Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's....3,000 miles (and then some)

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by GP1152, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    As the title implies, this is a ride report of our current trip. (You'll be familiar with the people and the bikes soon enough.)

    So....If you believe in omens or that things happen for a reason then you'd probably think we should have turned around and gone back home by now. Instead, we're trudging along on our 15 day, 3,000 mile round-trip from the SF Bay Area to Victoria, Canada. I'll explain....
    As you can imagine, a lot of planning goes into a trip like this. Some of you may have seen the thread by "antihero" on here, in which he's going coast to coast on a Ducati Panigale. He's able to just GO without much planning. This of course would be great, but unfortunately, we have a limited timeframe of 15 days and in order to get the most from the trip, some planning was needed.
    Two days ago, after all the planning and necessities purchased, it was time to head off.
    Our first stop would be Mendocino, a small coastal town along the California coast. Although we've been there a few times I figured it would be good to ease into the trip by starting in familiar territory. You know, work out any kinks, make sure all the gear is working correctly etc. we weren't going to be leaving at the butt-crack of dawn or anything since we likely would have just gotten traffic going there.

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    We were pretty much packed the night before and spent the morning taking care of the things one takes care of when leaving for 15 days. So with all that taken care of, and with the bikes all packed up and ready to go, we shoved off. First stop, the gas station. Simple enough. Once there, it's the same ritual; gloves off, credit card in slot, etc. this time though I see Stephanie trying to get her gas cap open. I go on over and sure enough, the gas cap won't open. Can you imagine?? After all the planning, all the waiting, it all comes down to a few pins in a cylinder. This isn't the start we were looking for. I should mention that last week Stephanie, my significant other, decided to play mechanic when her kickstand sensor appeared to be having issues and "accidentally" unplugged the throttle control sensor instead of the kickstand sensor. This meant a trip to the dealer where, after several calls to and from Ducati North America, they were finally able to get the throttle control sensor reset.
    So since this current issue is happening on a Monday, EVERY Ducati dealer and repair shop within reach is closed. We decide to go back home and try the spare key (yeah I know that's not going to work, but it buys me some time, ok??). We get home and of course the key doesn't work. I would've had more luck throwing the damn key at the lock than it actually working in the cylinder. Then hit me.....I once had a similar issue with my MV. It had a finicky ignition key and the tech told me the pins sometimes get locked up and they just need to be lubricated. THIS I can handle!! I grabbed a can of WD-40 and DROWNED the cylinder with the stuff. Tried the key and it worked. Needless to say we were both relieved.
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    Now we were ready to go. We rarely take the highway on these trips but we took 101 to 128, by Cloverdale. Traffic was light getting there We stopped for gas and since we hadn't had lunch we stopped for a burger at the Hamburger Ranch & BBQ. I'm a healthy eater, but they have awesome, good old fashioned NON lean meat hamburgers and like to stop here in our way through. And besides, We're on vacation.

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    I like this place. The waitress there is awesome and it just reminds me of the type of BBQ places one went to as a kid. Of note was when I thought Stephanie asked for a box to-go for her food, to which I replied asking if she was crazy, that since she packed so tight she couldn't fit even the FORK she would need!! (edited this. Remembered it wasn't a cup she asked for, it was a box)

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    Another place we've stopped at before is at Gowans Oak Tree. They have home-made apple cider so we stopped for some

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    It had been sunny and hot all the way through (93 at one point). Getting to the coast though was another story. The temperature dropped down to 55 and not helping the situation, the fog had also rolled in. At least there was no traffic.

    Mendocino was quiet. We got our room key and got ready for dinner. We stay at the Blue Heron Inn. Awesome place with a fantastic owner. Highly recommend it.
    Dinner at the restaurant downstairs was awesome as usual. Now it was time to get to bed. Tomorrow would be another day.....more to follow. The next day would hopefully be a cleansing of anything more that might go wrong. Let's just say that it involves these two images:

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    #1
  2. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Sounds like a fun get away, hope the niggles remain fixable and you enjoy safe travels,
    #2
  3. Skrow

    Skrow Been here awhile

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    Busted iPhone and the a/c isn't working? Or won't turn off, hence the sweatshirt? :lol3

    Thanks for the tumbler tip though. Nice pics too! :freaky

    OH, and where is the pic of the blonde?
    #3
  4. gueroaero

    gueroaero Adventurer

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    Subscribed. Looking forward to your adventure :)
    #4
  5. NitroRoo

    NitroRoo Been here awhile

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    I feel your pain. Nothing worse than being on empty at a gas station and you can't open your freakin gas tank!

