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Day 288– 22nd September 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on September 22, 2009

Tuesday – San Diego, California

A ride day revisited today, but by crikey it was hot!

There was no need to rush the morning but I was out of the house by about 8.30am or so. I only got as far as the closest parking area at the local servo because I remembered I had forgotten to adjust and realign the chain oil tube onto the rear sprocket. 😕

First stop after this and after negotiating peak hour traffic, was Poway Motorcycles where I picked up my fork seals and had my sag rechecked.

The good news was picking up the seals, the not so good news was that the sag was still way out of adjustment, Bill and Bud seemed to think I needed a heavier shock, but this one was supposed to be designed for my weight 😕 I would have to contact Eric at Elka Suspension to find out what is going on, but I would see what transpired during the day. It certainly felt better already, so what I had done was good.

When I had finished here I called Tom who I had bought the bike off, but I got message bank, so he would most likely be asleep or something, being a shift worker. I left a message for him to call me back and went up the road to fill up with fuel so I would have a full tank before heading off.

After this I headed east down into the valley for a while where at 10am the temperature had already hit over the hundred mark! It looked like it was going to be a corker today, so I better concentrate on fluid levels.

It may have been hot but the ride was enjoyable, I was taking it easy as I had had a lot of things off the bike recently and although I have confidence in my work, everyone makes mistakes. 😉

After the left turn towards Lake Henshaw the road started to rise which was nice because the temperature dropped a bit 🙂 It also started to twist and turn which was what I came to play on.

Those lines looked real nice and clean and then I found out why when I pulled up behind the line marker trucks.

They very kindly stopped spraying the yellow paint for a short period which allowed me through a dry gap and around them with no problems, new tyres wet paint, not a good combo!! I took the left turn along Mesa Grande road which was in a bit worse shape with lots of tar snakes all over it, but more importantly, this is on an Indian Reservation and there is a house on a corner where I had been warned to look out for gravel, thrown there by the house owner who hates bikers, also there would be beer cans, well it was not hard to find!! 😦

The location of this is indicated by the green arrow on the map at the top of the page and by the red circle on this zoomed in view.

In the first one above the red arrow points to some bits on a tree(nearly out of shot as I was concerned about being shot at!!!) these are motorcycle plastic pieces, obviously collected from crashed bikes at that corner. In the 2nd photo are all the beer cans, apparently the guy sits up there on weekends and drinks and throws them at bikers. I fail to see why the cops have done nothing about this, I guess they will wait until a fatality has occurred then belatedly do something. 😦

But there is probably more to the story than I know, anyway on with the ride, now we enter some of the shady tree areas where the light is bright and dim, but as I was by myself with no other traffic around, this was no problems at all and I was still taking it easy 🙂

As it was very hot I needed a break and stopped under a shady tree, here I saw what back home would be Antlion holes, they had the same shape, but I could not find an ant to try it out??? No ants, maybe they were all eaten around here 🙂

And the reason I am taking it easy amongst all these twisty roads is this front tyre, a TKC80 which although I know is good for traction, while it is brand new it is not as sticky as I would like it and of course it is not designed for these roads, but off road. The rear tyre is an ME880 Harley rated, and I have done the tail of the Dragon with one, so I know the back end will stick, but it still needs a bit of breaking in as well, hence today’s ride 🙂

The reason for the above combination is longevity. I know I have ran a TKC80 for 12,000 miles back home in OZ and hope to do the same here, the same with the rear ME880, I have done 12,000 miles on one of these here in the states, so hopefully both tyres will get me down to the tip and back up to a place maybe in Argentina or Brazil where I can get some new ones, both at the same time. 🙂

Just up the road was the turnoff to Palomar Mtn where the observatory was, the small road up was called the south grade and was full of beyond 180 ° bends, more like oxbow bends, anyway, the first few were a learning curve as they just kept on going and going and by the way, look out for cows as well as the road edge 🙂

I stopped at a look out for a look 🙂

Then I headed up beyond the 5000ft mark to the turn off to the observatory, this was more fun 🙂

Now, because I enjoyed the ride up I decided to go do it again, this way I could scrub the tyres a different way, well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it 😆

Once back at the bottom, well I had to get back to the top, so I went back up a little bit more radical this time, but was still careful about the front end slide. I turned left at the top and found a small place where I thought I could get a nice feed, but they are closed Tuesday’s 😦

But, the shop next door had a nukable pizza thing which actually turned out to taste quite nice, that and a packet of chips was lunch 🙂

Meanwhile, next to me was a couple of rubbish bins where there was a mob, group, clutch??? Something of bees, not a swarm, only about 10 or so, they were trying to get into the bin, well, this little spider managed to snaffle one, I tried the macro function on the camera, but they did not turn out all that well.

