I'm on two wheels

Wednesday, February 10, 2010
  Addess for Blog will be changing
Looks like the address to this blog will be changing.  I am trying to change it to "startriding-richard-blog" but have had some trouble with Google log-in to get the name, will keep you posted.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
  Ride to Jalama Beach For Pashnit meet
A motorcycle forum known as Pashnit was having a ride to Jalama beach and among the members on that ride is Ken, my Ride to Colorado partner.  However, I did not want to do the ride from Chuy's in Santa Clarita to Jalama so decided just to ride direct to Jalama and wait for the arriving riders.  Along for the trip with me is Luis and Minita on their V-Star 1300.  Since the Pashnit meeting was the primary reason to go I did not see having a bunch of people ride up and wait for some folks they do not know.

The ride up was flawless and
we stopped on the Pacific Coast for a break before hitting Oxnard and we went on further to Carpinteria for fuel before continuing to Jalama. 

We arrived at Jalama Beach over a fairly poor 14 mile long road

and surprised to find one member already there.  His name is Skip or "NanSkip" on the forum and it was great to meet at least one member that I had never met.

The three of us get a hamburger and have lunch there in the Jalama Beach store.  The place is somewhat famous for their hamburgers and we had a very scenic lunch room to enjoy our culinary delight.  I have no idea if they serve any other sandwich items. 

After wandering around taking a few pictures
we head back to the parking lot as time is flying by and it's now 1:45 pm and getting very close to being late to leave for home.  What do we see, but no Pashnit members at all.  Nanskip and his friend had left, so we prepare to go as well.  We head up the exit road and here comes a group of riders probably from Pashnit.  We turn around as I hope to get a chance to at least say hello to these new arrivals.

As the time was now past 2 pm we take off again heading to Buellton and Solvang to return to Santa Barbara and the 101 Freeway.  We had to stop for pictures at a Vista Point but take off for Southern California at a much later time than planned.All the pictures including some from last years STAR trip to Jalama.  On-the-road photos courtesy Minita V.

Leaving the Vista Point and then hitting the 101 Freeway it's a straight shot back to the vast swamp of the 101-405 freeway interchange then south on the 405.  Before we get there we were at about 108 miles since fuel in Buellton so I pull off the freeway and into a little community and no gas station.  After a goofy U-turn and back on the freeway we take the next big exit and hit lots of traffic.  From this point on the freeway it's solid cars and getting DARK.

As we head south on the 405 it is now really dark and we navigate our way through traffic.  Luis, being a bit smarter than me gets in the diamond lane and off he goes, I follow but it takes me a couple miles to get into the diamond lane.   At some point we are finally going over 65 mph and it's interesting to say the least.  70 mph in the dark on the 405 Fwy in the Diamond lane will help focus your attention no matter how short your attention span is.

I finally arrive home at 7:10 pm and glad to arrive safely.  We did about 390 miles for the day.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
  A new Ride Road Captain for the Splinter Group

The best of the best-Wrinkle Riders!
He really should be wearing a bit more gear and I'm sure it will become apparent when he does his first ride in the group.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
A previous splinter group was formed when the association started having only one official "Bike Night" but a group of members liked the idea of the weekly meeting so we just kept up the weekly schedule of meetings.

As of now, the first splinter group has generated a new "Splinter" organization to be called The Splinter Group, with everyone of motorcycle persuasion attending any of the previous functions to now be called Fringe Members (Fringees) if they so choose. These designations have been bestowed by our organization and are considered official pronouncements that can't be ignored. This is not any sort of negative reflection on the fine job done by our esteemed and brilliant leader but rather a recognition that the group has expanded and moved into a new dimension of enlightenment and splinterhood.

The Splinter Group leadership consists of fellow Fringe Members Johney as President and Founder, Tail Gunner & Ride Captain of this vibrant and potentially world-wide movement, along with Richard V. as Vice President. We have appointed all of the first group attendees as Vice Presidents in our new Splinter Group, but until they join up and agree to add their names to our roster will just state that there are about 7 potential members in line for possible appointments as Vice President Fringees, there will also be a Lady rider/member group known as Ladies of Fringe. Remember you have to be careful who you associate with. 

