2017: Looking back at a Year of Motorcycling

2017 was an amazing year. I put lots of miles on a new motorcycle. Went on a memorable trip in the spring. Rescued a friend from a Motorcycle crash. Then topped it off with a new addition to the family.

This sums up my 2017. Baby and the Motorcycle (including the damage from the crash).

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Merry Christmas: Motorcycles and Babies

Merry Christmas! I’m celebrating with Family and I hope you all are too.

Just a little update since it’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything. I’m still riding the Hyperstrada , in fact I just had two new tires put on it last week and had it’s first Desmo Service done since it’s got 19,000 miles on it now.

Soon, too soon however I’ll be having to drive the car more. The Blueberry of Doom will need a ride to Day Care, and despite my best efforts I can’t figure out a way to do that with the motorcycle. Well not one that a sane person would seriously consider. Which means my days of riding are coming to a big slow down. Probably for the next several years.

Which is a bit of a sad thought on such a joyous day.

It’s a good thing my beautiful little girl is worth it. Even though I’ll will really miss the motorcycling.

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Winter Solstice: I’m riding my motorcycle in the cold

Every year, with out fail since I started riding I’ve celebrated the Winter Solstice. Not because I’m especially in touch with nature, or any old primal religion, but because from here on out the days will start getting longer, and that makes me happy.

Riding in the dark and cold sucks, and I can’t wait to be warmer and enjoying this more. Being cold doesn’t suck enough for me to stop riding, it just makes it less fun sometimes. If at anytime I start to think it would be nicer in a warm car, all I need to do is drive in one for a little while to be reminded that no, it really isn’t that nice. Sure it’s warm, but it’s also boring… so very boring. I like feeling alive, and if it takes freezing my ass off riding to work in 35 degree weather so be it.

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One Year Ago: Ducati Hyperstrada

One year ago today I flew down to Los Angeles and bought a new Motorcycle. It was an amazing day.

In this past year I’ve put almost 18,000 miles on the Hyperstrada. It’s an amazing motorcycle and I’m really glad I timed the purchase of it correctly. Since I’m pretty sure with a new baby it will be hard to find money to buy another new motorcycle anytime soon.

This was one of the highlights of the year for sure.

I’m hoping to find time to talk about the good and the bad with the Hyperstrada now that I’ve had it for a year. I think I’ll wait until I do the 18,000 mile service. Paying for that I’m sure will make sure my head isn’t in the clouds.

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Now I’m Ready (for the Baby)

I’ve finally figured out how I’m going to survive the life changing  event of having my first child.

I’ll just take her everywhere I go on the Motorcycle.

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Honda Africa Twin: The Long Way Home

Good friends will help you move. Awesome friends buy new motorcycles and leave them in your garage to ride.

I happen to have an awesome friend. In fact he’s been bugging me for weeks (basically since he got it) to take it for a ride. Sadly with everything else in my life going on it took a while. (Plus my newish motorcycle is pretty amazing.)

However, last week I finally got it out of the garage and onto the streets, and I’m glad I did. The Honda Africa Twin is a fun motorcycle, and I’m pretty sure that if I was riding in Africa it would be the bike to take. It’s got the long suspension to handle the crappy roads and plenty of grunt to keep you out of  the way of the crazy drivers. Both of which Africa* has lots of. I enjoyed the ride height, and had fun playing with the DCT.

Though I have to say that early in the morning when it’s still dark, is not the time to try and figure out a new motorcycle. I had a bit of an adventure trying to get on to the freeway while somehow stuck in first gear. (I thought DCT would be a no brainer… apparently I was mistaken)


Since there is no way better for me to get the feel of a motorcycle than taking it on the Long Way Home, that’s what I did. The huge variety of different riding that “The Long Way Home”  has certainly gave me a sense of what I like and didn’t like about the bike.

Liked:
The lazy easy rider nature of the DCT, it was fun to just zip around town and the Highway and not worry about shifting.
The Ride Height is awesome, it’s great to see over traffic with a clear view of the road ahead of you.
Shifting in “manual” mode is fun. just use the paddles, which in some corners is much easier than using your foot.

Disliked:
The DCT on sporty roads is not good enough, even in the “sport” setting. You need to switch to manual.
It’s heavy and tall, which means it can be tough to move around the garage or any really slow situations.

Overall the bike is great. I’m not sure I’d buy one since it’s made for a type of riding that I just don’t see myself doing anytime soon/ever. The narrow front tire makes me a bit nervous in the twisty bits. I struggled to get comfortable with riding the bike at a fast pace. Part of this was just not knowing the bike well and also part of it was not wanting to crash my friends new motorcycle!

Now I really a BMW GS, (I wonder if one of my friends still has his?) and compare the two, since those bikes are definitely more direct competitors.

I think the best thing riding another new bike was that it just made me love mine more.

 

*Well my experience of Africa which is only Tanzania and Egypt.

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Last Ride Before the (Blueberry of) Doom Arrives

My little girl will be joining us soon, October 4th is the ETA, but we all know that is just a date that means very little, since it could come anytime now.

Knowing this I planned one last ride on the motorcycles with some friends. Originally I was hoping to do something a little crazy and longer, but the realities of planning with a good dose of procrastination meant that it was just a few of us who managed to meet up at a Starbucks at 7:30 Sunday Morning.

I couldn’t get the map to show the whole route, but this is most of what we did. Minus a detour around a bicycle race.

https://goo.gl/maps/9X3dZC4jZSK2

The heat and traffic made us head back earlier than we planned. We cut out a big loop of Pescadaro Road that we’ve done a few times and enjoy. Over all it was good to get out even though it wasn’t  something really crazy. (I really wanted to head north to Fort Bragg and do an epic 300-400 mile ride.)

Wish me luck with the new challange!


 

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