Old roads are now new roads.
[September 22, 2006]
As usual, we have been planning this trip for a while and it has
slipped a month and a week. Originally it was suppose to be at
the end of August but it slipped until the middle of September.
It then slipped another week until the end of September. It's
not uncommon as everybody has work and lives to live. My work has
also been keeping me really busy so it's no surprise. However,
about a week before it's time to
go, the realization hits and I can start feeling the butterflies in my
Friday the 22nd at 11PM-ish, I'm almost done packing.
Everything is loaded into the panniers/center bag and I'm almost
ready to go. Both rechargeable batteries for the helmet cam are
fully charged, Both camcorder L batteries are fully charged, 6 Hi-8
video tapes are waiting for information to be put on them, and all the
adapters/on-board charging gadgets are all set to go. The only
things I'm missing are my energy drinks, the soap, and my tooth
Of the three last items, I ended up forgetting two of the three.
If you guessed the energy drinks as one of those missing items, you're
I also had to program the TomTom with the appropriate route so we don't
get lost. I go into the "Itinerary Planning" menu item and picked
the routes I wanted. The route was recommended by Minh. It
looks like as good a route as any. The sweet deal is, no
freeway. In reality we had to ride a little bit of the I5
regardless how little freeway we want to take. The route list
goes like this:
Seeing the TomTom saying 8+ hours means it's going to be longer
for us. More like 10+ hours. I'm a little concerned, but
not concerned enough to ask Minh to change the route. Plus, there
is an understanding among the three of us that we can alter the plans
mid way if needed.
6 hours flies by really fast and it's time to get up and get ready to
go. I packed away the energy drinks into a small cooler and
jammed it into one of the panniers. I even added a little ice for
good measure. Punctual as usual, Minh arrived at my place around
9:30 AM. I was in
the process of dressing for the occasion so it didn't take too much
longer to get going.
What is the first thing that came out of Minh's mouth when he saw
me? "Do you want to try some ear plugs? I have some for
you." Let me explain. Minh has been trying to convince
Eugene and myself to use ear plugs while riding for the last several
days. I'm not against the idea and know that you can actually
damage your hearing when riding a motorcycle at high speeds if you
don't wear plugs. My concern was I just fixed my $1.3K intercom
system to only have to wear ear plugs to drown out all the audio.
That just doesn't seem right. The good news is, I know there are
different rated ear plugs and perhaps I can wear ear plugs that
have a lower rating so I can hear the intercom over and above the ear
plugs. I purchased two forms of ear plugs from the Rite Aid the
One type is called EarPlanes and is for used during air travel to
reduce any air pressure discomfort.
Reduces noise by 20 DBs ($6.50 per pair).
The second type is your run of the mill standard foam ear plugs rated
reduce 28 DBs. I had tried both with the intercom system and was
pleasantly satisfied to be able to hear the intercom system with both
types of ear plugs. One requires a little more volume adjustment
than the other. A minor problem. The EarPlanes ear plugs
was easier to hear over
the standard foam ear plugs but are more uncomfortable to wear.
The soft silicone material was still too hard on my ear canal.
So I switched to wearing the foam ear plugs and cranked up the volume
to hear audio from the intercom. When I cut the chatter on the
MP3, I can actually have conversations with people while the plugs are
in place. I also hear the bike's engine noise (reduced), I can
emergency vehicle sirens, I can hear car engines as they come close,
etc. The important thing is it cuts out the damaging wind
noises. Anyway, Minh was pushing his ear plugs on me but I
countered him with, "I already have ear plugs". He looked at me
a little surprised and then accepted the fact that I am willing to wear
ear plugs. He asked me if I have ridden with them on or just put
them on and tried to hear the intercom. I replied yes to the
latter and he mentioned that I will be pleased to wear the ear plugs as
it will lessen the fatigue when riding.
