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I guess I'm a bit more long winded- probably comes from my preacher days. The Solvang trip was much needed therapy for my wintered soul. The weather cooperated so I could get out of Central Oregon free of ice and snow and ride down 97 past Shasta, through Weed and take I5 south. It was the first time I was able to take those amazing sweepers at really fun speeds! Didn't see a single cop in Northern CA, but Oregon gave me 3 or 4 good scares.


KTM Doug’s House

Thursday afternoon, Allen (Old Rider) and I met at Doug Hopwood's (KTM Doug) in Livermore (not LiverPOOL as I was in the habit of saying), for a hospitable and memorable evening of steak and salad, compliments of Doug's wife, Linda. After bickering like a bunch of old ladies at a flea market over some maps and the AAA CD, we agreed on a route, watched a good DVD, spent the night, and headed to Moss Beach. Being probably the wiser of the bunch, Doug abstains from lane splitting, and chooses a moderate travel pace. We all agreed to meet at Phil’s Fish House in Watsonville or somewhere. So Allen and I split away and Doug caught up with us a little later.


Lunch with Timmer

Timmer met up with us and we enjoyed a nice lunch at Phil’s Fish Market, in Moss Beach, one of Doug’s favorite haunts. They had some pretty darn good food. So there we were at the Fish place and Doug draws order number 13. And of course what does he order? Chicken salad. At a FISH place! So we all got our fish and we’re munching away trying to figger out what’s taking Doug’s order so long. I guessed that they had to catch the chicken, but they must have been all out and were having a hard time catching the rooster out back. Yeah, Rooster salad. So poor Doug was doomed yet again to be last. He felt really bad, but it really wasn’t any big deal. To me eating and enjoying you’s guys great company is half the fun, and a very important part of any group road trip. Meanwhile, as we were getting ready to go, Doug spies someone drooling over Vroom Hilda and lets him know she’s for sale. Geez, you’d think a paint job was like a boob job or something. This person is very interested in buying her, and when I mentioned my asking price of $5K he didn’t even blink, but started blubbering phone numbers and email addresses. So stay tuned on that one.


Checking out the Santa Cruisers

Next we motored off to Santa Cruz BMW and what’s sitting right out front? A well used K12RS for $4990. Sounds like Providence? Not exactly. If they would trade straight across I’d be on a red 98 right now instead of typing this epic. Not enough trade in, so I passed it up. But the time will come… Inside the showroom, Tim was eyeing the K12GT, and I was explaining all it’s virtues to him. I think the seed has been planted. Next Allen hops on it. I couldn’t get him to test ride it, but ALMOST. His days are numbered, too, I bet. If I had the bucks, that would be my bike of choice right now.



After various purchases, none of which involved vehicles, we said goodbye to Tim and continued south to Lompoc. Allen, Doug and I headed down Route 1 through patches of fog and clouds. We had dinner at Jocko’s Steak House in Nipomo, where I had one of the best steaks of my entire life. It was almost three inches thick, and was supposed to be the small version, but it still was almost a pound! Sigh. This was Allen’s old stomping grounds near where he went to college, and the restaurant was still under the same ownership.


Riding Nirvana

Saturday morning was a religious experience. Lompoc was all socked in and Old Rider and I were debating whether to take an extra loop up to 166 and 33 to Ojai the back way since it might be too foggy. I reasoned that inland at higher elevations would be clear and we both took the risk and it paid off big time. We were pretty much the only people on the road. The clouds gave way to beautiful sunshine on windy mountain roads with picturesque ranches and, of all things, oil pumps. I almost cried it was so beautiful, and I had a new tune playing in my head. Doesn’t get much better.


Liquid Brunch at the Deer Lodge

We rolled into Ojai (pronounced Oh-High for you out-of-towners) at about 9:35 AM and waited for Adam and the ants to show up, which they did in a timely fashion.




It was surely good to see him again, and he came with Eric Sokolof and Jerry Mather. Everyone was great company. Adam and Jerry got off to a roaring start with bloody Mary’s; nothing like a liquid brunch. Be sure and ask Jerry about his court letter when you meet him. You’re in for a treat! Speaking of treat, the food was great, and the cowgirl waitresses were, well, very interesting. After the liquid lunch Adam tried out a new Indian Chief.




