ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Day Trippin'
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-09-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Riding An Airhead Down the California Coast...

I posted a thread about the bike and the trip over in Old's Cool, but figured I'd post it here too for those of you who don't venture in there.

The same post can be found in my blog, which I'm going to update pretty regularly with photos, ride reports, and stories of my misadventures in maintaining a couple old Airheads (and a newer BMW F800S)...

http://bencarufel.blogspot.com/2011/...ying-trip.html

On to the narration...all photos are from my iPhone, so please excuse the relative crap quality.

The first fillup, after stopping in Berkeley at AAA on University to register the bike in my name. I got gas and a young guy in an BMW E32 pulled up to ask about the bike. He knew his stuff about Airheads, even though he was probably 21 at most. Adjusted the tire pressure after filling up and hit the road for the 15-20 miles to Tiburon, my first overnight stop.



Here's the bike in front of my aunt's house in Tiburon. She has an incredible house with an incredible view. I took the right side exhaust and shock off so that I could take the shock down to the shop to have its lower bushing pressed back in (was wiggling its way out) and hit the hardware store for a couple of washers to keep it from coming out again.



The view from her patio. Not too shabby. This was taken late afternoon, just before sunset...



Tuesday morning I stopped by my uncle's office to chat with one of his employees (a cool guy with a Z4 M Roadster) before hitting the road. Ended up staying later and having lunch with my uncle, so didn't leave Tiburon until 2PM. This is just before shoving off.



About 15 minutes later I was riding towards the Golden Gate bridge when I realized that I've always seen people take pictures of cars and bikes with the bridge in the background, but I had never tried to find out where. Moments later I spotted a sign for the Golden Gate bridge overlook park, so I followed the signs. Snapped this picture (it was windy as hell and I was afraid the bike might tip over with the big luggage catching all the wind) and jumped back on to keep going.



A few minutes after crossing the Golden Gate, I hopped on Highway 1 and followed it down through Pacifica and along the coast. The scenery was beautiful but I didn't stop for too many pictures...nothing too stunning yet, and I was anxious to get to Santa Cruz. I wanted to be there by 6, as a famous Beemer shop (Ted Porters) is there and I wanted to pick up new handgrips (the ones on the bike were hard as a rock) and chat with the guys there.

I ended up making it to Santa Cruz about 4:30 and the guys at the shop were nice enough to throw the new grips on at no charge, which was awesome. They suggested I head down to Watsonville for the night (another half hour south), so I kept on riding. I stopped in Watsonville for my first gas stop of the actual journey and snapped the following shot.



There was enough light out that I decided I would keep pushing, maybe even all the way to Monterey. I figured there would be plenty of good hotel pickings in Monterey and it'd be safe enough to leave the bike outside overnight there. I ended up staying in Cannery Row, a few blocks from the Monterey Aquarium, at a Holiday Inn. Underground parking and free breakfast the next morning! Can't beat that. The guy behind the front desk had a soft spot for the bike and gave me a great deal on the room, which was superb (for a Holiday Inn Express). Had a nice dinner at El Torito down the street and called it an early night...the plan was to leave by 8:30 Wednesday morning.

As it turns out, I woke up early Wednesday morning due to going to bed so early the night before. I took advantage of the free breakfast in the lobby (Holiday Inn Express does a halfway decent free hot breakfast, if I do say so myself...and following the "you get what you pay for" rule) and was on the bike by 8AM heading out. I stopped for a minute at a parking lot near the hotel for a quick "Bye Monterey!" shot, and an older guy came up to ask me about the bike. We talked for about 10 minutes, then I shoved off for Santa Barbara. This was going to be a full day of riding at Highway 1 speeds -- about 250 miles to do!



About 15 minutes after leaving the hotel I came across a sign that made me double back for a picture. I was giddy! I love me some curves, although I had to remind myself that the idea today was to go nice and slow and enjoy the sights, take plenty of pictures, etc...even so, the sign was worth doubling back for!



