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Old 08-25-2011, 05:23 PM   #31
MN_Smurf
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Shogs, I haven't been posting here long, but I've been lurking for quite a while, and all I can say is.....






You're my hero.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:51 PM   #32
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Woot!!


I am so glad to see this ride report......
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #33
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My next destination was to meet Double Entendra so I headed north to Huntington Beach. I liked riding in SD traffic. People were really moving and I found the flow entertaining to play in.


I found his home without near the drama of my last stop *blush* and knock on the door. We hug and chat for awhile and he offers to take me to lunch so I leave my bike there.


He takes me here and tells me this is a fairly popular and sought after place.
It was cool. He signed a clip board near the door and we stood around out front waiting for our names to be called. It didn't take too long and we were seated.





It was a real cool place to just hang out. We had some time to talk and I shared with him that one of the things I noticed was there were fewer fat people in California than ‘back east’. I also noticed more bicycle paths and even bicycles were allowed on the interstates in some places. My impression was that outdoor activity was encouraged more there.
Back in Culpeper there is extremely poor sidewalk placement if at all. There are places where it's there then not forcing you to walk in the street and it's not consistent with whether there a sharp drop off onto the street or a ramp. It is the most anti-pedestrian, anti-bicycle town I've ever seen.








What a striking young man.





My favorite sandwich of all time is a patty melt and I never miss an opportunity to order one if its on the menu. This was a great patty melt, let me tell ya!





As much as I wanted to stay and talk, we had to go back home so I could continue heading north.





We walked back to where we parked and I snapped these shots.


I loved the railing because things that flow please me.







We arrived back at his place and I thought this was a handsome plant. I must find out what it is and I hope it will be one I can grow at home.
Then back at his home (cool plant)








He then took me around to his garden in the back yard. It was really cool and the variety was engaging. He offered me some of the tomatoes but they don’t travel well in the tank bag unless you want to throw some onions and peppers in there so you could have salsa by the time end of the day.








These may be the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen.





Back inside there was this painting. I couldn’t stop my eyes from wandering back to it over and over again. There are things that speak to us on a level no one else can hear and to parts of us we are only vaguely aware of.


To me, this is probably the greatest painting I have ever seen because of that voice. Looking back on it, I think I would do almost anything to find the artist and beg him or her to paint me one.





Well, as much as I want to stay, I have to go and with a hug and a wave, I’m back on the road. Thank you Bob for everything It was wonderful to meet you and thank you for making the time.


The next stop was going to be a little tough on me. While planning this trip the ADV member DSM8 PM’d me and said I would be passing right by Mike Berlein’s parents home and wanted to know if I would like to stop by to visit them. I didn’t feel I have the right and didn’t want to intrude on them, after all, I’m nobody to them. He said he would ask and as it turns out Gail Mike’s Mom said she would like that very much.


On the way there I didn’t know what I was going to say, all I could think about was I didn’t have the right to be there. I had brought gifts and hoped I wasn’t being too presumptuous even in that.





I pulled up outside the house under the shade of a large tree and started taking my gear off when I turned to see Gail coming out to meet me. I finished getting my gear off and ask her how she knew I was there. She said she had been following my SPOT tracker. I was surprised and honored.


She escorts my into there home and I meet Mr. Berlein briefly. His pleasant but curt manner made me doubt I should have come. Gail leads me to this room where she and then I sit on the small blue couch. Gail is bright eyed, lithe for any age and flows with grace when she moves. Her voice not in the least bit cracked with age to measured and calming. I feel quickly at ease in her presence.





She points out the mantle where Mike’s boots and helmet are enshrined with a framed plaque with many signatures.





She asks about mike and myself and I shared with her how Mike reached out to me in PM’s. I told her how he was able to make my me laugh after I crashed in ‘07 and how he was so supportive of my long distance ambitions. He was not a nay-sayer and he always treated me like any other rider, not a female rider like so many others. I really respected that.


She got down on the floor and sat cross legged by the blue table and opened a large book with Mike’s picture on the front. Inside is every letter, every PM and every email they received for all Mikes friends near for a half a world away. She saved every one of them. She talked about how she and her husband didn’t really know a lot about Mike’s motorcycle life and always thought social networking was a waste of time and meaningless when compared to ‘real’ friends.


She said she no longer believes that and what Mike had was a real as anything you could hold in your hand. She said she now understands the bond that fellow riding have for each other and she is glad Mike had that in his life.
She went on to tell me many other things and that she misses him but is content his spirit is at ease and that he can still feel how much she loves him.


Of that, I’m sure.


