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Master Yoda's Wild Ride - SoCal 4/20 (Very long)


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Sorry folks...this is a long one.



I had no business being here.


After a full week of 16 hour days (getting ready for a big project next weekend) I was bushed. I was operating on about 2 hours of sleep. The house was a mess. The yard needed mowed. My bike was due for it's 30K service. I was on call (which means I need to be able to respond to a page within 2 hours.).


Of all the weekends, Dickie picked THIS one. Aw what the heck, sure...I'll go.


I've had the pleasure of riding with Dick on some of HIS roads this past winter. The man doesn't ride bad roads...he just doesn't. He can plan a 600 mile day that covers the tightest twisties you can imagine, triple-digit straights, FAST sweepers, and just about any other type of interesting road that you can imagine. He chains all of these together with frequent stops (just for a few minutes to

stretch and chat), and just about the time you think you've worked up a BIG appetite, you roll into some spectacular restaurant for some great food and more chatting. It all flows together with such precision that it seems totally spontaneous and unplanned.


In addition to all of that, he seems to really enjoy leading the ride..although he's not always IN

the lead, which is part of why his rides are so fun. We'll be stopped at the bottom of a road and he'll say something like "OK, Russell, you lead this one, stop at the top." He gives everyone a good feel for the "Character" of the road and what we need to look out for. Then we mount up and proceed to carve up the road grinning ear to ear the whole way. The scenery is always spectacular no matter if it's a high desert plateau, coastal mountains, desert canyons, it doesn't matter...it's ALWAYS beautiful.


But wait...there's more! He's a great teacher (It's all part of being a good leader, I think). He rides very well and understands WHY. He takes that knowledge and shares it with those who ride with him. I guess you could say I started my Jedi training with Master Yoda last year at Vegas Tech Daze. I got a taste of how and WHY motorcycle suspension works, and how to adjust it so that it works better for ME. I also got "the position". I had been riding my RT bolt upright. It worked and I never saw a problem. But I did have problems with my comfort seat...I'd have sworn that they accidentally forgot to put the "un" in front of "comfort". A week before Tech Daze, I shimmed the front of the saddle up a bit. That fixed the problem with my butt hurting, but now it was too far to the bars. I was very uncomfortable all the way to Tech Daze. Then Dick showed me how he sits on his RS. Butt back, bent at the hips, back straight, forearms level with the ground (or even with your elbows slightly low), and NO WEIGHT ON YOUR HANDS. All of your weight is supported by your back, abs, and legs. He said a bunch of other stuff then too, but most of it went over my head.

I rode home from Tech Daze using Dick's position and was perfectly comfortable. I got tired holding that for a long ride, but I knew that would get better with time. Within 2 weeks, I could ride like that for 400 miles, no problem.

The next step in my training was a couple of rides with "the master". We'd ride a bit, then stop and talk about what I was doing right and wrong, and HOW to do it right next time. Also, WHY doing it "right" is "right". Each segment had me more and more comfortable with my skills.


Today, I ride considerably better than I did back then. I cover the same roads at least 10-15mph faster, and with LESS LEAN ANGLE. I used to drag the peg feelers all the time. Now I realize that was mostly a result of poor lines and bad technique. I've also gotten much smoother than I was. Now, don't get me wrong...I'm FAR from being done learning...I'm just so much better now than I was this time last year. I FEEL better on the bike than I ever have, I'm having fewer "Brown Moments" (despite going faster), and I'm having MORE FUN. That's what this is all about, right...fun?



So Dick was leading a ride...well, that's just grand. I already knew what one of "those" rides are like. After the week I'd had (and the week I'm about to have), I knew that I needed the release. Laney, who's shared many of the rides with Dick was wanting to ride "Jake", her SV650 up there. Actually, I think Laney wanted to take the RT, but Sock Monkey insisted on the Suzuki. He can be a pill sometimes. Anyway, we agreed to meet for the ride up to the meeting place (120 miles of superslab. yuk). We both knew what kind of a day we were in for and there was NOTHING that was going to keep us away. I've been trying to get Tool to come along on one of these rides for quite some time. This time he had some lame excuse about broken shower faucets and doing the responsible thing. Apparently, my nagging paid off as I rolled into gas station where Laney and I meet and saw a familiar looking hooligan sitting on a SEXY K1200RS in the parking lot. A few minutes later, the SV650 rolled in with Sock Monkey securely strapped to the RKA bag on the rear seat. Hugs and kisses were exchanged, then we headed north. Laney cut a nice arch up the onramp then showed us "silly boys" how to ride. She put the spurs to Jake and took off like a bat out of hell. Tool and I kicked our Graphite beauties and chased her all the way there.


