A little bit about town yesterday. And then today, a little adventure into Monterey County.
There’s still a looseness in mid corner. Just a touch.
I haven’t put a wrench to the bolts that hold the ‘dog bones’ that center the engine-frame-wheels relationship. Maybe one is loose. Or, that front isolator thing.
A guy at work who had a 1203 Buell -
(that died a spectacular death during an off-road shunting from a friend’s bad pass - the flying-over-the-ditch landing caused the shock bottom eye to punch down, through and out of the swingarm/oil tank. The blow to the driveline sheared the third gear cluster off the transmission shaft…) -
says that there’s a Buell specialist in Marin. Maybe, I will find him.
A 15:00 leaving with the way being around the Elkhorn Slough - out of habit to miss tourist traffic - but it’s still not really around.
Back road farm land through your lettuce country of Salinas, the afternoon chill wind heading off the Bay and into the throat of the Salinas Valley to turn into a cyclone of wind roar by Greenfield.
This very telephone-poled road is from my own past. I was nearly arrested here for triple-digit speeding on the CB400Four, but talked my way into a five-over ticket in court…
“It’s all very logical your honor. Of course the officer had to go 120 miles an hour to catch me where I stopped at this intersection. He was never behind me and he had to run two legs of this large triangle of roads to reach me right here. You’d like to see my map? Certainly.
Oh, it is true I left the freeway for the frontage road to go fast with the huge tailwind that day. I admit that. And I did pass the officer who had been trailing me on said freeway, but my bike is only 400 cc’s and not a modern motorcycle. How fast, your honor? I would guess no more than 75, as I did not look at my speedometer. Instead, I was paying attention to the road, and even though it was a school day, and there are only artichoke plants all around, I was wary of any children being in the area…”
All of that is true… Well, maybe 85….
Also, these poles called to me just months into my marriage. Riding to Laguna Seca for the 1989 Grand Prix, I felt this deep urge to follow these poles and this road forever. Just keep on going. Right into the morning haze to the south. Riding on Nashua Road, I was questioning right in the saddle of that primary-chain rattling Honda whether I had done the right thing marrying. There was this ache in my gut. I wanted to be free again. That miserable freedom of single man-ness was calling, alleging that abject loneliness really WAS better. Yeah! You really LIKED being a werewolf lunatic! Un-cool and untouchable. Geek and Freak is the way to be, MY MAN! …Trying to sell me on the idea that fleeing was the smart choice… just keep on going… But I went home after the race, and stuck it out, and it was the best decision of my life.
Which leads me all these years later to a return trip to Laguna. This time to make another short video of me reading a children’s book so my 16-month old granddaughter can learn about my face and voice during these Covid Times. This time this book gets a motorcycle trackday as a background… Oh my plans are afoot for this girl’s indoctrination :)
Dean Adams at superbikeplanet.com says Laguna Seca’s entrance road is better than most race courses, and I will check to his experience and wisdom. It’s fun in and out, though out is something like a 20% grade, and it feels like the long left in the steep part could get away from one if rushed too hard.
I’m late for home and an internet chat with my daughter, but I have to take Laureles Grade road to Carmel Village and back. It’s a fun climb to 1284 feet at the summit and then back down to near naught. The return leg features a dirty Prius following a shiny Caravan. I’m tempted to force my way over the double yellow line past both, like an ass, like usual, but decide to cool it. Not wanting a ticket now, or a last ride. And the van accedes, pulling aside near the summit plateau. The dirty Prius, perhaps earlier sensing my eagerness to ‘go,’ returns the favor of my chilling out by hammering it all the way down the curves of the north side, small dog hanging its head out of the window the whole way. We split at the light; she to the right and I to the left. And we exchange waves.
Not a patch on your ride, OldIron, but I did manage a mid week getaway to Wrightwood via the desert and then back down the Crest. I stopped for a couple of pictures at about 6500 feet. I was on my '14 Tiger 800.
With the temps arising it’s time to start the early morning rides.
Bride actually arose and was showered by O eight hundred hours this morning.
After a stop for some eggs and hash browns at a local dinner we took a southwest loop through the Mark Twain National Forest to dodge as much of the sun as possible.
Stopped in Steelville for a root beer float (gonna make that dialysis machine earn it Monday) where it seemed like half of the state of Missouri was passing through to head to the rivers for floating. River floats are big in that area. The Huzzah Valley was loaded with old school buses full to the top with tubers and rafters.
I used to be one of them until I could afford a bike that actually took me to places.
After the root beer float we fiddled a bit on some unknown back roads, that turned into gravel a couple times, we hit the slap east back home and did our floating in the pool.
Took the ZRX for a just over 100 mile loop today, mostly through the hot, desserty backroads and avoiding the Crest by taking Angeles Forest out towards Lancaster and riding a counterclockwise route that in part paralleled the 14 freeway, through Acton, skirting Santa Clarita and diving through Canyon Country then over the nadgery Little Tujunga/Sand Canyon back to the 210 freeway on which I had to hustle up to near triple digits to avoid the crazed cagers who've gone apeshit during COVID.
It was hot out in the dry valleys; too hot. I didn't stop for a picture so I will try to dredge an old one up to share.
Well, as promised here's a old picture from my last ride with Fid. JD was with us on his VTX1300. Good Day. You can see the Crest winding in the distance behind Fid. Early 2015. Damn, it's sideways. Oh well, tilt your head :)
Sunday I was able to catch an early AM solo ride on The Canvas. With no particular place to go I started heading south, my usual direction, but decided to switch it up and do northern route so I turned west on county two laners past the old now closed Bourbeuse Valley Harley shop over to Union and realized I had forgotten to eat.