I gave her the gifts I brought. The shell I got in the Bahamas some 27 years ago and the gold necklace I got while traveling in Nova Scotia on my first solo motorcycle trip. I show her the rock I was going to place in Gerlach and she liked it.





I ask if I may have my picture taken her and she seemed delighted. Her husband took this.





She then produced a small patch of neatly folded cloth, “I want you to have this, I think Mike would like that.” I unfolded it and started crying. It took me some time to pull myself together and thank her without blubbering.


On a whim and without any thought I asked if she would like to sign the rock and I would hand deliver it Mike’s marked stone in Nevada. She really liked the idea and found a sharpie.





She asked Mike’s father if he wanted to sign it and at first he said no and walked out of the room, but then came back and drew the simile face and the word “Love”.



I’ll tell you this, the man is grieving, the hard brutal grieving of a man that has had the most precious person in his life stolen from him and my heart was pained to have born witness to that suffering.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:06 AM   #34
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I have have spent alot of time with Mike's family since his passing helping them with the personal effects he had left behind with the auction and their donation to Riders Down.

Your observations of both Gail and her husband are spot on.

As was their enlightenment to the life Mike led and friends he left behind here and elsewhere on the web.

Your visit was very welcomed, she mentioned it when we last chatted.

Thanks for doing that.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #35
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My God, Gwen... that was wonderful.
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #36
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What an exceptional, touching RR. I'm not the emotional type, but your reflections about Mike's Mom and Dad made me well up a bit. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #37
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Good report, Gwen!

I think I was somewhere near where you live last week?

In a car :(
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Old 08-26-2011, 06:23 PM   #38
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:43 AM   #39
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WOW Gwen, I just found your RR and I can't believe what an amazing ride. I didn't know about your crash until now, which makes the ride all that much more awesome. Your time with Mike's parents was very touching, I hope we all never take our ADV family fo granted, this place is tops. Congrats, Bob
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #40
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Thanks for the great ride report Gwen. Glad hear that you were able to complete the 50cc as planned.

David
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:09 PM   #41
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Gail walked me out to the bike and we hugged once more, one last time for all time for I know I'll never pass this way again in her life time.


Now I know I'm running last to make it to exwingnut's placed and I still had two obligations to fulfill before I got there. One was to FINILLY meet velvtride and the other was to stop in at Off the Grid's place for a quick hug and a peck on cheek.


Let me tell you something about me. I'm the kind of person that if I'm late for the lights going down at the movies I panic. I really, really hate being late. It drives me like rented mule and I will do damn near anything to not be late for places I'm expected to be.


So I ride north on I-5 then take 99 north. I see the name of the next town on a sign and laugh loudly. "Bakersfield" I say aloud then wished I had a radio that I could tune to a 'colored radio station' and better yet it was Sunday.


How unbelievably fitting it all was, like a perfect nexus.


Rolling Stones *Mick! *

I was driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield
Listening to gospel music on the colored radio station
And the preacher said, "You know you always have the
Lord by your side"

And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran
Twenty red lights in his honor
Thank you Jesus, thank you lord



There weren’t any red lights but there were cars and trucks that needed passin’
(say that with a Southern accent like, "He just needed killin'," )
So I passed them in ways that would probably have pissed Steve off and was anything but a good representative of the motorcycling community.


The road surface was rough and at times jarring. The first thing I noticed was the smog. This is smooth stretch, at least it’s all the same level.





Come Monday, I'll be holding you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A. haze
And I just want you back by my side






And then there’s the burlap hills.







I was thinking that it must grow brown instead of green because every time I’ve
been here it’s always brown.


The ride to Clovis was uneventful, if a bit energetic, and without too much angst on my part. I had been in contact with VR aka Heidi and the only was I was going to get to see her was if I went to where she was working.


Heidi has a good, kind heart. She is upbeat and tries to look for the good in others. She started the “Ninja Skillz” thread in 2008 and it’s still going strong today thanks to all the people that continue to post there. It’s like “The happy Place” thread. Laugh out loud funny and I totally love it.


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=299225


And the “wax” thread. I was laughing so hard when I read that I had tears in my eyes.


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184597


(Oh geez...I read it again and it was JUST as funny the second time.)


I pulled up, parked out front and went inside. I quickly slipped to the back of the store to use the bathroom then started making my way up front. I asked an employee if he knew where Heidi was and he said “up front”.


I casually made my way there while keeping my eyes open for her. I spotted her and ducked down behind a display near where it looked like she was about to pass.


Then the employee I asked earlier came by, “Hey Heidi, somebody’s looking for you”. Then I jumped out an surprised her.