Around 9:45 we headed off for our first
way point, Osborne street. Eugene had called earlier leaving and
left a message saying something to the effect that he's
leaving a little early and will meet us at Osborne because he had some
minor errands to take care of. It turns out he had to repack
because the backpack we was going to wear didn't fit in with his top
bag on his bike. He couldn't squeeze into that little cockpit
area on his bike with that huge backpack/Camelback on. It took
Minh and I half an hour to reach Osborne from Monrovia. We parked
close to the mouth of the three way intersection between Foothill and
Osborne. A couple of buzz on the cell phone and there is no sign
of Eugene. We waited for about 20 minutes and guess who showed
up? Eugene came putting up on his 650GS fully loaded (this
is when we learned about his backpack incident).
Again, what did Minh ask Eugene when he saw him? "Do you want
some ear plugs?" Pointing to me he said, "He's wearing ear plugs
now too." I think that convinced Eugene. This is especially
true when I told Eugene that it actually is much better to have them
on. Eugene was game and is willing to try riding with the plugs.
Taking a picture of Minh taking a picture. There's plenty of this
Trying to track down Eugene via the cell phone.
A little more dilly dallying. I had a cold the weekend before
this trip so my sinuses were still out of whack. I headed to a
close by 7-eleven to hopefully purchase some Kleenex. Eugene also
need to take a restroom stop. I succeeded, Eugene didn't.
There was no public restroom at the place. Eugene is going to
have to do his business somewhere else. A couple of strange
glances from several people in the store and I payed for what I was
looking for. We then continued on Osborne. Noticing the
amount of two wheeled traffic on Osborne, I said to Minh, "This is
suppose to be a road less traveled?" I guess we were both hoping
it would be a road with fewer vehicles. We were wrong. We
bikes of all kinds. Sport bikes, Harleys, even a few cruisers.
I can see why the sport guys like Little Tujunga. It's very
technical. Some of the turn are hair pins.
What's even better? How about some sheer cliff drops? Yep,
they were there. It was all worth it though. The view is
gorgeous. Of course there is a bit of wind to contend with.
Being a canyon road from a valley that leads into a valley, the wind is
funneled through the canyons. At several points during Little
Tujunga, I was reminded of the Death
Valley trip Eugene and I did earlier this year. It conjured
all kinds of images in my head of being push off the road. At
this time around the wind were only gusts and not a constant gale
force. I put it out of my head and continued riding.
When we finally stopped at a good spot over looking a small valley,
Eugene got off his bike, pulled off his helmet, and said, "The ear
plugs work great!" He then coined a phrase that is forever etched
into our minds, "Once you go plugs, you never go back." Yep, both
Eugene and I refuse to ride without plugs from here on out.
Thanks Minh for forcing it upon us. It only did us good.
The tarmac on Little Tujunga is superb. The road is extremely
well maintained, there are no ruts nor potholes of any kind
anywhere. It was a pleasure riding the road. It took a bit
of getting use to since it has been a while since I've been on canyon
roads. Sure enough, the 12GS did it's job of being tossed back
and forth without any complaints.
Sand Canyon road came and went really fast. The one thing it did
remind me of is Lancaster or Palmdale. Wide open, dry, sandy, and
a lot of wind. This also reminded me of that long Death Valley
trip. Again, the gusts were bad but it was nothing compared with
what seen that one day. Next thing we knew, were are on Sierra
Highway and then Vasquez Canyon road. All three roads were
essentially connecting roads to get to Bouquet Canyon road.
Bouquet Canyon road was a beautiful and a fun road. There were a lot of
twists and turns. To the left of the road, as we head North East,
was a little river, most likely from the reservoir. Even here
where some parts of the road was lacking of trees, the wind would gust
and push us around like we were little grains of sand on the
dunes. Of the three bikes, my R12GS was the biggest, but even
Minh on his CBR1100 was also experiencing occasional wind issues.
We even encountered a large fallen branch, that took over half of the
road, that we had to carefully circumnavigate. Having no on
coming traffic made the task easy.