If you wish to become a fringe member of this new "Splinter Group" a lengthy application process along with a physical exam and motorcycle skill review will not be needed, just show up.

Meetings will continue to be Wednesday Flag Ceremony and Thursday fellowship for Splinters and fringees.

A suitable patch to be added proudly to your vest will be available soon to announce your new association with The Splinter Group. This is in no way meant to replace or eliminate your valued membership in any motorcycle association, but should be considered an extra benefit that has been bestowed because of your steadfast association with other so called fringe members, and is our own private little joke!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
  Ride to Ojai, Hiway 33 and Frazier Park
Saturday Morning 01-16-2010 started with meeting Ken at Denny's and as I rode into the parking lot there was Charlie and Johney as well. Turns out Charlie was just meeting with us before a trip to Wrightwood but made for a nice little meeting with the 4 of us. We rode over to the Best Buy parking lot and met up with Luis and Minita on their V-Star 1300. I have it all mapped out so off we go with me in front, and Johney as tail-gunner. We arrive in Ojai and Johney takes the point. Highway 33 out of Ojai is a serious road for motorcycles especially the sport bike riders. If you are bored with Ortega Hwy then this is the road for you.

Everything goes quite well, although at one of the early tight curves I did need to lean more than I had anticipated as the road tightened up and it's good to know I did not panic or do something dumb and just pushed on the bar and rode it out. This is not a road to let your mind wander or lose concentration as we soon find out.

There are a couple tunnels and then it opens up into a wide valley area for a couple miles.
Inside a tunnel.

At the turn-off to Lockwood Valley Rd. first johney turns, then I follow with Luis and Minita right behind me, but I hear a strange scrapping noise and there's a horn blowing so we pull over. Ken is down in a heap on the curve onto Lockwood. There is gravel there and I noticed it when I made the turn. We run back and a motorist in a truck has stopped and Ken is sitting on the road with the bike facing sort of back where he came from. Some sport bikers come up and offer help and we get the bike upright and I start it to move off the road.

Ken is helped up and seems in fairly good shape due to wearing a heavy jacket and the engine guard did it's job as well. There is not a scratch on the windshield, muffler or even the engine guard, but the right mirror is gone and right foot peg on the guard is gone also. Scratches on his saddlebag, and broken right grip plus it's tweaked and needs loosening and moved up.

It's rideable and Ken says he can continue so after a thorough check on him and the bike, off we go with some extra care and concern for how he is doing.

Johney and I run back and snap a couple pictures of the scene and discover a very fresh single skid mark giving us a possible indication of how it might have happened. We really are not sure what actually happened.

We stop in Frazier Park at a Mexican Restaurant for burrito and lunch of various selections.

We head back on the 5 Freeway to our home ports about 105 miles away. The return is uneventful including a quick stop at a Jack-in-the-Box and then home. Ken is having some pain put can keep going as long as he doesn't have to walk.
Hoping for a speedy recovery and quick repair to the V-Star 1300, Ken is a real trooper.
According to Johneys new Garmin NAV system Total miles traveled from Best Buy to his house is:302, Average moving speed: 50.7 MPH Total time on the road: 7.33 hours, Total moving time: 6.05 hours, Total stopped time: 1.27 hours
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
  Over Ortega Hwy to Temecula 01-09-10
This was a fairly short ride considering we had to do a lot of chapter/charter reading details prior to getting out on the 5 freeway toward Route 74-Ortega Hwy. Total miles wound up at about 185 for the whole trip. Our ride leader is somewhat new and on a couple occasions while on the freeway, we moved over to the far right lane in preparation for our upcoming exit but it put us right in the path of oncoming traffic heading on to the freeway. I take issue with that as I don't want to be in the lane next to cars entering the freeway when we could have stayed in a lane or two over until after passing the on-ramp with heavy traffic. The trials of riding with larger groups I guess. There were no problems but still thought it might have been better handled.

