From Baptism to Bucket List

Baptism in the Pacific:

It was decided that if we were going to take the bikes all the way to the Pacific that they would at least get a taste for the ocean. So let it be told that Mike G took off his riding suit, his bike boots, socks and when scooped up a generous helping of the Pacific waters. After a few minutes of solemn meditation (we were all thinking about that first beer that we will have at the hotel later this evening). The bikes, the Grand Caravan, the riders and the support team – were all anointed with the Pacific.

The bikes are blessed with Pacific Ocean water

Riding across the Golden Gate Bridge:

When we first spoke about this trip we talked about how nice it would be head north from San Diego and eventually drive across the Golden Gate bridge. Well today we can cross that one of any of bucket lists. We crossed the bridge today shrouded in fog, but none the less we crossed over her – strike that one from any of our bucket lists.

Pacific Coast Highway 1 – 75 miles of grinning from ear to ear

How do we describe the ride of a lifetime, we had heard that it would be a great ride and that and that we would be speaking about our experience for years to come - ALL TRUE STATMENTS !! If it not the spectacular scenery of the water crashing down on the cliffs below, maybe it is the winding sections followed by the tight hairpin turns at 10 mph – either way in a car or on a bike – you will love this road !!

They say a picture is worth  a thousand words,.. here are some of the pictures that Jim E took while sitting on the back of Tim S’s bike (except for the last picture (where we are all posing on the side of the road):

The waters edge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75 miles of incredible coast road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The PCH 1 team - just a side note - Norm made it down the fastest in the chase vehicle

 

LA – “where the streets have no name”

It was originally decided that we would rest an extra day or two in San Diego however Andrew wanted to drive Mulholland drive (he can be very presausive – I guess being the size of Sasquatch helps get your point across). It ws decided that we would pick a few choice streets in LA to drive on, as it turns out we drove on almost every street in LA yesterday, here are just a few of the marquee street names:

  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Santa Monica Blvd
  • Melrose Ave
  • Wilshire Blvd
  • Beverley Hills & Rodeo Drive
  • A quick ride up to the Griffith’s Observatory
  • Laural Canyon Blvd
  • Mulholland Drive
  • plus every other street in the city,.. it seemed

Our 3 hour “easy ride” found us fighting traffic all the way up from San Diego, through LA and around LA. We eventually found our way to Camarillo (just off the PCH 1 after Malibu) where we spent the night and Mike G editted the Pikes Peak video that you can fine online below on this page.

 

San Diego – we made it !!!

San Diego right on schedule, Heidi – Show us the money!!

As the homepage states, we arrived in San Diego at 3:30 on June 14th. After a relatively easy ride through the Mojave Desert,.. (it was actually hotter riding through the desert into Vegas a couple of days before). The five hour ride was uneventful and quite enjoyable. We arrived at the dock of the USS Midway.

Hats off to the team, they have mastered the elements (wind and heat), a couple minor bike issues (thanks to Tim they are all running great now), some very sore and tired bodies – and a little bit of boredom for the support guys in the van snapping pictures and keeping up with us with the traffic.

San Diego - here we come!!

Jim, Norm - supporting us all the way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gene G had to head home one day prior to San Diego. Thanks for your support

Busiest Day yet !!

Waking up in Winslow AR, it was another spectacular morning. Naturally before the ride, I needed gas, so I loaded my bike up with 91 Octane (Premium) and we pulled out onto the highway. The road was clear as we headed to Flagstaff – it was another spectacular ride through Arizona.

Andrew’s bike:
While gasing up for the ride to Grand Canyon, Andrew noticed his front fork leaking, so Mike G pulled out his trusty smartphone (we could not have done this trip without them), and found a couple Kawasaki dealers in Flagstaff while the group took a break at the Starbuck’s (they are all wi-fi junkies). After so trepedation as to what to do, Tim had an idea and pulled out an old bank card and oragamed it a little tool, that stop the leaking. We were on our way again – every high on Starbuck’s

Grand Canyon:

It 70 miles of 55 mile an hour roads to the Canyon,.. it was another sun soaked ride without a cload in the sky, after a quick refuel we were at the Grand Canyon,.. pictures just don’t do it justice but Gene, Jim and Tim took a lot pictures from the Southern rim,.. it almost looks fake – it is so incredibly massive. I am just not doing it justice, how beautiful it is.

Andrew – Part 2:
When we all pulled into the Grand Canyon parking lot, we pulled in with another group of bikers and Andrew’s bike was shielded by the wind. We got back from taking pictures around the canyon and as Tim, Andrew and I stode beside his bike, it tipped over. Only minor damage but still damage non the less. So our resident set of McGivor’s pulled out the tool box and had teh fairing taped, the broken right turn signal taped up, the front brake lever straigtened enough to use,.. and we were on our way through the desert at 36C and climbing up to 43C.

