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Ride Better Quest - The Adventure Continues...


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Where do I start?!? This weekend was FULL of riding! 490 total miles for the weekend – 175 on Saturday, 315 on Sunday.




The Ride:

Ride up to West Valley Cycles. Meet up with Dick and Laney (Dick was there buying parts for his KRS). From there, head over to Mucho Mas, a Mexican food place in North Hollywood. Little did I know that I would be going the RDFrantz way…more on that in a minute. From there, back to home


The Purpose:

Meet with Dick to discuss a Ride Better Program. Get more miles under my belt, enjoy good Mexican food with friends


The Route/Mileage:

I-5 to CA 134. Then US 101 to Tampa Exit, surface streets to West Valley Cycles

To the Mexican place: Dick decided to have some fun and take us “the scenic route” to the Mexican place. I couldn’t tell you exactly what we did, but it involved Mulholland and a lot of twisties.

From the Mexican place, it was CA 134 back to the I-5 south to home


Total miles 175.


What I learned/How I did:

Most of the day I felt like my “(Member)” status on the board should have been changed to “(wobbler)”! My slow speed stuff was pretty wobbly. I’m not sure why, but stops and starts were just bad. Didn’t come close to dropping it or anything, but didn’t like the way I was handling the bike. I did pretty well on the twisties though. Sure, Dick dusted me (and he was in a CAR!) but that’s ok. I did it slow but sure. I am typically about 10 mph faster than the posted recommended speed for a turn (unless it’s a hairpin, then I am pretty close to the recommended speed limit).


There was one left-hander that I took a bit faster than I had been taking the rest of the turns. Russell told me later that he thought he was going to have to be picking up K bike parts, since I took it so much faster than I had taken the rest of the turns. To his surprise and pride, I did it just great! Steady through the turn, look up and through it, roll on some power and I’m gone! He said he was doing a little dance back on his bike he was so happy! YAY ME!


Then I had a little “incident.” It made me cry. I ran over a squirrel. L I saw him run out at the last minute and there was nothing I could do. Even if I had swerved, it probably would have only messed me up, and still would have been bad for him. I didn’t have time to apply the brakes. I ended up aiming right for him, which I hear is what you are supposed to do (by the time you get there, they will be gone). I didn’t do this on purpose though…I kind of just froze. I thought, “dude, get out of the way, cause there aint nothing I can do!” Russell said he thinks the squirrel survived – thinks I just nicked his tail. Hope so. I felt so bad. I felt like maybe the squirrel would have been ok, had a better rider been there – someone who could have reacted better than my “non-reaction”. I cried, but quickly calmed down. I still had to get to my destination in one piece, and that’s not going to happen if I can’t see! Said a quick prayer for Mr. Squirrel and kept riding.


One other thing I tried today was lane-splitting. I had never really done this for real before, so it was quite an experience! On our way up I-5 heading toward West Valley Cycles, we got into a pretty bad traffic jam. Now, this IS Los Angeles, so we expect a little bit of traffic (yes, even on Saturdays, in some places), but this was especially bad. It was also very hot out. Then I saw the opportunity. The cars were perfectly aligned so it was as if there was a third lane there, waiting for me to use it. I said to Russell, “well, do you think I should go for it?” He said to do what I feel comfortable with, but if we do lane split, look two or three cars ahead, watch out for my mirrors, and just go! So I did! It wasn’t too awful, but it took an enormous amount of concentration. When we got up to the accident scene (after about a mile of lane splitting) and passed it (thereby causing traffic to move again and canceling the need for lane-splitting) I felt all the adrenaline that had been building up. I didn’t feel it build up (concentrating too much on what I was doing), but I was sure shaking when we were done! I lived, so all is well! Didn’t hit anyone either! Didn’t fall down. All good things! I’m not sure I want to try it again though till I am more confident with the low speed stuff. I feel like I was just lucky this time.


At lunchtime, we had good food and good conversation. We met up with Adam (abrayli), and Dan, a guy he met up with on the road (this guy had an RT, isn’t a part of the board (yet), but decided to have lunch with Adam anyway! He’d fit right in to our little family…hope he signs up!) Anyway, I had about a two-hour instruction session with Dick. We talked about attitude while riding, the fact that I need to take the road 50 feet at a time (“I’m going there, now there, now there, etc”), and the fact that I need to be a little more assertive (not necessarily aggressive, but show the road and the bike who is in control) We have planned an all day practice session at the parking lot in two weeks when Laney and Dick’s ankles are healed. Dick said Laney could probably stand to go to the parking lot (practice after being off the bike so long), so we’ll be out there together. She said I could ride Jake for a while if I wanted to, so I am looking forward to this! J




The Ride:

Accompany Brian T out to the Salton Sea. He was breaking in some new shocks, so was going to take it easy. Thought I might need another practice ride, so he invited Russell and I along.


