Thursday, December 29, 2016

Because We Can - Thursday December 29, 2016

Yippee skippy, it's today, it's today!  The Because We Can Ride To Eat is today, hooray!!!!  Since we were only maybe 5 miles from the Far West Tavern where the RTE was being held, we again slept in and took our time getting dressed and the bikes loaded.  We awoke to another glorious day with clear skies and shining sun.  It was warm, well compared to what we have been riding through and I didn't even need any heated gear.  Man, it felt sooooo good to get on the bike without all that bulk on :-)  And, I could actually turn my head from side to side, lol.

We weren't the first to arrive although we got there early.  Ray Blair was part of the welcome crew.
 And Dean Tanji, our host was all smiles :-)
 I hadn't even taken off my jacket and the folks began to arrive en masse.  It was fun watching the riders roll in and park while waving and nodding and not hearing a thing because they still had their helmets and earplugs in!
 It was great to see Nancy Lefcourt!
 Dean and Rocky Mayer stroll through the parking lot, checking out the bikes and riders.  I was super happy to see Rocky because I had a custom BMS saddle that I got at the Rockmor Rally this past August and I had sent it to Rocky for some customization.  But, I also wanted heat and some tweaking on the seat.  So, as fortune has it, Rocky was at the RTE and I had brought the seat along so I was able to personally get a fitting and send the seat back with him to his shop for the tweaking and heat.  Oh yeah, baby, heated custom seat?  That's what I'm talking about.  Can't wait to get it back.  Thanks, Rocky!
 Look, look, look who showed up!!!!!!  Yes, that would be Eric.  Hahahaha!  No, look closer, it's Lisa Landry all the way from Texas.  Here she is hanging out with Eric and Heidi Still.  Heidi and her guy John rode in from Yuma, AZ.

 I was tickled to see Pat Ford ride in.  He came from Lake Havasu, AZ.  Pat will always have a special spot in my heart as he helped me on my first rally.  He's kind of crazy, he'll be riding the Iron Butt Rally again come June.  I think maybe this will be his fourth???
 Kurt Worden - usually I see him on a Ninja 250 but today he brought the big gun, a Moto Guzzi Norge 1200cc monster!  Whoa!  Actually, another rider, John (I don't know his last name) also showed up on a Norge but his was a sexy, fast red :-)
 Here is Heidi checking out the new arrivals.  You can see what a beautiful day it was!
 And was time to invade the restaurant and decide what to eat.  Of course, everyone was talking, talking, talking and the poor servers exhibited a great deal of patience trying to get everyone's order taken.
 I was delighted to see Andy Mackey.  Of course he rode in on his BMW R1200GSA that has like 300,000 miles on it.  Rumor has it he'll be riding it in the Iron Butt Rally this June making it his third?  Maybe fourth.  Good luck, Andy.

 OMG!  Do you know who that is?  The guy in the middle?  The Ex Noble Grand Humbug?  Yes, peeps, that is "THE" "TURBO DAVE" or Dave Hicks to strangers ;-)  It was just fantastic to see him riding again.  2016 was a tough year for Turbo Dave and he is now back with a vengeance.
I stepped outside for a smoke and took the opportunity to take some photos of all the awesome bikes in the parking lot and out front on the street.
 Oh, here's that other Norge in front!  You could find just about anything here from a Ninja 650, Yamaha Super Tenere and FJR, Honda ST, BMW GS (both 800 and 1200), RT and GT along with a Goldwing or two and Ray Blair's Suzuki Wee Strom.
 It just makes me happy to see all these bikes and riders gathered together for a meal and a chat and then take off only to do it all over again in a year.  What great fun!

 Back in the restaurant, you would think there might be quiet time while we all ate our lunch but somehow we all managed to chat while eating.  The food was good.  Really good.  Eric and I split a bbq bacon cheese burger and opted for fresh fruit on the side rather than fries.  Hahahahaha!

