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If you remember just one thing, look where you want to go.....

Well, to preface, Stefan was a bit taken aback by the load of superslab mileage necessary to do the Palomar ride, combined with some jet-lag and the time pressures necessary to return his rental scooter by 6 PM. And needing to leave for the airport before sunrise this morning. So, we scrambled up a later start and a North LA ride route.

My sincere apologies to John for my bailing out on the Palomar ride and his BBQ, and for not being able to get the guest of honor down there for both.

As far as the South Ride goes, early reports are that the group really tore it up on Palomar....something about a LEO being really hard to see 'cause he was blurred so much..... ;D. Hoping that the participants can fill in the details. Seems the BBQ went well also. Hoping for more details there too.

Anyway, we gathered at the base of ACH to get the ball rolling. Yours truly arrived a wee bit late to the Shell station, immediately pulling to the pump to refill a perilously empty tank.
No familiar faces or bikes parked there either... ???
Tipped up the tankbag, popped the cap, and lo and behold...the gas pump has an "Out of Order" note taped to it. As did all of the other pumps. ???
Started looking around, and saw Ryan, Lissy, and Stefan waving to me from the 76 station across the street. Only gotta hit me with a 2x4 twice to get MY attention.

A bit of gasoline and chitchat, and we were ready to go. Could these folks look much happier?



We commenced to roll up the hill...I led the crew, with Stefan sandwiched in the middle to keep him on the right side of the road ;D (actually, he's quite familiar with it on his own).

A beautiful clear day, nice and warm, a relatively clean road and just a few cars. Shoulda been suspicious just with that. Got a good pace going, and a nice stretch of the smooth lower part of ACH under the wheels.

Chatting through a (one of the many) blind right-hand sweeper, I came upon two cars parked in the lane. Crap! :eek:

Stood the bike up quite a bit, and pounced on the brakes.
The rear wheel immediately locked, stepping out about a foot (felt like about a yard). DoubleCrap!! :eek: :eek:

Noticing that the situation was rapidly deteriorating (duh), I determined that a slight steering correction would allow me to stop next to the SUV, using up just a tiny bit of the other lane. Far better than piling into the back of the SUV.

Luckily, no car coming the other way, so I got the whole circus stopped unscathed. Fortunate that Stefan had hung back far enough to see the excitement and check up with room to spare. The dork in the convertible that set this whole deal up looked genuinely pissed when I honked at him as he completed his left turn into the turnout.
That was a close one.

As soon as my heart restarted, we set off again.

We went most of the way up ACH, and peeled off down Upper Big T. Smooth and fast, it's quite a piece of road. Joined up with Angeles Forest Highway.

Stopped at the Hidden Springs Cafe for a bite to eat. Adds again to our list of 'quaint' places to eat on our rides.



Got to admit, the look on Stefan's face was priceless when he was served the chili-cheese dog he ordered. ;D Seems our version of chili is a little different...

To Be Continued...
 

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Re: Recap: Welcome To The US Ride - North - 1/10/0

Nick, Ryan, Lissy, and Stefan,

Thanks for letting me tag along from the Hidden Springs Cafe, where by chance I stopped on my way back down. This was my first group ride experience, and although at first slighly intimidating (it was my first time on a curvy road on my new bike, and I've only been riding for little over a year), it turned into a great ride. I actually learned some stuff from seing you guys ride. Can't wait to do it again.
 

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Re: Recap: Welcome To The US Ride - North - 1/10/0

Nice to meet you, Jarik. Too bad we didn't really have time to talk. That's OK, we'll catch up next time.

Meeting Stefan was fun. A good guy to ride with, safe and predictable. Also a good guy to have drinks with, but I won't go into that... And Nick... Well, Nick is always good to have around.

-R.
 
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Re: Recap: Welcome To The US Ride - North - 1/10/0

Hi all
Finally found a PC to get on the board and say

WHAT A BLAST OF A TIME I HAD!!!

And thank you all, Terrible-v, Lissy, Speeddog, Retro, duque, et-al you guys are all great fun, and the hospitality you extended to me made it a really special two days! I will treasure the memories.

I keep looking at the map we got up in the Angeles forest eatery and mumbling to myself that you guys have unbelieavable roads.

The lane splitting, tearing down the freeways, up and down the canyons, eating at out of town places, the sites of mountains, valleys, suburbs, SUV's, night clubs, beer, shooters (drinking ones, I hasten to add), company, jokes, silly and serious talk had me in a bit of a daze when I left.

If any of you mad yanks ever come down-under, it would be a pleasure to try and emulate the fun you put me through.

Keep it rubber side down.

Stefan
 
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