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Old 02-28-2010, 11:50 AM   #61
O Captain My Captain
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Location: Do I smell pot roast??
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Great little adventure. Thanks for taking us all along. I'm going to read your Grand Canyon ride report next.

By the way, Sideways was such a fun movie. Turned me into a pinot snob.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:03 PM   #62
Solrider
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I'm enjoying your ride reports! And thanks for the tip on the coconut socks...ordering 2 pair now!

If you don't mind me asking, is your Baja Designs light the HID or halogen? And what is your windshield? Thinking about converting to this set up on my Sherpa.

Also who makes the groovy little checkerboard straps?

We (Sierra Expeditions) will be at the Overland Expo as well, so I'll see you there!
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Old 02-28-2010, 02:59 PM   #63
Ivyleague
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WOW POWer

Nice trip and it makes my heart glad 'cuz I have been worrying about the weather. I'm supposed to pick up a bike in LA on Sat. and head up the coast - couldn't decide if camping would work... it's kind of cold here.
Great pictures.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:37 PM   #64
nicomama OP
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Chattin' up my guys

Demitri, any relation? I mean with a dad from Sparta and a mom from Athens...



Michaelfish, yep, those little party animal raccoons are tricky alright. My dirt bike school riding buddy, Paul, gave me a great suggestion for my next trip. He said to hang my food bag by 100lb test clear fishing line from a high tree branch. When the animals can't see how the bag is hanging, they leave it alone. I'll be testing that animal line on my next trip. But, then what do you do if there are no trees around? I guess I won't be trying that out in Death Valley.

Neiltkool, yes, thanks so much for the great Ortleib bags.

Hightechcoonass, Hey, do you have any suggestions for the coons? Thanks for the compliment on my site.

Pacmktg, thanks for telling eyes shut what kind of dog was with my neighbor in Kirk Creek. I love it when factoids come out of the woodwork.

caktmrider, bringing the family along for this ride would be amazing. I look forward to the day when my little guys are riding and we all take this trip as an adventure family on bikes.

Gizmo/Bruce, good for you for sweeping up your daughter to ride two up along the left coast.

Pukawai, the morning after leaving Kirk Creek I wanted to zip up Ferguson/Nacimiento road, which was across the street from the campground to get some higher elevated shots. But, I nixed that idea with the weather and my time crunch. Your shot is fantastic!

Srad600, it's a beautiful car ride, too. But, I suggest packing up your XRL and doing this stretch on the bike at some point. I assure you that you'll have bugs in your teeth!

Rydnseek, but, I bet you'd look pretty cute in a button up skirt if you were Scottish. Thank you for the nice compliments. Yes, time sure does fly, doesn't it? It doesn't feel like I'm getting older, until I see my kids looking older after my 5 day trip. I just love the people part of the adventure ride.

Melonman, where did you like to ride your bike in Santa Barbara? Come on back home. We've missed ya. You are the inspiration being a high school special ed teacher. That is so wonderful that you are giving yourself to our future.

Jimmym1296, I got rid of my stock seat immediately. It added too much height for me and felt like a 4x4 in a sock. My next seat was a Suzuki gel seat, which was a much lower profile. But, after a 30 minute ride it felt like I was sitting on a slab of beef.

Then I did lots of research and found my perfect match in the Renazco Racing seat. Chris Hickson of Renazco will take amazing care of you as a customer as he pours his all into the fine craftsmanship of carving and sewing each fine seat by hand. These seats are so incredibly comfortable even after a full day of riding...



ks-rydr, you noticed my war wound. When I took the bike to the beach for a sunrise photo shoot of my new skid plate a few days before the ride, I shaved off a chunk of skin on my thumb from a sharp hose clamp...



It was more of a nuisance, because I was getting blood on my skid plate in my shots when I removed it from my bike to get solo shots of it. So, I just tied a rag around it and was done with it. You're sweet to notice.

Come on over from Kansas. And, don't forget Toto.


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Old 02-28-2010, 06:08 PM   #65
Michaelfish
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Thumb Fine job!

About once a year my wife & I like to ride from Morro Bay to Monterey & have dinner on the pier & stay the night in a little motel just north of it. Then we go back down the coast to home. Its a great 2 day ride. I like to leave Monterey after noon though so we can see more than fog.

