April Showers: The Hitch in the Plans

The Spring Trip has definitely had it’s share of set backs this year. Almost all of them weather related. The first major one was the bridge on Highway One down by Big Sur being taken out by the winter storms. Also late and heavy snow has made riding the Angels Crest Highway impossible.

So I scrapped my original plans and waited for the rain to stop before trying to figure anything else out, because for a while it seemed like every week a different road was washed out or covered by a mudslide. I was hoping for a break in the rain, and while we’ve less rain we still haven’t really left the rainy season it seems.

I was left with dwindling options and just a couple of weeks before the trip I booked some campsites and penciled in some routes.

Well mother nature isn’t done dumping rain on California, which I after too many years of drought I suppose is a good thing. Just not for motorcycling. There is another storm coming to Northern California next week, the week we’re supposed to be motorcycling. Now if we’re lucky it will barely classify as a “storm” more like “normal weather” which for Northern California means rain. I’m just hoping it’s not enough to ruin roads and make us miserable.


So now I’m checking the weather at least five time a day and it’s changing almost that often, which means that I can’t really plan around it, I just have to wait and see. Hoping for the best…


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Look What I Did

Happy April Fools! Thanks as always for checking out the blog.

After 6000 miles on the Hyperstrada I came to realize that I was going to probably kill myself on it. It’s really more motorcycle than I need. I’m really not sure what I was thinking when I bought a 113hp bike. As some of my friends might say I needed to “check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

With that in mind I traded it in for this.

A Harley Sportster 48.

It’s amazing. Some might be surprised that it’s not another Ducati, but it’s still red and still a V-twin. It does everything* a motorcycle needs to do.

Not too fast, but still a motorcycle so it’s fast enough, and I look so badass on it.

*everything that is except go further than 100 miles on a tank of gas, carry luggage or another person. Happy April Fools day!

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Spring Trip 2017

The Spring Trip fell apart when the winter storms took out a certain bridge on Highway One. I’ve spent the last month or so trying to figure out what to do instead, made more difficult with the amount of snow and rain we’ve gotten, leaving very few good options. In a fit of desperation I came up with this last week and mailed it out to my friends.

The Plan
Saturday the 8th Everyone brings tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads to Menlo Park and help load the trailer.
Motorcyclists are responsible for carrying the rest of their own gear (clothes, etc.)

Sunday the 9th
Be at the San Bruno House (or starbucks?) by 6:30 AM
We Leave at 7AM

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four
And on the Fourth Day They Rested

Day Five
While they were resting on day Four they also planned a ride for Day Fiveā€¦

Day Six

Wish us luck. I’m hoping it doesn’t start raining a lot again…


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6000 Miles on the Hyperstrada

The other day coming home the Hyperstrada’s odometer ticked over 6000 miles. I found myself thinking that it was time do do a service… oh wait.

For the first 75,000 miles of ducati owner ship that’s what I did, every 6000 miles (or there about) I took it in and got the valves checked. It was surprisingly nice to get the 695 engine and bump that up to 7,500 miles. So you can imagine my delight now that I’m only a third of the way through my service interval. I will need to get an oil change soon, but not for another 3000 miles according to Ducati. (Which I’m being cautious with and sent my oil in to be tested last week)

I’m really looking forward to the next 12,000 miles until my first valve service. I’m sure it will be a bit more expensive since there are four valves per cylinder instead of two, but we’ll figure that out sometime near the one year anniversary of the bike ownership.


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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 , | 2 Comments

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.


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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!


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