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Old 02-25-2010, 01:51 PM   #16
hilslamer
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Originally Posted by nicomama
Thanks for all the viewer support.


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Old 02-25-2010, 02:01 PM   #17
maynard58
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Great post...I would like to know about that headlight.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:12 PM   #18
groop
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Man, you have a clean garage. Sorry to miss you at Long Beach, but that new skidplate looks great. Enjoy the extended weekend.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:03 PM   #19
nicomama OP
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Next installment

I had to stop at the beach the kids and I frequent the most in the summer. Here is Westward Beach in Malibu. Just south of Zuma, another famous Malibu beach. Didn't see any paragliders while I was there, who normally catch the updraft of the nice thermals that swirl up the cliff behind me.

This is a very peaceful beach that doesn't draw as many crowds as some of the more popular beaches for the masses, like Santa Monica and Zuma...



What I wish I would have captured for you was the thrill of cruising through the Malibu Colony area between the previous photo of Malibu pier and this one above. The Colony is where all the celebrities live.

On a good day you might catch a glimpse of Jeff Bridges, Demi Moore, Pierce Brosnan or Michelle Pfieffer. On any other day, you may just see some Hollywood-bound-wanna-be's that are laying out on the beach hoping to be discovered (but, then again, that might also be a good day for most of you).

Cruising down PCH in the Malibu area is always fun, because you find yourself sandwiched by the beach houses on the ocean side and grand ocean-view estates on the hill side. It got me dreaming of the kind of dream home I would build if money were no object. Fun to ponder.

This nice gent offered to take a shot of me in Malibu. Further to the left was a little dolphin head popping up that he missed...



After cruising through the agricultural area of Oxnard and Ventura just north of Malibu, I beelined for my home in my 20's, Santa Barbara. After graduating from UCSB (University California, Santa Barbara) in 1986, I made Santa Barbara my home as a real estate appraiser.

Those were some great years in my life in a magical town. Here is the Santa Barbara pier, called Stearn's wharf, with the Harbor restaurant in the background. I have many memories of sitting out on that upper deck, shelling peanuts, laughing with friends and watching the boats on the harbor drift by. When not riding that sounds like a good ol' time...



Stearn's wharf was built in 1872 and is touted as one of the last "working" larger piers in California. Back in the old days, these larger wharfs served not only as ports to exchange goods, but were big focal points for entire towns.

Below you'll see "The Sea Center", which is a marine museum and aquarium with the gorgeous Riviera in the foothills beyond...



If you find yourself enjoying lunch or dinner on the Harbor restaurant deck, take a look at the partially enclosed harbor that has to be constantly dredged to keep it open right in front of you. This partially harbored marina helps block the larger storm waves from breaking on the pier.

I slowly cruised up the main drag, State Street, to see how much had changed since I moved away in 1994. I have since been back many times to visit and enjoy the SB experience. At the top of State Street, I hung a right to hop on hwy 154 that cuts up and over Santa Barbara to the beautiful horse and wine country of Santa Ynez.

After passing Lake Cachuma, I pulled into the very quaint little one street town of Los Olivos and grabbed some lunch at a local coffee shop...




I ate my salmon salad and sipped some peppermint tea, while soaking in the local crowd (one or two tourists)...



It was here that I made my decision to take the infamous winery thoroughfare through some gorgeous green rolling hills on Foxen Canyon Road.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:10 PM   #20
rockjohn
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Keep it coming. Hey Nicomama, will the new skid plate fit an (e) model. How does the 400 handle with the extra wight.
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:22 PM   #21
windburn
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Snow Blues

I'm envious, we are still covered with snow. I can't wait to ride again. I have enjoyed your posts. Thank You
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:22 PM   #22
nachtflug
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Hello,

I saw in one of your other threads someone asked about the headlight on your bike, but never did see an answer. Could you tell me anything about that light?

also curious to know what kind of camera you use, the shots are nice and crisp.

keep up the good work.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:19 PM   #23
nicomama OP
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Replies and Such

Dougz73, funny thing about the Tonn's skid plate. I ordered one 2 years ago when I first got my bike and never received it. Found out through the grape vine that Mike Tonn was in an accident and would retire from it. I got my money back, but wasn't satisfied with any other skid plate out there. So, last year I called him to see if he was coming back, and told him that a lot of guys miss his quality products. I also asked him if he wouldn't mind if my new skid plate borrowed his side mount design. He gave me his blessing and wished me well. Nice guy. The Tonn's skid plate...



Also, thanks for more food-for-thought for new product design.

Hilsamer/Tim, always good to see you lurking

Maynard58 and Nachtflug, my headlight is a Baja Designs Sol Tek 8" racing light. I got it off Craigslist for $25. Didn't know it had a truck mount, so I needed to buy a new dual sport frame along with bulb and wiring. It was still much cheaper than new, so well worth it. The light, bug guts and all..



Groop, missed ya at the show. Thanks for the compliment on the plate. Yep, clean garage only because I sold everything that wasn't nailed down to raise money for my business.

Rockjohn, I need to find an "E" to see if they have the same measured side mounts as the "S". Does anyone with an "E" live close to the L.A. area?

As for the 400 handling the extra weight, after lowering the weight distribution it handled much better. I'll have to get used to tight turns with a load, though.

Windburn, you're welcome. Come on out and grab some sun in between our rain.

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Old 02-25-2010, 10:13 PM   #24
TurnerR
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Out freakin standing young lady. I knew from the first pic I'd love another of your threads. Not only was you thread you posted a link to awsome, and your products awsome, but your a Toyota gal. I've spent a small fortune through Marlin and All Pro. Keep up the cool fab products for your dizzer, and post moar pics!!

