Another Day, Another Glorious Failure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DesertPilot, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. NumberCruncher

    NumberCruncher Long timer

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    Thank you for the insight on the two bikes.

    I think the V85 is as capable off road as Ill ever need. I don't want the bike for single track as no bike over 400 pounds is ideal for that.

    But I won't buy any new bike until everyone is back to work and I can measure the full financial impact I am taking.

    NC



    #61
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  2. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    After The Apocalypse Ride Number Six

    It’s amazing how much work one ends up doing from home during this Work From Home During A Major Global Pandemic thing. Between that, the Mysterious Leaking Inner Tube, and PT for last year’s shoulder injury (don’t ask), riding very much didn’t happen for the past week. But I finally had a morning free – not enough for a long ride, perhaps, but surely enough time to Roll Out The Ducati, Ride To The Coast And Sit By The Beach.

    A lot more people are on the road now. The crisis may be far from over, and counties like San Mateo, which are only holding their own, may have banned outsiders from visiting their parks, but the attitude seems to be, “It’s OK to ride as long as you don’t push it, and strangers don’t gather to chat.” It was good to see groups of friends blast by and give The Wave. You don’t realize how much you missed these things until you have them back.

    There remained the challenge of find a beach to site by, since almost all of the beaches and most of the roadside parking areas are closed. But I’d been scouting for the past month to keep track of the few that remain, and no sooner had I pulled into the one I’d chosen when I thought Photo Op!

    Fig01_IMG_3095.a22x25r60.jpg

    Be honest, is it humanly possible to not take a photograph of an opportunity like this?

    Fig02_IMG_3097.x25r60.jpg

    And yes, there was also that lighthouse. Flowers, ocean, waves, Italian bike, lighthouse? Best get that all out of the way so I could get on with the mission.

    Fig03a_IMG_3102ax25r60.jpg

    This mission remained to Sit By The Beach. The single crumbling bench has taped off with police tape and placarded with warnings not to congregate, and gentlemen do not lower themselves to sit on the sand, but fortunately, members of my tribe have mastered the use of small folding camp chairs.

    Fig04_IMG_3101.sx27r60.JPG

    All things considered, I’d call the day a success :D
    #62
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  3. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    After the Apocalypse Ride Number Seven, Part I

    With places in the state slowly opening again, She Who Must Be Obeyed had announced an interest in hiking Mt Umunum. The question immediately became, is it among the places that are opening again? I could have checked online, but where’s the fun in that? :D I would be much less practical, as well as more time consuming, to roll out the Moto Guzzi and check the place in person.

    This was substantially the same ride I took with the Ducati back in February, before this major global pandemic thing began, and I was curuous to see what it would be like on the Guzzi. Itwouldn’t pose any great navigational challenge, because there is only one route – get on Hicks Road, then enjoy some neat turns and elevation changes as the road winds through the woods. I can think of far worse ways to spend the morning.

    fig01_IMG_3106.jpg

    I made my usual stop at Guadalupe Used-To-Be-A-Reservoir to enjoy being out of the city, and to see if any water remains at all.

    fig02_IMG_3108.jpg

    According to Wikipedia, this once-mighty body of where-water-used-to-be has a surface area of 74 acres, and a capacity of 3,4125 acre feet. I’d guess perhaps 12 of those acre feet remain.

    fig03_IMG_3109.jpg

    Still, the turnout is one of those places that just screams Photo Op. And if a drought develops this summer, is might be be possible to exchange such photos for bottled water.

    fig04_IMG_3110.jpg

    Taking the Moto Guzzi on this road is quite a bit different from the Ducati. WIth the Ducati, there's this urge to nail the throttle and dance through the turns just for the heck of it. You may not go any faster, but for some reason this is entirely irrelevant :D With the Guzzi, the feeling is, "hold the throttle on and I'll find the line for you while you keep smiling inside your helmet." I'm stil trying to decide which one is more fun.