Those little hose clamps have bit me too... I learned to slip the screwdriver under the tail up close to the screw & bend it tight against the hose. It snugs the excess flush & doesn't bite me any more.

Once again.... fine job!
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:11 PM   #66
demetri
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scream; I got it DOWN!
six pack; i'm working on it. My next membership is with Crossfit.
beard; i could have it but my daughter wouldnt recognize me.
hair; dont go there. please. mmmkay?


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Old 02-28-2010, 07:28 PM   #67
Zrexrob
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Great ride!!!! I really like your bike, very cool headlight.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:13 AM   #68
nicomama OP
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"The Toids have it!"

So, I won't be able to get much further into the story without a quick explanation and backstory of the names my brother and I have for each other. Mind you, this will go on into our 90's and beyond. Jonathan and I have always had fun with wordplay. In fact, he's a bloody professional.

So after the many, many nicknames we had for one another up until our teenage years, we finally found one that stuck until now..."Toid". Yes, just slightly different enough to throw a few off. Not many, though. What's hilarious about it is that he's "Uncle Toid" to my kids and I'm "Auntie Toid" to his two girls. My nieces doubled over in hysterics last year when they were 9 and 6 when it was revealed that they were calling Auntie Toid really Auntie Turd. Oh well, waddaya gonna do. They loved what they were getting away with.

So, without any further ado. Welcome the Toids...



Jonathan is a contractor and building artisan. Since they live on a beautiful, wooded sloped lot in the Oakland foothills, he decided to dig out below the house and build out a dream Soho type second dwelling area to move into and rent out the upstairs. Brilliant.

His radiant heated stained concrete floors are a piece of art within themselves. I actually dropped to my knees in appreciation of "the art" the first time I saw it. Don't know if the picture can do the colors justice...



What's neat is that he figured out how to lay the radiant tubing himself, ziptied to the framed rebar and then poured the concrete on top of them. Here is the tubing coming in and going out of the tankless water heater...



And, then there is the cool bathroom with a concrete countertop with inlaid abalone shell. My brother is so talented...



I hadn't seen my sweet nieces since Christmas. The moto gear didn't even have time to be peeled off before "Auntie Toid" was whisked away for a circus show. I was home...



Notice the beautiful purple "circus silk" that hangs from the middle of the girls' room. Many a trick has been thunk up with its central focus. These little circus acrobats had a head start a few years ago when they took a local "circus class". I think it was this one called "Trapeze Arts".

My brother and I are very much alike in that our creative juices sometimes intersect with the kid inside to build stuff for our kids. I actually have a bungee trapeze for my kids that I bolted into the rafters in the ceiling...



Build it and they will come...



Then turn into monkeys...



I also built them a climbing wall at the end of their bunks and a cargo net bolted into the rafters for a quick decent...



I guess it was kind of inevitable that this whole family would eventually get into adventure riding.

The Circus show continued to get serious after the girls got into their leotards. I present "Les Soeurs Soleil" (the sun sisters). Frankie holds the butterfly pose...



And, Stella twists into the concave table...



After enjoying my nieces before Stella zipped off to a sleepover, Toid and I saddled up for a pre-storm loop around the San Francisco bay. We so crack each other up...



And, we're off...



From the Oakland foothills, we flew across the Bay Bridge and hung a touristy left to hit Treasure Island for "The Skyline photo"...



The guy that took this picture had the same problem I did, "I want to frame the ugly light post out of the shot."

It was a neat, dark, dramatic sky...



My brother and I were smiling in our helmets as we hit the road on our first moto ride together. We had fun cruising the waterfront downtown and looked for his friend's chocolate factory, Tchao, at pier #17...



Ah, found it. Tried to snag a look at the Oompah Loompahs, but to no avail. I couldn't get in much further without booties, gloves and a mask. "What, I can't dip my finger in this vat of chocolate?"...



OK, the tasting room was more my speed...



The other half of this warehouse was shared with an architect's new vision for the future in the form of a sustainable, modular school room that could be dropped onto any school grounds, etc...



Notice the living roof in the drawing...



After I got sugared up and inspired, it was time to hit the Golden Gate bridge. Too bad my motion point and shoot camera was out of juice. I saw so many photo op moments on the bridge behind my bro on his bike amidst the contrast of heavy steel beams.

We had fun playing tourists on the other side...



