Posted by: nativeiowan | July 28, 2014

Pack’n up…

My time riding in the US of A has come to an end. For now anyway, I need to jump the big, peaceful pond and see what is happening in the land of Oz. Guess I been playing a bit too long, and now it’s time to get home and get my “home-work” done.

This pad in Pasadena has been a great base camp. Thruxton-the-Third has been a great machine. A wonderful piece of engineering, and a very fine companion. I shall go down and pull the battery and put it all under cover. I’ll get total milage on the clock then… IMG_1431 So we have 5400 miles over the past  5 weeks and 4 days… respectable, indeed… Considering a couple weeks were spent in the UK and Europe… respectable indeed.

The fact that I can ride great, great roads within reasonable proximity to the Pasadena pad is positive. I’ll figure it out in the long run, noting that early, early riding ensures a better city-run than coming in during rush hour.

The riding has been better than guuuud. I have now refined my long distance riding to a level where I know what I can do; and the easiest way, for me, to achieve the riding goals I choose to set. And I know now that I can set aggressive goals. That I can ride days on end, cover long distances and maintain a decent standard of health n happiness.

But time to fly south… and all is very, very good indeed…

more later

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 27, 2014

Pasadena Time… 155pm Sunday 27 July, 2014

Ok, I am a bit beat from last week’s ride. I was up at 5am and rid’n today by 7am. Home by about 930am after aborting early due to traffic on the Angeles Pass. Traffic wasn’t right and I saw grief in the long-ride so I turned around n went home. I think I’ll ride this again next week one day n see how much better it be.

As I learn the roads I need to learn the seasonal changes that control each ride-worthy road.

So it’s a greek salad n burger afternoon. I haven’t eaten a cooked meal in 2 days… When I got back from the HWY 1 ride I was pretty damaged… started Friday with a hang over. Rode hours hard on demanding roads, then hit the city… and the city traffic… talk about tense… stressful, challenging… ride LA on a Friday afternoon… if I was home by 4pm I was asleep by 8 or 9pm… After well over 6 hours in the saddle. The last two nights have found me asleep early and cranking way too early… Need to turn this around a bit.

I have slept a lot n eaten little. I keep crackers n peanut butter, almonds, n “good” junk in the house to survive. But I need a feed… and a couple of beers. This place has 155 beers on tap… they sell more beer in this joint than the rest of this “area” combined. Or so I am told by “David”.

So far so good…

The salad n burger we good. The beers have slip down silently and rest happily in my hopper. The alcohol is taking effect n and I am happier camper than when I walked in.

It’s a block n a half from the apartment… I think I’m heading soon to a nap…

Life is good.

 

 

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 27, 2014

Angeles Crest Highway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Angeles Crest Highway (highlighted in red)

The Angeles Crest Highway is a two-lane (one lane of travel in each direction) segment of California State Route 2 in the United States. The road is 66 miles (106 km) in length, with its western terminus at the intersection at Foothill Boulevardin La Cañada Flintridge and its eastern terminus at State Route 138 northeast ofWrightwood. The majority of the route passes through the mountainous terrain located north of the Los Angeles basin. Its alignment passes through the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains. Segments of the road reach altitudes above 7,000 feet (2,100 m), with a summit of 7,903 feet (2,409 m) at the DawsonSaddle, which makes this road one of the highest in Southern California.

Ok… This is a ride not 20 minutes from my garage… So I was up early and ran part of this ride. I turned around about 8am as traffic and bizzyness on the road was picking up.

I note that there are heaps of police on the road. Lots of big trucks n vans and wagons… it looks like they plan to arrest a lot of driveers n riders today. I saw some fast running sport riders who may well end up unhappy today. I suggest that this is a road you don’t go speeding on, at least during the weekend.

I’ll aim to go ride this one day during the week…

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Posted by: nativeiowan | July 26, 2014

Found my next ride…

And it should be a good one… Only a short distance from the Pasadena Pad.

I-210 to Route 138[edit]

Main article: Angeles Crest Highway

Angeles Crest Highway as it winds through the Angeles National Forest.

The route turns north onto the Angeles Crest Highway, cutting through an obscure mountainous portion ofPasadena. This route winds generally east-northeast through the canyons of the San Gabriel Mountains for over 80 miles (130 km), before descending through Big Pines and Wrightwood to the edge of the Victor Valleyapproximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Hesperia and ending at SR 138. Starting in La Canada Flintridge at an altitude of 1,300′ (394m) the highway climbs to a high point of 7,903′ (2,395m) at Dawson Saddle. The eastern portions of the Angeles Crest Highway are notoriously dangerous, with many switchbacks and blind curves, and are often closed during occasions of heavy winter snowfall. The highway is generally closed between Islip Saddle and Vincent Gap from mid-December to mid-May due to snow and rockfall.

