As usual, the group gets split into two and we're stuck behind an RV
and then a trailer.
Finally, out from behind slow vehicles climbing a hill and on to open
road. The sky cleared up just in time for some beautiful
It's hard to really see anything going
at 70 MPH.
Finally caught up with Eugene.
The left turn from the 154 to head to
Something about an Indian casino, money, and Minh.
Sometimes it hurts to be a guy that can barely handle a R12GS and
to park it.
We were all in the process of parking our bikes (squeezing 6 motos into
one car spot) when this older lady, standing on the side walk admiring
our motos, started rambling on about something or other. At first
she mumbled about BMWs and then proceeded to talk about her
ex-boyfriend and motorcycles. Not too long after her initial
verbosity we were all getting that Mr. Spock look (one raised eye brow
signifying ... WTF). We all figured she was out to get
something. Something I don't want to mention and that none of us
were willing to find out. Fortunately, we mozzied around our
bikes long enough that she left.
We all had lunch and hung around Solvang for a while. It was
warm, really warm. Having accomplished lunch, Russell and Minh
decided they needed a pick me up before we all started heading
back. The went to a bakery/coffee shop for coffee while the rest
of us stood outside the shop yapping it up about something or
other. When Russell and Minh were done, we all started suiting up
for the ride home. One turn here, another turn there to pull
equipment out of my Marsee tail bag and what do I see? We're
starting to draw a crowd. It's like they have never seen
motorcycles before. By the time we were ready, we have people
looking at us from behind and from the other side of the street.
It's cool. I guess it's nice to see something other than a Harley
now and again.
The ride from Solvang back to Santa Barbara was no big deal. We
all got to the same 76 gas station that we initially stopped at earlier
than morning. We all fueled up for the last time and said our
farewells. Little did we all realize, this is where the so called
"real fun" begins. Eugene, Jaime, Carlos and Minh started ahead
of Russell and myself. Russell and I didn't feel the need to
catch up since we were all heading in different directions
anyway. This is suppose to be a simple quick zip home on the 101
freeway. Boy were we ever wrong.
About 5 miles East of Santa Barbara ... what is this? A traffic
jam? Yes, a massive traffic jam. One fortunate thing is
that I've ditched my Touratech 30/40 liter panniers several weeks
ago. I have consolidated my belongings down to a 20 liter Marsee
tail bag. This means I can split without too much worries (e.g.
no slapping car's bee-hinds). I'm glad. I decided to lead
the splitting effort since Russ is a Yamaha R1 and his profile is small
enough that some cars might have a problem seeing him. One thing
you have to keep in mind. My R12GS is stock when it comes to the
cans. I haven't bothered to change out the cans for louder
ones. Personally, I prefer the quietness. Anyway, I'm able
to split without problems. What's funny is the fact that three
Harley rides came up behind us starting to make all kind of
noise. Of course their intent was to make people hear them and
allow them to pass. In reality, it did just the opposite.
It make people get pissed off and refuse to let them through. In
one instance, a driver of a Suzuki Amigo refuses to let the loud
Harleys through. I saw one of the two guys break off from
splitting going to the driver side of the car to make some kind of
comment. Apparently it wasn't a nice comment so one of the
passengers took out an empty water bottle and tried to throw it at the
*sshole Harley dude. I saw the entire thing and laughed at the
passenger's attempt. I passed that same Amigo without any fuss on
their side. I don't think the noise they're making is really
helping them much. I'm still able to split lanes at the same
speed or faster. Russell and I ended passing them up at least
twice. In my situation, people were genuinely nice and made way
for us to pass. Maybe it has something to do about the fact that
I thank people for moving to one side for us.
The entire trip from Santa Barbara to my house is approximately 115
miles via the 101 freeway. Of those 115 miles, I think we ended
up splitting 40-50 miles. That's not exaggeration. I was
dead tired when I got home. Even Russell said that was the
longest he had ever split lanes. The next time I go to Santa
Barbara, I'm avoiding the 101. Among all the mess, what I didn't
realize was that Eugene got separated (or dumped) by Jaime. The
poor guy was uncomfortable with splitting and ended up doing the deed
from Santa Barbara to Moorpark at 15 MPH. The bad joojoo is that
I had passed Eugene on the Santa Barbara freeway parking lot
somewhere. Had I known, I would have had him split behind me
along with Russell. Poor guy, he eventually made it home without
incidence but it took him a long time. The next day he told me he
was dead tired when he got home. Next time, I'm making Eugene
stick to my pack so he doesn't get dumped. I don't believe in
leaving people behind.
In the end, it was a fun day. Who knows, the next time we might
head out to Santa Barbara for some sea food.