Friends and rides

January 21, 2011

I rode back and got home around 11 PM. I was completely elated. What a good that that had been and all the learning and the friendship and the awesome moments… Ozzy asked me if Leo was OK and I said, yeah he’s great! And suddenly it came to me that I could not remember seeing my back pack… I realized that I had left my bag with my wallet, papers and… Leo back at Sam’s house.

Oh my. I decided right then to ride back in the morning. Thursday was going to be a big day and now it was going to be bigger with another 270 miles of riding. Some would think I did that on purpose…. I set up the clock, was up early and set out.

The day was glorious. Almost hot. I slid down the highway under the sun, the view around Temecula is really beautiful. Hills and mountains that are all greening right now. It’s hard to conceive that we are in the middle of January. The fact that the days are short and the leaves red and brown gives it away, otherwise it’s as nice as a Vancouver summer day…

I got to Sam’s quickly, got my bag and got to see some more work done on the guitar. Sam had already gotten the fret board, and the bridge on it. It’s really beautiful. I’ve never felt quite that way about any instrument. It’s so perfect, I know every nook and cranny on it, the color is just so gentle, I would say a gently smiling color… golden, almost white and all the accents make the top even more smiley.

I rode back down, got home, ate a quick bite and then hopped back on the bike for a meeting in Van Nuys to Taylormade racing. The reason is that there is a good possibility that I will play there for a get together of women motorcyclists and long distance travelers.

I had checked google map quickly seeing 210 to 405… no problems… but I got to the end of the 210 without having seen the 405. Damn… it was probably 210, 134 to 405… I figured I should go South on the I-5. I did then I stopped and had a look at the GPS. The 405 is actually a little ways down… Keep going.

I finally made it, later than I was supposed to but made it. I met Paul Taylor, who made us tea and chatted for a while. There are some photos around the office of fabulous race motorcycles, there is even a yellow Triumph right there in the office. It’s just gorgeous. We then went to see the possible venue, which is one of the workshops where they build the carbon fiber race motorcycle. We had a full visit, got to see work in progress and meet all the people who were working there. What an amazing thing. Here is the web site http://www.racetaylormade.com/

Out of someone’s mind comes these cool designs that then become motorcycle parts. Exhaust covers, fenders, and a full moto GP concept body… I love seeing the imagination at work.

Between the office and the workshops is another shop occupied by neon artist Michael Flechtner. I got to see some of the work, the workstation, which looks a bit like a mad scientist’s den. There are also guitars and amplifiers there… looks like a fun place. I was invited to come back and blow some glass. I for sure want to do that! You can check him out here http://www.flektro.com

We then went back to the office, agreed on doing the show shook hands and I headed back out. It was already getting dark, I meant to stop at the Passadena design and bead show where Melanie has a table, but the minutes were racing by, it was already almost 5 PM. By the time I got to Passadena it was 5:50 and the show ended at 6 PM. Too late for today… I was getting quite tired. The traffic was just incredibly dense, that meant lane splitting. I did not feel like it but the other option is to pretty much just sit there and go 6 MPH, stop, start… so splitting lanes I did.

I find that a bike becomes what you feel. I was so tired, the bike felt like a wet noodle. The painted lines seemed to pull my tires every which way the cracks in the cement were throwing me around, my arms were sore my neck tired from all the riding which had added up to close to 700 miles in the last 20 hours or so and I have not done that in a while.

I stopped at the Coffee Klatch for a good cup of espresso. Forrest showed up a while later, then Aaron stopped by after his work shift. We had a great time talking, telling stories and just sharing a good moment together. Good friends are the best thing in life…

Then when I got home and was treated to an awesome dinner and conversation and good times. I am so grateful for this gift of friendship. I don’t know that I have ever felt so “home” in my whole life. Wow. That day, from Sam and Jean to Steve to Forrest and Aaron then Melanie and Ozzy… It does not get any better.

Friday I did go to the Passadena Design and Bead Show.

I was amazed by the amount of shimmer and glitter. Beads, crystals, glass, shiny little nothings, beautiful creations, every artist bringing their personality to the jewelry, clothing, artwork. Some displays are so big and glittery that it’s too much to look at. I had not idea that such a parallel universe existed. Some live for the glittery beads.. There was some really great stuff. You will say that I am not partial and I am not but I keep finding that Melanie’s work is just blowing everybody else out of the water. Check her out at http://www.themagpie.com I spent a good 3 hours there, I could not resist and bought a dragon, was really tempted by a ring by Gatto but the $400 price tag was not something I could justify or afford. He has these rings with horses… and the bracelets.. One day… here is the web site http://wearartnow.com/

I rode back and thankfully I was much more rested than the previous day and did not experience any “discomfort” on the road.

Saturday morning, Ozzy offered to look at my bike’s suspension. I have been struggling with the height of the bike. It’s just slightly too big for me. On the road all is fine but when I have to park it and handle it, stop on uneven pavement it feels very distressing as the slightest dip in the pavement means that my feet don’t touch the ground and the bike being so top heavy starts quickly going down…

The rear shock was set up to carry two people, so we softened it up. I went out to try it and I realized that the stiffness had been an issue as it makes the bike feel like it’s “above” the road. the slight relaxation gave me maybe a half inch closer to the ground and that felt tons better.

Ozzy then offered to go for a ride. We went up Mount Baldy. This was the first time I took this beast on a twisty road. I’ll be honest, when I saw the curves and the grade I felt a pang of panic. This bike seems so big…

We did the climb in 3 sections. I gradually started to get a feel for the machine and was absolutely amazed at how pliable and maneuverable the bike was. So I went from clenched teeth to big grin. Up the mountain I had a “grubber” a huge, delicious burger with possibly the best onion rings I ever had.

On the way down we switched bikes and I got to ride Little Blue, Ozzy’s Buell and man, is that bike fun… I love Little Blue!

So, lots of riding lately. I’m getting more and more used to the BMW. It’s a great bike. With the weather warming up here I am starting to dream of nights sleeping under the moon and the stars, endless roads and wind. I know the rest of the continent is under snow and frost, but spring will come soon enough.

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