    There’s another nice turnoff where the road bends to cross a small stream. You stop, switch off the engine, and think, “I’m barely ten miles from the freeway, but look at this!”

    fig05_IMG_3111.jpg

    The parking lot half way up Umunum also has some good views

    fig06_IMG_3115.jpg

    The tail end of a front was passing through so the sky, which would usually be relentlessly blue and sunny this time of year, was still filled with weather. A month from now, imagine all those clouds gone, and the colors several more clicks of the knob toward ‘brown and grey’.

    fig07_IMG_3118.jpg

    I’ve been trying to get a good picture looking up the mountains toward the old radar station, but there is always a car parked in the way. Without exception. One imagines this is some sort of cult – The Secret Society of View Spoilers. Still, we must do what we can.

    fig08_IMG_3119.jpg

    I expected the gate, barely visible on the left of the picture, to be closed and placarded with notices that the road to the to wouldn’t be open until all the apocalypse was over, but it was wide open and there wasn’t a zombie to be seen, so up the mountain I went

    (continued)
    #63
  4. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    After the Apocalypse Ride Number Seven, Part II

    There were no zombies on top of the mountain either. In fact, the place was almost entirely deserted. By now the sky had become suitably dark and gloomy, with curtains of rain threatening to sweep in form the west. They weren’t actually going to arrive – arriving is not a thing rains does this time of year – but they were going to make a nice backdrop for a view of microwave towers

    fig10_IMG_3122.jpg

    From there, it was time to set off and see what, if any, notices the county might have posted about closures. But I had to stop and take a photograph looking back from the stairs, because it isn’t that often one gets a chance for a shot looking down at one’s bike. Also with this one and the photo of the Ducati, now I have a set! It seems this parking lot is used by an entirely different set of cultists –- The Ancient And Venerable Order Of Skid Marks.

    fig11_IMG_3124.jpg

    Notices about closures were conspicuous by their absence. So were zombies. But the view from the top, with the front passing through, was much more dramatic than February.

    fig12_IMG_3128.jpg

    Since I was there, and the place was almost deserted, I figured why no go back down to the parking lot and ride the Guzzi up the service road for a shot in front of the old radar installation. Or temple of some secret society. Or whatever it really is. A couple of riders on a KTM and a BMW had got there before me, but they’d wandered off or been captured by cultists, so I never did find out what they were up to

    fig13_IMG_3130.jpg

    From there it was back down to Hicks, which remains a terrific amount of fun, even if I'm heading home. It isn’t a place of fast sweeping turns or spectacular vistas that take your breath away, but this will do

    fig14_IMG_3132.jpg

    Then it was back to the city, with a brief digression to play Follow The Porsche down a side road I’d forgotten, and was glad to rediscover. He looked like he knew where he was going, I was curious about that turnoff, and I’d like to thank him for finding that road for me again. Now the report has been delivered to She Who Must Be Obeyed and it’s time to plan that hike.
    #64
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  5. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Back To The New Normal, Ride 1

    The plan for today was to Take The Ducati Scrambler Out, because any plan that involves taking a Ducati out is a good one. With everyone, his bother, their families, and their little dog too out to celebrate Memorial Day weekend and a feeling – which we hope will prove correct – that the first wave of the pandemic is subsiding, this quickly became modified to Take The Ducati Scrambler Out On Some Road That Isn’t Packed With Minivans. This proved something of a challenge, filled with obstacles such as The Amazing White Hinda Civic That rives Twenty MPH Below The Speed Limit With Eight Cars Stacked Up Behind It. But after a certain amount of tedium, combined with some opportunistic use of the throttle, I made it past these to Skyline to find…

    ...every LEO, their families, and their K-9 units too struggling to keep things under control. It was not a day for imaginative reinterpretation of the speed limit. It was more a day to avoid main routes, look for roads that had the word ‘canyon’ or ‘creek’ in the name, and enjoy riding a machine that only weighed 398 pounds. I settled on Tunitas Creek because.. well… wouldn’t anyone?

    fig01_IMG_3142.jpg

    I’d never stopped at this particular turnoff before. It overlooks a spectacular tree-lined plummet to the canyon floor that I entirely failed to get a good photograph of -- failure being a recurring theme of this thread -- so I had to settled for another photo of the Ducati. Yes, life is hard sometimes :D

    fig02_IMG_3144.jpg

    The coast was a bit more photogenic. Here too, every available turnoff was lined with parked cars, ‘No Parking Due To Covid-19’ signs, county sheriffs ticketing parked cars, or all three. I suspect this will be the new normal for quite some time, and it rather put paid to any plan I might have had to set up my camp chair, relax, and enjoy this view.