The Purpose:

MORE SADDLE TIME!! I just need to get out and ride, and here was a good opportunity. It was a lovely day, and I like riding with and hanging out with Brian, so, why not?


The Route/Mileage:

I-5 south toward San Diego. CA-76 east to the 79, to S-2, to S-22. S-22 is called the “Montezuma Grade”. Down into Borrego Springs for gas (and ice…it was FARKIN hot!!! More on that in a minute!), then on to the Salton Sea. For the ride home, CA-86 to 111 into Indian Wells for dinner, then up to the I-10 to CA-60, to the 91, to the 241 toll road and home.


What I learned/How I did:

What a difference a day makes!!! I did sooooo much better today. A little instruction from Dick, a really good church service in the morning, and a new, more confident attitude all helped to make this a really good day for me!!! I only did one dumb thing the entire day. After finishing up lunch at the Dennys off the freeway where we met up with Brian, we were all ready to go and start our ride. I saw a sign that said there was no left turn out of the place (we needed to go left to get to the freeway), so I expected Russell (the leader) to go right and make a U-turn. Well, it turns out, I didn’t read the sign well enough. There is only no left turn during certain hours. So, Russell pulls out and goes left, when I was expecting a right. Additionally, I was hoping to pull out right with him, and therefore avoid stopping on the steep driveway out of the place. Well, I was slightly behind him, and I didn’t look, and he cut it kind of close anyway…needless to say, I almost got T-boned by an oncoming car! I didn’t see the car till I was clear of him, so it wasn’t a brown moment for me, per se, but it was for Brian! Later on, Brian said he’d never had a brown moment for someone else before!! Boy, can Russell glare!!! I got my head on straight after that, and figured out that just cause a ride leader does it, doesn’t mean you can, LOOK before pulling out (duh!), etc. No more incidents like that, glad to say!


In fact, the rest of the ride was great!!!!!! I really did well, and was proud of myself. Brian noted that I had improved since our last ride out to Glenoz! I did the grade pretty well! (albeit slower than Brian did…we let him pass at that point, so he could have some fun going down the hill, aka “the glass elevator”, but again, slow and steady). If I had to pick one thing to work on, it would be to stop using that rear brake in turns. Rest assured, I wasn’t going fast enough to require trail braking, but in my head, I feel too fast, so I would slow down. The K75’s suspension isn’t really made for that like the RT’s is, so it gets slightly unsettled (not out of control, but not good). Really need to read the road better, pick a good speed for the corner and hold it through out. I am sure this will come in time. I was shifting my weight fairly well, and trying to follow Russell’s line, although I do still start my turns too far to the inside still. More stuff to work on!!! At least now I am getting a feel for the proper way to turn.


OK. So let’s talk about HEAT. It was 111 out at the Salton Sea yesterday!!! We were so hot, that we saw this little dive bar out in the middle of nowhere, and we stopped there to whet our whistles with water and 7-up. It surely was an oasis. The bartender lady was very nice, and set me up under the ceiling fan and AC vent, and kept the water coming. If anyone makes the trip to the Salton Sea, throw some business Captain Jim’s way. If they hadn’t been there, I may have passed out!!! We were noting that it felt nice and “cool” when we arrived at Indian Wells for dinner…then we saw a temperature sign on a bank that said it was 100!! Holy Moses, if that feels cool to us….


Lastly, I did get to ride through some fairly strong wind on the way home. I did MUCH better than on my trip to Glenoz. No brown moments here! Just stayed relaxed and loose, and got through it. Maybe it was the fairing that also helped, but I like to think I am just improving!! Probably a little of both! J


Great ride, 315 miles total, good company.


Sorry about the novel. I am taking next weekend off (parents in town), so I will post again after my parking lot lesson with Dick!!



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Gee, Lisa, you're practicing in the wind, in 111-degree heat, in nasty twisties with hairpins (not a single 10mph hairpin in Utah, I promise), that by the time you get to Torrey, it's going to be a disappointing ride.


I can just see you arriving at the Chuckwagon Inn after 660 miles and going, "That's it? THAT is what I've been busting my hump for all these months? RUSSELL, GET OVER HERE! Now I'm pissed!" wink.gif


BTW, as for getting waxed by a car in the twisties, given drivers/rider of equal skill levels and both a sports car and a sportbike, a car is MUCH faster than a motorcycle in the twisties. A bike may be able to keep up because of superior acceleration between the turns, but if there are no straights, the four-wheeler is gonna leave you.

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In reply to:

I ran over a squirrel. L I saw him run out at the last minute and there was nothing I could do.