The bee was not buzzing happy I can tell you that! After this break I went up to the observatory where there was a nice shady spot, mainly to adjust my map and check the next junction I needed to turn at. I thought about going in but I have seen big telescopes before back home. These two couples were just getting back on the road, the lady in black mentioned to her rider ‘where is the aircon on this thing’, well if she covered up a bit, maybe she would not get sunburn for a start!!!

After that I headed off down the east grade which also had some nice lookouts and great views of the valley below 🙂

While at the lookout I chatted with the riders I had just seen before, they mentioned how hot I must be in all that gear and I agreed. But, I then went on and mentioned the fact of Sandiegoland’s little incident and how, without a jacket, he would have been road rashed and also the fact he wore a full face helmet(unlike them) which saved his chin and nose turning into mince meat!! On that note I left, maybe the girls will think about it a bit more, maybe not, I stopped at a memorial to a local fire fighter who was protecting the area and paid the ultimate price 😦 They picked a nice place for it though.

I left and powered into some nice twisties, the tyre should be good by now, I hope 🙂 It was fun until I came around a corner and spotted a turkey vulture/buzzard in the road chewin on some protein 🙂

I tried to get a bit closer but he was wary of me and just kept me in view before circling round back to the road snack 🙂

He is not exactly centred in frame, but I was into a corner by now 🙂 Just down the road a bit I headed downhill towards the lake where there was a nice look out and some great views.

Then it was back down Mesa Grande road again, just for the fun of it, past the idiot’s house, although that is too good a name for him and back up against the line marker, but they were just picking up the cones this time and doing the white edge line.

After this I just had to keep an eye on the road markers and follow the highway numbers highlighted on my map through Santa Ysabela, then to Julian via Wynola road.

This road I was lucky to remember, I had stopped because I was behind some slow cars and saw the sign, then I remembered Craig had mentioned this side track, so that worked out OK, or so I thought at the time. My mind was thinking of different things along here, especially a return phone call from Tom would be nice, but I had no service, but I was also thinking of heading south and how to do it without the correct paperwork. The road through here was great though and there were some nice technical corners, so with good music and good roads, it was fun 🙂

But, a momentary lapse of concentration and the lack of a ‘bad corner’ sign made me run too wide into a hairpin curve, lucky for me no cars were coming as I trailed the rear brake a bit hard which caused the back end to step out on the slippery yellow centre line. The corner was wider than normal because of a driveway so that was good 🙂 I did go and do a U turn and take a photo of the skid marks in that area, not all of them are mine, so a few other people had been caught out here before me 😉

Needless to say, I paid a lot more attention to the road after this, I was not going fast but just the surprise turn caught me out. Just up the road from here was a lookout over the desert below, it looked hot and dry down there!

I rode some more winding roads but I was getting a bit fatigued, just the heat was a killer, still up in the hundreds and although I was drinking heaps of water, it still takes it out of you, so I kept stopping in shady spots for a few minutes as I was not in any particular hurry after all 🙂

I had enough time to take the long way back so I did, this just took me along some more of the same type of roads, just different terrain, with lots of boulders starting to appear.

Once back amongst the traffic I realised I was a bit early, both Lisa and Craig were at work, so I found a nice place to pull up in a shady spot, bought a cold drink and a snack and sat down and read a book for a while to relax and cool down 🙂

I called Tom again and this time got a response, he had got my message but was waiting until he finished work to call me back. We discussed a few things, the main issue was rego, he could not advise me on that as he is a copper not a DMV person, but he could and did pull my plates and the bike had been flagged due to an insurance issue, but was OK to ride. I would have to visit the DMV and try to transfer the rego and hopefully my being an Auzzie would have no bearing on the matter.