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    #5
  6. Manuel1200

    Manuel1200 Adventurer

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    Your garage is cleaner than my bedroom :rofl

    Subscribed!
    #6
  7. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    lol, that's not me in the picture (with the sweatshirt).

    update coming soon.....
    #7
  8. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Haha, yeah trust me I get enough grief about that from my neighbors ;)
    #8
  9. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Scary pic. And EXACTLY what I was scared might have to happen. We had hotel nights booked in spots already and that would have put a serious damper on things.
    #9
  10. Hair

    Hair Outside the boxer

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    I did that to mine a couple of months ago. You can search online for companies that repair them. I was able to get mine all fixed up for under a 100.
    #10
  11. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    awesome! in!
    #11
  12. Ben Carufel

    Ben Carufel Boxer Addict

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    I'm in! I just did 3 days down from SF along Highway 1 on a sportbike last week. I can relate to the pain you're going to feel in your wrists. It's worth it!
    #12
  13. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    This should answer some of the questions:

    Day 2 - Mendocino
    The day started simple enough. We woke up early in hopes of getting an early start. I had mapped things out so we'd have breakfast somewhere along the way. With bags all ready, we mounted them up and started the bikes. And that's where the fun began. As Stephanie was getting her helmet and gloves on I started her bike for her. Nothing. I look at the dash and it reads "0000 PRO". Through my amazing powers of deduction I figured this was something that WD-40 wouldn't fix. I took the key out and tried it again and again, nothing. Same error code. Not good. Times like these are when you realize just how great these forums are. We looked it up and found the fix. Apparently I had moved one of the other switches enough to where, when having that depressed and starting the bike at the same time out it in a programming mode. Finally the display read as normal and the bike started. I start to walk towards my SF and I hear something fall behind me. My phone (see previous pic of severed iPhone). Stephanie picks it up and as I walk towards her she's waving me off saying "don't even look!!". The phone as you saw was toast. It still worked, but there were shards of glass coming off the screen. Honestly though I figured, f#% it!! I'm not going to let that ruin my trip. But at the same time I was thinking, "wtf??". Then, as if out of a dream and not 30 seconds after I started my SF, this lady comes out of her house that is maybe 3 doors down from the Inn where we're staying. With a straight face (and apparently the balls to match) she says that my motorcycle woke her up (she actually said it woke "everybody up") and wondered if I could shut it off. I stopped and looked around. I swear I thought I was in another dimension....."you mean to tell me, you woke up, got dressed and came over here THAT fast???". Look, I'm as nice a guy as anyone, but at that moment it didn't matter that my iPhone screen had just shattered into a million pieces. Had it not, there's a high probability that the screen might have somehow been smashed when it flew at this yo-yo's head anyway. I figure I did her a favor. It's a weekday at 10:00 AM. She should be up doing something productive anyway!!

    We had to stop for gas in Fort Brag and from there we started calling around to see if there was an iPhone repair shop or person along the way. We found a few but all had voicemail. We left messages hand headed out.
    I forgot to mention that it was a foggy morning along the coast. HWY1 winds down through some wooded areas a little further inland and there the weather couldn't have been better. We got a bit of construction traffic but that cleared up just in time to meet up with a group of 6 harley's that, had they been going any slower they'd be going backwards. We eventually were able to pass them and got some really good riding in.

    Our first stop was in Garberville, about 75 miles or so from Mendocino. The events of the morning had made it so that we were now having lunch instead of breakfast. We stopped at the Woodrose Cafe. Great place with again, that throwback feel of an old time diner. Cash only!! I had looked the place up on yelp, it had good reviews and the place lived up to it. Seemed like all locals in there. The service was great and the waitress couldn't have been nicer. Only drawback was the older gentlemen that talked my ear off about how he lives off the grid in the woods and he's thinking of buying the place. We told the waitress about it and she laughed it off. She told another waitress walking by that this person, whose name I can't remember, said he wanted to buy the restaurant. Guess this sort of thing from him is nothing new to them because they both shared a good laugh at it.
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    Before we headed out I spoke to an iPhone repair tech that called us back. He said he could do it so I left off with him that I would call him when we were getting closer to his town, Arcata, which is just past Crescent City.


