Central Coast '10 - Day 1
Wasn't that the SUV?...

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Total: 253 miles
Est. time: 10 hours

[ Saturday - May 1 , 2010 ]

Surprisingly, it didn't take forever to pack for this trip.  Is it experience?  Is it because it's only one night?  I don't know, but packing ended at 9:00pm.  That's a new record for me.  Most of the other guys slacked off work and stayed home yesterday (Friday) to pack.  In the Captain's case, he stayed home to psych himself up for the task today.  Hey!  That's not fair.  I still have to work and them come home to pack.  Crying aside, I still managed to get it all ready relatively quickly.

As of last night, the question was... GS?  R?  GS?  R?  In the end, I settled for the R as it's smoother on the road and it appears to have less wind buffeting.  At least that's the illusion.  That along with other things like laziness in terms of not needing to lube the chain and things like that.

The luggage still has the '07 R12R colors.

This configuration looks OK but was eventually a pain in the back.  Almost literally.
(look at the 8GS lurking around in the background)

Nu came over last night to tell me his rear brake was spongy.  Oh man!  Why couldn't he have worked this earlier in the week instead of waiting until the last minute to deal with it.  I was pissed last night, but I resolved to just deal with it today.  It's a 10 minute procedure, according to Speedy, to bleed the breaks.  Unfortunately, Speedy can't find his kit this morning so we have to resort to stopping at an Autozone or Pep Boys, on the way out of town, to fix Nu's rear spongy brake problem.

Oh my, for once we're all at our designated meeting place in time.  Starbucks.  Not only that, we left to meet up with the Sgt on time.  We arrive at Osborne, Little Tujunga, in Sunland at 9:30 am.  Wow!  We're actually on time one again.  This must be a sign of a new beginning.  15 minutes later, the Sgt shows up.  "What took you so long?  We were going to go ahead and let you meet us at Morro Bay," exclaimed the Captain.  The only thing is, the Sgt doesn't know how to get to Morro Bay by himself.  Likely story since I provided routing information weeks ahead.  In the meanwhile Johnny is checking his tire pressure.  21 PSI.  Wow!  That's just wrong.  We need to get to a gas station and change that number to at least 33 PSI.  OK.  This means a little detour to take care of both Nu and Johnny.

This, that, and the other thing, we're done putting air in Johnny's tires at 10:30 am.  Wait a minute, where did all the time go?  Now we're starting off much later than expected.  Let's get on the road and get out of town.  IHOP for breakfast?  Forget it.  It was a good idea until I looked at the clock.  We zipped right on by with the Captain point a finger in the general direction of the IHOP.  No way man!  I want to get out of town.  At this rate it's brunch and not breakfast.

We pull in at "The Big Oaks" bar and grill.  The Captain wasn't happy.   He was looking forward to that delectable omelet.  Speedy was looking forward to the omelet also, but at least he wasn't as hard up about as the Captain.  Sorry Captain, I want to get out of town otherwise we'd still be lingering in a shopping center somewhere.  3 x tri tip sandwich, 4 x polish dogs, and 7 x Cokes.  It's not the best brunch but at least we'll be good for a while.  The funny thing is, we've only ridden 70 some odd miles.  How pathetic.  We haven't even busted the 100 miles mark and we're stopping left and right.  Again, at least we're out of town.

During the time we're all chewing on polish dogs or trip tip sandwiches, Nu is busily bleeding his rear brake.  Much better, or at least that's the initial thought.  Two things were wrong.  The brake fluid is DOT 3 instead of DOT 4, and the sponginess is still present later in the ride.

DOT 3?...

We take the rest of Bouquet canyon road until it meets up with Spunky canyon road to continue the day's ride.  At least from here out, there aren't more unplanned stops.

Pine canyon road... Man!  There are sand patches everywhere.  Here is where I think to myself, "Man!  I should have taken the GS."  Too late.  We're already out here and moving baby.  The beauty of the R?  It's fast and powerful.  Oh I wanted to hang off the bike so badly.  Unfortunately I have this large arshe that prevented me from doing that.  The sand patches don't encourage high speed turns also.