The road was very well maintained and very smooth. We can't help
but notice a lot of camp grounds within the area. Most were
closed but there were a few that were open. Some folks were even
motor crossing. We saw a fair amount of sport bikers out for the
ride also. At about the half way mark (11:30am), between Vasquez
Canyon road and Spunky Canyon/Calle Hermosa road, we decided to stop at
this bar/restaurant called The Big Oaks on our way to the
reservoir. It was a quaint little red brick/slate and mortar
a bar and a small standalone outside grill shack that cooked and served
food for several canopy covered tables.
We each paid $4 to the
bar tender and wandered outside to inform the grill master what we
desired for our lunch. Cheese burger, hamburger, chicken
sandwich, three bags of chips and we're all set to fight off old man
hunger. The three of us decided to luncheon outside as the bar
was already taken up by three fellow bikers. Plus we like the
outdoors and sun shine. Plenty of room to lay our equipment down
on the table and watch it get blown away. I asked the grill
master whether this type of windy weather is normal in this area.
The answer is no and this only happens on rare occasions.
Unfortunately this day is one of those rare occasions.
This infernal wind triggered memories about a conversation I
had with Jaime the day before. Jaime had told me there was a
potential for Santa Ana winds to rear its head this weekend. For
those that have not experienced the Santa Ana winds in Southern
California, this is equated to having constant winds as fast a 60 MPH
and gusts up to anywhere between 80-90MPH. One year it
got as high as 100+ MPH. No, I'm not exaggerating. This has
been know to happen in this part of California when certain conditions
are right. The wind tunnel effect we have is due to the mountain
ranges we have and how they channel wind. Where I work, there
were several years where the entire place was shutdown for several days
due to high
winds and the potential of people getting hurt from flying
debris. Last year there were three injuries due to the Santa Ana
winds. One injury was due to a small branch hitting somebody at
high speeds, another was due to the wind knocking a person down on
concrete or tarmac injuring the person, and the last incident I don't
remember. The situation was so bad that trees would be felled and
knock out power lines and/or water mains. Suffice to say, Santa
Ana winds is no condition to ride motorcycles in. Fortunately,
the winds were gusting but it was nowhere near the Santa Ana levels.
Where are we on the map? Are we here? Stop bothering me,
I'm trying to
startup my MP3.
After 30-40 minutes of lunch, we got back on the road and continue
heading towards the Bouquet reservoir. The road started opening
up and out comes the reservoir. Another leg of the trip is over
and a new section of highway is ahead of us. The view was
really neat, but I kept on passing turnouts because they were way too
small to handle all three of us. Eventually we reached a good
turn out but the view of the reservoir is obscured. As we pulled
off the highway, there was a guy at the turn out. He was staring
at my GS. He greeted us, made comments about my bike, and
made mention thinking we were with the ADV Rider group. I informed
him that I'm aware of the ADV Rider
forum and read it all the time but I'm not with the ADV group on this
day. He mentioned something to the effect that there is a group
that gets together quite often and that I can get their information on
the web site. I thanked him for the info and we all took off to
find a better
spot to take photos. We turn off Bouquet Canyon road on to Spunky
Canyon road and tada, a good spot to park and take
pictures. It's even a better view of the reservoir.
At this point Eugene and I started noticing this peculiar
behavior in Minh. For some strange reason he keeps on wanting to
take pictures in the middle of the road. He said something to the
effect that its a unique picture and it's a vantage point that you
normally don't see. Eugene and I brush it off as being odd but
didn't make much of it, yet.
Minh is demonstrating the method to which one stands in the middle of
the road on the solid double yellow line.
(Don't try this at home kids)
Minh's picture while demonstrating his stance in the middle of the road
My turn to demonstrate how to stand in the middle of the road but I'm
not as masterful as Minh.
As mentioned before, there were a lot of bikers out and about this fine
day. In fact, once we got our act together and started heading
down Spunky Canyon road, we saw our very first train of Harleys.
