Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Little Brother for the Devil?

This concludes the first month of "The Diavel Made me Do It"! Thanks for visiting and adding your comments. In the last month I tried to mix it up with different experiences associated with light modifications and a few runs. We'll see whether or not the blog endures.

Usually I chat on this blog about the virtues of the Ducati Diavel and runs that I'm making on the bike. However, there are other plans somewhere in the works down the road for a little brother for the Ducati.

Log Item: I've been pricing out just parts, paint, rubber, etc. on what would be a custom motorcycle build around a new (as opposed to reconditioned) Harley Davidson knucklehead engine. It's a $20K problem by the time I'm done with it. When you add the price of a bike lift that I'd want to build it on ($1600 + shipping) and some tools (I prefer Snap-On, in fact one of my fantasies is to just buy-out a Snap-On truck), it's well in excess of $20K.

The Diavel is an off-the-shelf bike. It's a crotch rocket that I use in one way. It's not an HD and it's not a dirt bike. As with motorcycles, knives, guns, cars, trucks and all tools, you pick the right machine for the right application. Can you have too many machines?  No.  Definitely not. Not if you're willing to pay cash.

Getting the right Harley D. means building it myself. I understand that those who don't ride much won't get it, but trust me, it's true.

A HD that I built for $20K could easily retail for $35K (such is the nature of Harleys), and when you consider sweat equity, it makes some sense. I don't know when or if I will start on a Harley project. Right now I'm just chewing on the notion while I'm riding the Devil.

Note Jockey Shifter
There are many options to consider with an HD, not the least of which is whether or not I'm balzy enough to put a "suicide clutch" and a jockey shifter on it. (Hand shift rather than foot shift). When you consider that this bike is for playing around on - short jaunts - and maybe taking (as opposed to riding all the way) to Sturgis, the shifter, common on the early Indian motorcycles (below), appeals. 

Indian with a jockey shifter.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Lunch Run

Newport Beach Area 
Log Item: It's Friday... Since life definitely is a beach, after the usual preliminaries, I made phone calls early, cleared my lunch calendar and headed for the coast. Some of you who read this blog will ask yourselves, "Doesn't that bum ever do a lick of work?"

Work to me is, "thinking lofty thoughts". (Be careful not to step in the bullshit.) And I can think on the scooter.

My daughter, Emilie, volunteered to go with me to keep me out of mischief. Is she going because I told her that I was going to the Crab Cooker for lunch? Quite possibly.

There are five islands in Newport Beach, California: Balboa Island, Bay Island, Collins Island, Harbor Island, Linda Isle (too snobby to be called "Island") and Newport Island. I decided to lunch  on the Islands and surrounding mainland of the Balboa Peninsula, Lido Isle (not an Island) and Corona del Mar --- with a dash back to handle the afternoon horsefeathers.

There are worse things to do than spend lunch on the islands when you're riding the Devil. Here is a video that I took from the cell phone while crossing Newport Harbor on the ferry, headed for lunch.


video


Stills from that event:

Context shot: the line-up to board.
The lady behind me is not a "local". You can tell by the girth of the woman.
Emilie took a pause for the cause to text somebody.

Lunch at the Crab Cooker:

It's across the street from the Newport Pier. A mile down the road there is
another pier, The Balboa Pier (across from the Ferry).

Emilie waits patiently for me to take a photo before she goes in and gorges.

We both ordered basically the same thing. Shrimp skewered with bacon, cooked
over Mesquite coals, roasted cheese potatoes and cole slaw.

The Devil, now satisfied...back to the salt mine.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Riding Heavy?

Log Item: ROAD ARMOR. I have ruled out wearing leathers while riding because it will make me look like an old, white hair'd Elvis. My resolve in that regard remains firm, however a friend of mine has been beating me up to buy kevlar (yes the stuff they use to make bullet-proof vests) riding gear. If you go down while wearing this stuff, your chances of walking away even at higher speed (60+ mph) is excellent. Adding to that, I know the guy who owns Motoport (not that far from the house) and I can go over and get measured for armor. Kevlar gear for riding is roughly a $1000 problem.

