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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Sep 10, 2013.
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Welcome back, Amigo!
Great pictures, once again!
Can't say video is always that exciting. And this isn't. But if you're curious what riding from the Sunset district of SF to 19th through the park and onto the GG Bridge looks like, here goes:
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I had intended to leave much earlier in the day, (I'm heading North and the setting sun is on my left) but my Gilles rearsets had seized up on me (at Sonoma Raceway during a trackday, no less). Some penetrating oil, a drill, tap, 4mm socket head screw and a lot of JB weld later things were mostly back to normal. I left wondering if I'd be able to do a few thousand miles without them locking again (or falling apart). Gilles customer service responded quickly, as did the distributor I bought them off of (Shift-Tech), but they said there's no way I'd get the updated parts (they had problems with the bearing design and supply new parts for those with issues), in a week. Now, two weeks later Shift-Tech has told me it's going to be another two weeks. If it locks up again I'm going to start a new "Fixie Motorbike" club in Portland I think. All I need is a pair of thick rimmed spectacles, some testicle-clamping jeans, an ironic mustache, tweed cap and "Gilles" T-shirt. Single speeds are where it's at, brothers!
I don't remember so much grass around the Palace of Fine Arts but I suppose it's watered, like everything else in the city, with good old Sierra snowmelt courtesy of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierra and the aqueduct that brings it all the way to SF (well, not quite all the way but close enough). Being "green" is just a way to sell things, a way to create a generic "brand" that a certain market segment will respond to. And that market segment tends to have more disposable income which means that you can charge more for "green" and if you keep your costs in line you can make a bigger profit.
We had water "rationing" for the last 4 years I lived near Palo Alto. But what did that mean? Well, first they announced the amount of water you were going to be allotted at the current price was going to be implemented based on your usage history, which prompted a couple of my friends to immediately start watering their lawn 24/7 so they could boost their "base" and not have to pay a surcharge for excess usage. And that was the only "penalty" anyway....you would have to pay more for each water "unit" over your allotment. The funny thing was that if you could afford to own a home around there you sure weren't going to have a problem paying a little more for watering your lawn! In the meantime plans were going ahead for a new 10,000 house development in the East Bay. Water rationing? What water rationing? Sounded good in the media though.
Oh, so that's what lane splitting in Calf. is all about.
It's not legal there but tolerated, right?
Lovely. No thumping overdubs for drama. Just the beautiful sinfonia Borgo Panigale.
It's legal there as long as it's done safely. Whether it's safe or not is up to The Man who sees you splitting.
Blader: you nailed it. I remember water rationing/past usage baselines and how little sense it made. I also remember that summer no one ever bothered to fix the broken sprinkler heads at school that would just spew a fountain of water in the air for 4 hours a day.
Fritz: Yessirreee, that's what lane splitting is about. And yes, in CA it's not illegal. It looks a little narrower on the video than it is in real life, and for anyone not familiar with it it probably looks dangerous. But to anyone in Europe or Asia (or CA) it's most likely business as usual and demonstrates how fluidly one can move inside an otherwise congested system. Do it right (don't ride blind-spots, be hyper-vigilant, watch the gaps, watch mirrors, avoid lane splitting between lanes moving at different rates, don't cruise at more than 15-20% faster than traffic) and you'll have no more 'close calls' than you would if you were driving in your own lane (and you'll never be rear-ended). The only incidents I've ever had lane splitting in CA involved someone intentionally tried to run into me.
Best lane splitting revenge story ever: two dudes in a POS crapmobile on the Bay Bridge intentionally opened a door on a guy who was lane splitting. He crashed, got up, and, as a result of their mistake (and their laughter), beat the living hell out of both of them. Dude on the bike was a Navy Seal.
Seems strange to me so many states don't require helmets, but only two now (CA and NV) allow lane splitting.
Trane: I've only been pulled over once while lanesplitting (warning, I'd been riding for about a week and was going too fast). Most cops in CA on motorbikes split lanes at a far higher rate than I ever do. And I really need to get a secondary mic for the GoPro or I'm going to have to start overlaying music to drown out the bad audio the camera pics up.
Exactly the same as my experiences. I have about 40K miles splitting lanes in Southern California in the last 3 years with no accidents or tickets. I take the same lines like you do and just go with the flow of traffic (as opposed to trying to beat the cars in a competition). Nice riding.
I bought a good mic for my GoPro. It's the Olympus ME-15. I plug it into the GoPro (I carefully drilled a hole in the side of the plastic case and it's easy to plug in or remove). I put a microphone windscreen on the mic, and tuck it inside my helmet to capture my thoughts while riding. The motor sound is pretty muted but the sound of what I say is very clear. It can make for some interesting videos. I can PM a link to one if you want to hear the sound quality and see what it's like to listen to my thoughts as you watch me do some lane splitting at night. It might be interesting to hear your thoughts while riding - I assume they'd be interesting because of the way you write.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to this adventure. Thanks for posting the link on the Ducati site otherwise I might have missed it.
I liked the "zoom on brake" effect towards the beginning! Thanks for not using it everywhere, but that was cool. What video editing app are you using?
Glad to see that you and the little woman are back on the road.
My best lane splitting story is from here in Texas. I saw a kid on a GSX, you've seen the type, shorts, flip flops, and no helmet, cutting through heavy traffic. Some how I ended up beside him later. I leaned out the window of my pick up and told him " this is Texas. you cant lane split here". He said " my bike has a Calf. plate".
Yeah, there is almost a whole lane between cars on most modern streets.
I'll be checking in for updates.
PowerDirector 11. Errors pretty much nonstop, despite 24 gigs of RAM and a pukka video card.
Russ: ordered an Oly mic today, though I'll probably run the mic down somewhere into the guts of the Duc to get a better engine note. Speaking of....I went through some of the vids I took in SF and most aren't usable due to the terrible sound quality, so I killed the sound and mixed in the guttural sounds of Stoner's GP8 warming up on the grid:
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As much as I love San Francisco, I realize I could do a 10 day Ride Report on just the city alone. Plus, I'm anxious to get North so out of SF I go.
For all the people who questioned my route from LA to SF on the first trip, I headed up one of the best roads in the world to demonstrate what it's really like to ride on Highway 1. The scenery is glorious, the weather is mostly cooperative and the asphalt is sinuous and smooth. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to NOT ride the road in anger due to one other unavoidable characteristic. You'll see why:
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I love Highway 1, lived in Seattle three years and toured the area numerous times - usually along the "1". Fantastic scenery albeit a bit touristy in places.
As to the "unavoidable characteristic": Most of my touring was done with a fullsize pickup with a 35´ fifthwheel camper, and even I was annoyed by the slow traffic...
The secret to good roads is to get to the beginning about 30 min. before sunrise so you get the road all to yourself. That enables you to ride the road in a completely different definition of anger.
Nice music! LOL
I'm in -- and now following in real-time, as opposed to the reading marathon I did for Coast to coast...
Great eye for composition, Dennis...
Shocks, pegs?! LUCKY!
Perfect music for that clip man!