Yes, train of Harleys. It was a pack of about 10-15+
Harleys. They were are all heading on the opposite direction
going wherever they're going. Of course, you can hear them from
Spunky canyon road was yet another enjoyable ride. There were
several sections that were very tight and technical requiring a bit of
slowing down. We eventually made it to Green Valley. Nice
little town. We even saw a flea market where they were selling
clothes, all kinds of goodies including a couple of motor cross
bikes. Motor cross bikes huh? When we reached the
connecting stop sign to San Francisquito road, I asked Minh if we
should go back to the flea market and grab those motor cross
bikes. Unfortunately, Minh can't hear a single word I said.
His ear plugs were buried too deep in his brain. Oh well, not the
first time I told a failed joke due to a person being partially deft
from having a big wad of foam shoved into their ear canal.
As I ride San Francisquito I can't help but thinking, "This looks
awfully familiar". It looks like a road I have traveled
before. What I didn't realize at the time but eventually figure
out is that San Francisquito is also the same road my brother and I use
to take to go to a shooting range south-west of Lancaster. The
place is called APTS (A Place To Shoot) and is just several miles
south-west of where Spunky canyon road meets San Francisquito.
It's a small world I say. San Francisquito was an average road
(e.g. it needs some attention Cal Trans folks), and we got through it
pretty quick. Elizabeth Lake road is also a familiar road but I
have never been west of the road where Elizabeth Lake road meets up
with San Francisquito. Uneventful ride. Beautiful country
Elizabeth Lake road ultimately turned into Pine Canyon road. To
us, we couldn't tell the difference. The road, scenery, and ride
was simply marvelous. We couldn't ask for a more perfect
day. We kept going until Pine Canyon road, which started off
being a two lane highway with a double yellow line, turned into a
single road without any dividing lines. The road turned into what
looks to be a residential road that just kept on winding back and
forth. There were several hair pins to contend with,but nothing
our bikes couldn't handle. Surprisingly enough, there were
motorcycles in these parts, too. Bikes are everywhere I tell
you. The funny things is, the more and more we kept on going, the
more it felt like we were somewhere else. Like we were in some
other country. Europe somewhere maybe. Maybe France.
Maybe England. Who knows. Somewhere else but Southern
California. The rolling fields in the valleys were amazingly
beautiful. It looks like there must have been a fire here several
years back since some of the trees were stripped naked and black.
Look mah, no lanes.
Off we go. Winding around the bends like snakes through tall
grass. Next thing you know we're at the end of Pine canyon
road. The junction where three roads meet. Ridge Route road
(also known as old highway 28), Pine canyon road, and NF-8N05 also
known as Liebre Gulch. Before swinging right to take Ridge Route
road to meet up with the 138 (Lancaster road), we stopped to take final
pictures of Pine canyon road. This also marks the end of the
Motorcycle glamor shot.
That suspicious orange looking light is caused by the near by forest
Minh in front of Liebre Gulch. Doesn't look like much of a road
Here is another version of "Ham on the street" or is that Eugene trying
to pickup chicks?
If he's trying to pickup chicks, he's definitely not going to have any
Somebody needs to inform him about when/where it's appropriate to do
From here it's a quick hop to the 138 (Lancaster road).
Approximately 3 miles. We passed two motor cross folks are we
make our way out on Ridge Route road. As with other areas so far
entire day, the scenery is spectacular.
Can you see me in the pic?
Once we got to the end of Ridge Route road, or beginning of it
depending on your perspective, I started having navigation
problems. No, I know my bearings, it's the TomTom that got
confused. For some strange reason, the TomTom pointed me in the
direction of Lancaster instead of Gorman. It was odd. I sat
there for a little while playing with the TomTom trying to knock some
sense into it while Minh was gesturing to me, in more than one form,
that we should be turning left instead of right. At last, as a
desperate measure, I canceled the current route and make the TomTom
re-plot it source. Alakazam, fixed. Now the TomTom is
telling me to turn left instead of right. Weird. It's
possible that with so many way point assign to the nav system and the
amount of times I've turn the unit on and off, that the unit got a bit
confused. Any which way, we're now heading in the right direction.
