Edwards Air Force
So it is here. Finally. October 22nd 2005. The first of two
days of the Edwards AFB Open house. We have been planning for
this ride ever since the end of the Central
Coast trip in May. The idea is to meet everybody at the
IHOP in east Pasadena to head off to Edwards AFB in the Mojave (east of
Rosamond). Unfortunately, there will only be three of us this
time around. Joseph is busy with his MSF motorcycle class to finally get
his M1 license. Kevin had recently been in a bad motorcycle
his new Honda Interceptor so he can't make it. Kevin got away
with a fractured pinky and some minor bruises. Lucky him.
His Joe Rocket jacket and pants took the brunt of the impact. You
can never wear too much protective clothing I say. As for the me
and the new R1200GS, the run-in is done and I'm ready to head off to
check out the wild blue yonder.
The day started off early for Russell and myself. We both got to
the IHOP at a little after 8:00am. I had contacted Primo but
wasn't sure he was going to make it. Russ and I decided to just
take it easy and put some warm food inside us. We sat around for
about an hour and to my pleasure and surprise, Primo shows up.
second comment after "Hi" was, "You guys didn't think I was going to
show up huh?". I have to agree with that but we're glad to see he
showed up. We all finished our food and got ready to head
out. Southern California was socked in so it was a little nippy.
This is my first major ride with the R1200GS. I didn't know what
to expect but I already knew the bike was going to be nice and smooth
on the freeway.
Primo and myself all ready to go check out some major multi-million
Our route was simple. 210 to the 14 all the way to Rosamond, hang
right and head straight into the Edwards AFB's west gate. All
said and done, it's about 120 miles from Pasadena to the Edwards west
gate one way. We were told by the base security guards that we
needed bright orange reflective safety vest in order to ride our bikes
on the base. However, this proved to be not necessary. When
we got the the west gate, the guards didn't force us to put the vest
on. I figure the guards are slack on this because most people
that ride in don't know the safety requirements. We had some
but ended up not using them.
The entire ride on the 210 was uneventful.
It was a little cold so Primo had to make a stop to put on
more clothing. He was starting to get hypothermia. After a
quick wiz and more clothing thrown on, we were back on the freeway
heading towards the 14 junction.
The southern part of the 14 freeway proved to be formidable in terms of
wind because of
the channeled wind from the Mojave desert down to Santa Clarita and
Sand Canyon. The gusts would periodically nudge me here and there
and the rest of the wind would manifest itself as buffeting. The
closer we got to Palmdale, the more I started noticing the constant
eastward wind that I know so well. My older brother use to live
in Lancaster and I would frequent visits so the constant wind was no
We made it all the way to Lancaster and stopped at a Mobil gas station
on J avenue on the West side of town for a quick break and a fill
up. Gas pumped and power aid consumed, we were back on the 14
heading North towards Edwards AFB. We got to the west gate, the
guard looked at us, handed us a piece of paper and we're on the
base. We rode a little bit and then quickly encountered heavy
traffic heading towards the show. Primo split ahead while Russell
and I hanged in traffic. When we got close to the flight line,
the guard pointed at us and told us "motorcycles go in that
direction". Cool!! We get preferential treatment for being
on two wheels. On the other hand, all the cars had to head
towards the far far far away parking. We ended up at the very
front of all the parking and start getting out of our bike gear.
The weather had changed for the better around the 210 and 14
junction. The sky had cleared up and the sun was shinning.
The temperature rose to a nice 80 F (e.g. we were starting to roast in
out bike gear while sitting in traffic at Edwards AFB) all the way to
the base. We arrived at around 11:30-12:00pm so there were plenty
of people walking around and the planes were already flying. The
air show starts at 10:00am so we have missed part of it already.
The west gate actually opened at 7:00am.
Russell and I pass the entrance to the show. We were trying to
Entrance to the show from the inside looking out.
At long last, Primo shows up. It was hard for him to find us
we were out of our motorcycle gear.
From here on the rest is all planes...
Here is something interesting for you. Three NASA planes. 1
modified F-15 with fins installed on the front, one F-18 that appears
slightly plumped up, and one what appears to be a turbo
prop. The F-18 appears to have vector thrust and was performing
some pretty amazing tricks. The turbo prop would fly along at a
stead clip (probably around 300-500 MPH) and the F-18 would have and
angle of attack about 45 degrees and fly along side the turbo prop at
the same speed. I should have taken a picture but was too busy
having fun with the spectacle. It was pretty amazing to see a jet
fly along side a turbo prop at such a slow speed.
The NASA F-15 was performing some really tight and strange
maneuvers. You gotta be there and see it to see how cool it was.
The little NASA Turbo Prop that could.
Do you want to see a cow? Here's one coming right up... the B52
was ever soooooooo.... sloooow... but it was cool to watch so
long as you have the patience.
We watched the air show for a little while longer and eventually left
at around 3:00pm. The ride back was uneventful also. Just a
lot of buffeting and wind nudges here and there. Interestingly
enough, once we got to the very south end of the 14 freeway, we
encountered cold climate once more. Southern California was still
It was a fun day. I look forward to taking the wife and kids to
the show next year. The only bad thing about that is I have to
drive. What is up with this driving
Next up, a motorcycle trip with the gang to Death Valley.
Let's see who can make it this time.
Written on: November 29, 2005
Last modified: November 29, 2005