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First off, I'd like to publicly thank Doug for making this trip much more convenient, than it could have been. About a year about, Brian kindly gave me his Ventura rack, free of charge. I can't recall what lead to it, but it was such a kind gesture by him. I was able to find a bag off ebay. I have to tell you, this is the best system for a bike like the Speed Triple. I could feel the bag behind me, but didn't notice the heft of it in the corners. I highly recommend them for a sportbike.

A few years back, I befriended a motorcycle cop through an odd set of circumstances. He is very much involved in the motorcycling community. So much, that his 50th birthday was held at The Rock Store, after hours. A year or so ago, he invited me for this trip, but I just didn't have enough time to get ready (two days). Fortunately, this year, I was able to make it.

The trip was held during the week so that there would be the least amount of traffic as possible, plus reasonable room rates. About 12 riders met at a Starbucks in Moorpark, California.

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Above are the early attendants. Turns out that it's a group of a couple moto cops, motorcycle journalists, motorcycle photographers, and enthusiasts. I was tied for the youngest and also the slowest by a smidge with one and by far, the rest. It was quite humbling to ride with this group. The bikes were a few Ducati Multistradas, a few BMW RTs, a BMW HP4, a 2001 FZ1, Aprilia RSV4, KTM 1290 and of course my "Speedie".

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We took off and headed to Ojai through a series of back roads and eventually the main route. We stopped there and gassed up where I had my first snafu. I have a keyless system that for whatever reason I couldn't get it to start. The others didn't notice or care and took off. I eventually got it started and while I knew that part of the route, one of them turned around and made sure that I was OK. We got separated from the group, which was not a big deal. However, he was concerned that they were waiting or not. So, we took off the route and found out from a bicyclist that he they passed him. He said "yeah, I saw three bikes going about 100 mph and the rest around 70 mph". We caught up with them at Pine Mountain.

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We took off from there and headed to Taft. That is where I really got behind. Not just in the twisties, but in the straights, they were traveling well over 100 mph.

At Taft, I overheard that one rider who is always late was asking for us to wait as he was close. He didn't make it to the initial meeting at Starbucks I discovered that there was some "bad blood" because they always wait for him and that some are "sick of his a$$". So that seemed to hasten the pace to leave and that is where the group split up. Some waited for the guy and the rest of us took off.

From Taft, we went to the 58 which is now my favorite road. I freaking LURVE that road. We took that all the way to the 229 which they called "Rossi's driveway". It's a two way road with no markings but lots of off camber, banked turns. But, it has some danger due to the deposits of gravel. That's where I was able to keep up because it didn't spook me too much. From there, we went to Atscadero and gassed up.

From here, I am not as clear of the roads taken and while I tried to use Google Maps to demonstrate the route, I've grown frustrated with it.

We took off to the coast and went north on the 1 and went a few miles to Old Creek. That road and another road that may as well be on a dirt bike eventually led to Cambria. There, the group reconvened. From there, we took off through Big Sur. I really liked that part of the 1, but damn, it if you mess up, you will likely die. There are sharp drop offs into the ocean and rocky shore. There were a lot of vacationers there and the official car is the convertible Mustang. No doubt, all rentals. Here, on this road, I was able to keep up, but if you don't pass with the group, you will get left behind with this group. Like I said, extremely fast, very competent riders, nuts too.

So, I gave up and just did my own pace. But, when I had some straight aways, I picked up the pace. Somewhere around Limekiln, I passed a CHP unit going the other way. He flashed his headlights, turned on the rear lights and pulled a U turn. I slowed my pace, about a mile after him following me, he pulled me over.

The conversation went something like this.

CHP - I pulled you over because you were going 90 mph. The speed limit is 55 mph
Me - I was going that fast? Are you sure?
CHP - Yes, I got you on radar.
Me- Oh
CHP - Are you trying to catch up to your friends?
Me- Uh yeah
CHP- Yeah, I saw them. I got them at 74 mph and while that was high, I let them go.
CHP- Do you have paperwork for this bike, including your license?
Me- Yes sir.
CHP- Is that one of those bikes that keeps the fuel in the frame?
Me- No sir, that's a Buell.
CHP- Do they still make them?
Me- I think so. Thinking "Get me the fack out of here"
CHP- OK sir, do you still live at this address?
Me- Yes
CHP - OK, I will be back.

Some pictures while waiting.

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I was being watched the whole freaking time by the young guy. I really wanted to say to him that if he can't tell that I'm a middle aged fat bald guy just having fun, he is going to have a really stressful career.

So, while waiting, I had the shame of being smiled at and smirked by the cars that I passed previously. And, I have to admit, I was a bit nervous as I was carrying a firearm at the time in my bag. If any of you know about my dealings with my relative who likes to do bad things and use my name, I was a bit worried that there would be a felony warrant or something and I'd be really screwed.

