Posted by: nativeiowan | July 18, 2014

cafe racing…

Went to say g’day to my buddy, Steve Carpenter, this morn. “Carpy” is a mad-Britt transplanted in SoCal. His thing is building bitchn’ cafe racers. Check his www. out: http://www.cb750cafe.com/ When I rode up this morn, it was way too easy to see which place was his… IMG_1403 Custom 500cc Royal EnfieldIMG_1404 Guess this to be a 74 Honda CB 750 customised as the “Rice Boiler”IMG_1405 Custom Triumph ThruxtonIMG_1406 Lots to tell. Though a short visit it was a good chat. Life is good…

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 15, 2014

Pasadena time: 1114am Tuesday 15 July 2014

Ok, back on-line after the London to LAX run.

Funny how a 10 hour flight – aint that bad – any more. I did though get home pretty weary.

I had been running in a sleep-deprivation state for a few days: Thursday I had rode 5 hours, traveled by train an hour and taxi’d through peak-hour London traffic for at least an hour and a half.

Friday I was up by 5am, in Munich by 2pm. Bruce, Melitta and I gabbed and gossip’d until 4am.

Saturday was a comfortable and slow morning: Up around 10, brunch around noon, then off playing and watching kids play and having fun. I think we got to bed by 2am that night.

Sunday was more travel, a taxi, a hotel; and a late night, because I got wired watching the World Cup final, and didn’t sleep until 2am.

Yesterday was a nother early one and a 1 hour taxi ride then a 10 hour flight then another hour taxi… I think I fell asleep/ passed out between 6 am 7pm.

I was up and organising at 4am.

I have sorted ll my clothes and gear. Laundry is done.

I’ve got the bike on the road… really, really like this Thruxton. What a faithful pony.

I have been shopping, and have my well deserved, much-needed pot of veggie soup on the stove.

 

I went to the bank, then checked at the City Hall about getting a drivers licence…ch copyCant do it here. I’ll go to a DMV office about 5 miles away in the morn and see what I can do.

This is a nice place to walk around. Polite n friendly folks, nice scenery and a good vibe. Pasadena is the City of Roses. The scent of roses abounds. Public and private yards display various varieties year round.

I must say though, I don’t spend a lot of time here. There is a convenience but this is USA-base-camp-01. It is nice to have the convenience of this pad. Proximity, comfort, safety, fun-ability… all score high. But I am not a City-Person.

London is a great CITY! I can spend time there. I want to spend time enough to become comfortable in many of the World’s Major Cities. New York, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, there are many… Alas, I do not consider LA and its surrounds to be in the same class as London. I do not mean to demean or negate LA but, for all its history, LA and its surrounds are no great city but rather a collection of interesting a diverse “Burbs” that have grown into one terribly complex and over-large urban sprawl.

And Pasadena is one of those very cool “burbs” that make LA a very interesting non-city.

Did I do that without pissing anyone off?

I hope so… More later

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 13, 2014

Full Circle, UK style

I sit in the lounge at The Hotel 41 in London… http://www.41hotel.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQjw3IieBRDl1oG0gr_PweoBEiQAwGHVw8YqMq3pGgUtmHpVWKUlzhcHosy0cIIZWCVKM2sN3IcaArU88P8HAQ

I arrived today from Munich via Garmisch. I feel rather at home here. Perhaps it is as simple as I like being known. Perhaps it is simple as I am a pretentious jerk. Perhaps it is simple as, in my current stage of existence, I enjoy being comfortable. And The Hotel 41 is indeed comfortable.

It is on Buckingham Palace Road. It is a great place to launch yourself into The City from.

But, alas, I do not get to launch myself this time. No, in about 45 minutes the World Cup finals shall start. In about 12 hours I’ll head to the airport and on to LA. I could and maybe should stay longer. The weather is good. My energy is high. My smile is huge. But I shall jump back to LA, spend some time catching up and organising my life there, before jumping back to the land of Aus.

Perhaps I’ll admit to some fatigue. Perhaps I have rode enough and walked enough. The truth is probably much different… I miss the family, the land of Oz and the work n enjoyment that awaits me there.

I know I have a lot of mowing to do in Palmwoods. I have some business to attend to with Don. And Grace and the boys have just returned from the Solos and will have tales n stories and lies and adventures for me. And I do look forward to it.

But I will probably ride a little bit in SoCal. Maybe find the Great Ocean Road and ride up north. Maybe shoot west n do some research on Route 66. Yet to be seen how long or what transpires in SoCal. Thus far in my current journey I have:

Brisbane to LA to Pasadena

Pasadena to Iowa RTN

Pasadena to LAX to London

London to and around the North Country and back to London

London to Munich to Garmisch

Garmisch to Munich to London

and tomorrow… London back to LA

And all is good.

All is very, very good.

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 13, 2014

ruminations on travels present

miles n trials

miles of trials

tears of rage

the pains of age

arthritic motions

lively pain n poetry

monolithic mountains

historic fountains

ancient earth works

castles, keeps and homesteads

airports, departures arrivals

a sense of survival

pervades mankind

past and present

All is evident

And real

And fun

And dynamic

And frustrating

And lesson filled

Emotion infused

And I remain enthused

Decade old muscles

Adjusting to the rigor

My youthful vigour

Not what it was

But it is a buzz

The family and friends

Memories and nostalgia

Generations coming

Generation past

All rehashed

Never meant to last

Gone t0o fast

With a big arsed grin

Maybe a gin

Or a vodka

Or bier

Or sparkling bubbles

My life is a gas

The world is a gem

Sharing is the key

As has been said before

Let it be…

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 12, 2014

Hang’n in Bavaria

with bro Bruce n Co…

mountains out the front door..

