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Hoontang and Stretchmark's "Burnin' Daylight" West Coast Extrav-o-ganza! (pics+)


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8 months ago tickets went on sale for the US MotoGP at Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA. When ChrisK called and asked if I wanted to go, I promptly answered yes, and the planning began. Shortly after posting a thread to find out if anyone else was going, I got a most unexpected and unbelievably generous PM from Jamie (KMG_365). Jamie was offering the use Maynard (his RT) for the week. There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity to ride up the Pacific Coast from San Diego to Monterey, a ride I had dreamed about doing for years. I whipped out the maps and started looking at all the places I wanted to ride. Then the reality of how huge California is began to sink in eek.gif. To get as much in as possible in the short amount of time we had, I had to constantly call out our battle cry, “”C’mon, Let’s go, Burnin’ Daylight”


So 8 months of waiting and watching the list of BMWST members grow, then finally the big day came. The basic plan was to fly into San Diego:

• Day 1 – Tour San Diego, then head to Russell and Lisa’s All pics click here

• Day 2 – Scenic ride from R&Ls up to Carmel All pics click here

• Day 3 – Races All pics click here

• Day 4 – Races then scenic ride down to Cambria All pics click here

• Day 5 – Hearst Castle then scenic ride back to San Diego All pics click here


Day 1 – San Diego


Our trip started out right when we had the unexpected pleasure of bumping into Knappy who was flying in for business at the same time we were. We enjoyed a nice Thai dinner in downtown San Diego:



The next day we embarked on our “Turbo Tourist” tour of San Diego. In the spirit of our “Burning Daylight” theme, most pictures were taken either from a moving car or moving motorcycle, so forgive the fuzziness.


The first stop was one of the old missions in San Diego. Jamie gave us a wonderful history lesson at every stop. The interesting part of this picture is not so much the mission, but seeing what Jamie looks like in a car instead of on a motorcycle. A rare site indeed. grin.gif



Next we went down to Balboa park (America’s largest urban cultural park), an enormous park right in the city that contained every type museum you could imagine. We took pictures of all of them, but no time to go into even one of them crazy.gif. The architecture in the park was amazing.




Here’s Jamie and Leslie on the walk up to the fountain:



Here’s Christine and I in front of the lily pad pond and arboretum:


Every picture we had of Leslie, she had to crane her neck around, so we all agreed to pose in that position out of sympathy for her. cool.gif



The park is scattered with amazing trees like this fig tree:



The area would be a dream for you real photographers. Cool arches everywhere:




From there we headed over the Coronado Bridge and to the beach.



Lots of interesting things on the beach. We saw the trucks raking the kelp off the beach to be processed and a few jellyfish that would keep me out of the water.




Jamie swung us by the firehouse where he works. Christine was very disappointed we did not stop and visit the hunky firefighters out front.



Then we went and checked out the U.S.S. Midway, a floating museum with every type aircraft that ever took off from the ship. It’s massive!!



Then we drove by to see the Star of India, the world's oldest active ship (started life in the Isle of Man in 1863). Best picture we could get from a rolling car frown.gif



And a last stop, the Mission San Diego de Alcala, founded 1769



Then is was back to the Edmunds ranch to get suited up for the ride up to Russell and Lisa’s. Here their ferocious guard dog Maggie protected the estate, as well as performed some really cute doggy tricks for us thumbsup.gif



We loaded up our loaner bike, and got ready for a nice scenic ride. Here I am trying to reacquaint myself with the RT.



The ride would include an exciting ride up the South grade of Palomar mountain, home of the CalTech Observatory. Here’s Jamie riding bee-yatch down the mountain with Leslie piloting thumbsup.gif




Christine captured my first lane splitting experience. Man I wish that was legal everywhere. What a rush! cool.gif



After a wonderful ride, we arrived at Russell and Lisa’s place, and got ready for a nice Mexican dinner. Sandals were mandatory dress code at this restaurant grin.gif. L-R, that’s Russell, Lisa (90% Angel), Howard (PhillyFlash), Mike (SageRider), Christine (HoonTang), me (StretchMark), Jamie (KMG_365) and Leslie (Les_is_more).



And here we are enjoying a nice Mexican dinner. “What???…only wine Margaritas”



Day 2 – Ride to Carmel


Sean Daly had planned out a nice route up to Carmel, but we had to be on the road at 5:30AM to get around LA before the traffic got too bad.


