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Old 09-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #136
GP1152 OP
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Today was a morning just like all the others, except today we would be heading home and this great trip would be over. Time to pack our bags for the last time. The previous mornings we were pretty quick about getting our stuff together once we started, but today I think this realization has me procrastinating. Eventually we get all packed up and get the now usual free breakfast. Breakfast was uneventful.....waffles with some peanut butter and a banana. We were already packed so off we went to the bikes to load them up and get going. We got gas at the gas station right by the hotel. Yup, we were back in California. Back to the low octane gas and the annoying fuel dispensers. More than anything that dispenser was just another reminder that we were headed home. I felt a certain sense of sadness as we pulled out of the gas station and headed down the road. We had set into a groove on this trip and have really been enjoying ourselves….even if we WERE roughing it a bit ;)

Chester, CA sits at an altitude of approx 4,600 feet. The road that will lead us down (HWY-32), will eventually lead us to Chico, CA, 67 miles away. Once you turn onto it from HWY-36 you start winding down along and cross over Deer Creek several times on the way down. Traffic was pretty much non-existent but it really didn't matter. I was in no hurry and was probably setting the slowest pace to date. The time of wanting to get this over with I knew would come soon enough……Surely when we hit the stupor-highway. The weather outside was perfect when we left the Hotel, right around 70 degrees. That wouldn't last long though. We had checked the weather beforehand and it looked like we were in for a toasty day to say the least. The temperature in Sacramento, where we wold be riding through, was expected to be in the mid 90's. Yay, you mean we have to go home AND sweat our asses off in the process??? fantastic. To make sure this would be the least of our problems, I made sure to confer with Stephanie and remind her to try and be as careful as possible today. We had made it this far with no issues. I sure as hell didn't want to ruin the trip now by hurrying through traffic. We'd pass where we could and if we needed to. Otherwise, we'd get there when we get there.

Back on HWY-32 the only obstacle in the way was a lady in a Honda SUV that seemed pretty hellbent on us not passing her. As I said, I was in no hurry and was just fine cruising behind her, until she decided to start cutting into the corners and throwing all sorts of dust and crap into the air. It wasn't long before we were ahead of her and on our way.

Today was the day you wished the weather report was wrong. Unfortunately, it wasn't. Getting down close and into Chico it started getting hot. Trust me when I tell you that I'm no stranger to heat. The heat here in CA is nowhere near as bad as it is back in my home-town of Miami, but still, It's a far cry from the nice weather we had just a few days ago.

We had planned our first stop for food to be in Oroville, just 23 miles from Chico…..time for the Stupor-highway. 23 miles to go until we get some AC, food and drink. I feel antsy already.
I'd love to tell you about the super-slabway, but there's nothing I'd be able to tell you that you don't already know. It sucks. It's straight, boring and tiresome. This is the only time I ever get tired on the bike. At least this first stretch is short.

So fast forward to our arrival at the Bird Street Cafe, the place Stephanie had chosen for us to stop for our last meal before home. At first I had reservations about this place. Walking up to the restaurant and looking in the window I saw a lot of elderly people and Victorian decor that made the place seem like a parlor house. Yet the place was new, meaning they did this recently!!! I mean, it was pleasant in a way that walking into your older aunt's or grandmother's house is. They attempted to seat us at small 2-person table, which obviously wasn't going to work with all the gear we had so they gave us a 6-person table. we settled in and ordered. The food (soup & sandwich) was good. AC was REALLY good. Service also was very good. So if you're around Oroville, bring your grannie and enjoy. the place gets good marks in my book!!!

So lunch is over and it's time to start the long stretch home. The next stop we figured would be for gas since the last fuel-stop was back when we left the hotel about 90 miles ago. We would now be on the stupor-highway so gas would be just an off-ramp away. But approaching Sacramento, almost 160 miles from our last fill-up, the low fuel light still hadn't come on. I know most of that trip was downhill but even then it seemed odd. Sure enough, we stopped for gas and I still had plenty of gas in there. No complaints here.

The rest of the trip back was as you'd expect. At least traffic wasn't too bad. It looked like our ETA was going to be right around 5 o'clock so I wasn't optimistic that would remain the case. And that's where having a motorcycle in CA really pays off. And that's because here they allow LANE-SPLITTING. Never before did I appreciate this more than when we were riding into Seattle just the week before. I'm sure other people lane-split there, but being in an unfamiliar place, not knowing where the police are potentially waiting for me AND having Stephanie trailing behind me meant not taking the chance. Talk about feeling like an ass!! But not here in CA. This definitely offsets the crappy gas and crappy fuel dispensers!!! As I mentioned before though, I wasn't really in a hurry, but it's still nice to know that you can scoot ahead with caution if need be.

As anticipated, we strolled into the neighborhood right around 5 o'clock. We made it. Sadly, the trip was now officially over. It was the trip of a lifetime that we hope is just the trip of the year. I'm especially lucky to have been have been able to do this with the love of my life....very lucky indeed.

The bikes performed flawlessly and now I can finally say what I avoided saying every day that I packed them into my bag at the hotel room……"Good thing I didn't need any of these tools that I always bring along"….which includes a tire repair kit and compressor (yes it's all in there). Normally when one gets back from a trip there's some sense of relief. That it's good to be home. Don't get me wrong. I love where we live, but this is the first time I have ever come back from a trip and not felt that way. both of us would gladly have kept going. I can't tell you for how much longer, but I certainly wasn't ready to come home.