    fig03_IMG_3145.jpg

    Still, everyone seemed good natured about it. It may be that for most people, the joy of finaly getting out of the house more than compensated for the price of the ticket. Would I have felt the same? I headed back to the bike before the forces of law reached this particular turnoff so I wouldn’t have to find out.

    fig04_IMG_3146.jpg

    By now it was clear this wasn’t going to be a long ride. In addition to the crowds and the poor fellows trying to keep those crowds from getting out of hand, there was also the danger of encountering another white Honda civic doing this imitation of glacial flow. But I did pause on Gazos Creek Road

    fig05_IMG_3155.jpg

    to observe one noteworthy milestone.

    Tah dah!

    fig06_IMG_3153.jpg

    I might only have a measly 5000 miles on this bike, but they’ve been great miles! :clap

    From there, it was back up Alpine – more great miles – to home.

    fig07_IMG_3157.jpg
    #65
  6. Pavement Optional

    Pavement Optional Been here awhile

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    Just finished reading this entire thread. Standing ovation. As someone who did trade his SV650 for a Weestrom, I have to say I love the Wee. But I do covet your Italian harem.
    #66
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  7. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    DEJAS VU

    It was one of those days when I couldn’t of the life of me decide what I wanted to do. But it was also June, the anniversary of the day I took that avatar picture of the Tiger, so I decided what the heck, let’s have another go at taking a shot of the V85 in the same place. A man must have a dream!

    The beginning of this expedition was not thing of grace. Do you have had those days when everything seems off, and you can’t quite get into the rhythm? This was one of them, Rather than dancing through the turns, I felt like I was stepping on their feet. The best thing to do on day like that seems to be back off, relax, stop trying to pretend I know how to ride motorcycle, and enjoy the scenery. And there is most certainly scenery to enjoy on those last bits of Summit Road.

    fig01_IMG_3248.jpg

    This time, armed with the recollection that it came right after the power lines, I was also able to find the Elusive Avatar Spot – the spot was elusive, not the avatar. It wasn’t as photogenic as six years ago – drier, dustier, with fewer melodramatic flowers – but it’ll do.

    fig02_IMG_3242.jpg

    The question then became, what to do next? I’d done Highland three weeks ago, and it was still early in the day, when you get the sun straight in your eyes at the most awkward possible moments. Then, as I was fiddling with my GPS, wondering where to go, I noticed a whole network of side roads leading down toward Lake Elsman – an obscure reservoir up in the mountains of which I’d been entirely unaware. This seemed worth checking out.

    fig03_IMG_3251.jpg

    It’s amazing way you can find tucked away in the hills around here. I never even realized this place existed.

    fig04_IMG_3252.jpg

    This might not have been pristine wilderness, the stuff of epic sagas – the profusion of ‘No Trespassing’, ‘No Loitering’, and “' Didn’t Pay Zillions Of Bucks To Buy Property Here So Low-Lifes Like You Could Ride Past And Enjoy Looking At It’ signs rather gave the game away. But I did rather enjoy riding past :D

    fig05_IMG_3253.jpg

    What can I say? It was fun

    fig06_IMG_3259.jpg

    Eventually I came to a place where I had to make decision. The ‘Road Closed’ sign was almost certainly bogus – the sort of thing chappies around here put out to try to take over public roads for their own use – but was this one interesting enough to press on?

    fig07_IMG_3256.jpg

    After some thought, I decided no, and turned around for home. The route home was, of course, chosen to be as circuitous as possible. It included such things as Bear Creek Road (fun) and the One Land Stretch Of Skyline With Dozens Of Blind Turns Driven By People Who Do Not Love Life (not fun). I was too busy to photograph either of these stretches, albeit for very different reasons. Then the traffic began to get interesting. First I cam upon what seemed to be a Shelby Cobra Replica club out for a drive. Unless they were real Shelby Cobras – around here, that is a possibility. Then I came upon this fellow, who seems to have forgotten that you’re not supposed to set the time machine to 2020.

    fig08_IMG_3261.jpg

    I just had to follow him up to Alice’s because you don’t see many of these around anymore. Then it was ime to stop for a drink of the Sected Elixir...