Shortly afterwards I entered Big Sur. This is where the beauty of California hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized two things...first, that California is truly the most varied and beautiful state in the country, and second that I was not going to be able to capture the true beauty of Big Sur with my point-and-shoot Canon and my goal of getting to Santa Barbara before sunset. Thus, I decided that I would soak in the scenery for myself and not worry about taking beautiful pictures to show friends and family. Instead, I just took pictures of my motorbike with the scenery as a backdrop. The point is that I want my pictures to be both a tease and a challenge. A tease since they're just giving the viewer a taste of what there is to see in Big Sur. A challenge because the intent is to show you that YES, you too can get out from behind that desk you're chained to and see these types of places for yourself. All it takes is a few days, a few dollars, and a will to explore.

My favorite photo from Big Sur was at Point Sur. As I rode south towards the Point, there was a fog hanging over the spit of land connecting it to the mainland. It looked mysterious and beautiful. I knew there was no chance of capturing the fog the way I saw it, so I rode on until I came to a plateau where the angle of the sun, the point, and the road all made the photo I wanted to take.



An hour or two later, after several 15 minute plus waits at construction sites (they're building new bridges here and there to replace areas where landslides happened, so traffic is down to one lane with flagmen on either side alternating the flow), I found a lookout point with an incredible bridge in the background. It's hard to see at this magnification, but it's beautiful back there...



After a few more stops here and there for snapshots, I decided to get back on the road for the ride into Santa Barbara. It should only be another hour or two, but I'd be veering inland for a while to go past Vandenberg AFB and other sights. One of the places I passed was Lompoc, and in driving through Lompoc I found an abandoned drive in movie theater. The parking lot was overgrown with head-high weeds and there was now a metal recycling facility on the side of the lot. I thought the faded drive in advertisement on the back of the screen was a great backdrop...



At this point it was a quick last hour into Santa Barbara, although I stopped one last time at El Capitan State Beach. I had to use the facilities, and besides I had done a photoshoot here about 8 months ago and remembered the cool trestle bridge on the way towards the parking lot. My client didn't want to shoot under the bridge at the time (fashion catalog, and it didn't really fit the theme we were shooting for) so I thought this would be a great time to use the bridge for one of my shots. Turns out the light on the bridge was excellent...



As I pulled in to Santa Barbara my good buddy Andy, whose place I was staying at that night, came out to greet me with a cold Mason jar of water and a snack. He's a vintage kind of guy, with a house that is comfortable and eclectic to the hilt. It's like stepping into the most tasteful mid century and before curio shop you've ever seen. He's got a vintage Ford sedan outside, a mid 70's Vespa that he runs into town on, and a Shasta travel trailer in the front yard that doubles as guest quarters. He's also got a guest room downstairs with a Mies van der Rohe vintage daybed worth many times what my Airhead cost me. He offered my choice of where I wanted to stay, and I thought it would be fitting to stay in the trailer for the night, so that was that. I snapped a quick picture of my Airhead next to his Vespa and the Shasta trailer before the sun went down...



I went out with friends and clients that evening for dinner and drinks in Santa Barbara, then called it a night early at 11PM. One of my clients who had seen the bike on Facebook and saw it in person in Santa Barbara said she wants to use it in one of our upcoming fashion shoots. She got back to me later after I had returned home and said we'd likely use it in the Fall 2012 shoot (we'll shoot that book in Spring 2012), so that's great. It'll be neat to have an Airhead featured in a fashion catalog.

Before I shoved off for San Diego on Thursday morning, Andy got out his vintage Polaroid Land camera and had me set up in the driveway for a picture. He framed it perfectly, with the nose of his old Ford in the street behind my Airhead and me looking as much as I'll ever look like an older, overweight James Dean. The only thing that throw off the picture from being a perfect copy of what we would have shot in the 70's are the lack of black plate on his Ford, the modern Alpinestars jacket I'm wearing, and the modern REI cinch straps around the luggage on the bike!



