This story is not just about riding a motorcycle with friends it’s about documenting today and what we did, saw , ate, and tasted. It’s about our freedom to ride and enjoy life the way that it ought to be enjoyed. No one in the world today has the freedoms that we do and continue to take for granted. Two out of the four of us now standing had parents that fled their countries because their way of life was forever changed by communism and a single dictator. Our parents brought us to America where we succeeded, prospered and are now living and enjoying life, just like others we see all around us.
Amongst other things I do, but most certainly above them all, I like to consider myself a motorcyclist. And on Sunday, were it not for my Bike Brothers, and most certainly one we affectionately refer to as Coach, aka Kevin, most of us may not have gotten out to ride. If you attempted to ride what we just did today, without the ability to split lanes; it would’ve taken you possibly three days.
For the uninformed riders of other states or car drivers; lane splitting is the art of riding a motorcycle between the lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic moving in the same direction. This allows riders to keep moving bypassing that traffic congestion, caused by a number of things, like a fender bender; it’s definitely allot safer for us motorcycles than stopping behind a stationary vehicle and breathing in their fumes.
On this Sunday morning, the second week of Russia unmercifully shelling the Ukrainian people for wanting and valuing their freedoms, I left home in 47 degree weather. Perfectly clear sunny skies all around and snow on the nearby Los Angeles mountains I passed by several places of people worshipping god in their own special ways before arriving at our planned meetup spot; a Chevron gas station on Philadelphia and the 60 freeway in the city of Ontario, and no, not Canada, but the one closest to Los Angeles.
Today, our plans call for riding to Malibu, California to enjoy the road twisties, Pacific Crest Highway, fresh oceans and mountains air and most definitely enjoying some great food.
Car people and other Harley or car collectors meet on Sunday mornings around the area for coffee at a nearby parking lot. We on the other hand like to do our meetup and then socialize on the go via our helmets intercom system (Packtalk) while riding. Four of us – Kevin on a new BMW ADVENTURE 1250 GSA; Elvis on a GSA 1200; Mel on a Ducati Monster and yours truly on a GSA 1250.
We ride towards the 210 Pasadena freeway and get off somewhere to another Chevron station to wait for Tiny on a Yamaha FZ cruiser and David on a KTM 1290. The six of us made quite a formidable force as we enjoyed to what amounted to as an eight hour day of motorcycle riding.
I wrote some of those above words while sitting curbside by my motorcycle. I need to once again break in my new set of tires; the fifth set in just over 30,000 miles of riding. My bikes oil was recently changed and the rear brakes replaced.
There’s three gas stations on the four intersection corners and the cheapest gas is probably at the 7 Eleven for $5.49 cents a gallon. The Chevron and Shell station are in direct competition with one another for the highest gas prices. Just like Covid cleared up the freeways recently I’m assuming now that gas station prices will have a similar effect.
Even though we ride at performance speeds most of our large motorcycles get about 42 miles per gallon. On the go we may discuss such diverse topics as the war in the Ukraine, the environment or possibly why we put up with California gas prices that are usually a dollar more than the rest of our 49 states. Could it be because we now have over 500 miles of freeways at our very disposal to ride without even leaving a three or four county wide area or the state? Could possibly some of that gas money go for road maintenance?
Talking to my Bike Bro Mel I also learned how he reversed his Type II diabetes by just changing his diet and eliminating all carbs. He Doctors prescribed him cholesterol medicine which he took for eight years before waking up to reality that our diet, or lack of a healthy one is what’s slowly killing us.
While riding canyon twisties around the old Topanga canyons in Malibu, David shared with the group where he and a group of BMW ADVENTURE GSA sized men and women were filmed competing in the television show, “The Biggest Losers”.
The show features obese or overweight contestants competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight relative to their initial weight. David didn’t win the cash but he can certainly ride his KTM 1290 like the wind. He lost 100 pounds in six weeks. At another beachside film location David told us about the group of “losers” frolicking in the sand while rolling caterpillar sized tractors tires in the sand and hiking up q nearby canyon.
You also need to remember that while we ride and talk there’s a whole world moving around us. While in Malibu one generally encounters insanely high budget transportation vehicles from Cobra cars to Lamborghinis to an insane amount of highly customized harleys at the Rock Shop.
We dined at the Reel Inn, in Malibu, California, where they serve exceptionally good seafood, amongst a relaxed atmosphere. The two couples in line ahead of us debated how to change the names of some of the Russian drinks now on the menu like the Moscow mule. Similar to how Americans decided to call French fries “freedom fries” in the early 2003, while the US of A was in the midst attempting to drum up worldwide support for a war with Iraq; France was known as the only dissenter.
We settled on FU Moscow.
And down PCH we traveled, eventually we joined the 405 freeways before heading to San Pedro, crossing the bridge towards Long Beach, then heading towards Huntington Beach before taking a road along the bay that more resembled a bikepath than an actually vehicular traffic road. We rode for what seemed like miles encountering cheerful pedestrians, runners, walkers and people pushing strollers. Finally we left that road without encountering any form of problems and once again the scenery was oceanside and high budget prosperity.
It’s easy now that we’re all fat, well fed and comfortable to take liberty for granted, and to misconstrue just how difficult it was to gain the American freedoms of 239 years ago. The Revolutionary War was the second-longest conflict in American history. 50,000 or so casualties on the American side, at a time when there were fewer than three million people were living in what was once a former British colony.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
God bless America and God Bless the Ukranian People!