Washed the bike on Sunday. Also put a new MP3 player in. More on that at a latter date……..
Had reason to give the bike a bit of a squirt in first gear for the first time ever………
The tacho shows a max of 8500 RPM, when I got to 7ooo RPM, the rev limiter cut in…. one of the weirdest sounds I have heard for a while. The limiter drops the revs, but you are still got them wound in, so it sits there and makes really odd noise over about 500 RPM, but the main thing is it was still pulling strong when it cuts out, so where is my 1500 RPM that the tacho says I have, but Mr Honda wont let me use????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Now, I told that little moment in time to say this……. I have a mate heading over in about 6 or 7 weeks and I have heard that he is a little nevous about getting on the back of the bike with me up front…. Now why oh why would he be nevous about getting on the back of a missile with me in control?
So, listen up Gary. Just spend the next few weeks psyching you self up and you will be just fine. I have slowed down a lot, you will love it.
Besides, the best way to see SoCal is on the back (and if you dont complaine much, front) of a Goldwing……….
It was all over in under a second…. and I never knew it could do it, but woza, was it ever a kick!
Once again the bike surprises me. I really dont think that the bulk of the 1800 Goldwing riders know what their bikes can do. I count myself totally in that camp by the way. Very, very few of us owners have the location and skills to see what it really can do.
Anyway, to get back to my little experience……..
I have one corner on the way to work… Ok, well, of course I have more than one corner to go around, but I have one that matters.
Its in a 50 MPH zone, so I try and hit it at 80 kph every morning…. you know, just do the limit. Nothing wrong with that……
Its a 90 deg corner, so its a good corner. The camber is not perfect, but its pretty consistent. The other thing of course is that it never changes…. So, twice a day (on the way to work, and on the way back to work from home for lunch), I get to try different things on the bike.
Because its consistent I get to try different things on the bike and I know from the feel and smoothness of the corner the result of the things I am trying….. Things like; weight on the inside foot peg, outside foot peg, no weight on the foot pegs, pressure on the inside knee, out side knee, inside butt cheek on the side of the seat, outside seat, push pressure on the inside handle bar, outside handle bar and so on and so forth in lots of different combination’s.
I am looking for smooth. Nothing better than when you get a beautiful smooth corner, it can make your day……
Ok, so here is what happen that lit up my little world… Yesterday morning I went around said corner in one gear lower than I have for the past year. That one simple change that I have never done before. Its always been a 3rd gear corner. As long as I have owned the bike and been riding to work its been a third gear corner. Roll the throttle on at the apex of the corner and pull cleanly out. Its been more a focus of body attitude in the past.
Dont know why I tried it in 2nd, I really cant tell you.
But this much I know………… When you roll the throttle open on 1.8 liters of Goldwing at 80kph in a 90 deg corner, you can spin the back wheel and set up a really sweet power slide!
Its been a long, long, long time between rides, too long in fact, so long I had forgotten how much I enjoy them.
I hope that when you hit my blog you don’t just look here at the main section, but also at the micro blog on the right side….. If you did / do, then you might have some clue as to what I am talking about in real time as I do my little micro blogs more frequently than these. But I digress…….
The family was in LA on Monday to drop Terry off as he is heading to church summer camp. Hes getting a lift up and back by a few member’s which we really appreciate as it saves us a plane ticket, and honestly, I think its more fun for him, and if nothing else, he sees some more of the country (lucky sod).
Anyway, point is, I had an evening on my own, so I took the hint and went for an after work ride.
And wow, what a ride it was!
We went up Palomar Mountain, I am getting rusty on corners, but that’s ok, I get around them safely and smoothly, I don’t need fast any more. I would rather enjoy the view and bike than scare myself or get some sort of rush. I must be getting old!
From Palomar we headed down the East Grade Road (ie, the ‘back’ of the mountain). I think I like it more than the usual way up. Its a lot prettier and while the road is not in as good as condition, I think its more interesting.
The view over Lake Henshaw never ceases to impress and please. Its just beautiful.
From there we headed to Warner Springs. Its a tiny little town with a golf course and gliding airport and not much else.
From here, there were some interesting roads that I wanted to check out.
The first lead to an Indian Reservation and a locked gate.
The next one I hit pay dirt on!!!!
Just to prove that I was really there, I proped the camera on a rock and took this photo…..
The road here was tar, it was very narrow (there are very, very few places to pass, if you met something coming the other way, one of you would have to do some serious reversing), and a little rough, but the view around each corner made it well worth while.
Sure enough, the ‘dream’ run ended. The road turned to sand and very much 4×4 only……..
Looking at the GPS I could tell I was well over 1/3 the way along. I could go back the long way, or press on for a short distance…… Yeah, no guess’s as to what this old bald guy did…….
What do you know, the old Goldwing goes pretty good off road…… I was taking it slow, you had to, it was wash out city and super soft sand. The temperature of the bike got above normal for the first time ever. I was sweating pretty solid as well. Its a heavy bike to keep up and some where on the road.
