“We do not take a trip, a trip takes us. “My Travels with Charlie, by John Steinbeck”
And on this motocamping riding adventure a California Highway motorcycle traffic officer now begins to offer us five Bike Bros some twisty road riding recommendations, tips and road riding advice, all while waiting for his 911 cyclist to arrive. Coach Kevin has his own version of the difference between an adventure and a vacation and we are definitely not on a vacation. The guy to me (the cop not the cyclist) was also the spitting image of Jon in CHIPS. Sort of like my riding companion Elvis.
A 70’s cop motorcycle buddy guys show that Mike and I used to watch premiered before Coach Kevin was born and David was still living in Israel. The show featured some serious cop adventure but, most was lighthearted comedic scenarios, all in the same episode, and sort of like this call.
Apparently, another motorist had thrown and struck him with a frozen water bottle while he rode helmetless on the 101 highway near Cambria and the Madonna Inn. Note: Had our “gun packing “ rodeo group witnessed the incident in question and given chase, I can guarantee you that we would’ve likely been pulled over for speeding, as no good deed generally ever goes unpunished.
The riding temperature was now a warm to toasty high and extremely dry 80’s. Honestly, if I could’ve gotten a hold of that frozen water bottle I would’ve sat right down by the highway and placed that frozen water right between my legs. Did I fail to mention to you guys that I don’t like my current riding pants?
Earlier in the morning we rode the length and breath of rattlesnake canyon in nearby Santa Barbara while it was only a toasty high 90’s. On our last night we stealth camped on a beautiful beach in San Luis Obispo sleeping under a billion star sky, while coach Kevin slept on his very own designed tent hammock swinging chair combo. The night time temperatures were now in the low 50’s. Apparently while also packing up the family kitchen sink and utensils he failed to pack the sleeping bag. That snore free night Elvis dreamt of UFO’s and alien superior creatures while David grappled with the speed of light! Earlier you should have heard these two grapple with demystifying the quantum physics jargon between our ability to only travel at the speed of light, worm holes and such. I now quote David: A wormhole is a speculative structure linking disparate points in spacetime, and is therefore based on a special solution of the Einstein field equations. More precisely it is a transcendental bijection of the spacetime continuum, an asymptotic projection of the Calabi–Yau manifold that manifests itself in Anti-de Sitter space. Got that? Good.
And yesterday, – we actually parked all our motorcycles in one parking space in the middle of cannery row and actually walked the entire length of Monterey’s legendary cannery row. And then we sat right down to our only meal of the entire day; a cold brew and cup of red chowder; and the night before?
Five of us set up our Motocamping tent kits in the patio of a Mexican restaurant in King City. At night the place sounded like a horror movie swamp scene where the sounds are louder than something like 100 decibels with the occasional Mexican trucks, music or barking dogs nearby adding some additional ambiance. A slurping high pitched turbine type sounds suddenly erupts. Could it be the soda pop machine in the place or worse – one of us?
Thank goodness that this was a beautifully well ventilated spot; especially after that delicious Mexican meal of everything from mariscos to fried chicken, all with a heavy dose of rice and beans and lime and mango margaritas. And if it were not; the place may have gone up like a volcanic eruption. I now ponder the thoughts of; If you farted while travelling at the speed of sound David; would you smell it before you heard it?
And did I mention the amazing wine country roads in the Monterey’s wine country region where we breathed in the scented air of a thousand scents while twisting our way on roads so suitable for motorcycle riding that my eyes nearly teared over. Or was that Coaches eyes? Yet, there’s still more to share, lots, lots more like for example the parking lot full of hooligans riding ancient BMW’s, and a Triumph. They were from LA riding North and we were on our way southbound on that highway, the one (1), the 101, the Kings Road, the El Camino Real, the Ventura Highway.………. These guys looked like they stepped out of the cover of a magazine photoshoot. Complete with skinny pants, vintage riding boots, a five day growth of beards and hair cut so and so. Why their helmets didn’t even phase or effect having helmet hair. Non of them knew the business end of a screwdriver yet they now needed our immediate help! The rear tire of the vintage Triumph motorcycle with fuel injection but, outwardly appearing twin carburetors was covered in oil that still spilled from the rear seat, filter and other parts. That’s what was so amazing about this ride. Nothing was predictable. We went with the flow. Coach set the group’s tempo, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. You need a break, hungry, thirsty, pack talk working right? Coach was mellowed to the point of totally complimenting his little motocamping riding group on every given opportunity. And that’s a good thing!
Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself.” – Harry
Still trying to put a smile on your face here. Understand! In the movie Dumb and Dumber. Harry and Lloyd are best friends that aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. That definitely doesn’t describe anyone in this group however, it makes for some interesting quotes like the following;
“Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talkin’ bout a little place called… As-pen.” – Lloyd
No, we didn’t do as we set out to do which was to ride and motocamp in the Pinnacles National Park. It was a whopping 100+ degrees this time of year- and in the shade. Can you now blame any of us?
“I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.” – Harry
Our daytime and night time temperature dropped – 54 degrees with a comfortable 70’ish to almost the very end, in Carmel our five man group received a personal tour at Talbots wineries motorcycle museum.
We also consumed a variety of everything from traditional clam chowder, mahi tacos, burritos, to sushi, tacos, and even fried chicken in a period of three days and two nights. 650 miles later everyone is safely back home. Im hopefully now assuming.
“According to the map, we’ve only gone 4 inches.” – Harry
Five participants out of a field of maybe fifteen invited, signed on, to ride, just one last motorcycle ride, in the extreme heat of summer, over the course of three days at the end of July 2021.
Why you might ask? Because we can, and California has such a varied landscape that one never knows what to expect until they hit the road. Before we started I coined it high heat riding in the central coast.
At about the same time, on a similar ride last year we experienced a high temperature of 115 degrees on the ride home. And underneath the helmet? Who knows. Maybe we incurred some subtle brain damage, hence our desire to do it once again.
And in the wonderful words of “America” the musical group, let me once again offer up their words to you:
“Where the days are longer,
The nights are stronger than moonshine.
Enough said! We all knew full well ahead of time that the daytime temperatures in July- will likely go from HOT to more HOT. This my friends is a riding group composed of “no whiners” except in the past when I offered up anything else like stopping to visit a museum, road monument or even a small hike.
I’ve since learned my lessons, if it doesn’t involve twisting the throttle, twisty roads or eating, then keep my comments to myself. And then all that changed on this ride. We all like the new Coach Kevin. Don’t change.
Kevin, our organizer and overall good guy is riding a new BMW GSA 1250. Kevin is truly one of the most passionate riders I know, outside of another Kevin that goes by GPSKEVIN.
I am not that passionate anymore. Boating used to be my passion, then I got one and filled that desire. Maybe that’s the way of life. I know I know. “You don’t stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding “ or how about “ If I’m riding, I’m happy”.
And if a better offer with A/C showed up would these guys still be here? Five of the fifteen or so invited showed.
Elvis is riding a GSA 1200 and to all of us he is the most loyal of confidants. Which if I may now be so bold as to say, in the words of Andrew Gold, Thank you for being a friend.
“Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant
I’m not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won’t you stand up and take a bow?”
This is how I feel now about everyone and everything. Especially my sweetheart at home who provides so much encouragement and support to go for it- and ride!
When the above riders you just read about ride – they ride.
All those words above you just read were tapped out with just one finger, and my finger is now tired.
David is riding what they call a Triumph Tiger 800. It’s an adventure motorcycle assembled In Bangkok, Thailand.
Mike is on an RT 1250, and yours truly is on a new BMW GSA 1250.
King City, California is the location for our food fest. We cannot travel without having one. It would be like Anthony Bourdain traveling to the Mexican border; an area that pits man against nature where nature usually wins. He finds a tough, inclusive and vibrant, struggling community that is now threatened by the border wall and Covid yet, he chooses to go on.
There must be something here to see, taste ir feel. Why else would they call it King City.
And in case you are interested King city also serves as the gateway and access point for nearby Pinnacles National Park, the Monterey County wine region, the Spanish mission and also the Randolph Hearst hunting ranch located at Fort Hunter Liggett.
Our little riding group now knows that we can safely stealth camp and that the best memories that we made this past three days were unplanned.
We plan on always, always overcoming however, sometimes we may fail and it will not be anybody’s fault.
It’s just life. And life is to be lived.
Yesterday was one of the greatest days of my life. Mary and I went skiing, we made a snowman, she touched my leg…” – Harry