And with something as non-threatening and relatively small as a squirrel, continuing on through the obstacle was the thing to do.


My memory sucks, but I think it was Mother Nature herself talking about squirrels who said, "Crunch all you want; we'll make more."


I killed one a few weeks ago while riding a service loander F650GS. I was watching a deer run away from the street off to my right, looked down and saw the squirrel. Got him with my rear tire. I was a bit saddened by the twitching he seemed to do while dying, but there wasn't much I could or would do about it. I was more important than that squirrel, and you were more important than yours.



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Now I'm hurt. You ride right through my back yard on Sunday and you don't even invite me to the party. I see how it is. wink.gif


The Salton Sea is a very fascinating place to visit, but I can't imagine it being much fun on a hot summer day. Try going there early in the AM or in the fall/winter/spring.

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Awww, poor Sean. smile.gif I actually did think about you, but...didn't think you'd want to ride my pace, which is...well, A LOT slower than I've seen you ride!!! If you're game for that though, we'll certainly invite you next time we go! Like I said, Brian temporarily resigned as our sweeper dude to have fun on the grade. He just waited for Russell and I at the bottom! smile.gif


Next time I do the Salton Sea though, I am going in the winter! I did miss out on a lot cause I was so hot, I just wanted to leave! Got there, said "wow this is big, and kind of pretty, but let's get the blankety blank outta here!!!"





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I am definately going back to see the rest of it. We didn't see too much of the Salton Sea because as Lisa said we just overheated. Time to try get one of those crystal cooling vests.

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Nice follow-up installment Lisa. Your tale not only highlights your learning experience but it also points out one of the differences between the west and the south. In Kentucky when a squirrel gets hit the rider cries..... because it takes at least 3 to make a good burgoo.

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Great job Lisa, when Torrey rolls around you will be a master. You mentioned something, in a previous post, about putting more wind protection on your bike. How is that working out for you, does it make a considerable difference? Sorry to hear about the squirrel, I use to live in the mountains and hit my fair share of squirrels, not a pretty sight. Keep up the good riding!


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Braveheart, wink.gif


Since I installed the d*mn thing and I've put probably 100 miles behind it, I figure I'm allowed to comment (I'm sure Lisa will have more to say.)


The fairing is a Rifle Sport with the shortest windshield (I forget the exact length). We had a bit of a problem getting it colormatched since we didn't know the color of the bike. Blue, right? WRONG. Astral Blue or Silk Blue? We guessed wrong and got the silk blue. Local body shop did a great job repainting it Astral Blue and the match is very good.


Installation was a bit dissapointing. The instructions from Rifle were incorrect with regards to the turn signal wiring. They said: Red=turn signal, Black=Running lights, White=Ground. Turns out it was Red=turn signal, white=running lights, Black=ground. That's a more normal way to do it (black=ground), but I figured their docs were correct. It took a bit of troubleshooting before I finally figured out what was going on.


After I sorted that out, I discovered that I had to cut part of the stock headlight/turn signal/inst. cluster housing because the fairing wouldn't fit with it in place. I spent LOTS of time trying to figure out how to make it work. Then I did some searches on ibmwr and elsewhere and discovered that you have to cut the turn signal stub on each side off. This isn't really that big of a deal, but I would have liked to know in advance that I would be destroying part of the bike and making it much more difficult to remove the fairing and run with the bike in stock form.


After I figured that out, I discovered that the hardware they sent me didn't work. The fairing has brackets that attach to the bike and brackets that attach to the fairing. Then there are bolts and spacers that attach the two sets of brackets to each other. The bolts that they supplied were too large (diameter) to even fit through the holes cut into the brackets. A trip to the hardware store for new bolts, nuts, washers, and spacers got me squared away.


From there, it was easy.


Knowing what is required, I could probably do it again in under 2 hours. As it was, I spent well over 9 hours total.


Riding behind it: I get a flutter (not really buffeting, just noisy flutter) that hits me at the bottom of my face shield. It's a bit annoying at speed without earplugs. The difference when it is cold outside is HUGE. I rode it across the 73 toll road at night...and even at the top of the hill in the fog I was comfortable in my FirstGear Kilimanjaro jacket with no liner and the vents all open. I used to have to be fully sealed up and have a liner in to be comfortable there.


The whole thing seems stable and secure up to around 100mph...we don't have a V1 on that bike, so I didn't want to go faster.


I can also say that hearing and understanding Lisa over the FRS at freeway speed is now possible, though it's not as clear as an RT rider at the same speed. When the bike was unfaired, it was just about impossible to understand her at anything above 70mph.


