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Freeway or not?

November 30, 2009 2 comments

Let’s be clear, I have some foibles. One of them is that I don’t like heights. It used not to be a problem, I’d be happy as a clam on a suspension bridge, swinging away so that others lost their lunches.

But now, not so much. I’ve been told that hypnosis could solve that problem, and I’m sorely tempted to follow that up.

But, today it was Freeways. I headed over to J’s house on the motorcycle, the plan being to have lunch at that great Thai restaurant at the northern extent of India Street, after picking up Br., in Clairemont.

So we hurtled down I-15 and onto SR-163, to take SR-52 to I-5, and then off at Balboa Ave. Then we went south on I-5 to the north end of India Street.

All the while there were cars and trucks whizzing by at 85 mph, and all I want to do is get to my destination. Let’s be clear, I have no problem with the 85 mph, my problem is that these jerks seem to want to use their cages as ‘weapons’ to ‘nudge’ me out of their intended path.

It really is like that: folks in cars and trucks seem to want to sideline anyone on a motorcycle as if they don’t count. Can you say murderous?

So, on the way back, I took the surface streets. Balboa to Kearney Mesa and Black Mountain Road. Relative bliss.

Question to all you car and truck drivers out there: Do you realize how threatening your behavior is to motorcycle riders?

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Categories: motorcycles

Nice little ride – and Nessy Burgers!

November 8, 2009 Comments off

My pal Br. called me mid-evening yesterday, suggesting that we go for a motorcycle ride today (Sunday). He stipulated that i) we must visit Nessy Burgers for lunch, and ii) that he couldn’t tolerate the idea of suffering Bear Valley Parkway to get there.

I said that I’d email the gang to see whether we could get a few together. It slipped my mind until very late in the evening, and I didn’t expect anyone to turn up.

Except Jo. did. So the three of us set off up I-15 and up the western end of Highland Valley Road,  along Bandy Canyon Road to San Pasquale. Heading back west along SR-78 we noted a weird balloon releasing birds over the Wild Animal Park. It must be part of one of their ‘acts’, which seems odd as the title of the place gives not a single clue about animals being trained.

Just before intersecting with the dreaded Bear Valley Pkwy, we headed right on Citrus for some suburban cruising briefly picking up the road whose name may not be said.

The list of the roads: The whoops up to Lake Wohlford; squirrelly bits past Nates Butt Farm, Lilac and the inestimable Couser Canyon. Later we did Rice Canyon and then back all the way on old Highway 80.

Today, for the first time in a very long time, I knew ‘the flow’. This is when the machine and I seem to get along well and it seems to know what to do when I indicate what I want it to do. Mostly, it fights back, refusing to turn when I make the necessary movements to get it to turn, and I have to use brute force. But today, blissfully, we seemed to coalesce nicely.

Br. is trying (as is his wont) to sell the bennys of riding a Buell (in this case, a Ulysses). Jo. was the latest benefactor, and got to ride said Ulysses for a while, not taking a turn when he should have done, and taking all three of us to a ‘Road Ends Here’ moment. I’d ridden Br.’s prior Buell Lightning Long, but not the Ulysses, so having been offered the opportunity, I took it along some very unchallenging roads for about 5 miles. Here’s my opinion:

The riding position is very much ‘sit up’. My VFR ride is somewhat ‘lean forward’ even with the bar risers. That’s (the ‘sit-up’) not a problem, and is what you’d expect from a bike with trail pretensions (although, really, it’s a street bike). The suspension feels premium (like the way my bike feels after I spent $2,000 upgrading it). You feel the bumps, but they are well-controlled. I loved that. Handling is amazingly light for such a tall and heavy bike, and the engine is a torque monster – I wonder why they even bothered with a gearbox! I set off and after a minute or so getting used to where things were, I discovered I was doing 70mph without even thinking about it.  Niggles: the right frame member is very warm indeed – exactly where you’d put your right knee; the footpegs were vibrating quite irritatingly at said 70 mph and I’d like to ride it for an hour or so to determine whether that buzzing turns into foot numbness like my old Bandit 600 did; the stock windshield directed the wind straight into my helmet – making it noisy and buffety. Meh, that latter could be fixed by a shorter after-market shield. so it’s no biggy. The heat of the frame member might well be a deal-breaker; the footpeg vibration, mebbe too, but only after a longer evaluation. Either way, it’s moot. Buell is to be no more in a few weeks. (one minute silence for the bereaved)

….

So, to comment about Nessy Burgers. This place, situated right next to I-15 along SR-76, is insane. It’s a trailer. No phone. No website. No email. No restroom, even, you have to use the restrooms in the gas station next door (and the sodas in the gas station are way cheaper than those at Nessy’s. There, I’ve just saved you a buck. You’re welcome). You have to go there, to experience it for yourself; the Nessy Burger is awesome, the fries divine; the quantity – ridiculous. Br. and I have learned to share a Nessy Burger and fries to make sure that we don’t drop our mpg on the way home. We arrived at 11:30 and the business was fairly sparse. By the time our food arrived, 15 minutes later, there was a line about 30 feet long for food. Go Nessy’s!

Categories: eating, motorcycles

VFR 1200F – Hmm, Fugly

October 23, 2009 Comments off
the flying buffalo

the flying buffalo

Everything about this bike screams ‘wrong’ to me. Whether it’s the proportions of the front fairing, the silencer, the headlights or that messy mid section.

I think I’ll hang on to my 5th Gen VFR800, thanks.

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