The slab trip was uneventful. We rolled into the Shell station across from the Magic Mountain amusement park. Funny thing...Magic Mountain is becoming quite the center for gnarly

roller coasters. They've got like a billion of them including many that are "the first", "the fastest", "the most G's" or whatever. Yet none of those towering masses of metal looked even remotely interesting from the saddle of the RT. smile.gif


After meeting and greeting everyone and fighting all of the chicks off of Wurty, we hit the road.


We made a brief stop near Dick's house so that Laney could drop off Jake and do the rest of the ride from the pillion seat of the RS. Sock Monkey was

transferred to the Givi rack, folded in half. At first, I was going to call the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sock Monkeys (ASPCSM), then Laney pointed out that he was just doing Yoga. Well, that's different then. smile.gif


We set out with the Dick in the lead.








I may get some of this out of order...it's all such a blur.


Dick had me lead up a road of really tight twisties. 1st and 2nd gear stuff...my favorite kind of road. But (and Dick warned us about this), there was sand in many of the corners. With Wurty jabbering over the FRS about his "brown eye gettin' all winky on that last corner", I blasted my way up. In slow...real slow...make sure it's clear, weight over, nudge the bars, power on, repeat, repeat, repeat...man this is a fun road...repeat, etc. By the way...sometimes the front does let go first. smile.gif


A few roads later, we hit a big open straight with Dick leading. I knew the second we came around the corner and saw the road ahead what was in store. Dick and I both made the jump to

light speed. It was at this point that it occurred to me that an RS rider does not accelerate. They dial in their desired speed, and instantly teleport to that speed. My RT pulled hard up to 125 but Dick was pulling away. By the time I hit 125, I was gaining on Dick, but only because he was slowing for the next corner. At the end of that road, Dick and I exchanged a big YEEAAAAAAAAHHHH!! and a high-five. Man, that was fun.


Dick announced that this was "Robin's road"...the reason that he owns an RS. Denny and I traded bikes at that point. I had done this road with Dick a few months ago on my RT...such great road...full of big open turns.

I remember then thinking how great it would be on an RS. Now I had my chance. I

proceeded to cross Robin's road on the RS with all of the skill and grace of...well, I sucked. I couldn't get my rhythm right, couldn't get used to the close-ratio transmission, and got bit a couple of times by the fact that, at neutral throttle, this bike gives you NO idea what the engine is doing. With the RT, I feel it in the bars. The K75 has a nice exhaust note. The KRS has nothing. No clue what's going on...you just have to use the force and KNOW.


After my most non-triumphant crossing (Dick, please don't tell Robin I disgraced her road and the RS so bad.) I was upset with myself and vowed to get my head out of my *ss. After a few more miles, I was feeling more comfortable and in control. Dick and I danced a bit, weaving around the dashed lines on the center of the road and my cheeks started to hurt from smiling so much. At the next stop, Dick announced that I would be leading. I had a feeling he wanted me on the RS on this road...the force was strong in this place. This was Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd. He said he'd stop at the windmills and anyone who wanted to stop was welcome to. I like windmills, so I planned on stopping. I hit a big straight road across the valley and decided to light it up. At 130, it was still pulling harder than the RT pulls at 115 but I was running out of road, so I backed off. I started running the corners at about 85...just like I would on the RT. After 2 turns, Dick passed. I could sense him saying...no Young Skywalker...do it this way. He towed me up to just over 95, then moved over and let me pass. Wow, this feels really good. Faster, Faster, Faster, spot the corner, shift my weight to the inside, plant my foot, nudge the bars, full power, faster, faster, spot the next corner, shift my weight, etc. My speedo crossed above 100 2 turns after Dick let me pass and never came down again until I stopped at the other side. 110-115 most of the way. In high, kiss the apex, out high, accelerating, accelerating. This bike is so fast that there are no straights...you cover the distance between corners so fast that you are always turning. The RS and I were one. Nothing else existed outside of me, the RS, and the road. I was in a zen-like state of concentration. I crossed Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd TWENTY-FIVE miles per hour FASTER than I would have on the RT...and felt more in

control than I would have on the RT (even at 25mph slower). I took hold of that road, bent it over my knee and spanked it silly.