    fig09_IMG_3262.jpg


    ...and head for home...
    #67
  8. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    AT LEAST IT BEGAN WELL

    There was no real goal for the expedition. My neighbor had started to play the piano, which they play as a percussian instrument, so it seem,ed like time to go out for a ride. I noodled up Page Mill., south on Skyline, down Hwy 9, and was doing the usual Bonny Doon loop, when I got stuck behind the Annoying Person You Cannot Pass just as I approached Martin Road. What’s so interesting about Martin Road, you may ask? Imagine yourself riding through a forest of young redwoods and secondary growth like this shot from an earlier ride

    fig01_IMG_2999.jpg

    Then you slip through a dimensional portal to find this.

    fig02_IMG_3265.jpg

    It’s unnerving. You find yourself looking back and thinking, “Am I still in the Santa Cruz Mountains? Am I even still in California? How did I get here? And where did all those giant lizards come from?”

    Slipping back into conventional reality, I conrinued on to Bonny Doon because I like Bonny Doon. Everybody likes Bonnie Doon. It’s the Golden Retriever of mellow motorcycle roads.

    fig03_IMG_3270.jpg

    From there the plan was to wind up Alpine – a perfect road for the Guzzi

    fig04_IMG_3273.jpg

    and stop for a snack at a nice new stop I discovered a few week a ago

    fig05_IMG_3274.jpg

    It’s one of those, 'pop out a mini camp chair, sit in the shade, pull out a soda, listen to the stream flowing by behind you, and give a thumbs up to the occasional kid blasting past on what seems like rather the wrong road for sportbikes' kind of places. So I did.

    From there the plan was to nip home for lunch. Unfortunately, someone in an SUV had other plans for me. But no one was hurt, and the damage wasn’t too severe, so I should be able to get the bike back on the road again whew!
    #68
  9. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

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    Well that sucks. Glad it wasn't worse.
    #69
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  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    May your steed get well ASAP. Good you were OK.
    #70
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  11. Pavement Optional

    Pavement Optional Been here awhile

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    So what happened with the SUV? I try to learn from others' misadventures, not that I don't have enough of my own.
    #71
  12. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    I posted it in Face Plant here. I came around a corner to see him leave a stop sign and enter my lane as he made a left turn at a blind intersection on the right. What made it so annoying was I knew that hazard was coming up -- it's one of three spots I worry about on that stretcth -- and I'd already slowed down to the bottom of 3rd gear in case someone did just that. But the corner is more overgrown than usual, I was farther down the road and the sight lines were less than I realized, and I couldn't quite get stopped in time. I had 4 hours to pace out the scene while I waited for a tow truck, and when I realized just how much worse it all was than a month ago -- and how obvious this wasn't until you checked -- I thought, "Wow!"

    It was a fairly low speed impact. The question is going to be the forks, triple tree, and frame. If the latter is OK, it should all be fixable. The claims adjuster shows up tomorrow, after which we'll see about getting the poor girl to the shop.

    Lessons learned: Aside from the usual 'slow for possible hazards', I haven't decided yet. Maybe it's, "Always treat the road as new, and don't assume the hazards you remember will be exactly the same as you remember."
    #72
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  13. glasshousebc

    glasshousebc Been here awhile

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    Loving the report, the photos and the humour, but this... I literally laughed out loud... not so cool when you’re surreptitiously reading this as opposed to a work report.

    right, back to stealth mode.

    oh, and loving the Rumpole quotes. (There’s a great series on Audible with Benedict Cumberbach too.)

    stay well,

    Steve
    #73
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  14. motocopter

    motocopter Long timer

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    Glad this wasn't worse and that you seem to be doing ok.

    So, will the insurance guy decide what's damaged, or does a shop do the estimate?
    #74
  15. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Insurance guy shows up tomorrow AM, gives his verdict, then it goes to the shop and they get to add anything they find. I'll know more tomorrow.
    #75
  16. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Increasingly Grumpy Super Supporter

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    Interested in an update once you know
    #76
  17. radianrider

    radianrider Adventurer wanna'be

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    Found in Galena, IL...[​IMG]

    In keeping with the glorious failure part of the thread---I discovered I didn't have a bottle opener.
    #77
  18. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Finally had a chance to get back on the horse today. Guzzi's in the shop now -- 'twas a bit of an adventure getting it there, but this ended well -- back muscles are no longer (very) sore, so I took the Ducati into town to go shopping for She Who Must Be Obeyed's favorite IPA.