My goodness it was so darn awesome. She too, felt with a sister to me. We have spent years chatting across ADV, PM’s and phone calls. We already loved each other, or at least I can say that’s how I felt and it was like long lost family to be in her arms.


Hugs galore and some excited conversation and then some pictures and it was all over WAY too soon.








I head out on the highway and haul gluteus maximus northward towards OTG aka Dave.


Get your motor running
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way

Yeah, darling
Gonna make it happen
Take the world in a love embrace
Fire all of your guns at once and
Explode into space

I like smoke and lightning
Heavy metal thunder
Racing in the wind
And the feeling that I'm under
Born to be wild



It would be no understatement to say I love Dave. We are both nurses and have each been in the trenches a long time. We can talk about things only medical professionals can with others like us. Dave is most likely the most chivalrous man I’ve ever known. Kind to animals, treats all women like ladies, believes in standing up for and fighting if need be for the down trodden, weak, simple-minded and sick. He even still opens doors.


He may very well be the last knight in shining armor.


It was dark-30 when I got to his house.


Dave and I shared a few miles together in Sept. 2010
It was some of the most fun I’ve had on two wheels.
I’d riding to the ends of the earth him, but that was going to have to wait for another day.


http://k11og.org/forum/viewtopic.php...=asc&start=120


Tonight, I barely had time to chug down the Monster energy drink he stuffed in my hand and when I finished that he offered his that was already open. I drank it too because I had not been drinking enough on purpose so I wouldn’t have to pee so I could make better time.


We talk kinda quickly and catch upon our lives, friends and bikes. But as much as wanted to stay, I really had to go. As it was I was hours behind schedule and exwingnut had already had to change plans a few times because of how late it was getting. I felt bad I couldn’t stay longer and I felt bad I was running late.


Dave gave me more to drink for the road and some snacks and we hugged a couple of times. He then insisted her turn my bike around in the pea gravel driveway and get me safely pointed in the right direction.











I texted exwingnut aka Steve to let him know what was going on and got on the road. I was thinking I didn’t have any other stops and gave him what I thought was a fairly firm ETA.


WELL...no sooner do I get rolling hard the traffic comes to a sudden and complete stop. Well crap!


NOW I’m really stressed. I’m so stressed I can hardly form complete sentences when I call Steve while sitting in traffic. He keeps trying to calm me down and I am just not capable. Every strand of my DNA is screaming in my ears. He suggested lane splitting and I told him I didn’t think I could.


After we hung up though I had to at least try because sitting there was killing me.


You and me we're goin' nowhere slowly
And we've gotta get away from the past
There's nothin' wrong with goin' nowhere, baby
But we should be goin' nowhere fast

Everybody's goin' nowhere slowly
They're only fighting for the chance to be last
There's nothin' wrong with goin' nowhere, baby
But we should be goin' nowhere fast
It's so much better goin' nowhere fast

Ah...

Stalkin' in the shadows by the light of the moon
It's like a prison and the night is a cell
Goin' anywhere has gotta be heaven tonight
'Cause stayin' here has gotta be hell
Dyin' in the city like a fire on the water
Let's go runnin' on the back of the wind



In the end, it was more nerve wracking than it was worth, and consigned myself to slugging it along with the rest of the traffic. When hell finally froze over or about that time I was able to get past the crash in a construction zone.


It was a very full day both emotionally and physically by the time I arrived at exwingnuts home.


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Old 08-28-2011, 06:15 AM   #42
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Gwen, I honor your ability to reach out and embrace people.


Hey Dave! How's California treating you?
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:01 PM   #43
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A quick post about the Hi Viz I'm wearing.

This is where it came from and who made it for me.

http://k11og.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10499
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:21 AM   #44
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Nice RR so far Shog.

I'm now bummed I didn't get to meet you in Sandy Eggo, but glad I was of some help while you were in Gerlach. ;)

I like how you really wrap a LOT of meaning into your trips. It's nice to see.

Hope I get a chance to meet you IRL someday.

Take care,
GZ
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:40 AM   #45
Shoganai OP
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You were truely a "voice" in the darkness. Just texting with you helped me keep my head together when I was on the edge of panic.
Thank you for being there for me.
It meant the difference between being stranded for hours and getting what needed to be done done. gdog :



My home is always open should you ever get near Culpeper, VA.

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Nice RR so far Shog.

I'm now bummed I didn't get to meet you in Sandy Eggo, but glad I was of some help while you were in Gerlach. ;)

I like how you really wrap a LOT of meaning into your trips. It's nice to see.

Hope I get a chance to meet you IRL someday.

Take care,
GZ
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