Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hail the Diavel

Log Item: So there I was this morning, out for a romp. High humidity today - 92%, which is unusual for SoCal, but moderate temps of 80. 

Tooling along at somewhere around 85, I noticed cars up ahead slowing and a lot of dust on the ground. I couldn't figure it out. Until I hit the hail. It was roughly dime sized but when you're going 85, it's like getting hit with a shotgun blast --- all over your body. It didn't last more than a quarter mile but it definitely got my attention. There was rain intermittently throughout the morning run and, yes it soaked me. That's nothing compared to the hail.

All in all, a nice enough ride, though I cut it short because of rain sheeting down over the highway I planned to transit. I turned around and headed home. I'll wipe down the Diavel later.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cook's Corner Bar

Log Item: Cook's Corner Bar was constructed in 1884, which may make it one of the oldest bars in Orange County. It clearly pre-dates motorcycles. It's the best known motorcycle bar in Orange County. Depending on when you go, there will be various and sundry gucci bikers (accountants and lawyers on expensive dressed Harley Davidsons) and there may also be gang bikers on rat bikes. 

I first went to Cook's Corner when I rode with the Hessians Motorcycle Club (gang) in the early 1990's after I returned from the First Gulf War. The Hessians showed up every Wednesday for dollar beer, free spaghetti and a wet t-shirt contest. The first time I was there, I was selected to judge the wet t-shirt contest. Which only goes to show that the management of Cook's Corner Bar have excellent taste in judges.

Today I made the jaunt there for lunch and to check the place out.  There is almost something "wrong" with going to Cook's on a Ducati. I can't define it more closely than that. The staff served me despite the fact that I had a full face helmet and rode a Ducati Diavel, which shows that they're open minded. Unlike homosexuals, I don't think that they have to sell to people who ride Italian bikes. We should be a protected class that gets free cheese and Obamaphones, but we're not.

The Devil, parked at Cook's Corner
I ate my hamburger (5 on a 10 scale) there on the patio. After lunch, I made a detour down Silverado Canyon Road - through the old mining town of Silverado. Even though people relate Orange County, California to Disneyland, Angel Stadium and the beach cities, there is an interesting history behind the rivers that were mined for silver and some hard rock mines as well. 

Such is the nature of Silverado, a town that winds with the river for about five miles. It's a narrow canyon road with homes on each side and one small market, now out of businesses and in disrepair. There is a cafe, which I stopped at some time ago. When I drove by it today there was one Harley Davidson motorcycle parked there with a dirtbag biker sitting on the porch.

The town was established in 1878, just a few years before Cook's Corner Bar (about five miles away as the buzzard flies) was built. Remnants of mining operations such as the Blue Light Mine are still scattered in the area. Timber was harvested for use by the railroad. Coal was mined near by. Ancient sea life fossils can be found within the sandstone cliffs in the area. During Spanish rule, the canyon was visited by Spanish explorers and was known by the name CaƱada de la Madera (Timber Canyon). The needs of the mines took all of the old growth timber. Eventually Silverado Canyon Road turns from a two lane paved road into a Forrest Service dirt road. If I wanted to take the dirt road into the Cleveland National Forrest, the roads would dump me out next to where I live.  I opted to stay on hardball. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Diavel Gender

Log Item: Early July - I haven't been logging a lot of miles. Most of my Ducati riding has been local and spontaneous. I want to pop out to dinner or need a morning run to clear my head, I shift some gears and let the engine roar. By the way, I've decided that my Ducati is female:
  • Since I am certain that the devil is a woman and my Diavel is called 'the devil', it was my first hint.
  • The motorcycle wants to be pampered. It want's the chain cleaned, it wants custom paint, it want to be dusted off. You get it.
  •  If I park it, men gather round it and look at it.

  • Women are expensive, as was the Diavel.
  • There is a class of driving that the Diavel just seems to enjoy more. The secret is finding out how that works and the bike is never going to tell you what gets it going.
 Log Item: I'm not much of a club guy and I don't know if this will work or not, but I found a bunch of Ducati riders locally. It might be worth a shot. I don't know that I meet the standard demographic for a Ducati rider/owner in Southern California, but it might be fun to touch base. I don't expect women to belong to the riding club. Ducatis are jealous and the group is bound to be a sausage fest.

P. S. I was accepted into the group.
This is a gathering place for all Ducati enthusiasts from the Foothills of San Gabriel Valley to the Inland Empire. Our mission is to learn, educate and ride our Ducati with fellow Ducatistas. Events will consists of bi-weekly meets, group rides, BBQs, MotoGP viewing parties and tech days. Please stay tuned for updates and events as we are still in our infancy state.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Stealth or Color?

Log Item: I've been giving some thought to doing a custom paint job on the bike, but it's difficult to improve on flat black. There is something about a stealth bike that defies color. A Confederate flag paint scheme appeals to me, but there are a lot of people out there these days who are dissatisfied with the War of Northern Aggression and might feel justified in keying my bike if I took that step.

You see Harley Davidsons with the Confederate Battle Flag painted on them all the time, but not Ducatis. I don't know if there is a mindset that I'm missing here?

Since I am not from the Southern US, there is really no need to put a Confederate flag on my motorcycle except to screw with "progressives" who either take exception or would rather forget the War of the Rebellion.

I have also thought of decorating the tank with a tasteful bronze lion rampant, or perhaps an eagle, but no matter what I come up with, I hate to mar the flat black perfection.