The 138 eventually hit the I5. On our way to link up with the I5,
we can't help but notice the forest fire raging just south west of the
freeway. There were large billowing clouds of white smoke coming
from the fire. The smoke eventually turned the sky into a dark
orange-ish color. It's like Mount Doom all over again.
Baggins must be near by somewhere. This is probably one of the
culprits why the air quality in the LA basin has been so bad
lately. All these fires along with the wind flow has been pushing
all this debris down south. For a week or more most of the people
at work, including myself, are complaining about having runny/itchy
noses and itchy throats. Now I can understand why. This
fire was pumping out tons of pollutants.
Forest fire near Gorman
We made a quick stop at Gorman to fuel up and headed straight for
Fraizer Park. The I5 drive lasted about 6 miles so it was no big
deal. However, as we headed west on Fraizer Mountain road, there
is a forestry sign saying something to the effect that Lockwood Valley
road is closed. Not knowing the area at all, Minh and I were
afraid our route would be closed. We chanced it and went
ahead anyway. Worst case, we would have to double back and head
further North on
the I5. Fortunately the road we wanted to be on
was Cuddy Valley road and not Lockwood Valley road. We're clear
to go and are heading towards highway 33. Cuddy Valley road
turned into Mil Potrero highway which turned into Cerro Noroeste
road. Once again, the road looks all the same and we couldn't
even tell we switched from road to highway to road. However, once
we got on Cerro Noroeste road, we can tell the difference in
terrain. Cerro Noroeste was awesome. We were basically
riding one of the ridges of the mountain. The road opened up to
show chasms on either side. Standing up on the bike, I can see a
small road or a river bed at the bottom right chasm. All I could
think of was, I hope my helmet cam has not run out of video tape.
I tried to find a place to pull off to the side of the road but was
unable to find one. Once I did find something, it was obscured by
trees and the mountain (the story of my life).
OK here's the deal. When we stop at this trail head, for me to
load a new video tape and for us to rest a bit and take pictures, Minh
had this idea that Eugene should go down the dirt trail a little and
out as if he had just finish going off road. Poor Eugene, I can
tell he didn't want to do it but Minh talked him into it.
Anyway, Eugene is trying to turn the bike around but managed to get
into an awkward position and dropped his bike. We all picking up
Eugene's bike so it felt like it was a bicycle. Nonetheless, the
antic is over. Eugene doesn't want to have anything to do with
play acting off road scenes. So Minh and Eugene
settled for a "Good enough" off road photo opt.
Yet another video tape goes into the Hi8 camcorder.
Trail head that later caused grief for Eugene.
This is Eugene in that "Good enough" off road shot.
Again, Minh is continuing his photo fascination with taking pictures of
a different vantage point (e.g. camera on the road on the double yellow
line). You can see his improvement in technique as he is able to
get closer and closer to the solid double yellow line as we continue on
Yes, it's one of Minh's "A different perspective" photos.
Count 'em boys, this is the 3rd "A different perspective" photo by Minh.
Yes, he did ask me to look for traffic in the opposite direction when
he took the shot.
Something that can't be seen on these pictures, there were gazillions
of flies hovering around us. Some were even trying to bite
us. These were not mere gnats, these guys are hungry for flesh
and blood. I never thought I'd see the day when I'm so happy to
put on my helmet and goggles to avoid flies. Eugene got the
fortune of experiencing a couple of nibbles for standing still.
As a result, we wrapped up our business as fast as we can and got out
of Dodge. As I ride through the remain part of Cerro Noroeste, I
can't help but think I'm in a Rally race in Arizona. I haven't
been to Arizona to any of the Rally races but I did play a rally race
simulation on my computer (e.g. Richard Burns Rally).
No, saying that last sentence is not equated to playing a doctor on
TV. According to the scenery in the Rally sim, the vegetation on
Cerro Noroeste looks just like one of the circuits in Richard Burns Rally.