We stopped at Old Ridge Route and are greeted by a huge band of GS coming up the other end of Old Ridge Route.  All the way from Lake Castaic I believe.  You name it, 8GS, 650GS, 12GS, HP2, and 1150GS.  It's clearly a GS gang.  We wave as they passed by.

I always know when Speedy is on the trip as I feel a rocket shoot pass me on an empty stretch of road.  Frazier Park.  So far uneventful and fun ride.

Waiting for others to fill up.  The 12R seems to have an endless gas tank.

As usual, we're never disappointed by Cerro Noroeste.  The Captain almost went off the shoulder of the road while I over shot a turn ending up in the opposite traffic lane.  It goes to show what a slight lack of concentration can do to a biker.  The good news, we both recovered without problems and there is no on coming traffic for miles.  One car the entire time we're on the road.  I even managed to catch the Captain overshooting a corner when he didn't catch the same line as me.  What else?  Why Speedy zipped ahead of us all and made the rest of us look like we're grandmothers pedaling as fast as we can on tricycles.  Dude is fast.  At one point I was wondering where he was, as I was heading into a blind turn.  Next thing I knew, he zipped off like a bullet.  Damn that Motul Monster of his.  After a while, I gave up trying to catch up to Speedy.  My 1200 cc can't stay up with that little 1000 cc.  Plus, I have a big arshe.

The Sgt... always ready with a lot of food.

Crackers and Spam Spread... Who cares, I'm eating it anyway.

Even Johnny is chewing one something.


You can see the utterly crazy traffic jams on this road.

..or was that crazy people?

What's so special about this picture?

How did that car get down there?

Total excitement to extreme boredom.  The 166 highway is the epitome of straight lines.  The only excitement we got was a large white SUV tailgating us and passing us at 70+ MPH.  OK... good luck with that.  This is a 55 MPH zone.

We pass biker after biker heading in the opposite direction.  They all signal us to slow down as there are coppers around.  We're doing 60-65 MPH so they're not going to bust our chops.  At long last we come up to this open stretch of road.  It's a little greener here and doesn't smell like somebody ripped a big one (e.g. rotting crops) as there is no farm land around.  What do I see?  Hey, wasn't that the large white SUV that screamed pass us before.  It looks like the copper has snagged themselves a victim.  Ouch!  He was haulin' ass for that fact.  He took an unnecessary risk and got smacked for it.  Trust me, I can tell the 166 Hwy is a massive speed trap.  Why else would it be so freakin' boring?

When we got closer to Santa Maria, the 166 became a better road, but we're all so sleepy at the time that we just didn't care.  There was this cool bridge crossing, but there was no place to stop to take pictures.  Bummer!

Santa Maria and fuel in 2 miles.  My trip Odo reads 140+ miles and the range estimate still show 190 miles left.  yeah there is a +-5 percent error, but that still leave the R's fuel range at 130 miles on the - side.  This bike is insane.  Anyway, I stopped at a corner to re-plot for the nearest gas station.  Two things happened:
  1. The Captain spotted Starbucks on his radar and zoomed off.
  2. Johnny couldn't hold it any more and had to do a fast break ("When you gotta go, you gotta go!").
In the meanwhile I'm in between the two groups on the side of the road blinking away.  A Ford Bronco pulled up and asked what's going on.  I said, "I'm just waiting for the pack to reform."  "Where are you guys heading to?"  "We're going to Morro Bay."  "Where did you come from?"  "Los Angeles."  "You're not too far from your destination."  In the meanwhile the radio is going crazy with people getting on the line trying to figure out what's going on.  Eventually, the Bronco bids me a fond farewell and headed off.  In the meanwhile, Speedy, Sgt, and Johnny finally caught up to me.  I pass Nu and we're all right on the Captain's tail.  The bad deal is the Captain doesn't have a radio.  As a result he can't talk to the rest of us.  For the Captain the first priority is Starbucks.  For the rest of us, it's gas.

