Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 5 - Attitudes, roads and visits.

First, let me just say this... I'm in freakin' California on my motorcycle! I'm an Eastie... how cool is that?

Interesting day. Wayne's friend Roger met us at our motel and escorted us to Alice's Restaurant, up a road that had more hairpins than Grandmama's blue hair bun with her best Sunday fittin'. The road would have been completely and utterly awesome if the paving didn't suck. I had an OK ride up there, but kinda blew two super-tight, slow-speed right handers. I was just afraid to lean that pig over any more. The chicken strips on my tires are crazy thin compared to what you would expect on a bike like that. Crazy

Roger is clearly a talented rider; definitely a fast and competent rider. He's also a very conscientious ride leader. He takes breaks to tell people about the roads we'll experience, etc. But... Roger is also either insane or crazy - not sure which. Wow, can that guy ride. Absolutely fearless and handles his bike well. Goes like the dickens. Blazing! Rock on, Roger. Absolutely intense. I'm a sissy in comparison.

This is, of course, Alice's Restaurant. If you look closely at the picture, the sign might give it away.

Sporting lineup

Roger's talking about the area while Wayne and Adrian listen in

We sat a bit and had a normal breakfast while talking. Roger talked a bit about the roads and destinations, weather, time it would take, etc. He had quite a tour lined up and really knows a lot about the areas we were going on the trip. His tour seemed promising... A nice mix of roads, including some highway to get us to places, some technical stuff and some scenic sweepers.

Even Gumby (dambit) is getting in on the action

We finished up breakfast and our waitress agreed to join the group picture. She's moving East to Virginia for school, so she was happy to see some friendly East Coast faces.

Brian was MIA while shopping for souvenirs and Bob decided to take the day off and play tourist in San Fran

Next was a ride along the coast for a little ways. Some fun roads getting to the coast. At a ride-break, Keith called Dale Walker (Holeshot Performance) and arranged for a visit. Dale makes the Holeshot mufflers for bikes, as well as other dress-up and performance parts for Japanese motorcycles.

It's the Pacific Coast - OF COURSE I'm going to take pictures

I have seriously got to wash this bike soon. Yuck! This exceeds even my lack of standards!

Roger took us up to the Redwoods at the national park. We took some pictures while people took a breather from the ride up. Roger led us a spirited pace up a road that just kept getting twistier and twistier. He then gave a quick ad-hoc lecture on the redwoods and sequoias. Great stuff!

Roger playing tour guide and park ranger explaining about the redwood trees

That is one seriously little man. No wait... I meant that is one seriously big tree. The size of those trees is amazing. And they just keep going up and up and up and...

History is cool. It's rather humbling to see that there are things alive on this planet that have witnessed some of History's most amazing moments across a millenia

That is really, really high


Eventually we left the redwood park and made our way to Dale Walker's shop. He's got a fantastic piece of property nestled in behind a strawberry field farm. He has some of the manufacturing equipment and all the assembly work is done on premises. While we were there, Dale gave us the whole tour, including early information on some new pieces he's releasing.

Dale is explaining the assembly process of the mufflers

Dale then took us inside to show us various products in their life cycle. Raw stock, polishing, cutting, etc.

It's round. And silver.

This one is really expensive. Don't drop it. Really.

Dale actually treated us to something of an exclusive. These are the first photos released for public viewing of the new header he's making for the Gen-2 FZ1. Dale gave me permission to take the shots and post them on the forums. Let all your Gen-2 owning friends that a new header is going to be released soon that will, along with tuning, help get the Gen-2 FZ1 to about 135 horses at the whee.

Dale showing off the new header for the Gen-2 FZ1

Dale showing off the new header for the Gen-2 FZ1

4 into 2 into 1

No internal welds means a cleaner flow of air

Another of the products Dale is releasing is a restrictor/baffle assembly that goes into the rear spout of his pipes. While it may rob a couple of ponies from the top end of the power band, it significantly reduces noise levels.

This new restrictor/baffle will be available for the old-style and the new-style Holeshot mufflers

Adrian stuck around at Dale's shop and purchased new Holeshots for his FJR, and Dale installed them for him. The rest of us stuck out to head back to the motel and get cleaned up for a dinner meeting. Roger took us on a route that included Old Santa Cruz Highway. Wow! What a road. I know I've said that every day on this trip, but man... the number of great roads is just mind blowing. Old Santa Cruz Highway is just a non-stop assault of 90-degree turns, left and right that allows for clean lines, a good pace and OODLES of grins in the helmet. What a fun road.

We then met Eric (Desmo from the FZ1 forum) and Roger (QuietRider, also from the FZ1 forum) and Keith's cousin for dinner at a local Palo Alto Mexican restaurant. Wayne joined us after dinner for socializing and drinks, and he and Brian mixed it up a little regarding the route. Later, Wayne and Adrian mixed it up a little. Bob and I had a few words to each other on day-1. I'd love to say that it was all just because we were tired and hot and just getting on each others' nerves. And I'm sure that was part of it... But honestly, I think it's just that each of us is looking for a little something on this trip that others may not be. And that's ok. The trick is, like all things in life, reasonable compromise. We're all still friends, and things were smoothed over quickly enough. But there for a bit, it was looking like the group was going to break up into smaller groups and head off to do different things. It's good that didn't happen. The more personalities there are in the kitchen, the less cooking gets done.

All in all it was a pretty good day. There was some great riding and a few minutes here and there of personality clashing. Life goes on and everything's fine again.

And, as always, the route...


instygator said...

This Bob character must be a real jerk, I can't even imagine someone having a personality conflict with you. ;)

chornbe said...

LMFAO. Nice!

magi said...

All sport's bike is very nice....