Sure enough, come one wash out, the sand zagged and the bike zigged. In the blink of an eye, I did some pretty fancy angle parking!
The bike kept running, but I needed a break so switched it off and let it cool while I got a few photos.
The funny thing is that right here, the road looks pretty good. Compared to what I had come over and what was ahead, I am kind of glad that this was my only ‘opps’.
Here is another photo of my parking job;
The other funny thing is that I just fitted a belly bash plate for it on Friday…. never thought I would ‘need’ it that soon!
Got it out ok and kept going. It was super slow going. The washouts kept coming and the sand was replaced with rocks.
Not a lot of fun, but well and truly worth the experience and the views are just astounding;
We hit tar again about 10 minutes latter.
All up I was in the sand and dirt for only about 6 miles. It was a tough 6 miles, I will not be taking the bike back through it.
I would love to go back and video a little of it, but probably wont get the chance…. there are just too many roads out there to explore with out going back over ones that are dodgy on the Goldwing.
I would love to take the car back and camp the night with Freddy at some stage, that would be really neat. There is a camp ground where the tar turns into sand, so we could take the Passat in pretty easily.
Once on the tar the Goldwing was very happy and was singing its sweet song.
The amazing thing about this photo is that NIVAMAN tweeted about it! Whats the chances of that??!!
Well, Ok, Matt did not tweet about the photo, but the moon. It was pretty cool to come home after such a fantastic ride and be connected with my cousin on the other side of the planet by the same moon that we both noticed.
Please be sure and check out the full range and better resolution photos of this ride in my Picassa web photo album.
Its well worth it! No, really, the ones of the view are just amazing, check them out in full screen, click the right arrow at the bottom to look through them. (Dad, start with the thumbnails to save your download).
Cant wait to get back out there. I must be far more diligent in making time for these rides. They are good for the mind, body and spirit.
I have bloged about the traffic lights over here in the past.
Its been about 6 months now that I have been commuting from the house and that’s long enough for me to come to see a new thing about America………
But first, lets recap the old commute…. It was along a very major road. Rancho California Road is 3 lanes both ways for many a mile. Its nearly always busy and the lights have to be set up to help the flow of traffic. There is not much to be all that excited about, you just grind your way down the road and back, some times you got a pretty good green run, one time I got a green all the way, sometimes you get reds. You just have to deal with it.
The new commute is rather different. The roads are small, more urban, and it has been long enough now that I have come to understand something in the last week or so (hey, we all know I am a slow learner!)…. When your on a bike you read the lights a bit more than most. Lane splitting (riding between the lanes of stopped or slow moving traffic) is legal here in California, and even though the Goldwing is about as fat as a beached baby whale, I still lane split where I can.
Unlike many bikies here, if the lights are going to change when I am half way down, I wont even start and thus save the whole slipping into a moving flow of traffic….. so, I watch the lights even more than most.
Here then is the new observation…… The vehicle sensors for the traffic lights in the road over here really do work!! Not only do they work, but the programming of the lights respond to triggering them….. They are so responsive and flexible that I have come to the point where you really cant memorize the light sequence. Mostly because there is no sequence, they are driven by the traffic flow!!!
Its both frustrating and cool all in the same commute.
I cant really predict if the lights are going to change, but I am getting better at reading what the lights might be reading…. I look and see who has driven over what sensor when, that gives me a feel for what might change when.
They are also sensitive enough to pick up the Goldwing. This is something new for me, the old bike in Australia never tripped them.
The first sensor is good distance back from the lights too, so its not all that uncommon for me to ride gently up to a red light in the mornings and have it change before I get there. The best is turning lanes, it will stop the on coming traffic and let me around with out stopping. Not ALL the time granted, but more often than not.
Anyway, its just another differnce that I have noticed between here and there.
We have three training groups in a row this month.
So, I will try and catch up a little on a few little blog entries that I have let slip, but no guarantees.
Tonight is date night with Amy.
Turns out that there is a Goldwing riders club in Temecula (who knew). I met one of the members at this weeks Temecula Valley Astronomy club (as you would) and he invited me along to one of their mystery rides tonight.
Since Amy wanted to go for a ride anyway, thought it would be a good chance to met some other riders and get a feel for the club.
Hmmm, I wrote the above 2 days ago, but never got time to either finish it or click the ‘Publish’ button….
So, we went on the ride. It was a lot shorter than I was hoping. But it was still interesting for two reasons.
1. It is the first time I used the CB on the bike. They used it a lot to keep the group in order and to help every one through the traffic. It was pretty cool. Amy certainly enjoyed it.
2. Its the first time I have ever ridden in a group of Goldwing club members. They are pretty tight on how it should be done, which was pretty good. Better than a crazy bunch all messed up down the road.
Seems it is more of a social group than a riders group. I could be wrong, but that was the impression I get.
Amy was the only ‘kid’ there too. Mostly older couples.
They ride pretty slow.
Amy and I took the twisty way home. It was a glorious day and we had a nice date night. We chatted a lot, so that was super.
Training this week and the next two in a row. So busy and tired (hummm, there is something new….or not).