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!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Foggie Riders-new roads and new friends

Sometimes on a ride it’s the group of familiar riders you are with, sometimes it is a destination and sometimes it’s all about new roads and new people. Today was about new roads and some old and new riders.
The group is called Old Foggie Riders by the leader and one of its original founders Turbo-Dave.  Dave rides an FJR sport-touring model but has an 11 gallon combined gas capacity including the stock 6 gallon tank and an added 5 gallon tank and rack on the back end; he just never needs to stop.  With Dave is Hans another of the original OFR guys.  Showing up today is also CSI-Jim with a Road Star from Southern Cruisers and another Jim on a Harley also from SCRC, another new addition is John on his Royal Star Venture.  I have ridden with this bunch on more than one occasion and always enjoyable. 
The ride starts early at the 57 and Imperial Ave. parking lot by Lucile’s in Brea where I meet Chuck, Carolyn and Wayne at about 6:45 AM.  I was not sure Wayne was going to make it but sure enough he shows up. Both Carolyn and I have ridden with Dave and Hans but Wayne and Chuck have not.  We head out towards the I-15 and 4th St. in Ontario where we will meet the rest of the crew.  We arrive rather early and it is cold, time to put on a fleece jacket under the Tourmaster, soon the others arrive, we get a group photo and off we go.  One thing is certain, between Turbo-Dave and Hans they know just about every road that you might want to take a motorcycle on in any given direction in all of Southern California.

As we head for our eventual lunch stop at Lake Henshaw on Hwy 76 near Mt. Palomar we start down some very interesting and challenging roads including Sage and Wilson Valley, both new roads for me, Chuck, Carolyn and Wayne and maybe a couple others as well, rolling, twisty and plenty of curves but fun to be on.  This takes us to the famous Aguanga stop on Hwy 79 where we turn left towards Warner Springs and Lake Henshaw.

Arriving at the vast inland sea of Lake Henshaw which stretches for many feet in several directions, we stop for lunch and all is good.  At least there is still water out there, but in the not too distant future it will probably wind up a dry lake bed.
After a good lunch, and an energetic ride up I-15 to the 91 I arrive home around 2:30 PM or so.  Great ride, wonderful company and all ends safely.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bike Night invite-a good one.

This is one of my best write-ups for bike night and thought I would save it on the blog.
The one place you can get your advance degree in Motorcycle Competence is to attend our weekly Chapter 230 Bike Nights. Intense discussions can include understanding the effect of gravity when using the front brake in the wrong place: Hypothermia vs Hyperthermia and what you can do to protect yourself in either situation. Other topics that might come up: Repair and maintenance tips and getting help from other members; strategies to fine tune your counter steering techniques including where to look when negotiating curves, and my personal favorite what and where to look for your next motorcycle. There is also information on how to look really good when a photographer is taking your photo while you go around a curve and the one thing you should never do in that scenario. How is all this valuable information made available at no additional cost when you attend a friendly and fun social Bike Night gathering you might ask? The fact that many of the members in attendance at our Weekly Chapter 230 Thursday Bike Nights are accomplished motorcycle riders that are eager to share their knowledge, have paid their dues toward becoming proficient in handling all manner of problems and challenges while on two wheels is the answer. Think of a question or problem you are looking to solve and likely there will be someone available to fill in the blanks. Every meeting and social event is a rare opportunity for everyone regardless of experience level to gather the insights and feedback needed to become better riders and devotees of motorcycling, you just have to show up.
Here is a partial list of topics Carolyn found interesting and educational: Cooling vest, heated hand-grips; shade cover for my GPS; cup holder; how much air in my tires and how often to check them; luggage for my bike; type of helmet and how it should fit; awesome places to travel to; new friends with like interests; a smile and a hug go a long way; where to get your bike repaired or new tires; where to get your boots resoled; or get a new zipper put into your jacket; new places to eat and enjoy the company of friends; new roads to try out. I am sure you have already mentioned all of this, but this is some of what I have taken away from our meetings.
One more thing, everyone has such a good time we all hate to leave. Be sure to show up Thursday February 21, 5:30 PM at 5 Guy’s Hamburgers in Costa Mesa on Harbor 3 blocks south of the 405 Freeway in the Target center. Ordering is easy, the peanuts are free and everyone has a great time. Early birds might get there after 5:00 pm and some arrive by 6:00 pm but the fun starts when you arrive. 5 GUY'S HAMBURGERS 3030 Harbor Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Ken I. left this comment: 
This is the BEST invitation you have EVER written! I think Ed should have you copyright this missive ( kinda joking, but….. ) and place most of it on our Chapter 230 website.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Patriot Guard Mission-Michael Crain Riverside

Services for Michael Crain age 34, with a wife and two children, Police Officer in Riverside and former Marine with two tours in Kuwait were held on Wednesday February 13 and when Johney called to let me know he was going I changed my plans and dropped the breakfast ride to Corona for the opportunity to pay respects to a fallen hero.  We arrived at a church in Riverside just off Van Buren called the Grove; it is very near the Riverside National Cemetery, where he is to be interred.  Michael was the first officer to be fatally gunned down by Christopher Dorner, who after leaving a trail of death and destruction finally wound up taking his own life when cornered in the mountains near Big Bear Lake area.   LINK TO L.A. TIMES ARTICLE

 A huge turnout of Patriot Guard Riders for this mission.  There were lots of folks lining the road on the way to RNC, but the Patriot Guard group is there to stand and protect the family from the Crazies and lunatics like the Westboro group. 