Overall, I'm satisfied with the fairing despite the numerous problems with installation and the fact that they didn't tell me I had to hack the bike to get the fairing on. This wasn't so bad considering it's a "universal" part, but compared to all of the plug-and-play stuff that I've been adding to the RT, it was a real b*tch.

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Russell, thanks for the info. I like Lisa's bike but realized that I would like more wind protection if I were to buy it. Sounds like quite a project, but worth it in the end.

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Hi Lisa,

You're another step closer to getting the Mighty K12rs! You've got the legs... Now you just need more set time!

Keep learning and leaning! You'll be riding the K12rs just like Angie B & Me...(;>

Be Well,

Shelley (;>

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I tried to edit my last post but it wouldn't let me. So I'll just edit it here... Lisa, you just need some more SEAT time. not set time. (;> Shelley

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Another "in my back yard and no "hi"" post. Sounds like a great ride you did. To stay / keep cooler..try the 79 south through the mountain to I-8. Twisties and covered with scrub oaks, very nice!! I was in Julian that weekend, checking on roads and the fires...102 was the temperature in town. Came upon two (2) turkeys...the bird type during the ride.

If you keep going south 79 (Japutal Road) you'll be close to hte Olympic training center and more twisties. This is by the Otay Lakes, Chula Vista area. Great rides in the south...but warm.


Thank for the post..been wondering how to go north without too much freeway time.

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Wow! We have a lot of Shelly/Shelleys on the board!!


Shelly (braveheart) - I like my fairing. I still get airflow, but not as much as before! (which is a good thing; all the wind was fatiguing, but it iS a little warmer, which will be good in the winter, but was bad the other day!)


Also, the windshield "ate" a lot of bugs, which is great, cause that means I didn't!


Russell is also right about the noise...MUCH better!


I am getting a little "swirl" of wind though around my torso at high speeds. Feels like the air comes in from either side, meets in the middle and swirls around. No biggie, just weird.


Lastly, I did ride through some fairly strong wind, and it didn't bother me like the wind I encountered on my ride to Glenoz...this is probably due in part to the fairing, and in part to getting more comfortable in the saddle.


Shelley (the K12rs-ridin' mama!) - Thanks for your encouraging words. I will get in more seat (or set...hey, I knew what you meant!) wink.gif time, and then get brave enough to try out someone's KRS (someone brave enough to let me have a go at it!). Then, I'm sure it will be over, and I will HAVE to have one!


till then!


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Hi, Lisa. Well done.


Everything with a purpose. The ride across Mulholland was to wake you up: THIS is what's going on out there. It was distinctly a challenge, and what I saw, and what Russell tells me, indicate you were operating more Competently. Even with no direct instructional work, just ideas, the result shows up the next day. There you are with a different perspective on your riding world... and thus operating differently. Well done.


As for being left behind by a car, consider two thing: First, I've been a professional driver for over 35 years -- in Sports and GT cars; I learned to ride a motorcycle on THAT road... thirty years ago. I did my thing - You did yours. Yours is to get on down the road the BEST you can. You did.


In the intervening time, work on what we talked about: The Basics of riding. Do start-up and stopping drills. Find the spot to stop the bike and place the foot, Then approach it with heavier and heavier braking each time until you can "nail it". At start-up, have your "free space", where you are headed toward and then will ride through, both ACTUALLY free, and well defined. Examine and define the "transition zone" to reach it, determine it is clear and set your Line through it. Then, ensure the "free space" is still free, the "transition zone" is still clear, and RIGHT NOW, safe to enter, and then GO, smartly moving off and across your line through the "transition zone" and into your "free space".


When you make your turn-arounds to try it again, keep those Concepts in mind. You'll head for a new "free space", and transit a "transition zone" to get there -- probably a U-turning corner in the parking lot. Examine, Determine, and Motor-through with that same level of determination as with your starting and stopping drills.


See you in the parking lot next week, Padowan.

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Lisa, your incident with the squirrel reminds me of one I had many years ago. A buddy and I were riding up to Mt. Laguna, in eastern San Diego County, traveling at a brisk pace down S1 from the north. I was in the lead, when, at a distance, I see a squirrel starting across the roadway. I roll off the throttle, figuring to give it plenty of time to get across. Well, it dashes out a couple of yards, then dashes back to the side of the road. OK, I roll on the throttle again. Suddenly he dashes out and back again. This suicidal squirrel repeats this maybe 4 - 5 times, at one point being most of the way across the road, before dashing back again! My buddy and I are all over the road trying our best to avoid him (fortunately there was no other traffic), but he's making it as difficult as possible! I think we finally won (missed him). Neither of us experienced a "thump", but neither could either of us see in our mirrors where he ended up. It was the first topic of converation, when we stopped: "Did you see that crazy squirrel?!".

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