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Old 02-25-2010, 10:45 PM   #25
nicomama OP
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Santa Barbara backcountry

So before heading off to some gorgeous and lush rolling hills and valleys, I decided to check the bags to see if they were shifting. Lo and behold, the right Ortleib bag had pressed the plastic too close to the pipe, so I got some meltage. Gonna have to rig a heat shield and shift the bags back a couple of inches for the next trip...



Since I wasn't using a rack system for the bags, I decided to velcro some washable fleece to the backside of the bags' hard foam to keep it from scratching the plastic. Did I say I LOVE velcro?!



I zipped out of Los Olivos rarin' to tackle some gorgeous countryside. But before getting too far, I had to pull over and take a shot of the infamous "Mattie's Tavern". It sure was fun seeing this restaurant in the film "Sideways", since I hadn't been in the restaurant since 1982 with my college roommies. If you haven't seen the movie "Sideways", a witty little independent about self discovery and wine tasting, then come check out the trailer. Here's Mattie's Tavern...




Off to soak up some soul-filling scenery along Foxen Canyon Road. But first the winery sign...



Maybe I'd have a glass if I had a sidecar and a designated driver. I don't drink and ride. Actually, I rarely drink at all anymore. So, didn't have to pay very close attention to the arrows.

Just cruisin' through the hills...



Ever wonder if you think your cheek pads are too thick?

I just love the dramatic and haunting scrub oaks in this area...




See Richard, I like cows and bulls...



Boy, the timing on my trip couldn't have been any more perfect. Just after the rains, before the next storm, and just in time to catch the very beginning of the spring flower blooms. You know, the little yellow ones.

Talk about picturesque...



Only grabbed a shot of one winery, Zaca Mesa. Here it is with an alluring windmill...



Foxen Canyon Road finally lets out at hwy 101, where you take it north to San Luis Obispo and catch hwy 1 again.

Cutting through San Luis leads you to Morro Bay, and was socked in with fog this Wednesday. I thought that's what I was in for the rest of the day, but was pleasantly surprised that it cleared up on the other side of the bay when I stopped for my last decent gas price in quaint Cambria. Here, Lil Bobby enjoyed the storefronts just as much as I did...



From here on out, the photo ops could practically tack on hours to the day's ride. I started my day at 6:20a, only rode 282 miles from L.A. to Kirk Creek campground, and arrived at 4:15p. That's what I loved about this trip, though, I took my time and enjoyed the journey.

Must have been over one hundred vista turnouts along this day's coast ride. Here we start with San Simeon State beach...



The beginning of breathtaking. Really, this jaunt along the California coast is a must in your motorcycle life. Here is the San Simeon coastline...



Pulled into the portion of the state beach that included the San Simeon pier...



Here I met another photographer and coastline admirer, who told me about the Hearst schoolhouse that is located just up the way. Had to go grab a shot with Hearst castle perched on the hill behind it...



Onward I charged, wanting to stop constantly to grab shots of everything that moved me, which was everything. North of San Simeon the coastline became the craggy, dramatic cliffs...



By this time, I wasn't thinking about any other parts of my life. I just focused on my senses and the feeling of how they transformed me. Here I wasn't a mother, a business owner, a friend or a neighbor. I was Nicole and free as a bird.

Just a little further stretch to my amazing destination spot...Kirk Creek campground just south of Big Sur.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:24 PM   #26
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Thank You

Great pictures and I ride I would love to take right now.
I just bought my second DRZ400, the first being a 2001 E new,this one is a 2007 SM.I wiil be ordering the skidplate very soon.
February in CT. is about the time that I think that winter is the only season. You are helping me get out of the snow shoveling blues , and dream of what great riding experiences are to come up this spring!!
Thanks for your trip reports.
I drove,yeah in a car, the PCH in 94 from Oregon to LA as part of a 11,000 mile cross country loop.All I kept thinking while I was on it was I wish I was riding instead of driving.Have fun,look forward to your posts.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:13 AM   #27
DougZ73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicomama
Dougz73, funny thing about the Tonn's skid plate. I ordered one 2 years ago when I first got my bike and never received it. Found out through the grape vine that Mike Tonn was in an accident and would retire from it. I got my money back, but wasn't satisfied with any other skid plate out there. So, last year I called him to see if he was coming back, and told him that a lot of guys miss his quality products. I also asked him if he wouldn't mind if my new skid plate borrowed his side mount design. He gave me his blessing and wished me well. Nice guy. The Tonn's skid plate...



Also, thanks for more food-for-thought for new product design.





He is back in business...seems..on and off though. Yeah, he is a good guy, making great products. You too are making some great products. So, its all good. Its the way of making aftermarket parts. As soon as I started hinting I was done making the products I was making, with in few weeks, new, better versions of my products, were being sold on the same boards I was selling on. As always, I wish you well with the business.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:46 AM   #28
brother dan
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Great report! Love your bike too....I'm pretty sure this castle is the same one that was just featured in the new Alice in Chains video (Your Descision) Way cool...

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicomama
This hill above this gas station was where I grew up as a teenager. It's called the Castellemmare hill in Pacific Palisades. This castle gives it its name...









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Old 02-26-2010, 07:31 AM   #29
rydnseek
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very nice pics & descriptions, nico.. You balance the story telling with the pics very well. It's also refreshing for us readers to read a ride report from a pretty lady.. thanks for posting. ride safe.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:32 AM   #30
Ks-Rydr
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As usual, an enjoyable report with some great pictures Nicole, keep it coming....
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