Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Azusa Canyon

For weeks now, ever since talking with our neighbor, Jeremy, The Male has been itching to ride up to Azusa Canyon, in the San Gabriel Mountains. This past Saturday seemed like as good a day as any, so off we went.

I'm still not up to freeway riding, mainly because of the vibration at higher speeds. (More about that later.) So, that meant we had to get there via city streets. I wouldn't recommend it! It's grueling to ride that far with the traffic and the constant stop and go of the traffic signals.

It is a total of 41 miles from Long Beach to the reservoir where we turned around, and we went up the canyon road only about 5 miles. The views were lovely; we stopped at an overlook, looking down at the water. The only sounds were occasional cars and crotch rockets out for their zippy ride up the canyon.

We had a quick snack, I took some photos, and we headed back home.

A little ways into the ride back, my bike cut out starting out from a stop light (One of the 17,000 between here and there.) There were cars behind me, frustrated I'm sure at this woman who thinks she can ride a motorcycle. I got it going after the second try ---- whew!!!--- and I pulled into the first gas station I could find, a little shaken. We filled up the tank, and then when Doug started the ST, his battery was dead.

Oh, I prayed. He had mistakenly left the engine on while refueling my bike. We didn't panic, at least not too much, waited a bit, and Oh, Glory, it started up. We made it home without further mechanical incident.

Going down Beach Blvd. we were stopped at a light (sigh), with me just a bit off The Male's rear tire, when a big Harley pulled up next to me. I turned to get a look, and I see it's another woman! A very clean-cut, lipsticked, beanie-helmeted, jean-and-t-shirt biker chick! Really, she could have been a lawyer. She gave me a big smile and a nod and rode off into the sunset. I'm in the club now.

As for the vibration in my hands and feet, it seems that the new grips are just the ticket for my hands. I got a new pair of boots this week, too, and with their rubber soles, that should be much more comfortable. I have been wearing a pair of non-riding shortie boots I've had for years. Their hard soles don't dampen the vibration much. I'm hoping to convince The Male that a ride out the 22 to Cook's Corner is just the ticket for our next outing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Catching Up

Well, despite the lack of blog postings in the past weeks, I have been out and about.
We took a 51-mile journey from Long Beach around the Palos Verdes peninsula, via Pacific Coast Highway. It wasn't terrible! Actually, once we got off PCH and on to the road that circles Palos Verdes, it was a lovely ride. We had beautiful views of the ocean and Catalina Island. We took a break at a lookout point for a quick snack and to give my hands a break.
On the way home, we took the 110 for a few miles, until my hands went to sleep from the vibration. Yikes! We got off ASAP, and I killed the bike at the stop sign at the bottom of the off-ramp, due to my hands not functioning.
We got off on a little side street, I shook off the needles, and we got back on PCH for the rest of the way home.
Soon after, The Male ordered me a set of vibration-reduction hand grips, with a throttle rocker, a little platform that enables you to control speed by pressing it with your palm. I call them my "old-lady grips." Now, I'm just waiting for my new boots with the rubber soles, which will hopefully cut the vibration to my feet. That vibration at higher speeds is the main reason I am steering clear of the freeways for now.
And, then to continue the tradition of holiday rides, we went out on Memorial Day, too. Friends had invited us to their annual Memorial Day Pool Party and BBQ, the The Male decided we should ride there.
So, we packed up the saddle bags with clothes to change into (from riding gear) and our picnic food to share and barbecue, and bungee-strapped our folding lawn chairs to the ST's back seat. Which we discovered, isn't a good idea, as the chairs stuck out on either side of the bike in direct line with his rear view mirrors.
I tried to sneak in and out without drawing too much attention to the fact that we had ridden our bikes there. But, all that was thwarted as we were leaving and a friend made an announcement, " Hey, they're leaving; let's go watch."
I was just praying that if we dilly-dallied around long enough they would all go back inside, which almost succeeded. We had trouble getting our headsets synced, and all but three of my friends went back to the action. As soon as I started my bike, three heads popped up from behind a truck.
At least I didn't drop it on my way out...