Wishin on a Ride

My week started out badly! It was so bad , it began last week that’s how bad this week is.
On my way home from my last run (work run, not fun run) my truck broke down on Friday, about two hours from the yard. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, trucks break down. The thing is I just got it back from the shop and they had it for three weeks and it’s the same problem.
Usually, on a good week I get home Thursday night and get back on the road early, butt crack of dawn early, Sunday morning.
The weekend before I took Sunday off because my beautiful niece graduated from Cal Poly. So I started the run on Monday, there fore I was hauling ass to get home on Friday. Just over Donner Summit CA, I blew a cylinder and had to call for a hook (trucker slang for a tow truck). I’m not sure if its the same cylinder, but I am sure it’s a cylinder that blew this time as well. So this is why I am having a crap week this week.
In long haul, your weeks are tied together with your log books and each week affects the next.
With the break down I knew I had to get a rental. The rental I ended up with is a total PILE. It took me three hours to clean it and I insisted on them providing a new mattress before I would accept it.
Have I ever mentioned, I’m not a typical Truck Driver??
I’m a neat freak, I have a “no shoe” rule in my truck, I’m a non-smoker, I shower daily and I have all my teeth.
No offense truckers!
In the middle of cleaning and disinfecting the truck, while running it for the air conditioner and On my hundredth trip to the trash can with the last persons left behind half eaten food containers, I noticed fluid under the truck.
All I was thinking was you have got to be F-ing kidding me, I just spent three hours cleaning this truck and they’re going to put me in another truck when this one has been detailed.

I think I almost cried! Then I heard Tom Hanks voice and it sad “There’s no crying in Truck Driving!”. So I pulled my big girl panties up and I yelled at the mechanic.

I finally got on the road at 4:30 pm on Monday to start the longest run our company has, Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

My first drop is in Kelowna BC Canada. Usually, when I go to Alberta, it’s Calgary and all the drops are Calgary on the same day.

With this run, the drops have several hundred miles between each drop. Which is great for my pocket book, but sucks when you’re driving a PILE.

This is compounded with hundreds of bikes on the road (Lucky Bastards, I’m so jealous).

The scenery is absolutely breath taking! It reminds me of Hawaii, the dark lush vegetation and steep jagged mountains.
I so wish I was Riding my Jewel on this run.

 

Continue reading “Wishin on a Ride”

Helmet’s

I remember when the helmet law came into effect in California. Effective January 1, 1992, VC Section 27803, it is mandatory for any rider or passenger of a motorcycle to wear a DOT approved helmet.

 

My dad was up in arms, he said “It’s bullshit the Government forcing him to wear a helmet”. He went on and on about big brother.  I’m not sure exactly why he was up in arms, we always wore helmets.

We thought we were all that and a bag of chips with our matching Bell helmets with the bubble style visor.

I drive a commercial rig for a living. One of my routes to Alberta Canada takes me through Idaho. Idaho apparently doesn’t have a helmet law. Every time I see a rider with out a helmet, I just cringe.
When I had my accident, I was only going about 20 mph at the beginning of the accident. By the time I slowed the bike down by shifting down and braking, I probably was going around 5 to 10 mph when I was ejected over the handlebars.

I can only say by the evidence on my helmet, my head hit pretty hard though I didn’t feel the impact. There is a flat spot and scratches on the side and back of the helmet. I can only imagine what my head would have looked like if I wasn’t wearing a helmet.

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Therefore, when I see riders at highway speeds without helmets, I just cringe!

 

The new helmet I wear is a shiny new HD helmet with flames to match my bike.  I considered going to one the more expensive helmets from Schuberth  or Shoei, but as a test dummy I was greatly satisfied with the performance of my Harley Davidson helmet.

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Easter Family Ride

 As you may know, our family has our very own camp counselor, my brother in law, Kenny Kenny.

Kenny Kenny read about the Los Angeles Crest Highway, aka HWY 2 in the Hog Magazine. He was intrigued by the possibilities of some good twisties. He set out to design our route to get us to the most southern end of      HWY 2.

