So I took a ride down to LA for the weekend. Mostly to visit college buddies, drink beer, bbq, and watch football. I only stopped for a few photos, and I'm afraid they are pretty monotonous: a 950SE in the foreground, scenery in the background.
Packed. Going with backpack instead of soft panniers. Better mileage, not carrying a lot. Most tools under seat, including puncture kit. Did forget to bring a spare tube. D'oh. Wouldn't be a problem though. Tent and a very warm sleeping bag in case I get stranded overnight somewhere.
Random Moss Landing sculpture garden:
The place had a bit of a survivalist/redneck vibe with the Confederate flag out front. Don't see that often in the Bay Area.
Gassed up in Big Sur with a quick Philly Cheesesteak with a side of chili.
Add a sticker.
Wasn't going all the way to LA before dark, so I looked for Nacimiento Road, and finally found it just South of Lime Kiln, and right across the highway from Kirk Creek campground.
Some stunning colors on the back-side of the hills. Camera overdid the saturation a bit. Very dark and moist micro-climates, despite bright sunshine at the coast.
The ride through Fort Hunter Liggett is beautiful. You come out through wine country on Jolon Road. Leaves had already changed from red to brown, sadly.
Stayed in San Luis Obispo. Rolled in at 5 as it was getting near dark. Negotiated a bargain on the broom closet room. Only had to kill one spider in the middle of the night.
Rolled into Westlake after noon and stopped for a snack. Found the holy grail: a cherry donut. In the entire bay area, all you can get is chocolate, glazed, maple, powder, plain. All donuts brown and lifeless. I could still call the trip a success if I had to turn around right there.
Rolled in and my friend's son wanted to sit on the white whale. At 37"-38" height (maybe 39" with airhawk), he's got a little growing to do yet before I let him take it for a spin.
I learned "The Tennis Game." Essentially tennis without a racket, you throw the ball into the other court, and your opponent has to catch it barehanded before it bounces twice. He throws it back into your court. It's a good workout and a heckuva lot of fun, actually. The 10 year old beat the two 42 year olds.
And then it's time for two hand touch street football. I'm defending the youngster whilst wearing flip flops. He got by me every time. Hell, I just rode an SE into the cold wind for 400 miles, give me a break! The kid is a budding Jerry Rice though; hands like glue. And he was all-time receiver for about 50 plays and 18 touchdowns. I can't remember what it was like to have that kind of energy.
My hosts. It's a mixed marriage: she went to U$C.
Bruins getting smoked? Time for some cornhole!
Too dark? Let's feed the lizards some crickets. Seriously, this kid does more in an afternoon than I do all week.
Sunday it was up early, on the road by 7:20a.m. Decided I had time to try Nacimiento back the other way too. Stopped in Lockwood for trail mix and a sticker. Skull and bones not my thing, but it is Lockwood's thing, apparently. Meh, sticker no. 2 adds some character. Moved it back to the side panel later.
Great switchbacks going up through the Los Padres National Forest.
The view is definitely better going West on Nacimiento. You twist down from 2750 feet, incredible ocean views at every turn.
Yes, that's Hwy 1 WAAAAY down there.
Looking South, the direction I did not take. Beautiful, done it many times, but lots of slow going with holiday traffic.
Couldn't get enough of that view.
The SE peformed flawlessly. Not a single hiccup. Unfortunately the suspension is still stock-stiff, and the lack of windshield had me missing the r1200gsa a LOT. The SE is defninitely NOT an interstate highway bike, but it sure beats every other dirt bike I've used for the task. I think the severe cupping of the front nobbies is due to suspension and 70mph droning for hours at a time on the 101. Gotta drop some cash and get that revalved, but it will be worth it. EDIT: 40mpg for the trip!
Go ride Fort Hunter Liggett and Nacimiento if you get the chance. Cheers.