Obama's boys - waiting for the DREAM Act to kick in... 
Back Story: When I was working in Mexico four years ago, I had Motoport build an impact resistant and bullet proof shirt out of Kevlar, custom for me. It was black and I used to wear it at night when I was on the town down south of the border. One bozo actually hit me with a pipe across the shoulder and all I felt was a thud. (it didn't go so well for him) The Kevlar dissipates the impact and there was also some padding built into the gear. It really looked like a regular long sleeve shirt...pretty cool. I did some testing at Motoport and we fired ammo commonly used by cartel people in Mexico --- into the shirt (.38 Special and .38 Super) The shirt handled the impacts without penetration. Note, I didn't fire twice in the same spot, or do that sort of test. I just needed some level of confidence that it would provide a very basic level of protection in a situation where it absolutely didn't look like I wore ballistic armor (prompting a head shot). Nobody ever shot me while I was wearing the shirt but since I was the one who tested it, I had a lot of confidence in the garment.

Conclusion: I have some history with both the brand and their capacity to make a quality, custom garment, for my personal use. When I packed in the field work, I gave the shirt to one of the guys I worked with, who admired it. I'm having lunch with him tomorrow (taking the Devil to the meeting) to chat about 'stuff'. I'll ask him about any additional "saves". However, if the garment works for that, it should work for putting a scooter around town.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Running with the Devil


Log Item: Palomar Observatory is located in San Diego County, California, about 145 kilometers (90 mi) southeast of Los Angeles. It sits atop a mountain in the Palomar Mountain Range and there is a twisty road that leads to the top of the mountain. The Devil wanted to run the road. (video made by somebody else on an inferior motorcycle) (Rick Clemson sits on a wicked corner, taking photos and this is a video compilation of crashes for Jenny, on the Palomar Mountain Road, also called San Diego County Road 6). Yes, people do crash on this road ALL OF THE TIME. It's one of those things.
The observatory operates several telescopes, including the famous 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale Telescope and the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin Telescope. In addition, other instruments and projects have been hosted at the observatory, such as the Palomar Testbed Interferometer and the historic 18-inch (0.46 m) Schmidt telescope, Palomar Observatory's first telescope, dating from 1936.
Calking-Off: I finished a conference call at about 10:40 am and called a friend, who was off work today (Tuesday). He was up for a run to Palomar. There are benefits of being on a motorcycle. If people call, you can't hear them and can't answer. There were a few missed calls and urgent voicemails covering items that are not the least bit urgent. Yes, I just walk around picking up money off the street, which means that it's more important to do this than to work. I made it back home at 5:00 pm on the dot...quitting time.

To get to the Observatory you must pass through three Indian Reservations. Unless you know the area, I'm sure that you never heard of the tribes/bands (Pala, Pauma and LaJolla). They were all immediately co-opted by Spanish explorers and enslaved without firing an arrow or taking a scalp. Yeah, pathetic, right?  The Pala tribe lucked out by having their ancestral land adjacent to Interstate 15 and opened a large casino as part of their revenge on the white man. 

You will note that the weather was perfect - mid-70's. Why work when you can ride? Why indeed?

The Line-up: Ducati Diavel and BMW RS1200

The plan called for lunch at Mother's Kitchen. It's still closed except for
weekends when motorcycles converge on the place. The summer schedule
begins in June...so much for lunch...I BBQ'd myself a hamburger when I got
back home.

Running with the Devil. They don't let you ride your motorcycle up to to the
observatory itself, so no chance for a glory shot next to the white dome.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

272 KMh

Log Item: You can file this under Diavel trivia. 272 kilometers per hour or 169 miles per hour is the commonly held top track speed for the Ducati Diavel with a 15 tooth sprocket (geared as mine presently is). I plan to drop it to a 14 tooth front sprocket giving the bike a better low end, because let's face it, I'm not going to drive 169 miles per hour on a motorcycle. I drive the speed limit (+/-). Though how fast you can accelerate to that limit is another thing. 
(Auto Blog) Lamborghini unveiled its latest Superveloce in Geneva just a couple of months ago, boasting an upgraded version of its free-revving V12, unburdened by 110 pounds of excess weight and fitted with enhanced equipment. The result of all these improvements is 740 horsepower, 509 pound-feet of torque, a 2.8-second 0-62 time.
That's .2/sec slower than the Diavel to 60 mph... but the Lambo has a top speed of 217 mph.