 Gunny is interviewed about the Patriot Guard and makes for a great spokesperson.  Almost as if he was from central casting, he is also from the Orange Wednesday Flag Ceremony.

The police presence was huge and this was one of the largest numbers of Patriot Guard riders in attendance I have been involved with as well. Police officers from a wide variety of jurisdictions turned out including railroad, airport, university school and most other police agencies from around the state.

Johney happened to get a chance for an on-air interview by Wendy Burch Channel 5.  I am so jealous, but Johney was ecstatic about the opportunity.  It seems they were not very familiar with the Patriot Guard.   My daughter and wife happened to catch it live as he was being interviewed.

 The Patriot Guard preformed a flag line for his casket and then we made our way over to the Riverside National Cemetery where another flag line would take place as the procession entered and drove on to where final ceremonies were to take place.  Between Johney and I we managed to get a few photos and even a bit of video.

We waited for a while until the procession made its way to a side entrance at Riverside National Cemetery.

 Ready for anything

 Mark W. on the left, the Master of Ceremonies at the Flag ceremony in the city of Orange every Wednesday and a Patriot Guard rider, we met up at lunch break before heading over to the cemetery.


Saturday, February 02, 2013

Mt. Helix-the circle tour

On the way to our Chapter 230 ride to Mt. Helix near La Mesa meeting, I decided to stop at Denny’s for breakfast and just as I finished in walks Johney after spotting my motorcycle in the parking lot.  I would have called him but it was more of a spur of the moment thing anyway.  As I arrived at the Best Buy parking lot on Chapman a good size group was already gathering, this will be another Chapter 230 popular ride event.  Are the attendee numbers growing or has it always been like this.  Seems to me it is growing.  We have new members and several guests riding with us today and it will take 3 groups to handle it all.

     What’s the one thing that will create more excitement at a motorcycle meeting than a new motorcycle?  How about two new motorcycles? It’s raining Victory motorcycles and there is evidence of a serious infection of SMAS or Sudden Motorcycle Acquisition Syndrome, the most highly contagious type of purchase fever known to riders of all types.  We knew about the new copper/brown Victory Vision that Barb and Rick just bought after visiting a dealer “just to look” Hah, right, that lasted probably a few minutes and then wham they were infected.  The Vision is a rather large motorcycle with all the good amenities, but it fits Rick very well.  And as they say, but wait there more…in rides Mark P. on his new Victory Cross Country in bright beautiful blue, another gorgeous machine with ABS, cruise, 6 speeds, built in radio and lots of comfort.  I am resisting the urge to go off on Yamaha and ask the rhetorical question-Where is Yamaha/star motorcycles in all this?  Why are no new motorcycles being bought with a Yamaha nameplate?  The questions are many, answers are few.  A big congratulations and all the best to our newest victims of SMAS, and remember if a rash breaks out there are some medications that will help with that.

The meeting proceeds as usual and then it is time to mount the mighty mechanical steeds  and head down the ribbon of concrete on our ride to destiny or at least Mt. Helix and lunch at Chili’s.  The route takes us on Wild Cat Canyon and its twisty curves and hills past other roads that just whizzed by without recognition.  This route does live up to the motto: “The ride is the Destination” since our intended target will be just a brief glance and then it will be gone.  Along the way we pass through the Barona Indian Reservation and the Barona Casino, it is quite a big place but hidden away off main roads.  I really need to look into how I can convert to becoming an American Indian to get in on all the loot that is spread around among tribe members.  As we head towards La Mesa off I-8 we stop for gas at a Shell station.  Prices here and elsewhere are now $3.99 –or more- for regular way up from just 2 or 3 weeks ago.  Also it seemed to me the engine is running rough or something and even William on his Honda mentions similar problems with a possible link to the gas used.   I am not a fan of Shell but it may just be California gasoline in general.  After refueling the main event lies just a few steep miles ahead.  As we arrive at the summit of Mt. Helix the view is amazing, the only problem there is no place to park so we stop for a few seconds to take it in and then wind our way back to the bottom and head to our lunch destination.

I must say that with advance notice Chili’s did a great job in handling about 30 patrons arriving all at once and lunch is a very pleasant experience sitting with Chuck, Patty, Ken I., and Linda, Chuck’s passenger for today and neighbor.  It is becoming apparent that this group from STAR is getting to know me far more than I ever have let others get to know me, except for the fact that all is meant in fun and great friendship, it is like being with family that you never argue with or have problems about. I can’t imagine a better bunch of folks to be around.   I know the feeling of acceptance has changed me more than I would have ever imagined and all for the better I’m sure.

Lunch finished, time to return to base or in this case El Torito on Ball Rd. so off we go.  Only the gathering of dark grey clouds put a chill in the ride back  At the meeting wrap-up we induct two new members into the fold, Pat K., Paul M. from Garden Grove and Gary W. from Lake Elsinore.