Slowing to a stop at Highline road, I got off the bike and just jumped up and down shouting like the scene in "Back to the Future", when Doc Brown sees the Delorian go back in time with Marty. Several cars passed and the drivers gave me strange looks. One rolled down their window and asked "are you OK". "FAN-F***ing-TASTIC!!!" was my reply. I waited around for about 10 minutes then remember that Dick said to just turn left and keep going. Hmmm...maybe there's another road down from the top that intersects this one, and they're going to take it instead. OK, I zipped all the way down to the end, found a gavel parking lot next to a fence with some horses and a couple of Llamas. I waited there maybe 20 more minutes, then thought maybe I screwed up and took the wrong road or something. By this time, the low fuel light was glowing and the gauge was down between 1/4 and E. The K's one fault is a too-small gas tank. Anyway, I zipped back to the other end of the road and waited. Waited. Waited. Hmmm. OK, this ain't right. Back to the other end. If they're not there, I'll just have to figure out how to get to Tehachapi and the restaurant on my own. Waiting, waiting, waiting. OK, fine...how do I get to Tehachapi? Hmm...Denny's tankbag map didn't show it. OK, let's do an inventory assessment. Hmmm...a couple of energy bars and some water in the tankbag, AH HA! A liter of fuel in the left sidecase. Other assorted items. (btw, Tool...nice Spiderman Underoos in the right side case. Where'd you find a set in your size?). Oh yes...and a Cell phone. One thing I forgot to mention...all of my stuff was on my RT. My wallet, credit cards, camera, phone...everything. I called home on Denny's phone and got Lisa. We managed to cobble together my location and rough directions to the restaurant. "Where are you." "Umm...well, there's like a Llama here and some dirt and stuff. " As I suspected, I was very close (but if I had gone with my instinct, I would have turned 180 degrees the wrong way.) I easily found the restaurant (how many 4-star Mexican joints with a gaggle of BMW's in the parking lot can there be in this town?) Lunch was, well...4-star. I took quite a bit of ribbing from the group about being so late. It was worth it. Nice bike, Denny.


After lunch, I reluctantly handed the keys back to Denny (Aw, c'mon...do I hafta?). I mounted my trusty RT and we headed over for fuel. Everyone headed home except for Dick, Laney, Sock Monkey, Wurty, Daryll, and me. Dick led us through the mountains and up to the marker for the Tehachapi Loop...an engineering marvel where the trains (100 a day) circle around over

themselves to make the climb through the pass. All the way down, I'm screaming "Beautiful", "This is AWESOME", etc into my helmet. As luck would have it (although Dickie claimed to have pre-arranged it), a big freight train was just starting it's loop as we arrived. Awesome...just awesome.

We continued on into Caliente and made a brief stop. Again, as if Dick had called ahead and set this up, a big train (What were there...6 locomotives??) came rumbling past, then looped around us and headed off up the hill. Cool.


Climbing out of Caliente it was Dick (with Laney and Sock Monkey in tow), then Wurty, then Daryll, then me. We entered a

stretch of road with fairly tight turns...marked at 25-30mph. It was on one of the left-handers that things went wrong.


Daryll braked before the turn and entered it at probably 35mph...an OK speed for this turn. He misread the turn a bit and wound up going in early. Then (I think...Daryll...please fill us in on what happened from your perspective) it seemed like he fixated on one of the signs on the side of the road. I could feel him trying to will the bike over, but his head pointed straight at that sign. He left the road and the rear end skidded to the left and low-sided. I watched his helmet (full-face) bounce pretty hard when he hit. Then that sign saved his life. There was a near-vertical embankment leading down to a creek just off of the road. Some place on the bottom of his bike (I'm not sure what) hit that sign. It ripped the sign right out of the ground, but spun the bike back towards the road. At some point, his left saddlebag broke loose and

launched over the cliff and landed probably 30 feet out into the creek. Maybe the bag was the impact point with the

sign...I'm not sure. The force of the bike hitting the sign and spinning the bike threw Daryll over the bike and he rolled into the road ahead of me. If he hadn't hit that sign, he and the bike would have gone over the edge, through a barbed-wire fence, fallen 20 feet, then landed in the rocky

creek bed.


As soon as he stopped sliding I yelled "Are you OK". I saw all four limbs move, then he said "Yeah". I got on the FRS and radioed that he'd gone down. I parked my bike in the road and turned on the hazards, then walked over to help. I remember consciously thinking about staying calm. Kickstand down, key off, unplug the headset. By the time I got off the bike, Daryll was up walking around and had his helmet off. We went into assessment mode. Step one, are you OK...yes. Step two..is the bike OK? It lay on it's right side. The right mirror was smashed. The saddlebag was gone. It took a second for us to locate it WAY down there in the creek. The rest of the left side of the bike looked OK. There didn't appear to be anything leaking out of anywhere. So far so good. Wurty came back down the hill and Dick followed shortly thereafter. Wurty and I picked the bike up and set it on the sidestand. The first thing I checked was the valve cover. The guard was broken off and the cover was scratched pretty bad, but nothing appeared to go all the way though. Wurty started it up and nothing seemed to leak out. He rode a few feet and it seemed OK. We took a few minutes (30?) to make sure everything was OK and ensuring that Daryll was OK to ride. Then Wurty left with Daryll and Dick and Laney and I continued. As we rode away, I thought about the MANY times that I got into that same situation. Only once on my RT, but 5 or 6 times on my Bandit (my first streetbike). Once I just about T-boned an

oncoming car on a right turn on a 2-lane, but something snapped me awake and forced my head to NOT look at the car.


