California 2015

It was time to put some miles on the bikes.  Cam and myself planned this trip a few months back.   The idea was to leave in early April, tow to Brookings OR, and go riding the length of California.  Do some errands (exchange TPX radar detector, and pick up the shock for the FZ7 at the beemer shop in Santa Something or other..) and in between squeeze in some riding..3600km to be exact.

Now for the really good bits. If you don’t want to read all my rubbish, here’s the link to the pics:
and the boobtube channel:

But if you do that, you’ll miss reading about all the fun times we had.

Late in the game, Derek aka Captain Cockbonnet (CB for short) decided to join us.  After much harrumphing he finally found a way to get his bike down to Oregon safely, and in comfort, by towing it.

We arrived in Biggs Junction (BJ) aka the shit hole (more on this fine town later), without too much fuss.  The trailer almost came off the tongue due to some idiot (the author) installing a 1/1/4″ diameter 2″ ball on a 2″ receiver, which has a slightly larger opening.  No matter, disaster was averted, and we carried on. Not a block later, CB’s bike fell over in the trailer thanks to his stellar bike tie down skills.  Again, we re-secured the mighty strom, and carried on to BJ.

We arrived at our stop over for the night at BJ.  This little spot is basically a glorified truck stop.  The hotel room, had carpet circa 1970, which was never cleaned and smelled accordingly so.  I was the lucky winner of the horrible night sleep on the fold out couch.  If I could predict the future, I would have slept on my bike.  Whatever…we decided to head to the local diner.  Cam and I had a forgettable steak, and CB had fried chicken steak..which he promptly forgot.  Next time, I will trust my gut, and go to subway instead.  Being $20 lighter, and nauseated always makes me happy.  On a positive note, I bought a six-pack of Coors Banquet.  The only highlight of the Shit hole.

Next day was uneventful drive to Brookings.  We arrived at Jan’s place, chit chatted about this that and the other thing, unloaded, and got on the scooters.
At this point I would like to say that I love, love love sea level.  OMGs my bike actually runs as it was meant to.  Power everywhere.  Love it.
We settled in for the night, had some excellent Mexican.  After much flatulating and general bs’ing we were ready to go to bed.  Bring on Friday!

Here’s our route (more or less) heading south:

Friday, and the sun is out…errrmmm well actually it’s foggy and +7C.  No matter, motorcycling is a manly undertaking, and we are manly men doing manly things.  The day went well.  Little bit of gravel,IMG_9841

some great paved roads, lost coast was epic.  Even better was the late lunch at the Lost Coast Cafe in Ferndale. Now if you’re a meat eater, don’t shy away.  Cam and I had the veg calzone, fucking amazing.  CB had a very tasty looking salad.  Desert was a treat too.

The day kept getting better and better, and then it got crappy for one of us.  CB decided to Ram a Dodge with his strom.  The Dodge won.  Luckily, he was carrying his lucky horse shoe (he didn’t tell us where he kept it hidden) and got away with a sore wrist, a scratched crash bar, and a smashed givi case.  We promptly told him not to call/tell his boss, or post anything of any sort of fb.  The boss (CB’s wife) would be notified once home.  We carried on to Garberville for pizza and beer.  Our hotel room came complete with a shower selector that worked in either setting of a: hot liquid magma, b: OMG my balls fell off cold.  CB had some mystery fluid on his bed sheets, prior to him using the actual sheets, and housekeeping were kind enough to leave a female product behind for three men to stare at (only the wrapper thank dog)

Saturday.  Another doozie!  Weather, perfect, we’re feeling good.  Let’s go. Noting but goodness today.  Hwy 101 to 1 (Leggitt if memory serves), hwy 20, 175 (epic), Napa, and fresh avocado at subway…delicious.  On to San Fran, some lane splitting (love it) and on to San Mateo Marriot, to eat, drink, with a buddy from Redwood city.  A great time was had, thanks Hugh.