    Back to the riding. I can honestly say that I'm happiest when Stephanie and I are out riding. When your on the bike you really think of nothing else. At least for me. I know I'm lucky to have someone like her to ride with. It obviously gives me a lot more riding than if I was with someone that wasn't into it. The riding today was no exception. Our next stop along the way was this place that we had heard of called Clendenens. It's an apple and fruit farm that has been around for 100 years. Unfortunately they were closed and wouldn't reopen for the season for at least another few weeks.
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    Next up...... The Avenue Of Giants. This road the parallels HWY 1 and has long sweeping roads that wind through a redwood forest. Like this:
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    After making our way through some more construction stops we stopped for gas again in Eureka. While we were there we checked in with the iPhone tech to let him know we were close-by. He also NOW asked me what phone I had. When I told him a 4s he said he might not have the screen for that. After a few phone calls back and forth he was able to get one. Only problem is that I had to pick it up from a friend of his along the way. I agreed and asked him to meet us at a Mexican place called "hey Juan" in Arcata so he could fix it while I grabbed some lunch. After all, the guy was charging me $125 to fix it so I was going to at least make the most of the time.
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    So to finalize things since its late as crap already......here are some other pics of what we saw on our way to Crescent City, which as the waiter at the restaurant we ate at told us, is home of pelican bay prison. The prison houses the worst of the worst and has roughly 3,400 inmates and 1,500 guards. The other things before I end this post is about the air conditioning. It was broken and at 12:30 that night they had to send the tech to come fix it, which he wasn't able to do. Again, hopefully getting all the kinks out early in the trip. The place we're in now has no such problems....unless you count the homeless guy downstairs that is wailing away like a crying baby. I have a sound lip of it which I'll try and post. It's actually pretty hilarious!!

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    Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
    #13
  14. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    #14
  15. Manuel1200

    Manuel1200 Adventurer

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    Thank you for the RR and the pics.
    Just two questions: what iPad App are you using to post text & pics? I'm looking for an easy way to do it while on the road instead of waiting until I arrive at home...
    The other question is about your photo gear: which camera are you using? P&S?

    Thank you for the great RR!!
    #15
  16. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Manuel, I'm typing the RR in an email and pasting it to tapatalk. I upload the pictures to Dropbox and link the pictures to there. I actually use photogene2 for the iPhone to edit the photos if needed.

    As far as the gear: I'm using a Nikon D7000 with a 17-55 f/2.8 lens. I'm carrying that in the tank bag. I had to cut out some egg-crate foam to line that bag so as to not shake the camera to bits while riding.
    #16
  17. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Streetfighter so far has given no problems. It's pretty comfortable. My ass doesn't even hurt yet.
    #17
  18. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Yesterday we left the Crescent City best western (and its broken ac) behind and headed for Oregon. Our next spot would be Florence, OR. We went in and out of some fog as HWY-1 wound it's way to and from the coast. Crossing the border shortly thereafter, we continued north.

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    The roads on the way were amazing and ranged from long, sweeping coastal roads to inland forest roads. It's incredible how nice the Oregon coastline is. For someone like me that is from Florida, it's hard to imagine so much nice UN-DEVELOPED land. Along the way we saw some not so natural wonders, like this also.....
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    We stopped for lunch in Port Orford at a place called Redfish. Yeah I know it's not exactly roughing it, but the bikes DO always look good pulling up to a place like this. Lunch was awesome. Salmon tacos and a lamb burger. I keep forgetting to take pictures of the food before I stuff my face with it. I'll try and do better from here on out.
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    The theme for the day was definitely, WIND and food. A steady 20-30 mph wind at that. Doesn't make for the most relaxing ride, but it's still better than NOT being there to fight through it!! At one point we pulled off the road and down to a lighthouse we wanted to see only to get there and find a gate closed and someone's (not-so-nice) grandmother there guarding it. She was a volunteer and had a snazzy patch that said 4,000 hours. I'd hate to see the job the new person gets. Anyway, she didn't let us get any further than that gate so the best we cold do were these pictures