Lamborghini Aventador - almost as fast to 60 mph as a Diavel
Cost: US$397,500.00
So to put this in perspective you can go faster in a new Diavel for US$382,000.00 less than the cost of a new Lambo. (not counting insurance cost or vehicle registration) Interesting if you just want your hair blown back a bit.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gloom

Log Item: Weather in Southern California enters an early summer phase that is known as June Gloom. It is caused by the marine layer effect common to the West Coast, and is enhanced by the Catalina eddy local to southern California. May and June together are usually the cloudiest months in coastal Southern California. Tourists arrive in June, ready to bask at the beach and are shocked that it's cold (cold by SoCal standards).
Ok, not all tourists. The Canadians think that 60 degrees is warm. When you see them on their beach towels, soaking up the cloudy skies on a chilly morning wearing bikinis and banana hammocks, it's easy to tell them apart from the Californians in their coats and heavy sweaters.
It gets warm, but that comes later. What does this mean for motorcycle riding? 

Sunday: It doesn't mean that you can't ride your bike.  Intermittent rain notwithstanding, I did take the Devil out because I wanted to test the two-up configuration with the back rest. The verdict is that it's more comfortable with the new set up than it was without.
Explanation: 10 miles north of my place and 5 miles south of my place are "horse country" areas with twisting roads that likely started out as cow paths that were paved over in antiquity. As with many areas on the fringe of the Greater Los Angeles metroplex, there are upper middle class areas that are interspersed with "horse property".  Peralta Hills (Anaheim), Yorba Linda, Norco, Lake Matthews, etc. all are horse property enclaves near me. I don't live in the horse property per se. I live in the yuppie homes with palms,  pools and 3 car garages with BMWs and Raptors on the driveways.
The horse country areas are a blend of urban blight overflow (blacks on welfare), homes for illegal aliens that work on the horse ranches and in various service industries where everyone pretends that they're legal, white meth cookers/bikers and the white rural elite who live on horse ranches in areas where there are not many places to ride the horses. In Yorba Linda (where there is not urban blight) and Norco (where there is), you can ride them next to roads on groomed trails. Lake Mathews/Gavalin Hills is a bit wilder. 
Rant: I took Cajalco Road east from I-15 through the Lake Matthews area, turning south and running through Gavalin Hills. For those of you who could really not give a rat's ass what that is, it's a twisty, turn, country road area where people on horseback wave to you on the weekend. During the week, they're off working. No, Brighid. No cows. That's part of my point. These are pet horses, not working horses. The cowboys wear 30X Stetsons.

From there I drove to through the livable/lovable, 'homey' city of Perris (70% illegal aliens, 20% unemployed blacks, 10% bikers/meth cookers) to Lake Perris. Lake Perris is recreationally entertaining to me because in the Spring, it's where people new to boating take their recently purchased pleasure craft to launch and test. Think of fifty people fighting on the boat ramp and dangerously ripping around the lake in boats that they are unfamiliar with. Divorces result, fist fights result, auto accidents on the boat ramp, boat accidents (ramming incidents) in the water, it's a goat-rope of epic proportions on the weekends there.

Yeah, it's fun to watch. I didn't bring popcorn, but you take my point. I stayed for about half an hour until the cursing and screaming became repetitive and I found that I hadn't learned any new words. Back on the bike and on to other venues.

Early lunch in Riverside at a sandwich shop (tuna on squaw bread with a side of potato salad) and back to get ready for the pre-Memorial Day BBQ at the house...toned down from the usual over-done chow-down.

No, I didn't get a drop of rain on me, but I could see rain in the distance.


Abomination!

Rant: Fellow blogger, Brighid, sent this photo to me of what one person's obsession toward modification led to.


A Ducati tricycle is a sin. Yes, I know that it's a devil bike, but sometimes even the Devil takes things too far.

Log Item: It's been raining a lot in SoCal. Like the Wicked Witch of the West, I melt in the rain if I'm on a scooter. While the rain is helping ease the drought (global cooling in action, I guess), it's seriously screwing with my mojo. The rain in the flat land has been moderate, but on the twisty canyon roads, where I prefer to take the Diavel, it's been pounding. Twisty canyon roads and pounding rain don't end well when mixed. 


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Devil Envy

Is it wrong to love a Diavel (Devil)?

Log Item: A young man moved in with (I think his grandparents) the people who live five doors down. Grandma is a retired school teacher and Grandpa is a retired ice cream sales person who looks like Santa Claus every day of the year. The young man bought a 2009 Ducati Monster 696 last week and has been riding up and down the street in front of my house every day without a helmet on.  Based on his riding skills I deduce that he's new to riding and likely does not have a motorcycle license. 

