with a dissertation on the wonders of those tiny cavities in our heads known as sinuses and cover such topics as Post Nasal Drip, balloon sinuplasty, sinus infections, steam treatments and other important areas of interest and concern to me anyway.  That was of course until I woke up after arriving home and realized we had just completed a 3 day motorcycle adventure back to Pismo Beach with STAR Touring Chapter 230 known as the Son of Pismo Ride.

This was the second year the group went to Pismo Beach for a two night gathering and as on the previous trip staying at the Quality Inn on 5 Cities Drive, arriving Friday and leaving Sunday with a Saturday group ride or optional free day if you wished.  Our first outing last year included about 22 people as I recall but this year the attendance list swelled to around 33 if I counted right, so the word had gotten out about the great time we had and success attracts interest by more people.  A quick summary tells the tale:  The ride up was similar, the rooms the same, so was the dinky bar of soap, the Saturday ride was rearranged and likely better, Dining at AJ Spurs Restaurant was more efficient to handle the large group but still a fun experience and along with a couple other events including the ride back there were variations as well. This was the same ride as last year but still a lot different as you will read about.   

My roommate this year is my Colorado and Reno Riding buddy Wayne, and between the two of us we had all the bases covered with regard to providing things that each of us might have forgotten, the other had a replacement.  I tried to take a good number of photos but there is always something I missed or just did not include but I took and posted enough of them to give you an idea of the fun time and great camaraderie experienced by all.
  I really could not believe this was the same Frank from Ch. 415 after seeing him in a wheel chair with all kinds of metal braces and attachments.  I am amazed to see he rode just to meet with us this morning.






We meet at the Best Buy lot on Chapman and what do I see but Scott and Ken practically arm in arm walking from Starbucks, you would think after 6 weeks together in Europe they would have talked about everything they ever needed to, but no, here they are still talking.  The ride up scheduled to leave at 9:00 AM on Friday finally got rolling around 9:30 AM broken into two groups and I in Group 2.  We head up the 57 Fwy over to the Ventura Freeway and then onto the 101 stopping in Ventura at a favorite Chili’s Restaurant. 
At our lunch stop-Chili's
Whether because the ride leaders called ahead or what, the Chili’s staff went out of their way to accommodate us, and service was outstanding, dealing with a group of around 25 riders and passengers as they did. Back on the Road and on to Pismo arriving early afternoon and checked in.  Several ladies including Gail, Daveta, Mike’s wife and I think Marie all came by car instead of riding up.  Dinner Friday was again at the little Mexican Restaurant right next door and again nothing to write home about.

 Gathered in the parking lot and even tasting some Kirkland Tequila brought by Chuck and a flavored rum brought by William.  Chuck thoughtfully provided small sample cups for the Tequila- a class act.





Saturday’s ride is planned on the same route as last year but going in the reverse direction and for some reason I decide to put on my lighter mesh jacket instead of the Tourmaster all weather Transition jacket.  Not smart, since it was very cool along the coast and it got colder as we left Morrow Bay heading over a mountain.  We missed the turn to Atascadero and made a U-turn right by the Taco Temple Restaurant,  Taco-Temple  famous for some awesome fresh Mexican food and monster burritos.  Our new ride leader ED, who took over from Brian at the last minute, made a welcome stop about ¾ of the way up the mountain to allow for extra layers, which I did add.  Daveta Jo, riding with William, had just brought a light cloth jacket so I loaned her my rain jacket which is also a good wind breaker saving her from a chilly ride.  I was irritated that I made that last minute decision to drop the Tourmaster, but adding the extra fleece hoody, it worked out reasonably well. It seems that when Brian tried reading the route for today’s ride, his GPS signaled that it just was not feeling up to doing the ride today, and maybe he should try a different route, so Ed dropped right in and took the reins.  Ed was working that Goldwing so hard; you could see sparks flying off that new titanium knee. (Yes, I know titanium does not spark).

 A new destination this year was lunch in Parkfield, CA, The Earthquake Capital of California consisting of 1 restaurant and 4 other buildings. Lunch was a welcome addition and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We did cross over the San Andreas earthquake fault, but it was our own fault for crossing the bridge.