Looks like S.T.A.B. or Start Trying All Brands may become our new alternate STAR chapter name as there were at least 4 Honda Gold Wings and 4 Harleys, 1 Victory Vision and possibly 1 or two other brands in the parking lot Saturday morning. That really is no problem at all but an indication that Yamaha may be falling behind the times by not keeping the styling and technology up to date with their big cruiser/Tourers. I'm still happy with my Road Star and would only buy another one if something happened to this one. Don't ask Chuck what he would do, he dumped the V-Star 1300 and bought a new Gold Wing.

Turns out this was probably my best ride through Ortega since I only really lost sight of the motorcycle in front of me one or maybe two times while heading downhill but I caught up fairly rapidly so I did not hold up the rest of the group very much at all. At least that's how I perceived the ride and I got no negative feed back from anyone as I had when in another ride leaders group-I just don't ride in his group any more.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Early Sunday morning just after Christmas and it's rather cold & nippy out so why not head into some really cold areas like Warner Springs at over 3,000 ft., and the town of Julian in North San Diego county at over 4,000 foot level with the desert town of Borrego in the middle. First thing to do is meet Ken at Denny's for breakfast and when he arrives learn that he totally missed Chapman Ave. and headed out to the 55 Fwy somewhere. No problem, we were still the first to arrive at the meeting point in the Best Buy Parking lot. Looks like it's Ken on his V-Star 1300, Luis & Minita on their V-Star 1300 and me on the white Road Star.

I made sure I would not be cold on this outing and put on the Tourmaster Sabre Jacket with liner, a fleece jacket under that, neoprene face mask, Cold-tex gloves with liners and base layer leg liners. Hands got only a little chilly but no where near freezing cold as in the past. I'm finally figuring what gear works and when.

We head out up the 57 Fwy to the 91 east and then turn south on the 15 Fwy toward Temecula. At route 79 we exit toward Warner Springs and the turn off to Montezuma Valley Road
View Larger Map

Montezuma Valley Road gets rather steep and twisty as you drop down into the Anza Borrego desert area, with a spectacular view of the desert floor.

On arriving in Borrego it's about 11:30 and we stop for gas, but I need less than 2 gallons.

This is the traffic circle.
There's even a mall in town-"The Mall"

Road heading out of Borrego

After a break it's off toward the mountain town of Julian via the Banner Grade and hopefully lunch.

The Banner Grade has it's share of tight turns and uphill grades

In town it's really jammed with Sunday sightseers. After circling the block we find a spot in front of the Rongbranch restaurant. I thought we were lucky to find a spot right in front to park but after eating the food, I'm not so sure. A review of the Rongbranch would justify the name of "WrongBranch". I ordered a hamburger, it was OK.
We head back toward Warner Springs on the 79 but first stop at an Indian Casino that is fairly new off the road to Warner. They have a Sunday buffet and maybe we should have tried that, but we can always come back at some other time.

Out the back patio at the casino looking over Lake Henshaw (what's left of it) and over to Mt. Palomar

I was in front for most of the ride and after questioning both Ken and Luis find that they are very happy with the pace I set while in the really curvy parts of the road, both down into Borrego and going up the Banner Grade to Julian. I hope they really mean it as I was happy with how I handled the turns and curves and only once did we have to pull over and let a couple cars zip past us. There is always someone that wants to go faster. Oh yes, we did get a fly-by along the way from two sport bike riders that just flew past over a double yellow. It's amazing how much straighter the road gets when you know how to take the curves by pushing down on the handlebars and using counter-steering, although I am still slower than other more experienced riders. I believe in "ride your own ride".

We stopped at the same Mobil station in Temecula and after a quick $6 worth of gas, it's up the 15 to the 91 and then home. Total distance for me 295 miles start to finish, and about 8 1/2 hours total time.

2006 Yamaha Road Star 1700 Silverado- Pearl White. Purchased from a private party with only 1815 miles on it. Weighs 780 lbs. with fuel and the new hard bags. My first lesson was 11/04 took MSF class in Fullerton and away I went. This is my 4th motorcycle if you can believe that. So far I put 26,500 miles on the Road Star since I bought it 09/27/07, The ODO shows 28,300 total miles. If you have a Google ID you can leave a comment but it will be reviewed first ...

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