Ducati Monster
After about an hour of having him rev the engine in front of my house, I walked out. He stopped and engaged me in a conversation. Apparently my Ducati gave him the urge to spend his (grandparent's) money and buy a Ducati for himself. He challenged me to a race. 
  • His bike is slower than mine.
  • He doesn't know how to ride well.
  • He is talking street race, not a track race.
  • He wears shorts and boat shoes when he rides his bike...no gloves.
I asked him if he was planning suicide. He said, "no, I just want to race somebody."
Pretty Jenny asked me if I knew about motorcycle mortality statistics. Yes, I know about them, and this kid is the prime candidate for a Darwin Award
It's not IF you will go down, it is WHEN you will go down. Anyone who has ridden for any period of time knows that. However you can stack the odds firmly in your favor if you behave maturely and responsibly on a bike -- even one as over-powered as the Diavel.
I suggested that he come by once he got his license and I'd do the Ortega Highway run with him. I'm not really looking for a little friend, but -- I don't want to turn a cold shoulder to the kid. And maybe if he gets some sense into him, he'll live to become a responsible rider.


Log Item: Ducati Factory Tour. It's a YouTube video, but you might enjoy it.  The 1199 Panigale is featured, not the Diavel. (Keep in mind that now, Ducati is owned by Audi Corporate.) I'm waiting for my invitation to the factory in Bologna for my personal tour but as with my ride with Charlize Theron -- I have to be patient.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Naked Screen

Log Item: There are two sorts of street bikes - naked and dressed.

The Diavel is a 'naked bike' because it's not equipped with luggage bags, a faring and so forth. One thing that you immediately notice when riding a naked bike is the pressure of the wind, particularly at freeway speeds (70-75). One option is to install a windscreen - and I'm not talking a windshield. A windscreen is much smaller and serves to divert wind rather than block it. A windscreen usually results in less helmet buffeting than many windshields cause.

Ducati makes them -- allegedly, but the parts department at the dealership was unable to find a part number for them. So maybe Ducati stopped making them?

Let's face it, Ducati parts cost roughly double what they should. So my search widened to Puig (pronounced "pooge" with a soft g), a Spanish company that makes after market stuff for motorcycles. Here are the installation instructions (Link). That sounds easy enough, right?

Rant: Not so fast. There are four distributors of Puig products in the USA: in Florida, Texas, Idaho and Arizona. So far, I've contacted the distributors in Idaho and Arizona to acquire this windscreen. (the cost is about $100) Neither of them have responded to e-mail. The Texans only sell to other dealers and blew me off. The people in Florida don't answer their phone.

I'm not locked into a Puig windscreen, but I'm running out of places to look. I do know a guy that deals in windscreens for motorcycles, but he doesn't make them for Ducati. I may end up getting him to make one for me, custom. If I talk nice, maybe he'll use my bike for a prototype and advertisement and I can scam one for free? The only problem with that is I have issues with waiting. (patience is a virtue, catch it if you can, you'll find it in a woman, but never in a man)

Update: I bought the windscreen that I want from "Motivation Accessories", Austin, TX.  I had to pay about double wholesale, but that's life.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hauling the Devil

Log Item: When I bought the Diavel, one of the operational/use plans for the scooter called for a trailer to haul it to distant locations where I wanted to ride - but didn't want to necessarily ride the bike all the way there. I'm looking at different options and I posted two examples of different configurations, below.
Potential Rides: Florida Keys, California Wine Country, Idaho Panhandle, Colorado (Hwy 550 from Ouray to Durango), Great Bend area of TX, New England after the leaves turn, Montreal in the summer, etc. 
Scenario: Drive the Raptor to the area with the trailer, find a nice hotel, check in, unload the scooter and explore until I don't want to explore anymore. Load up the Devil and drive somewhere else, repeat. I don't mind camping here and there but I have to admit here and for all time that I really enjoy a hot shower in the morning and one again at night. I like camp food (better if I don't have to cook it and clean up after), but I also like to find interesting places to eat. 
Thus some of my plans and motivations for buying a Diavel are revealed here (above) for the first time.

HAULING THE DEVIL

Pro-Line

The advantage of this system is that it holds two motorcycles. The cost with add-ons is about $5K + Delivery charge


exterior view


The Cyclone chalks, seen on the floor, hold the motorcycles upright and stable. You combine that with tie-downs to secure the machines properly.


Shows an optional front door ramp down, that I think is designed for snowmobiles more than for motorcycles.

Homestead Patriot

This unit is smaller, easier to store, and holds one motorcycle. Naturally, it's also less expensive at $2,600 plus shipping (from KY) and some basic work that I'd need to do inside to place the chalk, etc.