Fortunately, nothing surfaced and the officer came back and said that he is going to cut me a break. He says he is going to give me a ticket at 10 over instead of the real speed. He thanked me for not trying to run away. Really?????? So, he explained that he is most worried for my concern that there are vacationers that make U turns, there are rocks on the road, etc. He explained to me the process and set me free.

From there, I admit that I picked up some speed but after realizing that no matter what, I can't catch up. I took it easy in the straights and kept going. I caught up at the next stop which was south of Monterey. We gassed up and headed to the motel. We had a great evening of drinks and great food.

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The room was decent and a decent view.

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Some pics of the bikes

HP4

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RSV4

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This is the 61 year old "Chinaman" as he calls himself. The fastest of the group. At one point, I had a 10 minute lead on him... He passed me.

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Here is a picture of my rear tire. This is a Conti tour. I have used the bike mainly for commuting recently and you can see that it's time to change it. I will try something different next time.

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Despite the ticket, I enjoyed the trip. It was a first for me in many ways. The whole trip was 797.7 miles and as others said, it wasn't bad at all. I would definitely do it again and plan to next year. I had some self revelations on the trip as on some roads, I was alone catching up to the group. Some, I won't reveal here as it's personal. But, I do realize that I need to ride more and not just to work. Also, life is short and I need to clean up my act.

As for the group, like I said great group of guys. My complaint is that only a few knew the route. At one point, when I got behind some guy, he thought that he knew the route. Fortunately, I was listening. Otherwise, we would have been lost.Next year, if I'm invited, I will have the route ahead of time, and likely have a GPS.

Anyway, that's my trip. Going back was a bit shorter as some had to get back. My friend that invited me was in pain from a prior accident on duty. He was ready to get home, pop some pills and sleep. I was a bit sore, mainly my forearms and legs. But, not bad at all,
 

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Sounds like a hoot. Funny that the LEO's rode the fastest, but would be the first to write anyone else a ticket if they were on the clock.
 

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Most of my best trips involve a traffic stop of some degree, don't let it spoil the memory. Glad you had a good time.
 

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Good on you Kimaili....sounds like you had a great time, even if eventful.
 

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Thanks for the write up Ken. Would you happen to know anyone who would loan me a bike around may next year... I'm coming to visit.
 

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Fantastic write-up sir, love reading about trips in detail like that. If you've ever tripped a bike a before you can imagine yourself experiencing most of those things and how you were feeling. Trying to play catch up with people who ride faster than you like can be un-nerving for sure.

With my short two day trip this Thursday Friday I'm crossing my fingers I have one less encounter with the fuzz than you did......... they generally aren't kind to 29 year old "sport-bike" riders.
 

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The only thing I ever got from Doug was the crabs.

Glad you got over your initial doubts concerning long hours in the saddle. Sounds like a beautiful area to ride in.
 

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Nice one Cuz.
 

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Am I the only one that has enough of these LEO interactions that I make a copy of my registration and insurance and keep a copy in my jacket and wallet so I don't have to unpack the bike?
 

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I like the fumble around like an idiot method. LEO realizes I'm challenged and usually let's me slide.
 

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Thanks for reading and commenting folks. I wish I had taken more pictures and notes. The best part was that we all made it back in one piece. Although, I forgot to include that the guy with the FZ1 didn't ride back. He developed an oil leak somewhere on the way up. Still rode it like he stole it. But, the next morning, he went to buy more oil and the bike stopped running. Fortunately, one guy didn't ride up and so he had his truck. He still had a smile when we parted ways.
 

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Sounds like a hoot. Funny that the LEO's rode the fastest, but would be the first to write anyone else a ticket if they were on the clock.
Yeah, one of the cops, that owns the HP4 did the craziest things with passing and speed.
Thanks for the write up Ken. Would you happen to know anyone who would loan me a bike around may next year... I'm coming to visit.
You can borrow mine. I don't have an extra one. If you planning to come, we should plan up a ride.
Fantastic write-up sir, love reading about trips in detail like that. If you've ever tripped a bike a before you can imagine yourself experiencing most of those things and how you were feeling. Trying to play catch up with people who ride faster than you like can be un-nerving for sure.

With my short two day trip this Thursday Friday I'm crossing my fingers I have one less encounter with the fuzz than you did......... they generally aren't kind to 29 year old "sport-bike" riders.
Thank you sir. Enjoy the trip and do a write up.





it must be the rack...

Uncanny. It must be the rack.
Am I the only one that has enough of these LEO interactions that I make a copy of my registration and insurance and keep a copy in my jacket and wallet so I don't have to unpack the bike?
Good idea. Never thought of that. Luckily, I've have limited dealings with cops.
 

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Thanks for reading and commenting folks. I wish I had taken more pictures and notes. The best part was that we all made it back in one piece. Although, I forgot to include that the guy with the FZ1 didn't ride back. He developed an oil leak somewhere on the way up. Still rode it like he stole it. But, the next morning, he went to buy more oil and the bike stopped running. Fortunately, one guy didn't ride up and so he had his truck. He still had a smile when we parted ways.
An FZ1 with an oil leak?! :shocked:
 
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