Central Coast '11
Why not go somewhere different?
[ Wednesday -
April 27, 2011 ]
I get the unfortunate news straight from the horse's mouth that Minh
might not be able to make the trip. He just got home from
work. My clock is showing 10:40 PM. This year's Central
Coast trip is it's suppose to be a three day trip, but from the look of
things, it might not even happen at all. Bummer! I really
need this ride. Work has been hard and the economy sucks
eggs. Oh well, I told Minh to pop some Zinc and take Thursday to
rest. Hopefully he'll feel well enough to call me Thursday night
and say, "Let's go!" But as usual, only time can tell. I'm
fine with just Friday and Saturday. Hell! Any trip is
better than no trip. Worst case, I might have to just do a day
ride on Friday.
GS? 12R? Which is it going to be? It's quite the
dilemma. Both bikes are road capable. One if more
comfortable than the other. One has more furl range than the
other. The GS is comfort. The 12R has the range.
Which is going? I feel like a politician flip flopping back and
[ Thursday - April 28, 2011 ]
Around 8PM and I get a call on my cell phone. It's my buddy
Minh. Now let's see if we're going or canceling. The
question is asked, "Do you still want to go?" he says. Now what
kind of question is that? I returned, "It's up to you. If
you feel up to it, we'll go otherwise we can cancel." "We can go
and come back on Sunday." To which I said, "No, I have to be back
by Saturday as I have obligations." "Two day it is. We'll
meet at the usual starting spot at 8:00AM." "Starbucks it
is. I really need this ride."
In this case, we have both packed and are ready to go, so it's just a
matter of performing some minor setup and off we go.
[ Friday - April
29, 2011 ]
In the end, I settled on...
Easy to fix with flats and has at least 250 miles to the tank.
I'm late and so is Minh. That's alright. Better late than
never. A tall sweetened ice coffee, a tall iced mocha, and we're
set to go!
210 and 5... they are freeways. All I can say is it gets us to
Gorman and Frazier Park really fast. We brunch at the new Ranch
House restaurant. It use to be a Sizzlers and then turned into
some type of buffet. But now it's just a local version of
Denny's. It's a decent brunch at a decent price. Nice folks
Frazier Park and Cerro Noroeste. What can I say, and old and
beautiful road. There's nobody on it. That's part of the
beauty. I can't decide to ride fast or ride slow and enjoy as
much of it as I can. In the end, I did both.
We decided to take and alternate route this time around. We
plotted to go on Skyline Road near Taft as a start to our long detour
to the central coast. When we make that final turn off Elk Hills
road, we're met by a gated road. It's a big 4 lane load with a
big guard shack with a sign that says, "Please show employee
badge". Of course, on paper and Google maps, there is no
indication that this area is private property. We rolled up to
the shack and I ask some simple questions. The gal asks, "How can
I help you?" I said, "So I gather this not a public road."
She responds, "No. This is private property. Where are you
trying to get to?" "Skyline road." "If it's the Skyline
road I think it is, it's also private property. This area is
owned by the oil company." "My guess is it's the same Skyline
road you're talking about." "Yes, it's private property and you won't
be able to get there." "OK. Let me go ahead and make a
U-turn." "Sure." We turn around and head back out. I
guess it's to be expected with all of the oil pumps all around.
We stop at the opposite side to the gate to take a breather and discuss
what to do next. In the meanwhile, I told Minh to submit his
Minh told me I should have told the gal that we're looking for some
"cheap gas". Too bad I didn't think of that. I would have
Never to disappoint. HWY 58 is beautiful and a pleasure to ride.
A good section of it is extremely windy, but we still manage to ride it
at 60-65 MPH with a lean.
In Atascadero, at the local Starbucks, Minh met a guy that asked him
about his suit. Minh starts to relay the story to me, "A guy
asked me if I ride." Just with that comment before Minh can go on
with his story I responded, "No. I'm just a poser and like to
dress up like this. What kind of question is that?" Minh's
response to the snide remark, "Ha ha ha! Yeah, I just like to dress
like this so I can go to a Starbucks and look like I'm riding a
bike. When asked what kind of bike I ride... I ride a
bicycle." Yup, I totally messed up Minh's story, but it is
funnier than hell. "I'm just a poser that like to pretend I ride
a motorcycle so I dress up like this and go to Starbucks," I commented
further. Come on people, it's pretty obvious with the boots,
heavy pants, heavy jacket and a load of armor that he's a moto
nut. Oh well, I guess the guy is just trying to find and opening
comment to start a conversation. Now what was it that Minh
was trying to tell me again?
We make excellent time and arrive at Morro Strand State Beach around
4:30 PM. It's pretty empty and it's light. I think this is
the first time that we have arrived at this campsite with this much
sunlight left to the day. We setup camp and get ready to go get
some sustenance for dinner.
Camp all setup. Time to go get stuff for some chow.
Angus 80% lean, 20% fat hamburgers. Man does it taste so
good. For dessert we have Haagen Dazs pineapple coconut ice
cream. Now this type of roughin' it is what I'm talking about.
During the course of the evening, we talk about a lot of things, but
one thing in particular popped up. It is the comment, "Why don't
you go somewhere else instead of the same place again?" Well, the
answer is simple. The Central Coast trip is normally the start of
all trips for the year. It's a good starting point to assess our
physical condition after a winter of no long rides. It's also a
simple destination and an all around enjoyable ride. But the
basics of it all is, because we can do it and the journey is what we're
after. In other words... we ride just to ride.
[ Saturday - April
30, 2011 ]
All too soon, it's the start of the end. Eggs, sausage, and toast
for breakfast. It's all good and we're filled. Time to pack
up and head out.
Zero foot print.
Proof that things don't last forever. The gas station that use to
be off of Main street is no longer there. We ended up making a
U-turn and heading into San Luis Obispo to get gas. Just as
well. Our destination for today is Santa Barbara for some lobster.
55 miles worth of tarmac and concrete. The Blackbird and 12R
chews it up like a small piece of candy. Next thing we know we're
in Santa Barbara at the Shell Fish Co. If there is such a thing,
I think I nearly over dosed on lobster. That's my quota for the
We finish up the trip when we finally reach Pasadena around 6:30
PM. It's definitely a short trip, and it's all so sweet.
In the end I'm glad I took the 12R because it's such an awesome bike
when it comes to tarmac.
Written on: April 30, 2011
Last modified: April 30, 2011