This unit comes with some options such as a spare tire but is not as nicely finished as the Pro Line trailer.

The question to you, dear readers, is which trailer makes the most sense?

Anticipating your questions:

Q What is the potential second cycle spot in the trailer for?

A For future expansion. As I mentioned previously, I'm looking for a Harley Davidson knucklehead to restore. Likely the guts of the HD would end up being transferred to a Paughco frame along with some other customizing. Yes, I know that I can buy and after market knucklehead engine from S&S, no, I'd prefer to start with an original. Naturally if I had that scooter, Sturgis would also be on my motorcycle bucket list of places to go.

Q Would you consider a dirt bike for the #2 slot?

A Absolutely. In fact, that would be a near term solution to the vexing problem: You're driving down the road in the Raptor, trailing a motorcycle and there is a dirt hill that needs climbing. The Diavel is not an off-road machine. It's sex on two wheels....clean sex. I need an off-road machine that I can get dirty and not feel bad about it. (naturally it will get a sponge bath before it gets back into the trailer)

Q Do you have experience riding a motorcycle off-road?

A Is Hillary Clinton a compulsive liar? Does Al Sharpton owe a bundle in back taxes that the IRS is ignoring? Does Joe Biden fire a shotgun out the window when he's scared? Is Michelle Obama an unhappy harpy?

Damned straight, I can ride a dirt bike. In fact the first three or so motorcycles I ever owned were dirt bikes. 

Q Do you have a dirt bike in mind.

I'm looking at several.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Milestones and an Installation.

Log Item: First scheduled service is scheduled at 600 miles and I'm there. Because of the two-year front to back warranty, I'm going to have the machine professionally maintained at service intervals as suggested by Ducati. It's a self-serving thing for me. Naturally that's not all the service that the machine will get. There are the oil changes (I change motorcycle oil about every thousand miles as a rule of thumb, which is likely more than should be necessary if driven in the heat of summer for any long distance runs) and chain lubes and inspections every 500 miles, which only makes sense.

Log Item: The Diavel front brakes use Brembo Monobloc (triple-acting) calipers on two ventilated disks, which deliver outstanding performance actuated by radial alloy master cylinders that are married to Bosch's 9MP anti-lock breaking system. On the recent ride to Big Bear Lake, I grabbed the front breaks and felt the anti-lock kick in. WOW. Stopped on a dime with NO LOSS OF CONTROL.

Log Item: Rear sear installation. The part came in and I'm now able to install the rear seat assembly back rest and pannier handles/grab handles.






The installation required new rear lights that are nowhere as cool as the stock lights.

Fredd is right, it's a sacrilege to put a seat on the back of a Ducati Diavel and the bike is not as cool with it there, but passengers won't run the risk of being whipped off the back of the machine...and I can always change it back. It's far from permanent.

I don't have to ride with passengers, but it's more fun than just going places by yourself. Since the only passengers are ladies, the benefit to them hanging on without a back rest is lady parts in your back as they desperately cling for life.  But I'm an old softie, and my children's parts -- shouldn't be touching my back.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Waco Shoot-Out

(Fox News) Police: 9 dead after shooting between biker gangs in Texas


The Cossacks, Banditos and the Scimitars do not ride Diavels.

They are simply not cool enough to make those decisions, opting for the traditional, rough riding, slow, clunky, and very overpriced Harley Davidson motorcycles. This has led some in law enforcement to opine that the choice of machines led to their dissatisfaction with life - and ultimately to a shoot-out at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. They could have made the choice to attend one of the Lone Star Parson's sermons in neighboring Hillsboro, in turn, leading to a meal of quiet contemplation that began with a word of prayer.

Below: Cuts from the Hessians (West Coast) and Snake Eaters (Florida) - from my young and tempetous past.  


Hessians Funeral

Growlers?

Log Item: I'm usually not the first person to gravitate to after market items on a motorcycle, however the two-into-one Growler exhaust system has the appeal of a louder, throatier system that the stock one-into-one Ducati exhausts. 

What do you think?


My sense is that a motorcycle has to be annoyingly loud without being completely obnoxious.

Stock Diavel, stock pipes.
I did some research. From what I have learned, Ducati performed a number of noise tests including focus groups to find out how loud was loud enough without disturbing people... So that's the tuned Ducati exhausts that I have.

From a style perspective, the stock exhausts look good. They really do. But they are not loud enough.


