Coast to Coast in January
SS1000 / 50cc / SS4000
January 12-20, 2013
So my wife Kristin is a Mary Kay Sales Director, and she goes to a national leadership conference once a year. She has gone for years, and until now I had never been available to go with her. I would ride out there rather than fly. The conference was in Los Angeles and would run Sunday-Wednesday. I took the entire week off, made an Iron Butt ride from Lubbock to LA on Saturday. Then at the close of the conference I spent 4 days on the road completing a Coast to Coast along with a SaddleSore 4000. Hereís the story.
I left Lubbock at 4:00 AM on Saturday and headed to Carlsbad and then El Paso. Being January, it was a cold morning. Riding through the Guadalupe Mountains I had the road to myself. My electric vest and chaps kept me comfortable in the low 20 degree temperatures. Once I stopped in El Paso though, and the electrics were shut off, I got chilled very quickly. I had a good breakfast at a Village Inn, and then worked on through El Paso on I-10. I had really wanted to ride out on I-40, but the previous few days had seen blowing snow and ice in northern Arizona, so I-10 was really the only option. Getting through El Paso was easy so early on a Saturday morning, and I made it to Arizona by lunchtime. Every time I ride through Texas Canyon I want to stop and hike around a bit, but I always seem to be riding on the clock, so I never do.
I continued on Interstates 10 & 8 to El Centro, CA, where I turned north. I rode through the Imperial Valley and around the Salton Sea. The area is all agricultural, and in spring the air is thick with smells of citrus and other fresh fruits. In January the fields are bare, but there were still a lot of trailers and trucks on the road. Along with a lot of Border Patrol activity. The weather warmed up to the 50ís once I reached California, which was nice.
In Indio I jumped back on I-10 and rode into Los Angeles. For the conference we were staying at the LA Live JW Marriott ($$$$), which is downtown next to the Staples Center and Convention Center. I pulled over when it got dark and turned on my LED map light so I could find the hotel. Traffic moved much faster than I am used to, and the ride into downtown was easily the most intense riding of the day. But I did find the hotel, and I arrived hours before those flying out. Parking at the hotel for my bike was $40 per night. Since the room was arranged on my wifeís credit card, and that card was with her, I could not check in. So I checked my bag, tank bag, helmet, and riding jacket and headed to the hotel bar. They had Sam Adams on draft, so everything would be okay.
It was 9:00 on a Saturday night, and I was sitting in a very trendy and packed hotel bar in downtown LA. I was dirty and tired, and was wearing reflective motorcycle gear. I am sure I provided plenty of conversation fodder for the others in the bar. When my wife texted to say they had made it to the hotel, I realized I couldnít pay for my beer. I didnít have a room number to charge it to and had accidentally left my credit cards in the sleeve pocket of my Aerostitch jacket. I waited for my wife to come rescue me once she had our room number. It had been a good day of riding. Total was 1166 miles.
Christopher Ross, Lubbock, Texas
2012 R1200GSA, 1985 K100RS, 1975 R90/6
TheRoss screwed with this post 02-04-2013 at 05:57 PM