When I initially had the thought of buying a motorcycle 400 miles away all I could think of was all the twisty roads I could fit in on the way home. Reality of course made things more complicated.
The biggest hurdle was getting down to LA and to the dealership without it wasting all the money I was saving. Luckily I have some great friends and family.
The plan was to fly down the night before, stay with family then get to the dealership first thing the next morning. This plan worked… mostly, I made one mistake which was trying to fly on a buddy pass through a friend who works for an airline. The flights filled up and I was left stressing with no flight the evening before. With no good options left I bit the bullet and got a flight for super early the morning of.
Thanks to family I did have a ride from the airport to dealer. Even better we had time to get coffee and catch up for a little. It was really nice to see family, which made me regret not getting down to LA more often.
The whole dealership experience is something that I might explore in another blog. For now I’ll leave it saying that the dealership stuff went pretty smoothly, though it took a little longer than I would have liked.
I was on the road by 11:30, and the adventure began. I’ve heard about LA traffic and I was hoping that by avoiding rush hour or really anything close to I might avoid it.
That ended up being a futile hope, the traffic wasn’t horrible, but I was hoping to avoid lane splitting until I was more than 10 miles along, no such luck. It did help make sure I was moving up and down through the gearbox and revs making sure it was broken in properly. Traffic was on and off for most of the ride from Brea to Ventura. This put me behind but I really wasn’t worried too much about it, I was just having fun on the new bike.
It wasn’t until I was splitting lanes through Santa Barbara that I realized that I was eventually going to run out of sunlight. The change from Daylight Savings was still recent and I hadn’t really thought about how early the sun was going to set. Not willing to push too hard meant just resigning myself to what ever happened.
The coast was pretty, and as I turned inland slightly past Santa Barbara I
Which meant sadly getting to San Simeon just as the sun was setting. Which meant riding the really epic bit of coast in the dark.
Good news is that my high beams seem to be good, bad news is that it’s hard to enjoy scenic road when it’s dark and foggy. Still the road was interesting and challenging which was fun despite the cold.
By the time I got to civilization again I was definitely ready for a break. I’d been riding stopping only for gas and water for seven hours. So as soon as I got to Carmel I stopped, ordered a hot drink, called the lovely wife and warmed up for over half an hour. While this greatly delayed my arrival home it helped assure a safe last leg of the trip.
The rest of the road was very familiar, which was nice since it had been a long day and I was glad to be able to really focus on the bike and less on the roads. No surprises, just getting miles under the tires.
Overall it wasn’t a bad way to spend your first day on a motorcycle, ten hours and 493 miles later.