Dick worked us back up to speed gradually...good thing too as my mind wasn't completely in the game when we started off. The rest of that route was just awesome. Dick says it was only 50 miles, but it seemed like MUCH longer and really wore me out. UP into the mountains, twisting, turning, 1st gear stuff, around a bend, STOP!!!! Wait for the cow to get out of the road (I'm not kidding.), power on, repeat. Reach the top, start down, start noticing different types of flowers and plants on the side of the road, come around a bend and WOA!!! HOLY CRAP!! What a

beautiful valley!!! Down, Down, Down into the valley, twisting, turning, more 1st gear stuff, but this time my brakes are taking a beating. Across the valley, then back up to repeat the process....what was it...three more times? Just beautiful.


Stop at the Burger King (a sharp contrast to the great Mexican food from earlier, but it turned out to be just what the Doctor ordered.


Down the hill, big 90 and 100mph sweepers. Into a canyon with near-vertical rock walls, and a river in the bottom. It seemed wrong for there to be a road here....seems like this should be something that you have to hike for 3 days to get to. Beautiful. I'm shouting "MAGNIFICIENT", "AWESOME", and "GORGEOUS" in my helmet again. The suddenly, we came around a corner and out into the golden rolling hills outside of Bakersfield. You couldn't imagine more dissimilar landscapes and they literally butt up against each other with very little transition in between.

It's getting dark now. My PIAA 1100's are doing a good job throwing light up close, but just don't have the wattage to go the distance. The stock headlight on Dick's RS is doing about the same as my PIAA's on low beam (WOW!), but the high beam is also lacking. These bikes just don't make enough light for the speeds that WE like to travel. My faceshield is peppered with bugs. The phrase "I can't see Dick." actually has meaning in this case. smile.gif


We arrived back at Dick's place cleaned our shields, let our lips flap for a while, then I led the way home with Laney and Sock Monkey close behind. We stopped in Palmdale for gas. We were both obviously tired, but so excited. Riding THESE bikes with THOSE people does that. I asked about how visible I was. I recently installed Fernando's reflective kit for the RT bags, and also the small-diamonds kit for my Schuberth helmet. She said that she was astounded at how bright the bags were, but didn't notice the helmet because the bags were so bright. That's a good thing, I suppose. (She later emailed me and said that the helmet was also very visible from the back, but it was overpowered by the bags. The helmet stuff probably does better from the sides and front where I don't (yet) have any reflective stuff.)


I got on 14 going the wrong way...I must really be tired. Off, turn around, back on. From there, it's basically 120 miles of slab. traffic was OK, and made Orange County about the time I thought I couldn't hold myself up any longer. Laney peeled off at her exit. I glanced over and we did the familiar wave that seems to say "See you later.", "That was really fun riding.", "That food was awesome.", and "I love riding with these people." all with one wave of the hand.


I rolled into the garage, crawled upstairs, and babbled incoherently about the RS, Tehachapi Willow Springs rd, Daryll's crash, Sock Monkey, and everything else. I have no idea if I made any sense. Probably not. Like the Harley slogan says...If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand. Of course, with lisa...she's been on these rides and knows these people, so she probably did understand what I was saying...as much as anyone does, anyway.



Dick, my friend, thank you. Thanks for leading us on yet another spectacular ride through those awesome roads and country. The food was on par with the roads (as usual) and the company was top-notch. Even more than that, thanks for being a teacher....for showing me how to ride this thing. Thanks for showing me the way on Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd. I can't believe I went so fast so comfortably.


Denny, thanks for letting me borrow the RS for a little hoon session. It was very likely the most fun I've ever had. Thanks for having an extra liter of gas (although I didn't wind up needing it), and the cell phone. I'd say thanks for bringing your camera because I wanted to take a great shot of the RS parked along the side of the road, but I

couldn't figure out how to make it do what I wanted. It kept going into slideshow mode or somethin. Since I've been known to hurt myself changing the batteries in a flashlight, I figured I should leave the camera alone. Too bad, it would have been a great shot. smile.gif


Laney, thanks for sharing this with us again. Your company is always refreshing. I look forward to more rides as you recoup. Keep an eye on that Sock Monkey fellow, though...I think I saw him makin' a move on some of Wurty's chicks while we were stopped at the restaurant.


Wurty, you da man. Your commentary over the FRS had me laughing my butt off at times and wishing I had a MUTE button other times. wink.gif This was the first time we'd ridden together, and I'm looking forward to more.