The rest of Cerro Noroeste opened up to golden rolling hills. The
road winds back and forth but there are no other view. Just North
West of us, it appears there is another forest fire in the far far
distance. It seems like California is on fire. The only
inkling that it's another forest fire is the familiar orange/brown like
The tail end of Cerro Noroeste
Eventually we connected with the 33/166 highway. We rode a short
while until we entered Maricopa. It's a small town that looks
quite desolate. My thoughts on Maricopa, "It's amazing where you
can find human beings. We're every where." The town
couldn't have been more than 1000 people. Most likely less.
We passed the population sign but I don't remember the count.
We continued on the 33 highway passing oil pump after oil pump.
The road was as boring as you can be. Straight and flat.
Even with my MP3 player blaring, I was still falling asleep
(figuratively speaking). We encountered all kinds of wonderful
smells. Smells of ocean docks or cargo ships (e.g. crude oil) and
smell of what Eugene later insisted on was the result of Minh passing
gas while passing us (e.g. natural gas). How can you compare the
mountain scenery to the flat desolate planes of the San Joaquin
valley? You don't.
Anyway, I was minding my own business on the 33 highway, falling asleep
while noting the TomTom saying that we have another 36 miles before the
41 highway, when all of a sudden Minh passed me. Then Eugene
passed me. Woosh! I don't know what speed they were doing
but I was the slow poke. My thought, "HEY! You can't do that to
me!" So I cranked the cow (rocket cow I should say), with
panniers and all, and chased after the two of them. By that time
they have slowed back down so I shot pass them. Next thing you
know, Eugene cranked it. Then here comes Minh. Once again,
"Hey, I can do that too." Zip I go passing Eugene and Minh.
We played leap frog for a while until we reached the 41 highway.
It sure made that 36 miles pass by really fast. Funny thing is,
the minute we reached the 33/41 intersection there was a California
Highway Patrol car sitting on the 41 highway trying to decide whether
he should turn onto the 33 highway (heading North) or sit where he's
sitting. For us, we are to turn right onto the 41 highway to head
towards Fresno. All three of us were signaling to turn right,
Minh was in front of me, but Minh refused to budge. I gestured to
Minh that we're suppose to turn right. Still, he sat there for a
couple more seconds. Eventually he turned and I and Eugene
followed. Later I asked Minh what he was waiting for, he said
that he was making sure there were no signs that said the we couldn't
turn on a red. I was sure there were no signs, but it was good of
Minh to play it safe.
At this time, I show 150 miles on the trip odometer so I was starting
to get a bit concerned about fuel. I didn't want to get stuck out
in the middle of nowhere on the 41 highway having to hoof it to get
gas. Oh, and I forgot to bring my red 2 gallon gas can.
Forgetful me. Anyway, salvation came after the 41 highway passed
underneath the I5. There is a little oasis full of gas stations
and fast food restaurants for those that need to do things like fuel up
and resting their wary crunched up sitting on the motorcycle
legs. We all fueled up. It turns out I had only used up 3.2
gallons of my 5 gallon tank. That's cool. I could have gone
longer but it doesn't hurt to be safe when it comes to fuel. We
all then pulled of to the mini-mart-McDonald restaurant building thingy.
It never fails, invariably someone will need help with their vehicle at
these gas station/rest stop places. I had gone into
store/restaurant to get myself a McDonald sundae and a HI-C orange
soda. Yes, I'm almost 40 and I still like to drink HI-C. At
least it has vitamin C. However little there is in it. When
I walked out, I was confronted by Eugene asking me for a wrench for
this one gal that wanted to take her top off. No, I'm not
referring to her clothes. She and a friend is driving a Corvette
from San Francisco to LA. They didn't anticipate it was going to
be so hot and wanted to take the car's hard roof off. I grabbed
my crescent wrench and walked in the general direction of the
car. When I got there and examined her car it wasn't a crescent
wrench that she needed, she needed a torx wrench. As I mentioned
to her, "Lucky for you I ride a BMW motorcycle. I have to carry
torx wrenches because my bike is filled with torx screws." I went
back to the bike grabbed the torx wrench set and went back to her
car. I have the right torx wrench but the screws were torqued in
so tight that I couldn't turn it with my bare hands. Once again I
went back to the bike to take the crescent wrench to torque the torx
wrench. Say that ten times really fast. Eventually, Minh
and I, along with the torx wrench and the crescent wrench, managed to
free the vette's hard top and lifted it off the cars for the two
ladies. The ladies thanked us and we're off on our way back to
the bikes. My ice cream sundae was melting. We all joked
about getting special gifts from the ladies but of course all we had to
show show for it were our tools.