Here’s the crew that rode up to Carmel.


Sean Daly and Shelly (BraveHeart)




Russell (sorry, we missed the ghost rider shot frown.gif




Rodger(Signman) and Sue


Sean’s friends Steve and Sonya (with her infamous backpack that would end up spilling its contents all over 101 frown.gif


and his other friends Mark and Robin


and our sweep Mike



We rode through some very interesting terrain through Los Padres National Forest. The roads kept cutting back so we could see the leaders ahead of us.





Some of the turns were pretty tight. Can anyone tell me what his is? eek.gif;


I definitely struggled getting back on the RT, and was scraping the crap out of it, but after a applying our RideSmart techniques and getting Christine to look through the turns with me, the RT started feeling like an old friend again.


We also got to experience our first In-and-Out Burger…yum!



After lunch, Christine and I decided to split off from the group, head over to Cambria, and ride the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) North to Carmel. We hooked up with an R1 and 2 old dudes on GS’s and they led us on a nice spirited pace up the PCH. The scenery was outstanding and so was the road. I was having so much fun chasing my rabbits that we never stopped for the 100 miles up to Carmel. I think Christine only took a few pictures during this run because she had to hold on tight thumbsup.gif. Here’s one taken at speed.



We don’t know how or when it happened, but we broke the speedometer needle while riding up the PCH. I felt really bad, but Jamie assured me that it had been acting up before. It was nicknamed stubby for the rest of the trip grin.gif



Day 3 – The Races


Our original plan was to meet up with Jerry Mather and crew and head up for a ride to Alice’s restaurant. But after spending a couple of hours with JungleJim and Voodoo looking at all their pictures from Friday’s events, we were so pumped about the races, we decided to go to the track first thing. JungleJim and Voodoo, Great meeting you guys and talking motorcycles. I definitely would love to ride with you guys sometime. Sorry Jerry and Richard, I hope you didn’t wait for us too long frown.gif. I guess it was a bit late to post that we would not make it.


Even leaving at 7:30am, we ran into quite a bit a traffic heading to the track. It would have been good to be on the bike because they all just cruised right up the shoulder.



I guess we could have also paid the $275 for the air taxi. Sweet!



Our first stop was the Paddocks in hopes of getting a glimpse of our favorite riders. Within 30 seconds of being in the paddock, I got to hang out with my very good friend Vale cool.gif. Um…but he had to go get ready for the MotoGP practice. That's ChrisK and I in the background.



I have to admit that I was a little start struck. He walked right by me, and I just stood there saying “Oh my God”. Luckily Christine acted and ran ahead and got this picture.

I won’t post too many motorcycle pics since I feel certain we will see many in the other threads. We enjoyed an excellent view courtesy of Gleno, Eric Forrester, Rodger and Sue, and the Phoenix crew, Shelley and Angie (Thanks for the waters, you saved me!!). They got up really, really early to secure the fence spots for the crew. Thanks a million you guys!! The Andretti Hairpin was an awesome place to watch the race. It was also the perfect place to watch Vale pull the leathers out of his a$$ and adjust his nuts grin.gif



Here’s Gleno giving me the rundown on the track:



We also walked all around the track, but the most amazing turn to watch was the famous corkscrew where they essentially do a forced high-side to get themselves through that turn. Amazing to watch.



I think Christine had an OK time in the paddocks, but it was really hard to tell. I’ll let her tell that story. We like to think we spurred E-Boz on to victory that day.

Here she is with Jason Pridmore.



After a fantastic day at the races, we went back to Carmel for dinner, and then hit Cannery Row in Monterey. It was quite a show. I hope someone has some pictures. Curb to Curb bikes and people. Quite a scene


Day 4 – The Big Race Day and Ride back to Cambria


The crowds were even bigger for the big races on Sunday and anticipation high.



The temps were quite a bit higher on Sunday, but Eric found a way to keep cool:



In between races, Eric and I turned our chairs around so we could address our adoring fans grin.gif



What a treat it was to watch Nicky Hayden ride on rails from start to finish to win the GP. It was awesome stuff!!