Daryll, chin up buddy. Stuff happens. If I had tried to ride an RT on the roads that we did at the pace that we did when I only had 6 months of experience, I would be long gone. I was actually going to comment that I thought you were riding pretty well...picking good lines, going in slow, then accelerating out. I believe you probably just had a lapse of concentration and it bit you on the *ss. Like I said, it happens. I haven't crashed a streetbike (knocking vigorously on wood), but I can't count the number of times I did something dumb and wadded up my dirtbike. We're talking about pulling an XL125 out of a tree, dropping an XL200 on my bare leg (riding in shorts) and burning the crap out of my leg, putting it down nose first and getting a nice taste of Texas dirt, and balking a landing so bad that my back is still sensitive and easy to disrupt. Get the bike put back together, buy a new helmet, and get back in the saddle. I believe you've got decent basic skills, so maybe a track school would be appropriate to help you build your cornering abilities in the controlled environment of a racetrack. Oh yes...and share the experience with us so that we can all learn from it. That's what this BBS is about...sharing our triumphs and

tragedies so that others can adjust their behavior accordingly. I look forward to riding with you soon.


Old Rider, good luck on your 4-corners tour. May the wind always be at your back.


Airtire, You're probably the only dude who has a shot at out-sarcasming Wurty. That's quite a feat. Lets do this again soon. smile.gif



Jack, nice riding with you. Hopefully next time we can get to know each other better. Of course, if Denny brings his RS again, I might accidentally get "lost" again. wink.gif


The only negative thing about the ride: My FirstGear pants don't fit so well over BIG WOOD!




Enough of that crap...where are the pictures?



Laney introduces DTool to Sock Monkey. Actually, they'd met before, but Sock Monkey couldn't remember.


The group at the Shell Station by Magic Mountain


Wurty, part of Steve (sorry about that), and Wurty's cool new helmet. See the chick in the background? She wants Wurty


Waiting for Dick, Laney, and Sock Monkey on the RS.


Top of Old Ridge Route. Notice the pucker marks on Wurty's saddle.


Wurty's bike


Master Yoda


Sock Monkey doing Yoga on the RS


The force you must use. Tight corners this road has. mmmMMMMMmmmm.


Tehachapi Loop


Tehachapi Loop


Tehachapi Loop


Tehachapi Loop



Daryll's bike


Right Side


Valve Cover


Right Side tupperware


This shot is labeled "Pilgrim, I love ya and I'm behind you 100% on the 'helmets should be a choice' thing, but when it comes to the question of DO THEY WORK, you can kiss my *ss." Remember when I said I saw his head bounce on the concrete? Next question?


Left saddle bag


Right saddle bag - after we retrieved it from the creekbed


The corner. You can see the two tire tracks that the bike left when it lost traction


The sign


The impact point on the signpost


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what can I say. Great description of our past weekend ride.

Not only is riding with the General fun but it's always a learning experience. Very nice of Dick to have bought all of our lunches.. Thanks again Dick.

I wish I could have continued with you guys into Lake Isabela but thought it was wise to tag along with Daryll to make sure he gets to I-5.

It wasn't long and we were 20 over and his bike was still tracking straight. It didn't look real good but it was getting down the road.

Thanks again for all the fun and great descriptive pictures.

I could hardly stand it watching Laney huggin all over the General as he whipped his RS around those corners.

I think I was jealous. She could have hugged on me too but she would just have to hold her arms out a bit farther to clear my excessive girth.

Maybe Sock Monkey can ride with me next time?

Lets do it again !


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Fantastic ride report! I still don't unsderstand what other people use those porno tapes for...


I was reading the report, heart pounding faster and faster, looking for the box of tissues, and then I heard those dreaded words, "It was on one of the left-handers that things went wrong."


I'm real glad you're alright Daryll, and dude, get better and get back in the saddle!


Sometimes I think it's worth it to move West just to have a bunch of people to ride with in such close proximity.

Oh well.


Great pics. When does it come out on video?



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When I posted my report, I really did not know that 6 hour ride I was on with you guys, had a phase II which was a whole other ride unto itself. Too bad I had to bail at 3:30 and missed the second session.


Wurty and I are going to join forces and get a sidecar rig and show Russell and Dick a thing about taking corners at 85 MPH.


We just haven't decided the following:


A. Who's driving and who assumes the suicide duty in the hack?

B. What size sidecar based on how much Beer & Wine capacity?


Wurty told me he has a rough idea for a sidecar with me in it...he mentioned a sidecar with no wheel, two holes cut out of the floor for my legs to get to the ground and he mentioned that his kid had a Fred Flinstone outfit for me to wear....so does that mean Barney is driving?


Yabba dabba do.

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In reply to:

Russell, thanks for the report. Do you remember what gear Daryll was wearing?


Hmmm...I forget the brand, but it was a full 2-piece synthetic suit, boots, gloves, and a full-face Arai. I didn't notice much damage on his suit, but that helmet took a beating.

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OK, since the cat's out of the bag, I might as well pipe up.