There’s a guy who loves his motorcycles!



We rode off to Solvang and enjoyed the museum.












It was better than I expected. I lost count of the bikes, but some were really unusual. Virgil, the owner, just obtained a replica of the 500cc Guzzi V-8. What a freaky ride! There were 3 or 4 BMW’s too. And there was a custom Harley with a blower that was peachish pink and turquoise which just made me stare and say “why?” They had a nice Thruxton, and we all thought of Doc, of course. There were some classic Hondas, so I put in a good word for my Harvey 4 Banger. Turns out Virgil might be interested, so I have to take some photos and snail mail them to him. Stay tuned on that, too.


Millionaire Acres

Next, Jerry took us on a ride off in the mountains around Santa Barbara. Much of the ride Adam and I switched bikes, and I rode his K12 again.




I don’t even know where we went, but we rode right over a mountain candy coated with multimillion dollar homes and mansions that are apparently owned by the rich and famous. Really cool ride, although quite bumpy. We’re all gonna rebuild our shocks soon. As we were coming down, the mountains were islands in a sea of low clouds. I was too foolish to stop and take some video or photos. Unbelievably beautiful!


The Breaking of the Fellowship

Adam and Eric had to break away so the rest of us rode out to Jalama beach – one way in and one way out. Thank God it’s two way. We had decent burgers and excellent conversation there on the beach. I really enjoyed getting to know Jerry better. Once again, the people on this board are amazing and rank among my favorite friends.


Tucson Scrapped for Old Rider and Fasterpill

Then it was back to our rooms in Lompoc for Allen, Doug and me. As we kept an eye on the weather, Allen and I decided not to follow Doug on to Tucson, since it was 97 that day and going up over 100. So we got out the maps again and revamped our route home.


Phil and Al’s Excellent Adventure

Sunday was majorly foggy again as we set off. Didn’t get to say proper goodbyes to Doug, so I owe him a good call after he gets back. We left at 7 AM and didn’t see the whites of his eyes, but he was going to meet his riding buddy, Marty later that day.


Basic CHP 101

Allen and I slabbed it up to Marin BMW, which is a ghost town on Sunday. Cary, et.al., I tried to say “hi.” On our way out we gassed up and Allen struck up a conversation with a CHP who just pulled someone over into the gas station near our bikes. I was grinning, since the guy in the pickup who was getting a ticket was really pissed that we were making his evil process take much longer, but the officer didn’t seem to mind at all. He shared a few interesting comments, like how fast his S goes – did he say 130? He didn’t say it was at the track… Hmmm. And finally Allen got around to the real question – How fast can we go under radar? If I remember right, depends on the cop, but for him it’s 15 over, - Allen can correct me if I’m wrong.


Harley on Steroids

We continued north, and something really weird happened at 80 mph. We got passed. By a Harley! He and his lady buzzed by with happy grins and just kept going off towards the horizon. Amazing!


Elk Stampede!

We spent the night in a really nice Comfort Suite near the Redwood Forest. Monday morning we took a short loop thru the forest so I could get some footage. There were lots and lots of chain saw sculptures of bears, Indians on horses, etc in that area. As we were riding along, I saw a couple of beautiful wooden elk around a curve in someone’s yard. But as we got closer, Allen signaled frantically and slowed way down, and those wooden elk came to life. Turns out there were maybe 20 or more in a herd in this person’s front yard, and our bikes spooked them big time! Maybe it was my noisy fuel pump on my K, but they started stampeding right into a poor elderly couple who were pulled over taking pictures. Old ladies can RUN when they have to! Unfortunately I didn’t get any footage of any of it. There was a horse penned up in the yard and he was running back and forth with all kinds of drool coming out of his mouth; he was beside himself as the herd took off.


Heading for the Barn

We took 199 from Crescent City to Grant’s pass. What unbelievably blue river water!! But what I remember the most was pigdogs in trucks who didn’t use the turnouts. We missed a lot of good twisties stuck crawling behind cars. Oh well.