Anyway, that solved nothing so I headed back to the house where I managed to convince Lisa she could water the plants the Auzzie way which she was happy to do and so I filled her right hand with a beer 🙂

Another great evening just chatting after dinner, a few beers for me, Craig was on drugs so he declined, the wuss, but I managed to get another day updated on the blog. 🙂 I crashed the usual time, late evening, but Craig had advised if I needed to do the DMV experience, I would be best being there around 8.30 for a 9am open and stand in line and be prepared to wait! He seemed to think I was in for a new thing, but our transport department back home is just as slow, so I would take a book and hope for the best 🙂 That was all I had planned for tomorrow, but it was essential I had the rego in my name, not for Mexico, but for further south.

Day 216 miles and 348 km
Trip – 37,581 miles and 60,481 km



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10 Responses to “Day 288– 22nd September 09”

  1. Bob Sullivan said

    FWIW although the photo is a bit fuzzy, the spider appears to be a Black Widow (red hourglass on bottom); mildly poisonous and quite common. Secondly the scavenger bird is a Turkey Vulture, sometimes called a wobbly for its unstable flight, also common here, as is its cousin the Black Vulture (shorter tail, dark head).

    • Hi there and thanks for the ID, a Black Widow eh, I know it did have a red design on it, a bit like our Red Back at home.

      Ahh. a Turkey Vulture, I had mixed up the names, thanks

      Cheers TS

  2. ybg said

    While your on the subject of bugs, the gaggle of bees are actually yellow jackets (wasps). They are after the sugar in the garbage pail. They normally feed on plant nectar, but like bears, the garbage pail is easier. They seem to get a little dopy in the heat. If you come across their hive, walk away, they do defend it fiercely, and unlike bees, they sting multiple times, before you can swat at them. Nasty things to get hit with when you’re riding as well. Keep your collar button closed. It feels like you’ve been shot, then the little bugger falls under your shirt and stings your belly button. Try stopping on a highway, while ripping your jacket and shirt open, while down shifting, etc, etc.

    The skid marks on that corner look like you are not the only one to get out of shape.

    And, those wallybags, so far, seem to be holding up. They seemed to have survived the “getting out of shape test”.

    ça roule,


    • Hi

      I have been bugged by them ‘yellow jackets’ many times, they seem to love the bike, especially the remains of other ‘friends’ stuck to the windscreen, so it is good to know their name finally 🙂

      I have never been stung by one though yet, fingers crossed 🙂

      I have been hit in the face twice that I recall, both tines they hit me in the sunglasses, then they fell down into my helmet and later crawled back up. That is the scariest thing, a bee(wasp) sitting on the edge of the helmet while travelling 70mph, I very quickly pull over and let them out 🙂

      The bags are doing fine, I have not had many corrugations though, that will be the real test, because then the hook may pull away from the inside backing board. We shall see

      Cheers TS

  3. Beastie said

    been trying to get around the Itunes saving a playlist problem once it has been jumbled, You wanted IT to continue on with that same playlist when you came back to it. Everything is fine until you quit itunes then it RE-JUMBLES which is what you where commenting on over at poor reds. I can’t get it to save the jumbled list “as is” once you’ve begun playing from it once you’ve turned it off. So there-fore you have the same song come ’round again. I’m still working on it though. My best fix so far is to divide your collection into 365 files (assuming a year of travel) then next listen will be from the NEXT days file number. get it? NO REPEATS however what a PITA (as you are known for saying).

    • Hi Beastie

      That all sounds fine what your say, but I am not sure it fixes the problem

      On another point, I was shown how to use ‘Magic” which made up a playlist, that sounded like a real nice idea, I could make up a 100 song playlist for each day of the week, and I did for two days,

      But, I cannot see these on my iPod, even after Sync, which is very disapointing

      Anyway, I still have music, that is the main thing

      Cheers TS

  4. Beastie said

    m’fraid you’ll have to start drinkin’ coors LITE to fix that rear sag mate.
    as I’m well aware mesef.

    • hahahaha

      rear sag, brewers droop and man boobs, what else has nature in store for us males? I mean, besides the fact all my hair now grows out of my arse, my nose and ears rather than the top of my head where it belongs!

  5. ybg said

    So when is the big day? We’re all a pins and needles.


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