We sit at the corner of Thompson and Tefft in Nipomo waiting for the left turn light to turn green.  While there, the Sgt can't help but notice the aromatic smells of the Jockos BBQ restaurant.  That does smell good, but we have a destination to get to.  Go go go!!!  Let's get some gas.

A Chevron!  We all pull in while the Captain sits at a light to take the freeway overpass to Starbucks.  Eventually he doubles back and loads up on fuel.  All fueled up and pulled out of the pumps.  The Captain want coffee.  The rest of us is content with Mc Donalds. "Get your coffee and come back when you're done." The Sgt purchased some chicken nuggets.  Oh man, that's going to spoil our dinner.  At first we all refused.  Next thing we knew it, we're all chowing down on the nuggets and fries.  I guess we all needed the energy after all.

The 101, it wasn't bad.  No jams or anything.  In fact, it was fast.  The Captain signal to Nu to keep on going while he pulls off for some reason.  OK.  We'll keep moving.

Up he comes, buzzed right pass us until he slows down and falls into formation.  Wow only 18 miles left to the Hwy 1 exit.  We're a lot closer than I had originally thought.  We all agreed to eat dinner somewhere instead of cooking tonight.  That fine by me.  At first we thought of Avila Beach, but quickly changed our minds to San Luis Obispo as it's a college town.  There should be plenty of good restaurants there.

Asking the locals, in a really loud fashion because I have earplugs in, has us dining at the Royal Thai restaurant.

The magnificent seven?  More like the helmet hair seven.

Speey is the only one that hasn't been cursed with hemlet hair, or at least it just doesn't appear that way.

Just 26 more miles and we reach our destination.  Morro Strand State Beach.  We're making good time.  This is the second time in the 5 years that we've come here where  there is a park ranger at the booth to collect fees.  $70 for two campsites and seven bikes.  Kind of expensive, but CA parks are hurting pretty badly from state mismanagement of funds.  So long as these folks get paid and keep the park open, that's fine by me.

OK boys!  It's time to pay up.

The man and his machine.

The Sgt and his food truck.

All well and good.  We select spots and pitch tents.  Bryan and Speedy had it the easiest.  They only had to unfold bivy sacks and they're pretty much done.  Oh, but then again Speedy brought a inflatable mattress instead of a self-inflating mattress.  I swear we was going to spend the entire night blowing that thing up.  Either that or he was going to fall over and pass out from oxygen deprivation.  After about 15 minutes, he gave up and decided it was good enough.  At the rate he was going, I think he will still be there blowing away the next morning.

Bryan and speedy head off on their bikes to get some firewood and some fun juice (e.g. Captain Morgan).  An R1 carrying firewood.  Now that's something you don't see everyday.  For their reward they were both heckled by a couple of the local gals.  "Have fun!" they said.

Oh yeah!  This is really sporty lookin'!

"When are we suppose to be up tomorrow morning?"  At least that's what Bryan is beginning to ask.  The Sgt intercepted the question before he could finish and said, "Whenever you get up.  There is no real schedule."  The Sgt is dead on.  Since the second day route is so full of freeways there is no need to rush on the wake up.  8, 9, or 10 is just fine.

Coke and Captain Morgan makes for some tipsy conversations.  Good O' Russ.  He's so happy when he's tipsy.  I'm the same way, but I didn't partake in the juice because I know I would have been floored.  I don't like the notion of having the after effects the next day.

We all turn in for the night.

BTW, they all kept on motioning to me to hit the SPOT as we're going.  I hit the SPOT so much that I swear the OK button is worn down to the circuit board.  "What?  You want fuel?  Ha ha ha!"  I'm already hitting the SPOT.  Go away!!!  Leave me alone.

Day 2 - 101 clear?

Written on: May 10, 2010
Last modified: June 4, 2010