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    Might have been a good thing because had we been there any longer we AND the bikes might have been blown over. Actually, when the lady came out of her car to tell us to basically turn around, her hat went flying off her head and quickly tumbled over the adjacent cliff. Karma is a bitch. Should have been nicer lady. I don't care whose grandmother you are ;)

    The rest of the way was pretty straightforward. The weather had quickly cleared up after the morning fog and ranged between 55 and 65 degrees, depending on whether we were along the coast or inland. Other than wind, the weather was great.........(cont.)


    Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
    #18
  19. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    Back to the food.... (Man this is starting to sound more like an episode of man vs food than a ride report). It was time for a snack so we stopped at Tony's crab shack in Bandon. It's about a half mile off HWY 1, along a jetty/inlet.
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    Seems every time we stop somewhere we meet someone who comes over and asks us about our trip. I guess it's not every day you see 2 packed up ducati's with out of state plates. Not to mention that Stephanie's still has a florida tag. We met a really nice gentlemen in particular there at Tony's Crab Shack. He was an older guy, maybe 65 years old. He strode by on his bicycle and asked us about our trip and where we were headed. He rides a BMW GS1200 Adventure when he's not peddling around town on his schwinn. I can honestly say that we've met nothing but the nicest people on this trip. Especially here in Oregon. From the waitresses at the restaurants, like the one at the Redfish who is a student and who is family of the owners, to the guy that tried to fix the AC at the best western. Very nice people. We had this one truck with young guys wave us up in traffic and when I pulled up next to them the driver just looked down at the bike and said, "wow mam......that's.....wow....awesome.....that's so cool". Even funnier was the VW they were towing. Stephanie later told me she noticed it was actually running while on the trailer. I think they were on the way to some local races. Guess they were either warming it up or they were scared it wouldn't start again at the track.


    We were close to Florence at this point and were headed straight there. We made one last stop at an overlook of the Bandon dunes area. Would love to go out there on dirt bikes someday:
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    #19
  20. GP1152

    GP1152 Been here awhile

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    It was getting late when we finally made it to our "hotel". We stayed at the shilo-inn, which is more of a timeshare. A few people live there full time, but for the most part everyone else owns the units and rents them out seasonally. Our "room" was actually a 2 bedroom condo that to be honest, I'd have no problem living in. If i had to guess id say it was about 1,200 square feet. Parking was just as good. They have a covered, gated garage that is for the owners but I was able to have the manager point me to a spot that wasn't being used (gave me a clicker and all :) ). And as icing on the cake, there was a car washing bay right next to the building. A few quarters later and I even had a clean bike!! Due to the recent episodes wi Stephanie's monster, I decided against washing it. It was a pressure hose and although I spray the bike from 10 feet away, I didn't want to take any chances. Besides, I need the clean bike to look good, she doesn't.
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    We got ready and walked over to have dinner. Again, the mussels and fat juicy steak went down faster than a fat kid at dodgeball, so no pictures of any of it. One thing that stood out at dinner, and I guess almost popped out, was the chest of the lady at the table next to us. We both thought it was just a matter of time before that top had had enough and just gave out. I haven't seen anyone exposing themselves like that since we moved away from Miami. Her and the guy she was with made an odd couple. He wore what looked like 70s style tennis shorts with an Adidas track jacket and she wore that dress that obviously had a lot more material going downwards than it did the other way.

    We walked back to our home for the night. I checked on the bikes and as I do everywhere we go, no matter how safe it may look, I locked them up. I've always thought I'd feel pretty stupid if on one of these trips I decided to not take the 2 minutes it takes me to do it. I have insurance, but I don't have insurance that will cover my ruined trip.


    Oh I almost forgot about the crazy guy on the corner wailing away like a baby. Here's a link to the audio. Pretty funny actually. I figured he was either really crazy or really drunk. Either way I played to his inner child and just gave out a really loud "SHHHHHH!!!!!!". He looked up and said....."oops, sorry" And left. And here Stephanie was saying to call the cops!!!!

    That's it for now. To be continued...
    #20