As for the first question, what gear? Arai Signet helmet. Hein Gericke jacket, First Gear hypertex overpants, Cruiserworks boots, and tour master kevlar padded gloves. The gear is all courdura with CE armour. Everything held up nicely. There' s a couple cuts on the pants and a big scuff on the left boot. The helmet has a good size scrape down it and obviously needs to be replaced. As for me, I got a small strawberry on my left arm, a couple scrapes on my lower back, and bit of bruise on my left knee. Amazing. When I got up I wasn't in any pain, I was just pissed off that I had screwed up!


The bike's going to need some work. Mostly plastic scaped. The head cover on the right side got scraped pretty badly. Overall not too bad.I rode it the 180 miles home with no problem except I kept trying to look into my right side mirror. smile.gif


Russell's explanation matches what I remember pretty well. I felt lilke I had set it up reasonably (slowed down and down shifted), but all of a sudden I felt I was coming in hot. I probably did start the turn to early. I had a moment of "oh shit" about the sign and creek, but I was thinking to myself, just lean and get through it. Unfortunetly, when I went wide into the dirt, I felt the back end release and low sided. It's blurry between then and my getting up off the ground.


I suspect that what happened is when I lowsided on the left the bag bag gave up and continued on the original path bouncing into the creek. When the bike hit the sign it flipped over onto the right side and back onto the road. (I'm not sure how that happened and would have been impressive to see!) I think I just slipped off during the low side and stopped where I stopped. So the sign just stopped the bike from dropping the 5 feet into the creek, which would have been a much bigger mess to clean up.


The day was a lot of fun, and Dick definetly deserves a "thank you" for putting it all together. Even with the spill I had a good time. I suspect I wouldn't be saying that if I were hurt worse, but I've sufferred worse injuries playing touch football. This spill was anexperience worth having. The whole day was very educational. I'll probably write up more about the spill later.




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Russell, I feel you really captured the ride, and you've done a marvelous job in expressing your unique perspective within it. Along with pride in a great and new friend as a person, and over your management of your riding, I'm exceedingly proud of the gains in your writing. Your gift to us all is awesome. I have tears.


You have many kind words. But, let's think on it a moment. Why would I invite my friends to my home to have a mediocre time, much less a bad one? There is a gift too in this place. It is a measure of you, and very certainly, in each and every one who rode with us, that you all were open, and let it in. I'll never pass up the opportunity bring more of my family to that place within them, that holds such a ride to be so dear.



One thing stands out to mislead, however. You and I share an understanding of Magic, and along with hundreds on this BBS veritably fall into the "thrill" with no urging whatsoever that is the fact, the very nature of "riding in it". There's Zoom to be had in there, huh? But, each place we go has it's own character to be enjoyed, and done so in its own way. Some surfaces call to be touched straight on with the finger tips, like the burlap material of Samplers. Ebony calls to be graced with the smooth, longing passage of the surface of the hand. The polished rock from the stream bed asks us to rub... back and forth... pressing... massaging with the thumb. And, the white quartz stone demands from within us to pick it up and throw it. As far as we can.


Our "loop" was what? Three hundred fifty miles? And, how far was our passage at extreme speed? And, how far was at extreme pace? Thirty miles for both, I'd say.


The stout, stalwart RT, skirts gathered up and lunging, reeled in its corral-mate after a run of but two miles. Some have never seen two miles over which they'd dream of triple digit speeds like that. No cars. No houses. No people. No animals by day. No wind. Elevated there above the high plains floor, only Joshua Trees were present to share our mirth. And little did they realized we'd put on new tires, made certain our bearings were lubed and not leaking, our brake pads fresh, and our gear of the best quality we couldn't quite afford at the time. Nor did those anthropomorphic visages, standing there as with hands raised above their sides as if under arrest by some prodigal deputy, realize we had practiced for hours how to bring our steeds down from those speeds directed and under control. It was just fine to be going fast there... for we who were prepared.


Down the Grade? Did those windmills seem to be flapping arms, urging you onward toward realization of what truly exists in that realm of sinuous winding speed and control? Sometimes I feel that in that place. And, sometimes like you, I know that absolutely alone on that road, no cross traffic, no place for sand to appear in the roadway, no rocks, broken pavement, nor cement trucks that spring up out of the ground, there, in that real realm, what Can, simply at our reach into it, Will. You, like I, set aside the demons society attempts to impress upon us, landmines, tornadoes, exploding gas furnaces, the doe-eyed countenances of naked, dirty, unfed children, and faced what truly was in that Space, and in that Time. A place to be free. A time to learn that is so.


But then, did we really go through that town at 40 miles per hour? Was our pace to the top of that mountain only a walk faster than would be done in a car? Didn't we glide into the village and stop by the goldstrike creek and watch the horses for an hour? Slow, creeping, stopped? Each was appropriate, eh mate?


The great Tazio Nuvolari, race car driver, endurance racer, winner again and again of the thousand mile race along the mountain spines, and coastal plains of Italy, the Mille Miglia, once opined, "There is time to go fast, and a time to go slow. The art is in knowing which is which."