Road Kill Cafe for lunch: It was great rolling down a section of Route 66,.. and what it even better was a lunch stop at the Roadkill Cafe. The food and ambience were worth the ride.

Hoover Dam:
As we got close to Vegas we decided to stop and have a look at the Hoover Dam,.. an engineering marvel,.. and some great road to ride the bikes on. A quick stop for some pictures and 30 miles into Vegas – for our first night ride together. Good thing Mike G knew where we was going,.. we got us to Bally’s safe and sound – It is Corona’s all around for the team

Vegas baby:
Coming into from the desert, as the sun sets was stunning, but not as incredible as riding the strip on your motorcycle – man that was cool!! Tonight is Andrew’s stag,.. we of course are going to take it easy – NOT!!! We are in Vegas, what would you do?

Tomorrow morning we head to our final destination – San Diego California and Mike G and I will WIN our bet, “that we did not have the balls to ride to San Diego”. One sad note, Gene Girard will be heading home tomorrow, as planned. We cannot thank Gene enough for joining us on this adventure, wait to you see all the pictures that him and Jim took. Death Valley awaits un tomorrow – where it will be 42C tomorrow. We can’t wait.

 

Pikes Peak – we still cannot believe the ride !!!

Pikes Peak,.. need I say more (other than you really burn gas – with my bike anyway)

We just sat at around watching video footage of our accent (with chase vehicle follwoing closely behind),.. the video and pictures are amazing. At the 4 mile marker – it sinks in when the signs says that ”Pikes Peak is 1 miles above you”,.. not one mile away,.. it takes 19 more miles of meandering switchback roads up one side of the mountain,.. to finally get to the top of Pike’s Peak (1 mile above you).

There are some guard-rails, but for the most part,.. there is nothing. We will post some of the pictures as soon as possible and hopefully upload some video as well,.. it is nothing like the real thing,.. just ask one of support crew (Jim) who jumped on the back of Tim’s bike for the ride,.. just to catch some great video,.. by the time he got to the top we have sick,.. but the video was incredible.

Tomorrow is long day of steady riding to Winslow Arizona and then onto the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam,.. with maybe a much needed stop in Vegas,.. until tomorrow.

 

Where is Paxton NE

Who would have ever thought we would be in Paxton NE

The end of the third day found us in Paxton NE, after leaving Iowa City for our second full day of riding. The day was sunny and bright and the tempurature just kept getting hotter – 36 C when we pulled in at 9 pm tonight.

The winds were pretty tough to deal with,.. today. There was a lot of lane closures which means that you not only are dealing gusty cross winds that throwing the bikes across the lanes but also a lot of buffetting wind from trucks coming at your in the on-coming lanes. Everyone had to focused but in true ’never say die fashion’ the last 2 hours of riding turned out to the best of the evening.

Norm, Gene and Tim headed to sort out the hotel while Mike, Andrew, Tim and I sprinted the last couple hours from Kearney NE to Paxton NE. Cold beer and a couple of phone calls back home and we are good for the night.

Tomorrow we see the rockies and Pikes Peak,.. really looking forward for the climb. I think we are heading out very early tomorrow morning.

 

 

Test Run through the Desert

You can do 80 mph on parts of the stretch. It took us about 5.5 hours from hotel to airport. It was probably around 110-115°F.

As long as you have a full face helmet and something to drink, it isn’t so bad. If you flip your lid open to get some air, you’re quickly suffocated by the heat and when you put the lid back down, it feels like a/c.

I’m trying to find a shirt that keeps you cool. You basically soak it in water and then put it on. It absorbs the water and dissipates heat. The one site I’ve found they claim they have the patent. http://www.fros-t.com/Home_Page.html

I’m not sure you lads will enjoy a midday ride through the desert. The route is south of death valley, so it will be very hot in June. we might want to make a night run.
Andrew

Planning the Ride out

For the route down to San Diego, I spoke to my father-in-law Mike Ceci, who belongs to the Southern Cruisers in Niagara. Some of his friends have done the trip and their route book proved invaluable. The plan is to ride long on day one and get a good chunk completed.

The days riding plan will be to have a quick breakfast at the hotel in the morning, ride to the first gas stop and get a full breakfast. We will ride through and have lunch around 2 in the afternoon and then ride until 6. This would give give us the 7 to 9 hours of riding each day.   

Once through the mid-west (Nebraska) we will head up toward Denver and then down through the desert into Vegas where we will spend a day meeting up with friends. After Vegas we head to San Diego and the Navy shipyards.