Thursday was another long day, about 250 more miles to San Diego, and I was determined to stay on Highway 1 as long as I could. Andy and I had talked work over a late breakfast and I didn't shove off from Santa Barbara until 11AM. I had stopped to see the home of a friend in Ventura for about a half hour, so I knew it would be tough getting home to San Diego by dusk. Because of that I slipped right through Oxnard and Point Hueneme, Malibu, etc., without stopping for pictures. The worst was going through LA...it was just terrible riding. Everything after and including Lomita was hell on earth until I got down to Long Beach. I saw more people run red lights, even truck drivers running orange lights in semi trucks (!!!), and generally just ugliness. It was at this point that I decided LA is in the top three ugliest cities I've ever seen. The other two are Rio de Janiero and Lima, in case you're curious. Several times I would have people purposefully squeeze over in their lanes coming up to stop lights so that I couldn't filter through to the front of the line.

I finally made it down to Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, etc., and things started to clear up. Traffic wasn't too bad and I was cruising along. Finally I got to San Clemente and just before I hit San Onofre I was forced to jump on I-5. At that point I was tired and there only looked to be about an hour of sunlight left, so I didn't argue. I could have got back off I-5 to take Highway 1 through Oceanside, Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar, etc., but I've driven that route a thousand times in my life and I just wanted to get home! I stopped one last time at the view area just south of San Onofre for a final photo before the last sprint home...



Sure enough, just a few minutes after the sun set I pulled into my driveway at 6:15. I opened the bike side of the garage and moved one of the other bikes forward to make room for the new girl, then took a quick photo of her before I pulled her into the spot and unloaded the luggage...



So, final thoughts from the trip...it was incredible. Gorgeous. The weather was PERFECT. Not a spot of fog on my route, not a drop of rain. Sunny and warm the entire time. I rode in kevlar jeans with long underwear and wool socks. I had on my Chippewa Rally leather boots, which are just below the knee. I like to wear athletic shirts to wick away sweat, and I left the Alpinestars liner in the jacket. There were a few times I contemplated putting on my balaclava to keep my neck warm, but I never did get it out. I wore my usual Olympia Race Kevlar 305 gloves, which are gauntlet style (gauntlets over the jacket cuffs on cool days for warmth, under the jacket cuffs on warm days for ventilation).

I had a blast, slept like a baby every night, and saw some good friends and family. I got to make my own rules, and the only thing on my "to do" list every morning was "Ride Motorcycle." How much more could I ask for?

The old girl performed perfectly all 625 miles. I knew of a starvation issue at about 70mph, so that kept me honest (speedometer being broken and all) on the higher speed stuff. There's a leaking seal inside the final drive that's slinging a bit of gear oil onto the rear rim, but it wasn't leaking more than 15-20 drops in a full day's ride, so no big concern on the trip. The only issue she developed was the high beam indicator lamp burned out about halfway through the trip. Since the gauge needs to go to a specialist for new needles and a rebuild anyways, that'll get taken care of just fine...

I can't wait to get out there again for another adventure.
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #2
Steve Glenn
Studly Adventurer
 
Steve Glenn's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2002
Location: Modesto, Ca
Oddometer: 680
Talking

Great ride report and pictures.
__________________
Regards Steve
Steve Glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Glenn View Post
Great ride report and pictures.
Thanks, Steve!
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
YetiGS
No Talent Ass Clown
 
YetiGS's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 7,317
How many times did you run out of gas?


__________________
-Scott-
Semper Fi
'04 BMW R1150GSA, '04 KTM 625 SXC
"You had better bring an extra magazine. Yeti's amped up on weird shit are hard to bring down." Lonestar2112
YetiGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
pbarmy
Beastly Adventurer
 
pbarmy's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Great Black Swamp
Oddometer: 1,818
Very cool,those bikes have soul!
pbarmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 04:44 PM   #6
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiGS View Post
How many times did you run out of gas?


Har Har Har!
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #7
RedRockRider
Beastly Adventurer
 
RedRockRider's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: St. George, UT
Oddometer: 1,198
Cool bike!