Out of Gas

We tried to make it up to Roseburg OR along I5 before fueling up. Bad idea for both of us. I missed Allen’s signal to refuel, but it didn’t matter. Vroomie started sucking air just before Roseburg and I had to bail at the nearest exit, while Allen rode on unknowing. I nursed the bike to a nursery and got directions to the nearest gas station. I had to rock the bike back and forth to keep her running, but after almost 5 miles and a lot of prayer I managed to limp in to a 76 station where the bike took 5 gallons. Guess it’s a 5.5 gallon tank after all. Allen backtracked and tried to find me, but I roared on ahead trying to find him. I was passed by a GS with a couple on board so I kept up with them most the way to Portland. They were doing almost 80. Never did see Allen again, and it turns out he was behind me, of all places, doing about the same speed. I rode into Portland, and surprised my family as they were spending the night there so my daughter could catch a rock concert.


Final Leg

Then I headed home past Mt. Hood with neither chains nor traction tires, but it was the first time I took that pass on a bike. Again screaming past traffic on the curves was a blast. For kicks I pegged Vroomie in Warm Springs and she tapped out somewhere around an indicated 133. Then it was good behavior the rest of the way. Pretty much.


Sure wish Bigmak could have come…


I have some more pics that are stills from my video camera, including the waitress, and that v8 bike, etc, which I hope to add in a couple of days. Thanks to Eric who sent me the pics above. And thanks to Allen for planning a great getaway, and to all for their company, friendship, and hospitality.

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Here's some video stills. The quality isn't that great, but they load fast...



One of the infamous cowgirl waitresses at Deer Lodge



Speaking of infamous, the Bad one himself



Eric and Old Rider arrive at Solvang



One of the local transients



The Bizzarley



The write up on the V-8 Moto Guzzi replica



The Guzzi. Wonder how small those pistons are? 8 cylinders, 500cc... 3/4" diameter maybe? 8 sets of points??? THAT'S Italian!!



They even had one of these

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Thanks for the writing and photos, Pill!


Stuff like this makes me HATE when I have to say "Sorry I couldn't make it to this one!"


So... how was the ride on the KRS? Hmmm??? You left that part out.... grin.gif

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Nice report Phil. You two Penguins should have come along to Tucson. I hit the "Wall of Heat" at Palm Springs. Pulled over and had a bite and called Marty who was already in Blythe waiting for me. On with the cool vest and a quick romp, and we were together heading onward. Stopped in Gila Bend for the night. Tucson was great Monday, about 80 and walking around the PIMA museum was great. We're here in Kerrville now at a friends house, a day ahead of most folks. Weather mostly ok, except for some strong gusting winds under thunder storms this morning going from Ft. Stockton, TX to Kerrville. Not much traffic except for trucks.


Did I say LA traffic sucks, even on Sunday morning!

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So... how was the ride on the KRS? Hmmm??? You left that part out....


[Heavy breathing]

Hopping right off Vroomie onto the AdamMobile was a quantum leap in horsepower (30% increase). So I kept spinning the rear wheel in tight turns. Handled OK, but my tires were new and his very worn. But dangit! His bike just feels right! dopeslap.gifbncry.gifeek.gif

[/Heavy breathing]


I was trying to deny my true feelings, but now I feel better, thanks... smirk.gif And for the record, it's much easier to scrape a K12 peg than a K100, which is much slimmer! So the first thing that hits in a turn is the outside of my boot, followed by the peg. Sorry, Adam crazy.gif


Vroomie is pretty much sold to a P.T. in San Jose. It'll take a couple months, but he didn't blink at my asking price. So a K12 this year could happen if the price is right. Adam's K is too new for my budget, but it's worth more than he's asking...

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What a great post, and the pictures really add to it. It is really good to see everybody, most were at the Vader "rally." For KTM Doug, you stayed overnight in Gila Bend? I used to live there, too many years ago to mention. I lived in the yellow railroad houses (no longer there) in the railroad yard, near the railroad station (no longer there), which was kind of near the big black water tower (still there). We water skied on the irrigation canals, pulled behind my dad's car. Anyway, sounds like you guys had a great trip and looking forward to some more good times this summer.



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