When Daryll came unhorsed, our pace was mild. The road was smooth, and while portions of each were hidden, the corners were open. But, they were separated by short straight stretches that brought us to each one with the need to slow.


That one corner, the slowest in that section of road, and so marked, was Hidden. The mountain rising to the left removed all but the entry from view. From far back, that entry looked much like the rest. As one got to The Turn-in Point, the place where a lean angle would already have been chosen, the spot where the chosen speed would have been achieved and stabilized, THERE was where the the tightening sweep, down and left, became visible, that turned that corner into what it really was, and not a member of the family that had preceded it.


Then, the gods appointed solely to ensure we do not forget our feet of clay, played their Mastery. The canyon, the river wash, it's wall had been mostly parallel to our course. Now it leaped ahead and widened slightly to our right, while the left wall swept away and exposed a "great hole in space". There, filled with trees, rocks, mountain vistas beyond, it immediately called for our attention -- just as the eye is drawn to the lightest spot in the black night sky. That hole ate Daryll. It drew his attention in that direction.


I never saw that. When I returned to the scene I was mildly surprised to find that much drop off, and that the creek was in fact flowing there. There had been signs to the outside? One had been hit?


I entered that corner at the same speed we've agreed he did. Two up, the momentum rolled me up to that corner faster than usual in that high gear I'd chosen. Watching, vigilant for I had not yet found the Apex with certainty, I saw a dark "shadow" at the very farthest forward and left edge of the roadway. The sun behind lit the surface quite brightly... except there. I took that to mean the road sloped away -- as it would for either a descending turn to the left, or the rising bank, hidden behind the mountain's edge, of a sharper corner than the visible portion of the entrance indicated.


I "snapped" the brakes hard for one second, looked sharply, sharply, sharply, left, dedicated to finding the "inside" of that corner, and then expecting the outside edge to appear, and The Exit Point I would strive to attain. When there, the corner would be finished.


I did that, I rode to those "spots", and motored on unconcerned.


Daryll did not slow beyond the entry speed we both had chosen. Daryll did not look left. Had he done either, had he known from great and long practice exactly how to apply braking while leaned in a corner, he would have ended up where I did. Had he stridently sought the place to end up, he would have been motivated to lean the bike into that corner, and even at that speed... would have ended up where I did.


He was distracted from doing what needed to be done. He did not apply the appropriate skill to the situation. Fast or slow doesn't matter. Where to go fast or slow does. Where to turn and how much does.


Where "to end up" matters most of all.



Now, someday, Russell, we'll stop along that road over the mountain to take pictures. There were incredible vistas to try to cram into a camera. Remember the emerald patch of grassland down below us in the meadow of Walker Valley? Is there really a number that can tally the oak trees behind us on those grassy ridges that taunted us that day? How many rocks are in God's pocket that he could just strew them like that in those Sierra foothills? Man, have we got good days to come, Brother.


I know, I know. We couldn't take it all in. I think Sock Monkey said it best: "Shit!!". But you know how kids are. They learn a little about something, like a word, and get all exuberant and just blurt it out. We'll get him refined with time, I suppose, getting him to do what's appropriate. But let's not ever do anything to thwart his indomitable Spirit.



See you down the road.



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Dick brings up something that I forgot to mention. If you read our stories, you'd think we were going 130 the whole time, through school zones, etc. We have brief bursts of extreme speed. When we rounded that bend and I saw...no, felt what the road was, I KNEW that a speed burst was going to happen. I slapped the throttle open and watched the RS slowly pull away. Riding through the small villages we slowed down...way down. Dick's rides aren't hoonfests. When WE go into hoon mode, we really go into hoon mode, but ONLY where it makes sense.


My squid friends would be bored with most of our rides...relatively slow...frequent stops, etc. They wouldn't appreciate the miniature horses or the Tehachapi Loop. Our roads aren't always perfect...Old Ridge Route had sand in just about every corner. They won't ride roads like that. They want max intensity, all the time. We want to enjoy the ride. Their loss.


But when it comes time to go fast, we'd clean their F***ing clocks, eh Dick? wink.gif


It's funny what you said about not noticing the sign, dropoff, creek, etc. I didn't either. I remember going in...I took a later apex than Daryll did, but still too early for this turn. As I came into it, I wasn't looking at the apex anymore...I was searching up, trying to see THROUGH the mountain to spot that exit point. As soon as the corner's character made itslef known, I added rear brake and a bit more lean.


Then I saw things going wrong for Daryll and stood the bike up and got on the brakes. It wasn't until we were stopped and I started looking for his left saddlebag (WAY down there) that I even SAW the creek.