I wanted to ride PCH again, so after the races, we loaded up and headed south with Russell, Lisa and Howard. The traffic was quite a bit heavier this time, so Christine was actually able to get a few shots off:


The marine layer seems to roll in at about the same time every day:



You definitely would not want to run one of these turns wide. It’s a straight drop off.



The coast line is just spectacular. What a ride!!




Thumbs up from Lisa!




We convinced Russell, Lisa and Howard to call it quits in Cambria and join us for dinner at the Brambell’s restaurant. We were all a little giddy after the day’s events. The waiters must of thought we were nuts since we never stopped laughing the entire meal. Stories that started out with lines like “So I went into this turn and I blew the shift”, or “We were riding like 2 freakin’ a’holes all day”, or “I couldn’t get up, but then realized I was still connected to the bike”..great stories to go along with a great dinner and the best company imaginable.




Day 5 – Hearst Castle and ride back to San Diego


Christine and I decided we wanted to do a tour of the Hearst Castle on our last day. We took guided tour #1 The Experience Tour since it covered the majority of estate. If you haven’t visited this place yet, we would highly recommend it. It will just blow you away.


Here’s the awesome road to the top. Sure would have been fun on a motorcycle.



Lots of palm trees line the walk up to the castle.



Nope, that’s not the castle, just one of the little guest houses on the property.



The Neptune pool was probably the most beautiful area of the estate:



All of the statues around the pool were carved from pure white marble.



“Honey, this would look nice in our back yard, don’t you think ?? “



For some reason I really seemed to enjoy this statue the most. grin.gif


This was the oldest piece on the property from ancient Egypt



Here’s the 1st view of the main 76,000+ sq ft castle. Hearst got his inspiration for the design from all the churches he visited in Europe as a boy.



Imagine sitting down for a meal here with Cary Grant and the other stars of the day.



Christine liked the 1st lighted tennis court in America. Note the old style Hollywood movie lights that provided the lighting.



The ultimate in opulence, walking on gold.



A picture of the indoor Roman pool, where Cary Grant said you don’t go to swin, you go there to get to know someone a little better blush.gif



Pretty fancy diving platform!!



“We were just up there.”



We spent a good part of the day bopping around Hearst, but we still had a pretty good trek back to San Diego ahead of us. One other thing I wanted to do in California was visit a Pistachio farm. I don’t know why, I just always wanted to do it. Luckily we passed one on Hwy 33 on the way to Ojai.



Here I am practicing Zen Pistachio eating. grin.gif



At this point, we would be pushing it even make San Diego by midnight. We hopped on 33 and had a great run up the Pine Mountan Summit. We did stop briefly for one overlook shot.



When the GPS looks like this, I’m smiling thumbsup.gifcool.gif



We got passed by a couple on a VFR and ended following then into Ojai at a very nice pace. I followed him to the gas station and thanked him for showing me the lines. We ended up joining them for a nice pizza dinner in Ojai and swapping some good riding stories.


From that point I just punched in Jamie and Leslie’s address on the GPS and selected fastest time and slabbed it back to San Diego. We didn’t arrive until 1am knowing we had to get up at 5am for a cross country flight crazy.gif.


We had such a fantastic trip and I can’t thank all the BMWST folks enough for making it such a wonderful trip. You folks all rock!! Thanks again to Jamie for the use of his RT. That really made the trip that much more special!! Well, I think I have burned enough daylight typing this thing up. Next up is Keith Code at Barber, Ride Smart in N GA and El Paseo. Can’t wait!!

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Mark....great job grin.gif Just like being there with you. I've done all those routes many times forwards and backwards Nice terra firma joices. Too bad we got our signals crossed on dinner. bncry.gif


I can't believe Kerin (Mrs. Yool Man) a California girl hadn't even been to Santa Barbera before. That was our first trip when I got the RT last year. I'm planning to take her up the coast to Montery then on up to Eureka all along Hwy1 someday. We need a friggen house sitter though...four dogs who demand food at 5am and 6pm daily and four rabbits that get fed twice a day. Tough for both of us to get away together.


Nice pics dude thumbsup.gif

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Great report, Mark!!


We really enjoyed having you two there. Christine was hilarious in the paddock. She was like a bloodhoud on the hunt looking for racers. Of course, Howard was doing the same with the Umbrella Girls. smile.gif


I don't see fingers in that shot of HoonTang and Shaky. What's up with that? smile.gif

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I don't see fingers in that shot of HoonTang and Shaky. What's up with that?





