Lunch in Denmark

[August 6, 2006]

The title says it, but I can only dream it in real life.  Especially when it involves a motorcycle.  If I can get a motorcycle that bores through the Earth and drive that way, I still wouldn't make back in time for dinner.  But I digress.

It's not really Denmark but it's the closest thing we have in Southern California on a one day motorcycle trip.  We all needed a ride so going to Solvang for lunch was as good a plan as any.  Several of us (Eugene, Russell, Minh, Jaime, Carlos and myself) decided to take the long way out and probably the quick way home.

Russell and Minh met me at my place and we all rode out to Eugene's place in Moorpark.  It was a simple ride with a 15+ mile shave off taking the 210,134,5,118 instead of the original route via the 210 to the 118.  We all headed out avoiding the 101 and taking the highways through Ohi.  Through the winning roads, pass a couple lakes, and we emerge at the South West end of Santa Barbara on the 101.  We then did a quick hop, with some minor lane splitting, until we got off at the State,154 exit.  From here we fueled up and got ready to take the 30-40 miles to get to Solvang.  From here I kicked on the helmet cam to record this leg of the trip.

Leaving Santa Barbara for Solvang

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 landscape. 

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 Solvang.

Something about an Indian casino, money, and Minh.

Sometimes it hurts to be a guy that can barely handle a R12GS and having 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.

Written on: August 7, 2006
Last modified: August 12, 2006