BTW, I still need to look farther ahead. After Daryll and Wurty headed back and I was again on your tail, you'd point your boot...as if pointing at an obstacle in the road. But there was nothing there. Then my view would eventually come up high enough to see that you weren't pointing at something RIGHT THERE...you were pointing at something 50 feet ahead. I'm still working on killing the SR's that make me want to keep looking up close. I know it's not logical...I've already looked there...it's not going to change between now and the time that I get there, so why waste attention looking at it?



I'm still sportin' wood...where to next, General?


See you down the road.

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In reply to:

you'd think we were going 130 the whole time, through school zones, etc.




You are right, remember we slowed down to about 10 MPH in the school zones, but the fish weren't biting.


Could have been Wurty's helmet.

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Wow - sounds like you folks had an awesome ride. Sure sorry I missed it although it was fun getting in my last couple of days of skiing. Too bad about the crash but its fortunate that Darryl is OK. Hope there's an opportunity to ride with you guys (and gals) again soon.

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Thanks for guiding me through Saturday all over again. I remember having the same thought you had – I had no business being there, but for different reasons. Nasty leftover stuff from surgery; I wanted to stay home, but at the same time, I wanted much more to be there. Master Yoda volunteered to let me slow down his ride as a passenger if I got tired, and I was almost convinced. Sock Monkey, as always, had the last say, and early Saturday we were off on the little bike. That quick 120 miles on the slab was only because he kept yelling from behind – “More throttle, my ears aren’t even messed up yet!”


Everything was as glorious as you said it was, but I got the added bonus of seeing how Master Yoda handles things up close, from my seat on the back of the RS. He is always teaching, whether by word or action, it’s only a matter of how well we listen and apply. You’ve applied Master Yoda’s lessons commendably, and someday, I hope to reach the level you’ve attained. You’ve learned well, Young Skywalker. Soon you’ll be showing the rest of us the True Path to Hoonery.


That story of where you were with Denny’s RS – I’m still not buying it. Except maybe the part about the Spiderman underoos. You really should have brought those into the restaurant and SHARED. laugh.gif We could have passed them around, put them on our heads, all that stuff. Sock Monkey could’ve worn them later when the sun went down; he really got kind of chilled.


And thanks again for leading the way home. I might not have made it back to Orange County were it not for you setting a straight path for us (except for the slight diversion North on 14!), keeping the road lit with all that PIAA stuff. I was dead tired, and Sock Monkey was no help by then either!


Darryl, I’m really glad to hear you’re OK.


Wurty, you’re absolutely right -- Let’s Do it Again.

And Sock Monkey can ride with you next time. Just don’t lose track of him while you’re chasing off all those chicks that want you. Next time I see you and Dick at the same time, I’ll do a hug test, and see if you really have the greater girth.


Dick – you’re one of a kind. The rest of us are darn lucky you’re so kind and generous with your time and knowledge.


When do we go again?


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Now, why was it again that I felt I needed to work on this gorgeous Saturday instead of ride with y'all? I know there was a reason...I just need to think of it...


I usually go two up with Russell on Master Yoda's ride's for his ways are far too advanced for me at this time. I like going anyway. I can watch what Dick does, and get the benefit of his roadside or tableside (at mealtimes) instruction.


BTW, Darryl, that you can hold your own with that group is darn impressive and I look up to you and commend you!!! (Who cares about one spill? You know what they say, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger...or a lot more broke smile.gif )This crew is an EXCELLENT bunch of riders. Very cool that you are out riding with them at 6 months. I'm too chicken to do that. Baby steps for me. So far my longest rides have been super-slabbin it the 2 hours to Denny's house, and doing the ride to Julian and back (approx. 4 hours total, and some easy twisties). I think next, I will go with Russell, Denny and Craig (the other K75 rookie) on some more intermediate twisties near Julian, then a trip to see Uncle Gleno in Boulder city (just over a 5 hour trip), to get my body conditioned for longer rides), then I might think about attempting a master yoda ride.


Anyway, where was I going with all this?


Who knows.


Glad you all had fun. See you at the next one. Riding, or Two up? We'll let sock monkey decide.



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Russell, Dick, Daryll, and you others, thanks for the fantastic reports. Your descriptions make our rides while at the ToolShed a few weeks ago seem like just a walk in the park in comparison. Hopefully I'll be able to join you on the next one, and many thereafter.


Dick - I still hope to make it up to your "hideaway" in the near future.


Daryll - glad you walked away with only minor injuries to yourself, and a rideable bike.

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WOW! Great report folks! You truly bumped up my inspiration level wink.gif Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get into my CAR frown.gif and go helmet shopping. Somehow, twisting on the steering wheel just doesn't give the same effect as a handgrip wink.gif

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I've been learning on this BBS for several months now, but no single post has had more of an impact on me or been more valuable than your vivid account of Daryll's spill. What matters most is that he was able to get up and ride away. Due to excellent writing and pictures, I expect to remember this event for a long time almost as if I were there, learn from it, and be a better rider as a result.


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