Luckily for me in Union there is a Sonic Drive In that serves the most unhealthiest, best tasting, full of everything unholy, breakfast burrito filled with eggs, cheese, tators jalapenos, onions, hot sauce,,,, pardon me while I wipe my chin,,,, for breakfast. Served with fresh ice tea,,,, mmmm,, mmm, mm.
After scarfing down the only thing I'm gonna be able to eat all day I started truckin it north on boring 47 through the town of Washinghton, where I grew up and started my bikin life on a Benneli Dynamo 48 years ago.
I'm not sure why they named it Washington. Whole town is full of Germans. I think we were the only Scottish Indians in the land. Probably why I didn't fit in well,,, at least that's what I tell myself.
Maybe it was because they were all stout kids on 50cc Honda mini trails and I was a runt on a 65cc Bennelli. Oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter, then or now.
After crossing the Town With Large Canoes River, AKA Missouri River, I turned north at Dutzow on Alcoholic Way, AKA Highway 94.
Highway 94 is a nice curvy stretch of road that follows the Missouri River that Lewis and Clark followed. It as some nice rolling hills and a good flat spot here and there that lets you WOT at times,, when the wineheads aren't messing up your mojo. It runs by multiples of wineries and small towns and villages with names like Augusta and Schluersburg.
One of the vineyards along 94.
After passing some of the rolling hills it drops down by the river where there is a nice river access parking lot with a nice concrete ramp for boaters to use or just a good spot to stop and watch millions of gallons of water flow on past on it's way to the Mississippi River.
Across the river is a hydroelectric plant. Every time I see it I think of the Pink Floyd Animals album.
Heading east out of the river access is usually the WOT spot but this time I was in putt putt mode and was the first time in 30 years of riding this road i saw a this sign.
So I had to pull off and check it out. There was a small garden there with a tree but it wasn't the real Judgement Tree.
Apparently at one time Danial Boone was a judge here and this is where he did his judging. He sure was a busy man.
After the ol' judgement and WOT area I pulled into the town of Defiance which got it's name from it's founder defying the town founders of the town of Matson, where the Judgment Tree was located.
The town of Defiance has an S curve in it as you are pulling in from the west. At the S curve there are two bars, One on the left side of the road and one on the right side of the road.
I had to pull into Terry's and Kathy's, the bar on the right and get me a hit of something to wash down any corona I might of picked up along my route.
Terry's and Kathy's Inn and has been that same name for a million years. The bar on the left is now called The Defiance Roadhouse which has changed names throughout the years.
Terry's and Kathy's has always been kinda of a biker bar. The Defiance Roadhouse used to be more of a farmer redneck joint until the biker thing became a money maker.
Now on really nice days the bikes fill both parking lots and any space a bike can fit. A lot of folks come from the suburb town of St, Charles and make a day off it.
While enjoying my beverage there was a very nice springer softail I was googling at next to The Canvas that was giving me ideas. Man I love the springer front end.
Heading northeast out of the flats of Defiance 94 climbs back up into some hills and curves until you come into Weldon Springs where you come upon a humongous tall pile of rocks about six stories tall that is now a park covering once was a TNT and DNT plant that was used to win us our freedom back when we were killing the Germans.
Kinda ironic that there were three small German communities that were bought up, wiped out where this TNT plant was built to wipe out the Germans.
The plant stop production when the Japanese where hit by Fat Man and Little Boy. Later it became the Uranium Feed Mill Plant. Lots of bad stuff in that area.
Right up the road is Francis Howell High School which is where I got edjucated. It's a wonder that myself and many others from that school have had cancer. War is hell.
After rolling by the old school yard I turned on county highway D that runs back west through Busch Wildlife, which has hundreds of storage bunkers placed here and there around the area. The storage bunkers were used to store the ammo and chemicals during war time and beyond. They were eventually cleaned out. The conservation uses some of them to store corn for the wild animals during rough seasons.
This one of those bunkers.
I don't have any photos so I swiped that from the WWW
Years ago we was able to get into a couple of them when we used to hang out at Busch but most of those areas where these are at now are blocked off to keep the humans away unless you are wearing one of those goofy hats and driving a Bronco.
Highway D comes into St. Charles County highway T where another great watering hole called D & T Tavern sits, they thought hard on that name. I decided I should just keep on keepin on as it was starting to warm up so I turned south on T and then to double T highway which cuts back through the hills and woods. It's one of my favorite roads to hit in fall when the leaves are changing because you ride in a tunnel of orange, reds and yellows until you come to a clearing that over looks the river valley and the town of Dutzow.
Going back through Dutzow and past the Blumenhof winery I head back on state highway 47 crossing The Town of Large Canoes River again into Washington. I roll past the hospital where my cancer was discovered what seams like a hundred years ago and turn east on 5th street through town and on to old highway 100 that runs near the river and is the two laner that knuckleheads and Packard's used to get over to Route 66 before the new four lane highway was built.
Turning off 100 onto Franklin County Highway T keeps me close to the river and back on the curves and hills I grave.
Coming around a bend on a hill top I get a view of the other side of the hydroelectric plant which I call side A of the Pink Floyd Animals album.
Highway T runs through another small town called Labadie that has a distillery that makes some fine whiskeys that even makes my not much of a drinker wife say "Not bad."
I eventually turn on another small smooth twisty road that takes me back to the house that is one of my go to roads after work. It has some nice switchbacks with banks in them that let me feel some G's in my a$$ and makes me giggle.
It also has a small ranch on it that raises buffalo and I like to stop and watch them.
To finalize my ride I went up to the high point of Pacific that was the look out spot during the Civil War and soak in the day and it's only 2:00 PM.
I really like that Oldiron posted his map of his ride so I figured out how to do it so here's the link to my ride if you care to see it.