    Yippee!

    Riding's fun :clap
    #78
  19. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    COUNTING COUP

    The past month offered few chances to ride. First I had some bruises to heal. Then the was a deluge of work – writing peptide and olglionucleotide analysis code for the mass spectrometers companies are using to develop vaccines to fight this damn pandemic, no less. But at last I had a weekend free. The Moto Guzzi is still at the shop, getting repaired after its valient attempt tp destroy that pesky SUV, so it was time to roll out the Ducati Scrambler.

    fig01_IMG_3429.jpg

    The mission was, quite simply, to count coup – to go back and ride the same route around the same corner past that same hidden intersection where I got ambushed a month ago. I am sure we all understand the importance of such things! :lol3 So off I went, up Page Mill and down Alpine, with the usual stops for scenery along the way.

    fig02_IMG_3430.JPG

    Alpine has become one of my favorite roads for a short day ride. It begins with a descent from the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains along some nice sweeping turns. If this stretch doesn’t make a rider smile, they should probably seek counseling.

    fig03_IMG_3433.JPG

    Then it tightens to a stretch that becomes more problematical, with a 1-1/2 lane winding through the redwoods around more than a few tight blind corners. The ‘tight blind corners’ bit may noty be the most fun one could possibly have on a sportbike – I recall talking with an R6 owner who’s attitude seemed to be ‘never again!’ – but the Scrambler is perfect for this sort of riding, and that ‘winding through the redwoods’ is like a fresh breeze blowing through one's soul.

    fig04_IMG_3435.JPG

    The best thing about the lower stretch of Alpine is the stops. It’s impossible not to glance to the side and think, “Whoa!”” I don’t care who you are, even Valentino Rossi might stop to check this one out.

    fig05_IMG_3441.JPG

    Wind rustling through the pines, water gurgling in a nearby stream, it’s a great place to pause for a soda.

    fig06_IMG_3440.JPG

    Or to sit by a tree to contemplate a Ducati.

    fig07_IMG_3438.JPG

    This celebration of decadence over, it was time to press on, along the Pescadero Creek Road connection to Highway 84, then up through La Honda (no, I do not know if there is also a La Yamaha, La Suzuki, and La Kawasaki). Since I never stop here for pictures, I decided to beak with tradition.

    fig08_IMG_3443.JPG

    This is quite the bar. The words ‘has character’ are quite inadequate to describe it. One often sees several La Harleys parked outside, but not today.

    fig09_IMG_3444.JPG

    Then it was time to nip up 84 , revisit the blind intersection with Old La Honda Road, and stop for a photo.. except…

    ...wow is that ever a blind intersection! Even if you’re looking for it, and know it’s there, you can anticipate a, “Whoops, missed it!” kind of experience. This sort of thing is par for the course on my rides – part of that ‘another glorious failure theme’. It was food for thought. There’s a 'high speed passing opportunity' I’ve always looked forward to on the way there that will get repurposed as a ‘pootle along’ opportunity.

    That was about it for the day. Peptide and oligonucleotide analysis software beckoned – alas – so it was time to stop at STP to check out everyone else’s machines, then scoot home, but I did have time to stop along Skyline for the view

    fig10_IMG_3446.JPG

    And a nice glass of Malbec (not shown) awaited me at home.
    #79
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  20. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    I was looking forward to some riding this weekend, to wind down after two brutal weeks of writing oligonucleotide analysis code, but now every one of my favorite riding areas is on fire. Every single one. With burns between 2000 and 35,000 acres and 0% containment.

    What is it with 2020? This year seems to be made by the same people who designed the brakes and electrical system on a Renault 10!

    And what's going to happen next? We figure it's a three-way tie between 'Yellowstone supereruption', 'giant asteroid', or 'aliens conquer our planet to harvest us as food animals or keep us as beloved household pets'. I'm hoping for 'aliens', since I'm looking foward to sleeping on the control panel for the antimatter cannon and pushing laser pistols off the table :D
    #80