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December 2, 2005

Thanksgiving Roadtrip to Los Angeles

IMG_1893.JPG, originally uploaded by Burnszilla.

Sharon and I left Wednesday morning for Santa Barbara on the motorcycle. Our goal was to take California roads that we've never been on before. Sharon was sporting her new First Gear Kilimanjaro riding outfit. This was our first trip using the Autocom communication system I installed under the seat and in our helmets. It's a voice activated radio with inputs for the iPod, cell phone, FRS radio, or radar detector. It worked great as we rode we talked about things and I even gave motorcycle lessons by explaining everything I was doing with the bike. On the way back we used the FRS radio to talk to Murray on the way home. Peter has the same unit too, but he of course forgot to buy the Motorola FRS radio adapter. We took all the back roads that run along the sides of the 101 south. We saw a rode on the map that cut across to Morro Bay so we took it. Santa Rita Road turned out to be a dirt road for 15 miles. We took our time and popped out in Morro Bay and then made our way to the Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe. A friend of mine recommended it. When we arrived just before 3pm the waiter said if you just wait fifteen more minutes you can have your steak cooked on the barbeque rather than the grill. We waited and were rewarded with the best steak of my life. This area in California is notorious for its traditional barbeque using red oak flames. Unbelieveable taste! We jumped back on the bike and headed down Foxen Valley Road to the San Marcos Pass which shot us right into Santa Barbara where we stayed for the night. This was our first time spending time downtown Santa Barbara. It was like downtown Palo Alto on steriods. Store, restaurant, store, restaurant. We had a few margaritas and hit the hay at 11pm.

In the morning we rode out towards Ojai passing Lake Casitas and then taking highway 23 into Los Angeles. We rode the traffic-jammed 405 to Redondo Beach where we had Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin's home. After dinner at 9pm we rode to the mountain tops of Malibu to stay at our friends' Christina and Dean.

In the morning Christina took us shopping and to lunch at Tony Taverna's in Malibu. Friday evening we hooked up with Davidson, Drew, Jackie, Robert, Suzanne and our friends from the Bay Area who rode down the day after us, Peter, Anne and Murray. A light dinner at Urth Cafe and drinks afterwards at the popular Modrian Hotel's Skybar. Beds were scattered around the outdoor pool area as we lounged talking to cute strangers.

Saturday morning Sharon and I took Mulholland Drive to the famous Rock Store motorcycle restaurant/pitstop. Jay Leno and Arnold supposedly drop by all the time with their toys. Peter, Anne and Murray showed up later. They were late because they where helping a woman Hardley-Ableson rider pick up her bike after she layed it down. We had lunch and headed to San Luis Obispo. We travelled along highway 23 again, then up the 33 to the 166. We stopped prior to the 5100 foot summit to put on another layer of clothing as the temperature had dropped to about 40 degrees. In cold weather Sharon and I always wear electrically heated clothing to keep us warm. With electrics you only have to wear one or two layers underneath it to keep warm. This way you don't look like the Michelin man. I have a Gerbing's jacket that plugs into a power socket that has a temperature controller that is permanently mounted in the faring of my K75S. Sharon's Widder vest plugs into another power socket that is always on. She has and on/off switch on the power cable that she can control as we ride. It was windy and there was a tree down on the road. We arrived in SLO at 6pm and checked into our motel. Showered up, we downed two bottle of wine in the hotel room and walked a few blocks downtown for dinner. We had a spectacular Italian dinner in the back courtyard of this restaurant that I can't remember the name of. Afterwards we attended the local pub for drinks. I had bourbon and made quick friends with the solo musician, Louie Ortega, playing that evening.

In the morning we got a slow start, had breakfast and ended up at Justin Vineyards in the Edna Valley just east of Paso Robles. We also stopped for an olive oil tasting too. The olive oil you buy at the grocery store does not compare to the flavorful stuff that this place made. After moaping around Justin for a while we got back on the bikes and heading up the G14 to G17 on the west side of the 101 and headed home. We got home around 7pm. All in all it was a great, safe and successful ride.

Trip photos here.

Posted by stephen at December 2, 2005 6:27 PM


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