Sunday.  Yep, you guessed it, a doozie, well for the most part.  Read on.  Met up with Dan, from fb, and we were being joined by Don from Lodi (YST).  We rode to Alices for breakfast.  Great spot, great food, cars, and bikes.  CB noticed that he had a nail in his brand new tire.  After a large breakfast, we (read: me) sorted out the tire, and carried on south.  The ride was excellent, right up to the point we hit Monterey.  Now, any local would tell you that it’s none too wise to travel the 1 on a Sunday, but due to timing, that’s what we did.  Holy shit was that the most aggravating afternoon ever.  I’m no saint, but people who drive 20-30 MPH in a 50 MPH zone should be beaten repeatedly.  You’re impeding progress, you muppet! get the hell out of the way!! Ok, rant over.  Luckily, the rest of the day was great.  At Cambria, we finally got off the 1, and headed into the hills.  The Santa Rosa Creek Road is a treat. Narrow, bumpy, and quite frankly beautiful.  Solvang for the night.


Monday.  Errand day.  We started the day through the Malibu hills.  Most excellent.  I forgot the names, but it was all good.


Stopped in to visit the guys at TPX.  Great service, I cannot say that enough.  My radar had a rough life, without asking, the guys exchanged my radar for a refurbished unit, and now it’s working great. Finished up the day in Ojai, and an excellent sushi place, with Japanese beer.

We are officially heading back:

Tuesday.  This is really something.  Not a drop of rain, nothing, and not one bad road.  Hwy 33 (epic)


Taft, and hwy 58 (most excellent).  I had a lie down, while we waited for CB to bring up the rear.  Had a bit of gas shortage as well..rotopax to the rescue.


Hwy 229 (epic) if only the slow guy upfront would get a clue…no matter, at least CB had a good time on this one.

For supper, we dined at Alices, bought t-shirts, CB procured the beer, and we retired to our shittiest of hotels yet, the Los Prados motel. Sandwiched between an Asian mall, and the 101. No less than three dump trucks came by to empty the many bins around the mall.  We will be passing this place next time, at 75 MPH.

Wednesday.  Into San Fran, at rush hour…lane splitting should be legal everywhere.  Oregon is listening, as well as the rest of the civilized world.  Sooper video Funness here:


The rest of the day was spent ripping up the 1, and a great little road off the 1, the name escapes me just now.  It went up hill, on to a dam


We stopped in for lunch at a great little road side Indian place.  Right on the Russian River, the Sizzling Tandoor.  And the cherry on top, the 1 to the 101, amazeballs!

Thursday.  Last day of riding.  Again, amazing roads, and scenery.  Here we are in ermmm Switzerland?
East of Garberville

through the fog and into the clouds we went
East of Garberville

We made it safe and sound back to Brookings. 3600 amazing kilometers. Thank you California, we will be back.

Bike and Gear: I had the ECU flashed by AC from YST forum.  Money very well spent.  The bike had sufficient power at sea level to keep me entertained for the first half it T mode.  The other half was spent in S mode, with much fun being had.  The tenere never ceased to impress me.  I really should check my oil level before setting off on a trip.  Had to add 750 ml of oil in San Mateo, as my oil light stayed on, and never went out.  No harm no foul.

Tires were (still are…just) metzeler tourance nexts.  Rubbed down right to the edges, grip everywhere on pavement.  Great choice.  Will be lucky if I get 6 thou out of the rear.  Money well spent.

Airhawk.  My ass is happy, among other bits and bobs 🙂  Top tip:  Don’t inflate it to the max.

Staintune pipe…moar here:

Zumo 350.  Great GPS.  Never led us wrong (except for the one time I plugged in the wrong co-ordinates)

Gopro hero3+.  I’m getting better with this thing.  The remote works great once paired with the camera, and I’m trying out various different mounting locations.



2 thoughts on “California 2015

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