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I think I’ll ride up to Wrightwood n back the same road, just to get to know the ride… This could become my general daily ride when I need to get away from the city n out on my own with 2wheels…

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 26, 2014

HWY 1 CA: Monterey to San Luis Obispo

Had a dynamite ride down the southern end of HWY 1.

Pulled in to the parking area at Pasadena at 340pm. took off from Monterey shortly after 9am. I rode steady noting that the first couple hours were very challenging; both the roads, which are as demanding as the northern HWY 1 stretches, but add a decent fog/ mist on the coast which makes the roads unpredictable, make vision through the visor difficult, meaning you need to wipe the visor every so often. A distraction on a road you don’t want distractions whilst riding…

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It is spectacular.

I left Monterey about 9am. Had a fun, fun eve with Andy n Angie n Ava n Alec. Great fun. Plenty of laughs. Great good fun.

Ava n Alec have no hope… gonna be “biker” bitten for life:

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The coast was foggy n damp and challenging. The roads were OK in that I could normally get around traffic and travel at my speed. I was passed by a bike and a V8 Black street-wagon. My average speed for the morning was less than 50mph…

mry slo copyIt is a spectacular ride. A worthy ride. A ride shall do again very soon and very often. I am though quite tired. We stayed up late, drank a tad bit too much wine and laughed and wrestled and carried on until too late. I was not 1000% this morn but the ride revived and invigorated me. I welcome the first 100 miles in the morn. I refueled first with my helmet on and second took a break n had a drink n a cookie. Third I bought a juice n took a break. Total distance of about 330 miles. Half of it slow coastal and the other half its super-highway stuff. I had more close calls on the highway than on the byway.

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Left noon Tuesday and back by 4pm Friday. Bad part of this is the time it takes to get into and out of the city. That needs more work. 3 hours of “traffic” is way to stressful.

Where to ride next????

Posted by: nativeiowan | July 24, 2014

cafe racer-style, HWY 1 CA

Highway 1 offers so much. It goes from overloaded with hazard and risk to being down right boring. And after the first couple hours of riding I was happy to welcome the boring… The first jump this morn was pretty intense… I was on the road basically alone and still only averaged about 30mph over my first 80-some miles.

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It does not look like much but the 80-some miles took me 2.5 hours and had me breathing hard and stilling my beating heart. It is a terrific, demanding, hard, frightening, beautiful, and fun-filled ride… I found this online…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrRokto2U1c

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It is 80 miles of switchbacks, steep up n down hill runs, and dangerous traffic.

The roads are pretty good, indeed, very good. Lots of traffic entering from the sides and the roads, even the straightaways are hillock prone so you seldom, rarely see what is coming up on you. My eyes are looking as far ahead as I can see. Which is not very far in some places…

A nice, snakey down hill run into a 15mph right hand turn. Down fast, drop 2 gear, pop the clutch and rev the engine and lean in one fluid motion. Speed has been spilt off and I am into the tight-right where I accelerate, up hill, over a hillock which almost raises my front wheel as I accelerate into a 30mph left hander. I am probably hitting 50mph, uphill, and just picking my line and leaning into the leftie… All I see ahead of me is blue sky and a bank of clouds, down on the water, about 800 feet below. I’ll use what camber there is and lean the bike into right tire track of the road… and I see it. The massive chrome bumper and the huge chrome grill. All attached to a fire-engine red PeterBuilt, pulling a 40 foot long load of logs… down hill, with steaming brakes, halfway into my lane, as he turns his nose downhill… yep, a shot of adrenaline is useful… I snatched the front brake giving it two quick pulls, dropped down a gear, popped the clutch then hit another lower gear, as I stood the bike up, out of the curve and bled speed as I almost went onto the very small shoulder which is attached to the 800 foot sharp decent…

I rode out of that at probably 25mph. it was not a drastic encounter, but it could have been. I saw the truck first. Then I saw the bus sized mobile home and the 12 cars behind the truck. All itching at the brakes and frustrated by the truck.

There is so much to mention… the high, winding switchbacks, visible into the distance, above the fog and clouds hundreds of feet below, on the water. The small and interesting looking towns… Manchester, Guhulala, Sea Ranch… so many sights, so many smells, so many fleeting visuals.