And a very cool road from Bay Area to LA. Not so cool getting through LA. Enjoy the bike!
__________________

RedRockRider - WR250R, TW200, Versys, Vulcan 900 LT, Zuma 125

Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
RedRockRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #8
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRockRider View Post
And a very cool road from Bay Area to LA. Not so cool getting through LA. Enjoy the bike!
Thanks. Yeah, LA just sucked, plain and simple. Reinforced my dislike for that place.
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2011, 09:22 PM   #9
sealsam
Sam...I am.
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: seal beach, ca.
Oddometer: 1,518
Great report I read with interest on two counts.

First my oldest son just graduated Cal Poly SLO, so I have had a good amount of riding time up in the mid-coast area and up to SF.

Secondly, I just picked up a '78 r100s. The little bit of riding i've done on has been a blast. CG seems like it is at my ankles. I have the snowflake rims off it now, just got them back from powdercoat. It will be a slow work in progress, but should be fun.

...and yep, nothing like L.A. traffic. The wife and i just got back from a quick overnighter on the RT to your neck of the woods, NE S.D. county. Nothing like tearing up the asphalt around Lake Henshaw, Palomar Mtn, Borrego, Julian. Then spend the night at the wife's church(Pala Casino).

Beautiful bike you've got there, good luck with it. Looks like a good fit with your other bikes.
sealsam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by samthg View Post
Great report I read with interest on two counts.

First my oldest son just graduated Cal Poly SLO, so I have had a good amount of riding time up in the mid-coast area and up to SF.

Secondly, I just picked up a '78 r100s. The little bit of riding i've done on has been a blast. CG seems like it is at my ankles. I have the snowflake rims off it now, just got them back from powdercoat. It will be a slow work in progress, but should be fun.

...and yep, nothing like L.A. traffic. The wife and i just got back from a quick overnighter on the RT to your neck of the woods, NE S.D. county. Nothing like tearing up the asphalt around Lake Henshaw, Palomar Mtn, Borrego, Julian. Then spend the night at the wife's church(Pala Casino).

Beautiful bike you've got there, good luck with it. Looks like a good fit with your other bikes.
Congrats on your new bike as well! I wanted something with spoked wheels this time. My '79 R65 has the snowflakes and they look cool (and are great for cleaning purposes!) but they just don't have that "classic" look of the spokes. My roommate has a '75 R75/6 and I've always liked the look of the spokes.

Those roads up in that part of the county are great. Sometimes they get a little clogged with bikers (there's been some backlash about bikers using Palomar as a TT course over the years) but there's so many good roads, it's not hard to find something empty.
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 06:24 PM   #11
motowest
Two-wheeled Adventurer
 
motowest's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Oddometer: 1,249
Nice report!
motowest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #12
Steve06
Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Georgia
Oddometer: 43
Thanks for This RR

Wow Excellent report and pics. Thanks for taking the time to share--and cool blog too.

/r
__________________
--------------------------
SteveH

2004 R1150GS
2000 KLR650
1997 Softride Roadwing
Steve06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 07:32 AM   #13
YetiGS
No Talent Ass Clown
 
YetiGS's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 7,317
With all this praise you're going to need a bigger helmet Ben.



__________________
-Scott-
Semper Fi
'04 BMW R1150GSA, '04 KTM 625 SXC
"You had better bring an extra magazine. Yeti's amped up on weird shit are hard to bring down." Lonestar2112
YetiGS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 01:33 PM   #14
Ben Carufel OP
Boxer Addict
 
Ben Carufel's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by YetiGS View Post
With all this praise you're going to need a bigger helmet Ben.



Does Bell sell XXL helmets? I'm already on "XL".
__________________
Ben Carufel
'11 BMW F800ST - '02 BMW R1150GSA - '72 BMW R60/5
Other bikes to appear above shortly, rest assured...
Ben Carufel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2011, 02:12 PM   #15
the darth peach
eats crackers in bed
 
the darth peach's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: N.California
Oddometer: 11,397
Nicely done!
Not every day you see Tiburon show up in a RR
the darth peach is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014