Nice write-up. Glad to enjoy the festivities, even though it was thru you & HOONtang's eyes.

Been to the West coast once. Flew out and helped my brother David drive back to Fla when he moved from Sacramento.


Was in Napa for four hours dopeslap.gif - than we headed for Fla. crazy.gif Really neat to see the changes of scenry acorss the US.


Glad you had fun, and your right....


this board ROCKS!

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Thanks for taking good care of the BMWST loaner bike!


Um, well...yeah...if you call breaking the speedo needle, grinding off half the floorboards, and tossing the knurled doohickey that holds the backrest off a 1200 foot cliff into the Pacific "Taking good care", then Mark did a great job.



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Wow! Great Ride Tale, Mark (and Christine! wink.gif )! thumbsup.gif


I am so glad that you guys had a great trip and everything worked out so well! Considering that little mis-communications are bound to happen (sorry Mike frown.gif ), plans change at the last minute (sorry Jerry and Richard frown.gif ), and parts on old bikes break (sorry Maynard! tongue.gif ), it looks like you guys had the trip of a lifetime! clap.gif


I was very happy to have been able to give up Maynard for the time you were here. I've been riding waaaay too much this spring and have been needing to stay pretty busy with the house, so the timing was perfect! grin.gif


Elsewhere someone curmudgeonly asked if "fostering a light hearted outlook and a sense of community" was a requirement for membership here. Of course it isn't--the only requirement basically is don't piss in the punchbowl and buy a round of drinks every once in a while if you're helping yourself to the icebox. In any event you'll more than get your money's worth--or perhaps even more! thumbsup.gif But it's sharing experiences like this that pay the kind of dividends that are beyond measure--and what goes around, comes around! smile.gif Mark and Christine have been active, funny, thoughful and frequently very generous contributors here for the last few years. They have shared of their knowledge, their hearts and even their homes and hospitality--in short, they have been "Spreading the Love" in true BMWST.com style for a while. Leslie and I have really enjoyed getting to know them better and we are glad to be able to pay back some of that good Karma! cool.gif


This most excellent Ride Tale is a perfect example of that generosity! It takes a lot of time and effort to put something this comprehensive together for the enjoyment of the rest of our "Extended Family"! I know I appreciate the work, and these sorts of wonderful experiences are what make life worth living IMNSHO! Ride On, you two! clap.gif

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So THIS is the sort of fun you were having while I spent 8hrs in the airport waiting for my flight. A smarter man would have taken Friday off and had some fun. DOH!


Great seeing you in SD!


Oh, that's a scraped floorboard. smile.gif


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Too Cool!!!


What a blast we had. Can't wait to do it all again at Barber, only this time we'll be the ones racing around the track! clap.gif


Looks like you caught me stretching my back or something on the bike (or do I always ride that slouched?) blush.gif


Great pix!!! Thanks to you both.

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Great photos and write-up.

What a great weekend.

And my thanks to the Bynums for their gracious hosting us all before the race.

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Great report, Mark. I had a blast meeting you guys and the rest of the crew. I do hope we can hook up on the road! thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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What an awesome trip! Thank you for the use of the pass, it was great to wander around for awhile drooling (at the bikes)! And to all the early birds a hearty thank you for snagging a spot along the fence.

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DUDE!!! What an incredible RideTale. This one has to go into the archives. You should become the official curator of all things told. cool.gif

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Jennifer and I loved reading about your ride. Big Sur is so close to us that we can ride it on a weekend-in fact, we spent three days up there the week of the races, and turned around and went back just last Wednesday... thumbsup.gif


While it is def. not a "run of the mill" ride, we've done it so many times that it is refreshing and fun to read about some riders just doing it for the first time! Does this make sense??


Your narrative was colorful and enthusiastic. Great job! Our regret was that we couldn't meet up with you guys while you were in Monterey...



Steve in So Cal

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Yeah...why couldn't we meet up while we were in Monterey. You need to put that romance stuff on the side every once in a while for your BMWST buddies smirk.gif

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Good question...my fault for not checking your guy's schedules carefully. We were up there from mid week on!


Your ride tale is one of the best I've read in a long while, Mark. Keep 'em coming!




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