As we were snapping shots of each other, we met the neatest couple, Walter and Nancy, who offered to take our picture. Jonathan returned the favor, by trying out their new panaramic feature on their camera. "Ok, I've got you guys, and the bridge and then a bunch of other people"...



We had a good time chattin' it up with these folks before scootin' off to Sausilito for lunch.

Parking karma was rollin' our way...



We found the most perfect, quaint and affordable Italian restaurant right on the waterfront to catch each other up on our dreams. Enter Piccolo Caffe for a delicious marinated albacore salad...




And a pizza...



It really doesn't get much better than that for me. Bro, bikes, alone, water, gulls, laughter, good food, dreamtalk, encouragement, fun.

Romantic little spot this Piccolo Caffe. Of course I love the colors...




And, this cute couple didn't mind me including them when I wanted to capture the romantic cove for you guys...



Christophe, continued in making this one perfect day by offering us the most amazing brownies on the house. This place is the perfect moto stop in Sausilito...



That about wrapped up one incredible day. The last thing to make it complete was a nice long, hot shower. Then it was time for fun with Frankie...



And a new way to grab those hard-to-reach dust bunnies under the furniture...



Hermit crab on the loose.

I settled into my guest quarters with Frankie's adorable homemade candle she made for me along with an umbrellaed water to quench my thirst at night...



After hours of visiting and chasing hermit crabs, we worked up a good appetite. So, it was off to a favorite food hang out, Red Sea Ethiopian restaurant, in Oakland.



The lemonade seemed to stave off the hunger...



We washed up our hands, or in this case eating utensils. Ah, dinner...



The look of excitement to either eat with your hands or kill the hunger pains, or both. My sister-in-law Barbara looks on with familiarity.

The Ethiopian or Eritrean waitresses liven up the joint with their warm smiles...



Full tummies and satisfied tastebuds. I went home and crashed. A full night's deep sleep got me revved up in the morning. Did some more catching up while sipping tea and waiting for breakfast. Tofu scramble and bagels. Yum. Toid's half mast eyes are no indication of lack of excitement over breakfast...



Before packing up my stuff. I had to rectify a poor design flaw on my pants. Poor design is a pet peeve of mine. These pants have the top buckle lying directly on the right hip. I have a nice bruise to show for it. So, what do I do? Rip out the seam of the buckle and relocate...






After the pants were fixed, fresh, hot laundry got folded and packed into the dry bags. Decided not to put the rain gear on right away even with more rain threatening to dump on me on my way to Shell Beach as I ride back towards home via the 101 HWY.

Before finishing packing, I found my little angel's kissing stones in my bag. They each kiss the stones before putting them back in their special bags for me. Then I get to kiss the stones on the road, which is like kissing my angels directly. Dimitri's is the horse...



Then I kiss them...



Second best thing. While I packed the bike, Toid slipped on the right sized bolt for my chain guard...



What a bro. Then Frankie and Barbara came out to say goodbye...






And, she's off...



My soul was filled from my visit. It was the first time I had visited alone, let alone on my bike. We all felt like we were that much closer. Just a weekend bike ride away and the tapestry could be woven tightly again.

nicomama screwed with this post 08-07-2010 at 05:08 PM
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:43 AM   #69
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Nice update

Your pictures and words make me feel like I'm along for the ride.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:53 AM   #70
RockyNH
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Great Report! Thanks for sharing it...
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:46 AM   #71
hilslamer
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Location: Chch, EnZed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicomama
I was blown away with Tim Hillsamer's photo journal of his extensive tool kit on an ADV thread.
...
So, come check out Tim Hillsamer's tool kit...



Glad you're going out prepared - and the ride report and pictures are great, it's material like this that keeps me coming back to ADV for more and more...
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:24 AM   #72
demetri
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good stuff!
i love the kisstones! mine gives me "hug rocks".
i love your bro's McGyverisms.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:12 AM   #73
BeemerChef
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Excellent, better than that even...
But... we have to get you a new can opener!!! That was very scary...
I see you as a presenter at Overland Expo, not just a passer by...
You be well... Ara & Spirit
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:03 PM   #74
hugobci
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Wow! Nice RR! Im very happy to see girls travelling by motorcycles! My wife also love adventures on her bike!!!

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:27 PM   #75
Oni
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Another great report Nicomama!

Boy, you Toid's are multitalented! You both have a flair for design and building/fabrication! Very cool!
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