IMG_1389

li’ starletts…IMG_1390

 

Big kids… IMG_1392

 

outside the window… IMG_1393

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 10, 2014

Done rid’n the UK early

OK, though this was a great week in the UK, which saw some great riding, I am pulling the plug early…

Dropped the bike off at 2pm. Caught the 245 to Kings Cross n disgust actaxi to the hotel. I fly tomorrow to Munich. I will spend the weekend with the Rooster, fly back here Sunday then onto LA on Monday. Once in LA I will slowly, leisurely head back to Aus… After a fee days of soup n sleep.

The UK has been good.

I suggest those who ride should consider a trip over. The bike 500 pounds for a week. Fair by any measure. You can find costly or not hotels. Fuel is expensive by US standards. Food n grog is excellent, and I think reasonably priced.

So, my Aussie n Yank friends… Book now, you will enjoy..

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 9, 2014

Lake-Land riding

What a nice, nice ride. Through some great country. On some great roads. But with loads of traffic and plenty of impediments and obstacles. About 150 miles took me 5 hours today. But it was great riding.

My only road side stop today. Pumped the bilges and took a couple picts…IMG_1386

such green!vista 1 copy

can you say “fantastic motorcycle road”?vista 2 copy

 

So, more tired after 5 hours/150 miles of real riding than I am after 5 hours/400 miles of cruising.

All is guud…

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 8, 2014

Motorcycle Review: Triumph Street Triple R

There is a lot I like about this bike. I like the engine. I like the three cylinder smoothness… That strange “buzz” in the engine when an odd number of pots are pumping out power. It gives us 105bhp on a weight of 182kgs. All of that is very, very good. The ABS brakes have come in handy a couple of times…

IMG_1371

IMG_1372

 

I like the black n red combo of this machine… by the way, I rented it from Paul at  www.openroadrentals.co.uk , I highly recommend their services.

Thank gawd for ABS…Due to the way this ride, my unfamiliarity with it and the fact I have been on the Thruxton so much lately: I was coming round a sharp bend on the “SNAKE” …

*from Wikipedia: The Snake Pass is the name given to the remote, higher reaches of the A57 road where it crosses the Peak District between Manchester and Sheffield in Northern England. More specifically, the name usually refers to the section between the town of Glossop and the Ladybower Reservoir, where the road passes over the Pennines watershed between the moorland plateaux of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow (the highest point is 1,680 feet (510 m) above sea level). The Woodhead Pass (A628) is an alternative road route to the Snake Pass linking Manchester and Sheffield.

I lost the line and lost the angle of attack and, if there had been a car on-coming, I would have lost the farm. But, indeed, the ABS brakes were a saviour. There was a sheer rock-face I was speeding toward and I was all ready to prepare for impact when I realised the brakes were going to pull my ragged arse outa the fire.

There are some things I don’t like about this bike. It is not a Cafe Racer. My knees are too far forward, my elbows are too high, I can’t lie on the tank bag (which barely fits anyway). It is (like most modern sport bikes) sprung too high. I have had a couple of times where the high-arsedness of the bike has caused me consternation. It is a sweet, sweet ride but it is not my kinda ride.

Much like my F800R, this bike is great but it offers things I am not interested in, and even, which I do not understand… Why do these sport bikes kick their arses so high. I am not racing this bike, I am riding it. I want a lower bike, with lower handle bars. As I ride in high gear I want to kick my feet back and lean on my tank bag. I want to drop my elbows and tilt my head down – face into the wind. I guess the high arse is “cool”, but I agvce up trying, “trying” to be cool decades ago.

But that is me. I am a bit ol-style, and I am very opinionated… AND I DON’T LIKE THE FACT THERE IS NO CHROME TANK BADGE. Why do we put a sticker on it. It’s a dern Triumph! Put a nice, traditional chrome Triumph badge on it…

TB copy

It is a good, good machine. Like the F8ooR, it is a great machine for all levels of riders. With an ability to run up to 12000rpms, it is fast, fast, fast. but the power, the horse power, is way high in the revs. It cruises at 80mph at 4500rpms. You can twist it up at 4500rpms in 6th and as she increases revs she sorta stands up and jumps. You can goose the throttle but after it hits 6000revvs please beware. It does bite.

And life is good… good for a foolish ol fart enjoying his youthful retirement in the most smile filled way possible…

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 8, 2014

Riding in the Lake District

Tuesday eve here, about 530pm. I have not rode more than 350 miles in 2 days but it has been an interesting 350 miles…

UKride 1 copy

My plans, desire, need to visit the Isle of Man has been circumvented. Basically I fudged up n realise too late that I need to plan further in advance for this. I can catch the Ferry over on the date I want, but not back when I need. Hotels are pretty booked out and my plan of just rocking up and getting a room, where I want, is not happening.

So this will be where I am riding over the next couple days. Based out of Westmorland I have some 600 miles of good terrain to ride through, enjoy and write about…

wsmrlnd copy

And all is indeed very, very good

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 6, 2014

Whatz nexxt?

London weekend almost done. I am shattered/ exhausted/ depleated and hapi, hapi as hell.

Tomorrow morn I go pickup a rental bike and head off…

1)Herforshire to Liverpool:livpool copy

Then to the Isle of Man, the home of 2 wheeled speed…iom copy

 

From there I shall ride the “Lake Country” of Cumbria…ridUK copy

And end up “home’ in Swepstone by the week’s end…

Gonna be a great ride…

big smiles…

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