I caught Ms. Landry sporting a DFF sticker on her forehead!  What a prankster ;-)
 I couldn't resist taking this picture.  I love the graphics on this saddlebag!
 Peter Perrin and John Cooper joined us for lunch.  Peter brought along his son who is now all grown up (how does that happen?) and he was riding his own Ninja 650.  Riding pillion on Peter's bike was his son's girlfriend.  Yay!  Keeping it in the family :-)
Heck darn it.  I didn't get a photo of Mark Fischer (Redneck Valdeez) but he was there, looking good, on his Honda Blackbird!  I didn't get pics of a lot of folks but I sure had a good time chatting with and sharing stories with everyone.  Gosh, another rider I didn't get a photo of but love dearly is Carroll Walker!  That dude is the stuff!!

So, all porked full of fine food, it was time for some peeps to depart for destinations unknown.  I hate that part.  Of course, nobody could leave right away.  Someone always, always, always has something else to say.  Just one more word or one more thought or one more "did you see".....

 But, alas, all were gone except Eric and me.  Somehow it's not unusual for me to be the last to leave.  I love these gatherings and hate to say goodbye.  Besides, we didn't have anywhere to be, so we hung in to the end.

It was a great RTE and I so much enjoyed seeing everyone and meeting some new folks too!  This very loose knit community of long distance riders is simply awesome.  They span all ages and what they choose to ride.  It doesn't matter - the common bond is riding and we all do a lot of that.  Thanks Dean Tanji for putting this together for the umpteenth year!  It was good.
 There we were, all alone in downtown Orcutt, CA.  Where to go?  Well, heck, darn, we're just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean.  Maybe we should go visit the ocean?  Okay!

We rode north on Highway 1.  What a treat!  Very little traffic and lots of good stuff to see.  A good deal of farmland and agriculture eventually giving way to towns dotting the coast.  It got busy at Pismo Beach but traffic again thinned out.  Eric was playing a motorcycle "tag" game so we made a stop here at Oceano.
He needed a picture of a caboose!  Score - but not so fast - by the time he got to the hotel and checked his tag game he'd been "Bruced" (meaning someone else got the tag first).  No matter, it was a pleasant stop in a cute little burg.

 Eventually, we ended up in Morro Bay at the Best Western.  Not quite ocean front, we we have a peek-a-boo view.
 See, that's the Pacific Ocean!
 Really, it is the Pacific Ocean :-)  Tomorrow, we'll ride down to the shore and snap a few pics before heading east and toward home.

 It's quite a nice Best Westie and I love that the roses are in full bloom, in is good ;-)
There you have it, folks, the "Because We Can" Ride to Eat for 2016 at the Far West Tavern in Orcutt, CA.  A great event, awesome peeps, cool bikes and good food.  It was totally worth the 560.5 miles from our home in Ivins, UT.

We'll figure out our route for home tomorrow and start riding east.  Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and not get us wet or too cold.

Thank you for following along and stay turned, it's not over quite yet :-)


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Because We Can - Wednesday December 28, 2016

Oh yes, it is sooooo nice to get a good night sleep and wake up late!  We weren't in any hurry so this morning was a delightful sleep in, shower, brekkie and then gear up and go.

Again, it was a bit nippy, maybe 43 degrees when we finally left the hotel around 10 am.  Fortunately, we only had about 3 miles of Interstate before we headed west on Hiway 58 toward Tehachapi.  Traffic was much better today.  Much, much, much better and the jerks (fucktards) were few and far between.  Oh sure, they were still out there just not in the numbers we saw yesterday :-)

We were still all bundled up in our layers of LD Comforts, heated gear, outer gear, buffs, winter gloves, etc.  That's just fine because I was comfortable.  If it got chilly, I just turned up the heat!  Yippee!