 After a quick stop at the James Dean Memorial for a group shot we head for home. I liked the route in this direction.
 Arriving back at our lodgings we met up with the others that had decided on other activities.  Wayne, along with Rick and Barb went up the coast all the way to Monterey Bay and the pier, meeting up with their daughter.  Wayne joined in their lunch, riding back via Hwy 101 for a total of over 300 miles for the day; our group ride was around 200 miles. Wayne said that at a couple gas stations on PCH/Hwy 1 the current gas price was so high the station has a lay-away plan for purchases. Doug and Cindy met with some old friends; I wanted to be sure to mention that as I forgot it about three times, asking them each time what their plans were for Saturday.  Others stayed around town or went on individual rides. 
 


Sitting out in the parking lot while I went shopping.
Returning from the ride I go next door to the outlet mall and make some major purchases including a pair of boot laces, two small round green marble hot plate trivets, and a pair of socks, that was a lot of shopping.

On the schedule tonight is our rendezvous at the AJ Spurs Restaurant for Saturday dinner.  This year we do not have to wait very long for tables as ride leadership again anticipated the need for reservations for our group of about 31 people plus 6 members of Chapter 109-the Inland Empire meeting with us, so the vibe was a little different and more efficient but as is normal, everyone gets along so well, and the mood is one big happy party plus service was outstanding.  I commented that because of the size of the meal I ordered my dog Misty will have to walk 5 miles so I can burn off the extra calories-poor thing.




 Soup and beans are part of the included appetizers.




















Later that evening I had a lengthy chat with Evan covering motorcycles and real estate and kids among other things and as with several others in the group including Wayne and Charlie and Taz-Richard, our politics might differ but the common bond of motorcycles, riding and friendship makes it a wonderful experience to be able to share the time together.  I was talking to Richard-Taz about the Royal Stars and after his enthusiastic endorsement maybe I should look at a used one; I am easily swayed of course. There are others in the group I see more often at Thursday meetings so did not list them all here, but they are equally important in making the group as great as it is.

Sunday morning for the second day in a row I eat the motel supplied breakfast consisting of an egg patty, Brian mentioned it was like a plastic egg concoction and I added that it probably was from robot chickens, sausage, a breakfast sweet roll and orange juice-really yellow/orange water with a hint of an actual orange somewhere along in the process of making it; rather than going across the street to Huckleberry’s for a “real” breakfast.  Heck, I figured it saved me $20 on food costs and not really as bad as described.

Charlie and Carol join me for breakfast and mention they are going for a hike prior to leaving this morning and I asked to join them if that’s OK and off we go.  Well, I almost bit off more than I really could handle. 






Turns out we are heading for some water tanks high up through a residential neighborhood over a fairly steep road and it takes some major effort.  I make it to the end of the paved road but stop short of the tanks which were another ¼ of a mile further on, “I’ll wait here, thanks”. 
 These are Google Earth photos.  I stopped right at this gate

The trip down while easier, still takes some braking effort applying pressure to knees, shins and ankles.  I estimated the elevation at around 7-800 feet but Google Earth says 360 feet above sea level at the top by the tanks.  I sure burned off a few calories and I really enjoyed the walk with Charlie and Carol, plus she took some great photos. 




 




 Comforting to see the Medical Center right there, but the cardiac stents held up well and so did I.  Charlie and Carol have really become committed to living a healthier life style and maybe others could follow this sort of example and start doing more to burn off some of those extra motorcycle riding pounds.  Ride to eat and eat to ride can pack on the pounds.   Walking has been a major influence on my own health and well-being as well as the dog’s.


 Lined up ready to head for home

The ride home is noteworthy on two items, first we leave the 101 Hwy and turn off to Hwy 166 and head for the town of Maricopa near where Hwy 33 from Ojai connects.  Nice twisting curves and a break from the monotonous freeway on much of 166.  On arriving at our last gas stop at Magic Mountain Parkway, Charlie mentions they are heading straight home which is near where I live, so I drop out of lunch and hook up with them and his Stratoliner.  The ride following him on the road is spirited at the very least and I arrive home before I realize I might be tired and hot.  We really moved and I kept up with him the whole way, it was invigorating.  There are several folks that really made the ride go as smoothly as it did, including of course President Ed and Susan along Vice President Chuck and Patty plus Gary and Anna leading Group 2, Brian for routing the Parkfield ride and leading Group 1, all the tail gunners-Keith, Mike, Taz and Scott (?) that I can remember handling the back end and there were others as well, no wonder this chapter is attracting attention.