Getting home you look around and see all the things that one accumulates and yet we weren't missing anything while we were away. It's a good feeling.

I'll end by saying this: (and not to sound like Ferris Bueller…..but) If you have the means, I highly recommend getting out and seeing what's out there. Doesn't matter what you ride. It could be an adventure bike or a naked one. Or if you want to rough it like we did (just kidding) or if you want to go posh. Just do it. You'll be amazed at the places you'll see and the people you'll meet. Take the time to do it without hurrying through it even if you're on a bike that'll chew up the speed limit AND the sign it's printed on and spit it out. You'll be glad you did. We sure are.







With the experience of this trip and the others we've been on, we've been talking about how we'd adapt for our next trip. We've been toying with the idea of getting a truck that we can travel and take the bikes on. Reason being... we can cover more ground in one day and get out to further places to start a trip from further out. For example, if we wanted to go to Colorado we could load the bikes and drive thru the night and be there or somewhere close to there in one day and take our time from there on out. On the bikes, even at 250-300 miles a day, it would take us 4 days there and 4 days back. So, if you see a truck that looks like this with a couple of Duc's on it, be sure to say hello ;)






Of course…….the bikes got a wash as soon as we got home. They deserved it after their performance:
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Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:53 PM   #137
Ben Carufel
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Glad you guys are home safely. Great RR. Enjoyed every installment...made me want to strap a Kriega on the back of my sportbike and do some touring.

Screw the truck though...get a used Sprinter. An '07+ model. 25MPG, turbodiesel, and can haul two bikes and tow a race car behind it at the same time!
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:00 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Carufel View Post
Screw the truck though...get a used Sprinter. An '07+ model. 25MPG, turbodiesel, and can haul two bikes and tow a race car behind it at the same time!
Trust me we've thought about it and for all the reason you mention (except maybe the race-car, which I don't have). The truck would be more flexible for us since it's something we can use on a regular basis and park here at home. We figure maybe soon thereafter we buy a small airstream, paint it flat-black and tow it with the bikes in the truck whenever we need to.
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Gus M.
Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:03 AM   #139
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A garage to dream of. . .

I have to deal with this little hut
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:58 AM   #140
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Thank you for a wonderful, wonderful RR. Enjoyed every installment.

Cheers!

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Old 09-15-2012, 08:59 AM   #141
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Really enjoyed your RR! I followed along every day! Thanks!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:57 AM   #142
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Great ride report. You should post this or link to it over at sport-touring.net also, they would love it. The combination of Italian machinery plus a pretty blonde is compelling. As for the truck thing, I have trailered my bike many places because I wanted to ride there but didn't want to drone on the freeway for hundreds of miles to get me there...it's a great way to go even if the hard core riders will shush you. Here's my set-up at the launch point of hwy 36 in Red Bluff, after having avoided 8 hrs on I-5 in the comfort of my Range Rover.

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Old 09-15-2012, 11:48 AM   #143
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Absolutely fantastic RR! Very inspiring, thanks for sharing!!
Love the bikes, love the minimalist style of touring!
Glad you are home safe!
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:04 PM   #144
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Very nice... Great job guys ! Thanks for sharing !

Read it start-to-finish in one sitting (thereby avoiding the incredible late-summer heat inevitable wrenching that awaits me in the garage).

We're thinking of taking the toy-hauler (can get the sport bikes in under the drop-down bed or (optionally) the dual sports in the back of the truck) and going to places and just riding out circumferential from where ever we are thereby avoid the packing/unpacking, locking bikes outside the hotels, stopping to eat, wash clothes ( Etc).

Which bikes to take is the question... Dual sports or sport bikes ? ...or both ?
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:30 PM   #145
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Thank you so much.
A truly great report.
If my wife would ride with me.
(on her own bike)
We might stay on the road.
You two are so blessed.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #146
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Awesome RR....thanks for taking us along!
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:06 PM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eye.surgeon View Post
. Here's my set-up at the launch point of hwy 36 in Red Bluff, after having avoided 8 hrs on I-5 in the comfort of my Range Rover.

That's awesome and so.....
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Gus M.
Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo-Tarded View Post
Very nice... Great job guys ! Thanks for sharing !

Read it start-to-finish in one sitting (thereby avoiding the incredible late-summer heat inevitable wrenching that awaits me in the garage).

We're thinking of taking the toy-hauler (can get the sport bikes in under the drop-down bed or (optionally) the dual sports in the back of the truck) and going to places and just riding out circumferential from where ever we are thereby avoid the packing/unpacking, locking bikes outside the hotels, stopping to eat, wash clothes ( Etc).

Which bikes to take is the question... Dual sports or sport bikes ? ...or both ?
If you're going to use the toy hauler as a base-camp of sorts then take the sport bikes (assuming pavement is what you'll be riding on). if its not a pain to take all of them then fu#% it!! Take em all!! It'll make a hell of a RR too ;)

Our plan is to get out to a starting point and do a loop on the bikes from there. So we'd still be packing and unpacking a bit. Just not losing valuable time in transit to our starting point.
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Gus M.
Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:15 PM   #149
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And guys thanks a lot for all the compliments. We both really appreciate it and are glad everyone got to experience some of what we did. Stay tuned....you never know when another trip might come up!!
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Gus M.
Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:01 PM   #150
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Thanks for all the effort to share your experience with the rest of the bunch.
As I always said...100 riders - 101 ways of riding.
You guys deserve more of the above......
Well done.
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