And its the fleeting visuals thats gonna get you in trouble… the vehicles coming in from the side are the worse… You see them, they act like they’ll stop then “DAD” gooses his minivan in an effort to hit 60mph within the 23 seconds he has before you get to the intersection. Its only after you brake hard, stare Dad in the eye, so that he hangs his head in shame for being so impatient… The log trucks are so, so dangerous… because they are so, so big… And the local buses… these guys know the roads and drive “too fast”. Follow them closely at your peril. Anything with lights, any official vehicles should be well watched. I was cranking on 101 yesterday, doing 75mph in a 65; I was passed by a big-arsed cop, on a big white hog, passing me at speed. They think they own the road. There is lots to watch out for… old men in fancy cars… and even worse… old women in fancy cars… I love the huge mobile-homes with the car and the boat hitched behind… going down hill you can feel the heat from their breaks. I’ll write this all up later as it is an important part of my riding, but…

HWY 1…wow… what a ride! After Bodega Bay is mellows out but from Leggett to Bodega Bay… gotta be one of the top rid’n/ driv’n roads on the planet. I shall come back, again and again.

From Jenner I shot to Petaluma, across the golden Gate Bridge, through SanFran and down to Monterey.

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The HWY1 here is a bit different. Different scenery, flora and fauna. More agriculture. more traffic, more bugs and bad drivers.

So sitting in a fancy place in Monterey. Have been emailing with Andy and his gang and they are going to join me for supper tonight. Hope they get here soon. I am going to be poor company after this next beer. I am fading quickly. But I shall survive… not much to do in the morn, no… Only another 7 hours in the saddle…

Tomorrow…

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Posted by: nativeiowan | July 24, 2014

Mendocino, CA

Spending the night in a nice, yuppie class, kid friendly,with dispensers for “mutt-mitts”. When I travel I am willing to spend a couple of dollars on a good bed and an even better meal. After a long day of driving it is easy to end up with an upset stomach. The “runs” in super-zipped-up leather suits is not good newz. Nor is a week of constipation. So I plan my days and nights aiming to ride within my personal abilities. And staying as healthy as is possible.

Today was a funny, funny ride… first jump was only: 101-2-0 copy

I think it took me more than 4 hours to reach Santa Rosa. Mainly due to going through SanFran. A ride down memory lane in many ways.

It was worth a total of 8hrs of travel, maybe 6 to 7hrs of saddle time. I didn’t stop much but at one point I’d averaged 25 mph over an hour stretch of SanFran City. And all is good, my day’s ride is done. The Pacific Coast is over yonder. Pleasing place to end a long day….

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Highway 1, what can I say…

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Better have damn good brakes plus decent speed control… it is as demanding a ride as you make it…

The air is clean and crisp. The wind is worth note. Vistas are dangerous… don’t stare too long or you’ll be in honest trouble.

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There is traffic and the narrow, through-forest, and along coast roads don’t allow for much “racing”. I had a couple “close calls” in traffic today but ifn you got your radar on and you’re rides eyes wide open, looking way, way ahead; you can see the dumb-shits, long before they hurt you. And the close calls I had were, honest, close calls. Ride eye-open or not at all, on these roads.

You gotta have it all switched “ON”.

Which is the kinda riding I like. I rode through downtown San Fran this morn. Down Mission, past all the once known names and places. Over the Golden Gate Bridge. North into Redwood Country.

And it is pretty country. All of it. But once you get north of Santa Rosa it just opens up with splendor. I rode from Santa Rosa to Leggitt to get on to Hwy 1…

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All through amazing land. Much under the agricultural hand. Much still dry n wild. Lots of cool scenery and mini-mountains and small roadside towns. I turned onto Hwy 1 at Leggett. The next 40 miles are severe, to be kind, very severe… hard turns, up n down hill, traffic both ways. Demanding riding.

But it works… there are “turn-offs” where a slower vehicle can pull over. And it works. You can ride as fast or as slow as you like. And it is pretty but don’t be too much of a tourist. It is a demanding road and big trucks with logs or super-huge buses type campers take up a lot of room. These corners are blind. If they say 20 mph they mean it plus 10. But not plus 20.

It took a full tank of gas to get to Mendocino… A very decent and good day’s ride.

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And I end up where I be… as I write this…

A dawg friendly Bar… what a place! I like it a lot. Three dogs are hanging at the bar.

Check it out… CHECK IT OUT!!!! ….

http://www.stanfordinn.com/

For light riders of my age-group, this is perfect…

The restaurant is ideal for my needs… I just said no to the “burger” and the gal said “we’re vegan”. I smiled and laughed. A vegan burger. I like it. I like it a lot. It’s a fun and friendly and hippy cool sorta venue. I dig it. The gardens are “over yonder” and the chef/ nutritionist chats the clients up, as the dogs rattle their chains and the beer’s bubbles dance in the end-day’s sunshine.

Much like the place I stayed in the Lake District, this has a good vibe. A solid, NorCal, hippie vibe which I most definitely identify with.

Tomorrow… 010204 copy

And all is good…

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.

 

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