  

On this ride we only had four bikes and five riders. We drug our thirteen year old son “AJ” along on Andy’s bike. I choose to believe when he is older he will appreciate it and the Rides will be some of his favorite memories, much like the memories I have of my dad. My son has a dirt bike, so when he isn’t driving or as we like to say when he is riding “bitch” he gets a little bored. 

We set out at mid morning from Wish Ranch Grudge in Placerville CA. The weather was sunny and 78 degrees, and we were wearing light weight leathers. When we reached the summit with snow still on the ground and Silver Lake frozen over we all needed to add a layer or two.

SILVER LAKE
SILVER LAKE

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As we continued up the hill on HWY 88, a group of about eight riders on street bikes came up on us from behind. They were obviously skilled riders, but pretty uncool..

Instead of waiting a nano second for our group to line up to the right of the lane for them to pass safely, they passed to the right, to the left, through the middle, over the double yellow on a blind turn, barely missing my husband in a rear end. I was very thankful they didn’t have a head on and ricochet into our lead bike (My husband and son).  

We hung a right on HWY 89, our goal was to make it to Lee Vining, CA before sun set and before the thunder bumpers opened up on us. We arrived at Lee Vining early evening, and the temperatures were dropping fast. We were cold, hungry, thirsty, and tired.    All the makings for a great ride through the El Dorado Forrest. 

We were staying at the Lake View Lodge, which is very reasonable at $ 85.00 for two queens. It was dated, with a lumpy bed, but very clean. As soon as we were checked in, we all marched two doors down to the local favorite “Nicely’s” for food and drink. 

Nicely’s is a perfect match for hungry riders, the portions are huge and extremely yummy. Next to my Mama’s fried chicken, it was the best fried chicken I have ever had. The adult pop’s were ice cold and the service was fast, fun and friendly. In fact, when we all rolled out of there, stuffed to the gill, we all wanted to go back for breakfast.

After breakfast, we headed south, looking forward to the whole purpose of heading south, “The Los Angeles Crest Highway”.  Our plan was to ride to the most southern end of HWY 2, The Los Angeles Crest Highway, rest up for the night to be fresh for the twisties.  

Our accommodations were improving as we went, we arrived at the Best Western located at the Cajon Pass early evening. It really isn’t a town, its more of an exit on I 15 and HWY 138. The only thing there was a couple gas stations (one had a Taco Bell) and the Best Western. We were all too tired to get back on the bikes to travel the ten miles or so to a real restaurant. The good news, the gas stations had beer! After our Taco Bell dinner we ambled back to the motel with six packs under our arms and proceeded to get a little toasty. Which means, I had three beers. What can I say, I’m a cheap date.

The next morning we  were all the buzz, excited to finally to be getting to HWY 2, and it was worth the wait. I haven’t been in this neck of the woods since my fourth birthday party, back when dirt was still young.

 

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The views are breath taking and the twisties are equally challenging and fun. Coming from the south end of the highway was also beneficial as most of the traffic from other riders were coming from the north.  As we were riding, we came around a bend in the road to a wide spot, with a loan cafe and couldn’t believe what we saw. There must have been three hundred bikes of all makes and models at this little cafe. 

 

Unfortunately, the fifty something miles of exhilarating, fun twisties of The Los Angeles Crest Highway came to an end much too fast.  The highway dumps you out at the 210 just north east of Los Angeles.

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Our next stop is Paso Robles, we headed north on HWY 101, stopping in Thousands Oaks at the Yard House for lunch. 

When we arrived in Paso Robles, I had some major concerns about the motel, but it was a happy surprise. The room didn’t cost  much more then our first two nights, but were the nicest rooms by far. I highly recommend the Adelaide Inn. It has absolutely beautiful grounds and the rooms are newly renovated. 

The last day of the ride was Easter Sunday. We headed east from Paso Robles on Hwy 41, we wanted to get to HWY 49 to finish the large loop of the ride. We were riding through my home town, Mariposa, CA.  I grew up riding these roads with my dad.

We all know these roads and we all love riding these roads. California has some of the best Rides in the world.

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To be Continued

Bells Rides