Log Item: Annoying old people. A couple, fifty-something going on about one hundred, had some less than flattering remarks about the bike and me. I barely know this gentrifying couple, but they hang with my sister-in-law. They have boring jobs, a boring house and go on boring vacations, don't listen to Metalica, likely think themselves too old for sexual intercourse, etc.  That's all on them.

They made a comment that I'm too old to ride a motorcycle, projecting their boring lives onto my life and presuming that they know me (which they really don't) and my preferences, which include riding the devil.

I don't pity the gentrifying/ossifying/dead at 50 couple. Life offers you two things -- only two. Life, and the ability to choose how you are going to live it. We all can choose.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Devil's Scooter

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.



Rant: I've been riding my Ducati Diavel for a few weeks now and it's time for a review and update on the bike, it's performance and my thoughts.

Jumping on the acceleration in "sport mode" becomes an effort in keeping the front tire on the ground even with a 200 lbs + rider (it's all muscle) and a 500 lbs machine (street weight with a full tank of fuel - and it's genuinely all muscle). It's fast, like being launched on a rocket sled with out an ejection seat.** Chain blue lightning.
**(for a frame of reference: high speed rocket ejection sled test - note that the Diavel is not equipped with its own ejection system for the operator.)
I don't race, I ride. And as those of you who read my blog have come to understand, I take people on the back of my Diavel often. To that extent, I'm not the typical Diavel driver -- but I'm not typical anything and maybe that's why the Diavel appealed to me.

Ducati's Testastretta 11° DS harnesses the immense power of the Superbike engine and makes it smoother and more linear, combining high performance with an enjoyable and perfectly manageable ride. Ride manageability and comfort is the key to the Diavel. It's a very well balanced motorcycle with nearly unlimited power, but that power is manageable because of the power option settings which include traction control.

The Diavel has the capability of being a license shredder for for riders who aren't watching the instrument panel. I found way to much speed, way to easily off the lights, and that dreaded 90 feels a lot more like 60 than you think. Therefore all it takes to turn the flat black devil into a cruise missile is a twist of the wrist. The power comes on so sudden it creates a dramatic sense of inertia, this bike has giddy straight line fever oozing from its very dark, flat black, heart.

You’d think with that massive 240 rear tire that it would be a pig in the corners right? Not even close. You just roll that sucker over and seemingly never finding the edge, it’s a different feel altogether than anything I’m used to and I wasn’t sure if I was to get off the seat and hulk it over, counter steer or what, but with those big wide handlebars providing plenty of leverage, just a light counter steer action copes just fine. It’s surprisingly nimble in the corners, completely disguised by its appearance.




Thursday, May 14, 2015

Big Bear Run

Log Item: 

The Plan -- Every second Wednesday of the month, a Riding Group goes somewhere. The ride is for people who are free during the day, midweek. My sense is that they are either hard core unemployables with a trust fund or they're old. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I signed up for the run, not knowing a soul, but fitting the first category without a trust fund and the last because of the cruel ravages of time.

As I understand it, members of the group ride all sorts of machines. There are CanAm Spyders in the group (trikes) so it can't be that hard core. In fact it may be a bit too soft-core for my tastes. The other option is a Ducati group but those folks wear leathers and if I bought leathers, I wouldn't look like a sexy European. I'd look like an old Elvis with white hair wearing a leather jumpsuit. Truth be told, leathers on women are hot but on guys...they are a bit too AC/DC for my tastes. 

The schedule calls for a 150 mile run from Ontario, CA, up the mountain on State Route 330/18  to Big Bear Lake. They plan to have a Mexican food lunch at the Sonora Cantina in Big Bear. The run will continue on State Route 38 back down the mountain through Angeles Oaks. The road up is twisty and the road down is a bit more relaxed.

The Execution of the Plan -- 15 bikes (11 men on motorcycles, 4 women on Can-Am tricycles)

Highway 330 at the base of the mountain.

No, the photos aren't inspiring but when you're with a group, it's difficult to scuttle off and take scenery shots. Big Bear Lake is FULL of water despite the severe draught.


While in Big Bear, in an effort to support the local nature animal rescue center, we went there, donated some money and then left.


When you're cool, the sun shines wherever you are. Yes, there's a .45 in a shoulder holster and a tomahawk under the jacket.

Rescued Grizzly Bear

Rescued Bald Eagle.

Rescued Wolf

Rescued Coyote

The women riding CanAm's were not in the same shape as the lady (below)...


Appendix: A parting thought and a pause for the cause.
Cowgirls need to learn to ride motorcycles