We made a stop in Tehachapi for lunch.  Yeah, it was Mickey D's.  Not great but predictable and quick.  The Love's Travel Stop was packed and it was here we found the most fucktards!  Geez, had to keep those peepers peeled in the parking lot or get run over.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful, clear day.

 The obligatory pic of our bikes in the parking lot.  We're so exciting, lol.

After a quick lunch we motored on a few more miles along Highway 58.   A pleasant surprise was the inversion layer that caused it to be warmer as we went higher.  Unfortunately, it also trapped the smog in the valley too.  Coming down from Tehachapi we were treated to dropping temps and a great view of brown hazy smog layer as we went thru it into the valley. Then we turned off to California 223 to Arvin.  Oh, that was so much nicer than the freeway or even Highway 58.  We rode through orchards and vineyards with the occasional oil pump in a field.  Nice!

From CA 223 we hopped on Hiway 99 for 4 miles or so and then picked up California 166 west to Maricopa.  Again, we pretty much had the highway to ourselves.  Sure, we had to pass a big rig once in a while, but mostly just cruise along and enjoy the ride!  We stopped in Maricopa for a little break.  Boy, there sure isn't much there!  (I know, Maricopa is not exactly a destination town!)
 Our original plan had us spending the night in Maricopa and this would have been our hotel.  Nice and clean looking.
 This would have been our dinner....
 You know you're in California when you see a sign that says......

 This......hahahahaha.  Notice we can get liquor, play lotto, get money and eat but you cannot buy AMMO.  Now, had we been in Nevada or Arizona, we could get all that plus Ammo.  Had we been in Utah we could get money, food and ammo but no liquor or lotto!  Hahahaha!

 Mounting up again heading west, we continued to follow California 166.  It got warmer and warmer as we got closer to Hiway 101 hitting 75F by the time we reached 101 and turned South  for a few miles before we came upon our exit in Santa Maria.  It didn't take long to find our abode for the evening.  We chose this hotel because it's a Mom & Pop and from the photos online, it looked recently renovated and clean.  We were not disappointed!

 Teehee, Eric in his LD Comforts out in the parking lot unloading his bike ;-)
 Nice comfy looking king bed, flat screen TV, fridge, microwave!
 All recently remodeled and very clean.
So now our big decision is what to do for dinner.  I think we're leaning toward Chinese delivery :-) I'll let you know tomorrow.  For now, I'm done riding and writing ;-)

Thanks so much for following along.  We had a fantastic day of riding with mostly awesome scenery and light traffic.  My Beastie Bike was so fun to ride.  Passing was a no brainer, just twist the wick.  Or, if I wanted a bit more spirit, shift down a gear, twist the wick and grin ear to ear!  Maybe one of these days we'll actually make some roadside stops for pics.  But today wasn't that day.  We just rode.  It was wonderful.  The sun was shining and I was out on an adventure with my Honey.  It really doesn't get any better!

Tomorrow is the Ride to Eat and I'm all excited about that.  Who might show up?  I dunno....but I'll definitely have my camera along and make a report tomorrow night.  Stay tuned.......


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Because We Can - Tuesday December 27, 2016

Well, we both needed a ride.  A good, long ride.  Unfortunately time and money said we couldn't go to Stagecoach this year so we decided to ride to the Because We Can Ride To Eat in Orcutt, CA.  Now, Orcutt is only maybe 600 miles from home and yes, we could have done it in one day.  But, my butt isn't so iron anymore and we decided to take a few days getting there and coming back home.  Nice, no pressure and the weather forecast was sunny and cold.

It was a clear, beautiful morning today but a tad chilly at 27 degrees!  We decided to wait a few hours before we headed out on the bikes hoping the temperature would rise a few degrees.  Our destination for tonight was Barstow, CA, a mere 300 miles away so we weren't in any particular hurry.  I did, however, don my heated pants and jacket before mounting up!  I felt like the Michelin Tire Man or maybe the Pilsbury Dough Boy with all the gear I had on.  My base layer was LD Comfort tights and zipper top with Technik socks.  Then a layer of heater pants and jacket.  Finally, my Klim Altitude pants and jacket along with Sidi Adventure GoreTex boots.  I also added a buff around my neck and my warmest winter weight gloves.  Geez.....I could barely move about with all that stuff on!

