Thursday, August 14, 2008

What an awesome theRide!

No, it’s not a typo, it’s the official name of the annual motorcycle ride a bunch of us do every year. And while it seems the group changes from year to year based on who can and can’t make it and whether or not there are any new people, it’s been pretty much the same core group for 4 years now.

This year, as in years past, we try to find roads we’ve not done and explore areas we’ve never been. The funny thing this year was, we were never more than a couple hours from home.
As a matter of fact on Friday, when we finally stopped for lunch, I called my wife and told her I was at Alice’s. Her first question was why it took us most of the day to get to a place 30 minutes from home……she just doesn’t understand….
We ended up Friday in Monterey, had dinner at what turned out to be a great little Italian restaurant and retired to the motel parking lot for cigars and Patron – I almost felt bad for the other people trying to sleep in the motel.

Saturday, we headed out. Our final goal for the day would be the Holiday Inn in Atascadero. Again, we took backroads and secondary roads which were wonderful. There was that one time coming up over the hill to find that the road made a hard left…..probably should have been going a little slower on that one.
Saturday night, after a swim and hot tub, was spent at Outlaws card room and restaurant which turned out to be much better than I expected. That will teach me to pre-judge. Other than a nice midnight hike looking for the lost penguin, it was a perfect day.
Here’s a tip. If you’re ever in Atascadero and want a tattoo, the parlor (yes, there’s only one) closes at 8pm, but there’s a pretty decent bar right next door so your walk won’t be a total waste.

Sunday, we headed out to explore the roads east of Atascadero with a goal of Ojai for lunch. The roads were fantastic, the weather was fantastic, the lunch was fantastic….pretty much a fantastic day. (ok, so I need some new adjectives) Hwy 33 is probably one of the nicer roads I’ve ever ridden. It was…........wait for it…................fantastic!!!
Sunday night, the group split, with some going back to Outlaws and others of us ordering in pizza and hanging out in the lobby of the motel watching the Olympics.

Monday, the last day of the ride was to be a fairly short day. We’d be taking Hwys 41, 46 and 25, to Hollister where we’d check out the Corbin factory and Wizards café for lunch.
The weather was much warmer, but the roads were great and traffic was pretty much non-existent. Ray and I went on ahead so we could get some photos of the others as they rode by.
It worked fine except that when he and I got back on our bikes to catch up, a Sheriff pulled out and followed us for about a half hour…..which obviously means we had to obey the speed limit…..not something we had really paid any attention to all weekend.
The Corbin factory was cool and lunch was good. Afterwards we said our goodbyes, promised we’d ride together more than once a year as we always do and headed our separate ways.

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