There were these two guys standing around the front of the
store/restaurant. They had come up and parked close to us when I
was asking Eugene what wrench he wanted. They both rode Harleys
with no windshield. Nice guys. I started talking to
them and found out that they are both from Fresno and are heading back
from a bike trip from Morro Bay. One bike had a small sleeping
bag mounted on the handle bar where as the other bike didn't have
anything. I asked them if it was a bear to deal with the
wind. They said, "Oh yeah", but they manage OK at 55 or so.
They then looked at our bikes and ask how about our rides. One of
the guys estimated that we ride around 70/75. I agreed and said
that we still get kicked around. We talked and joked around for a
while and I mentioned that my R12GS is really a car on two
wheels. They laughed at it but really didn't believe me.
When we got ready to leave, the guys noticed all the gadgets on my bike
and then commented, "It is a car on two wheels!" I laughed and
said, "I told you so." As a parting friendly shot one of the guys
said, "You better watch out, we might pass you up at 55." We
waved then farewell and head back on the 41 highway.
We rode on the 41 a little bit and there is the California Aqua Duct to
the left of us. I'm reminded of what the 41 highway use to look
like back when I use to live in Fresno and would venture to Avila Bay,
near Pismo Beach, to fish the piers. I haven't been on the 41
highway in years and notice some improvements. The road has been
widened. The tarmac has recently been layed so the road was
really smooth. There are still signs of road construction but the
lanes are much wider than in the past. Dusk is upon us.
Regardless of its improvement, I didn't want to ride the 41
highway in the dark. Next thing you know, splat!
Splat! Splat splat splat! Then I think, "Oh yeah, the 41
highway is full of bugs." I'm reminded of the mass carnage we
encounter every time we took the car on the 41. Now Mr. Moto is
being introduced to bugsville. The TomTom show 25 miles to reach
the 41 freeway. I can't wait to reach the freeway section because
that means we'll be out of bug alley. Splat splat splat! My
suit, goggles, helmet, and helmet cam received innumerable hits.
Once again, TOTAL CARNAGE!
When we got to the intersection of American Ave and the 41 highway, we
saw this biker to the left of us. I signaled "hi" but the guy
didn't respond. Oh well, the light is green for us so we all
go. Not too long after, the guy came up fast from behind and
passed us up at high speed. All he had on was a T-shirt, genes,
and tennis shoes. My first reaction was, "Squidy" Also,
what's the deal? It's not like we're trying to race him.
At last the 41 freeway. The bug count tapered off
dramatically. The sun had disappeared but there is still a bit of
sun light left. We take the 99 North freeway junction and rode
the 99 until we saw the Olive Ave exit. From there it is a
short skip and a hop to get to my parent's place. We got to the
house and went up the hilly drive way. My mom couldn't even tell
that we had arrived because our bikes were so quiet (she later tells me
that she is used to loud Harleys instead). Only when she looked
out the window did she see us in our bug riddled full gear. She
ran out to greet us. I gave her a big hug and what was the first
thing that came out of my mouth? "Ten hours in the saddle!"
Repeated, "Yes, ten hours in the saddle", but it was all worth
it. We had started a little after 10:00AM and ended the ride a
little after 8:00PM. Eugene is drained, Minh is tired, and my
back hurts. Minh probably didn't have legs left because I kept
seeing him stretch while on the road. We all had Pho for dinner,
talk to the parents for a while, and then hit the sack to get ready for
the next day.
Day 2 [September 24, 2006]
Day 3 [September 25, 2006]
Written on: September 26, 2006
Last modified: February 4, 2006