I managed to climb onto the bike and pull on my new LS2 Metro helmet.  I used the buff to pull up over my chin and mouth to keep any drafts out.  Oh, I had also put a LS2's version of pinlock in my visor.  Guess I didn't get a good seal because it fogged up right away.  As soon as I got some speed it cleared up.  We'll fix that tonight when we stop.  The only issue I had was going slow it would fog.

So, finally, geared up, we were off on another adventure!!  Yippee, I love adventures :-)  Our first stop was a mere three miles down the road where we stopped to fill up our tanks.  The route was Old Highway 91.  Yeah, that highway where I got stopped a week or so ago by a County PoPo (no tickie!!).  The road was clear of ice and snow although we did ride for several miles above the snow line.  It got a bit chilly, too.  The low temperature was 34.5 degrees and at that point I turned on my heated gear.  It warmed up quickly and then........died.  Yeah, it died.

We pulled over in the metropolis of Beaver Dam, AZ along Old Highway 91.  We both suspected a fuse had been blown.  My honey found the bad fuse and fortunately, I had a good supply and choices so he found the replacement fuse he was looking for and we were set to get on the Interstate and move along!

 I turned on my heated gear and it worked just like it was supposed to!  Nice because it was a bit cold cruising at 75 mph with my bike thermometer showing temps in the low 40's.  We cruised south on I-15.  Traffic wasn't too bad and we made good time.  We debated stopping for brunch in Mesquite, NV, but we had just stopped 10 miles earlier in Beaver Dam and neither of us were ready for another stop so soon.  We motored on until North Las Vegas where we took the Speedway exit and rolled into the Petro Truck Stop which has an Iron Skillet restaurant.

We passed on the buffet and instead I ordered cinnamon roll french toast with scrambled eggs and crispy bacon.  YUMMY!  Eric opted for chicken fried steak fingers and fries.  Not an elegant place but the food was good, the service was quick and it didn't cost an arm and a leg.
Well fed, fat and sassy we were back on I-15 south through Las Vegas.  We encountered a few slow downs but going through Vegas was easy peasy,  We got in the express lane and tootled along.  Everything was going just great and then......traffic pretty much came to a standstill......all three lanes on the south side of Las Vegas.  There were electronic signs warning of heavy holiday traffic and to expect delays.  Whew!

There was a minor accident and I suppose that was the initial reason for the backup of traffic.  It was really awful for about 15 miles.  Stop and go, stop and go, stop and go.  Ugh!  Then of course there were the jerks who were speeding up the shoulder.  At Primm, the interstate goes from 3 to 2 lanes and what a giant mess that was!  Oh well, the further south we went, the more the traffic sped up.  There were still a LOT of vehicles out there.  We only saw one other bike ;-)

We made a pit stop at the first rest area in California.  It was packed!  The people you see in these photos are waiting in line to use the facilities.  Glad I didn't have to go.  Eric had to wait in line for a while.  I have never seen this rest stop so busy!

 Then is was just slog along the Interstate to Barstow.  Of course, just a few miles before Barstow traffic again came to a stand still for no apparent reason this time.  We still had those jerks (we call 'em fucktards) who had to scream up the shoulder only to merge up the road and cause more delay.  Gack!  Now, my fuel light came on.  Hahahaha, I could see our exit ahead but we weren't getting there in a hurry!

Eventually, we got to our exit and our room for the night, the Super 8 at Barstow.  Not bad, not nice but totally okay and it comes with brekkie :-)  Tucked in, bikes covered and pizza just arrived.  More excitement tomorrow so stay tuned!