A Ride With Friends to Fort Ross

The Spring Ride is just around the corner, and just like last year I took the guys out on a ride to get them ready for putting some serious miles down in a day. However since I have a very new rider with us I decided that we would take it easy and only do a 200 mile trip.

The plan was extremely simple, ride up to Fort Ross along the coast on Highway One. It’s a section of road that I’ve ridden a fair amount, but it’s beautiful and there are some sections that are just amazing to ride.

The weather wasn’t looking perfect for us, there was a 50% chance of rain in the northernmost part of the trip. I decided to push on with the plan regardless. Risk the flip of the coin.

I planned for a reasonably early start, hoping to be on the road by 7:30AM, this didn’t quite work out but we were well on our way by eight.

The Sena’s made getting through the light traffic of San Francisco relatively easy. I was practicing letting my brother lead something I’m hoping will make the upcoming Spring Trip easier. With me in the back I don’t need to worry about any stragglers getting left behind. Also if I feel the need to pick up the pace I can just slow down and let some distance open up.

The traffic along the Panoramic Highway was fairly light and I did take advantage and let some distance grow a couple of times to enjoy the swooping corners. Most of the time heading north we just enjoyed being out on the motorcycles with friends not going particularly fast.

The best part of the trip is the 12 or so miles between Jenner and Fort Ross. The views are amazing as the road is twisty. I pulled over and got a picture that just barely captures the scenic beauty.

Once at Fort Ross we took a short break before turning around and heading back. I took the lead very briefly for the 12 miles back to Jenner, taking the opportunity to open it up a little bit and really enjoy the section of road. It was great.

We stopped in Jenner for an early lunch since I was starving. Unfortunately the cafe had limited seating indoors and it began to rain lightly. This made lunch a hurried and cramped affair.

The ride back started with it still raining and was somewhat unpleasant, but about a half hour away it stopped and we began to dry out. I was regretting eating so much at this point as I was a bit foggy with a full stomach. It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I forgot how much I hate riding after a big meal. I tend to get tired, and it’s not pleasant to ride in that state.

This feeling did eventually fade and the Panoramic Highway was lightly traveled once again, letting me to enjoy a lot of it. Traffic across the Golden Gate Bridge and in San Francisco was heavy and my brother made a few mistakes letting our new rider in the middle get too far back and causing us to be separated by lights. The Senas made this a relatively easy fix and eventually we made it safely home.

It was a great day on the motorcycles, one of the best group rides that I’ve done. I’m looking forward now to the Spring Trip!


Posted in Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles, New Rider, Riding | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MotoCynic on: How to Crash a New Motorcycle

As part of being a comprehensive blog I bring you my latest “How To”.

This one will be on how to crash your brand new motorcycle.

Now while not a sought after skill, it is something that some might find useful.

While I’m sure there are many ways that one could go about this, I can only accurately post on how I do it. Without fail I typically crash a new motorcycle within a few months of ownership. I guess it’s just something that I just need to do.

Enough of the emotional blah blah blah, let’s get down to it.

How do you crash a new motorcycle?

Turns out how you crash any motorcycle. In this case, going to fast for the road conditions. For the sake of being comprehensive I have lots of pictures that break it down. If you read the captions I’ll walk you through it.

Here’s the corner that did me in. In good conditions it’s a 20-25mph hairpin.

The bike came to a rest in the ditch about 10 feet from the first tree on the right.

I found these scratch marks on the pavement pointing at the end spot. So I began to follow them.

These are where they lead and are the deepest, where the bike first hit the ground. That is the center line there. I remember wobbling for a split second while I fought to regain control, for a short bit I thought I could save it.

You can clearly see the scratches. I ended up where they point, just behind the bicyclist.

At first I assumed it was the damp that caused the crash. These pictures are the next day (or the day after?) So road was a bit wetter.

Then I turned around and saw this… It’s as bad or worse than it looks. It’s a bumpy gravely mess, that was not nearly that bad a couple of weeks before, but with all the rain it was made into this.


Posted in Ducati, Hyperstrada, Life, Motocycling, Motorcycles, Riding | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Happy St. Patricks Day!

I’m wishing you all the luck of the Irish!

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day has always been a tradition in my Irish American family. Not in the traditional get too drunk to see straight way, but just another reason to celebrate life and Family.

The Hyperstrada despite being italian wanted to show her festive spirit!


Posted in Life | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The FrankenMonster Has a New Home

All good things come to an end.

My time with the amazing bike that is the FrankenMonster has ended. She has found a new owner that will cherish her and keep her on the road for a little longer at least and maybe much longer if we’re all lucky.

This has been harder than I expected it to be. I have a new amazing motorcycle ing the garage why would having the monster move on be so … emotional? In retrospect it’s obvious, selling the first motorcycle has to be tough, especially when you’ve been through as much as I have been with it.

Lucky for me it’s going to a person that will love it as much if not more than I have. FrankenMonster is going to be his first bike too, and while she’s not quite the bike she was in 2006 I think she’ll do well enough at getting him around.

It’s too bad she’s gone, she made a great foot rest.





Posted in Ducati, Ducati Monster 620, ducati monster 695, FrankenMonster 695, Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles | Tagged , | 2 Comments

New Motorcycle Makes Winter Longer

This winter has been the longest ever.

I’ve never been so sick of the cold and wet.

When I reached this point sometime in the middle of February I first blamed it on the insane amount of rain we’ve been getting. Then I realized that there was a more obvious reason for me to be so tired of the cold.

I bought a new motorcycle, and of course that makes me want to ride more which I have been doing. This means not only is this the wettest winter we’ve had in ages, it’s also the one I’ve ridden in more rain and cold than I have in years since I just “have” to ride.

Luckily it seems like the worst of it might be over, and I can finally enjoy the motorcycle again. Now if only they could fix all the roads quickly…

Posted in Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles, Riding | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Rubber For the Hyperstrada

The Hyperstrada has over 5000 miles on it, and the rear tire is done. I wasn’t surprised, maybe a little disappointed though. Motorcycle tires just don’t last long enough for the miles I do.

That tire is done.

When looking for a replacement I decided to go for the tried and true and somewhat budget option. The bridgestone BT-023s that I’ve done thousands of miles on with the monster, and haven’t let me down.

My brother’s bike was in the shop for a service and new tires as well. My bike kept it company for an hour or so.

As usual the guys at Nichols Sportbikes helped me out, I was almost glad of the excuse to go visit the shop. Though I hope with the new motorcycle I won’t be in quite as often. While I was there we also took a sample of my oil. Ducati insists that I don’t need to change it for another 4,000 miles, but to be safe we’ll have a lab look at it and see what they find.

I had no idea that this was a way to get oil out the engine.
Overall a pleasant way to spend a Saturday Morning.

Posted in Hyperstrada, Life, Motocycling, motorcycle, Motorcycles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daylight Savings: Comes Too Soon

As I rode to work this morning I got to see the sky lighten in the east and see the start of what was a nice sunrise.

I hate this time of year.


It’s been a long cold winter, and I’m sick of it all. Now I can see hints of spring, it’s warmer in the afternoon (though still bitterly cold in the morning) and as I’m going to work the sun is rising.

Then in a flash it’s gone.

Daylight savings time kicks in and throws me back into winter. I’ll be back to riding to work in the dark for another month and a half.

Like most people I have mixed feelings on Daylight savings. I get up early and it’s nice to have the sun shining by the time I’m heading to work (6AM), but at the same time the sun rising at 5AM in the summer does seem a bit insane. I just wish it started later and ended sooner. Early April to Early/Mid October would suit me better.


Posted in Life, Motocycling | Tagged , , | 3 Comments