It's been a long couple of weeks. I'm definitely feeling a little burnt out. So either give it all up and go and live on a beach somewhere, tempting. Or go for a long ride on one of the best roads in the world. Let me tell a little (short) story about the black Panhead I have owned for awhile now. It was running like crap and proving very difficult to start. It was time to bin the Super E in favour of a Linkert I got from Davey. And also whack on a really nice G5 magneto that Morris sent us sometime back. Did that, the bike started great but would die as soon I turned the choke off. I messed with it for 2 days, gave up and took it over to Kiyo to sort out. He did, the butterfly was on backwards?!! he then mentioned I had very low compression and did I want him to check it out? hmmmmm, Really? ok, I replied. Turns out the motor was totally fucked, everything from the bottom to the top. Yoshi (Garage Company) quoted me a very reasonable price for Kiyo to do the job. Really, he did. However, being totally skint I could see this was going to be a problem. He wouldn't take the beans I offered him, only hard cash. I went on a mission and sold all the bike bits and pieces I had acquired over the years, when they ran out I sold some of my clothes. Jackets, boots, jeans etc. After that it was furniture I didn't use much. It was getting desperate. Low and behold, some 4 months later I had the money. I picked the pan up last week and what a great job Kiyo did. The garage may be bare, the house half empty and I got nothing to wear but I don't care, I got my bike back!!!! That brings me neatly (?) round to this ride. I needed to break the motor in and get away from emails, computers and desktop publishing.
Riding with good friends was the icing on the cake. I met up with Caleb (I stole one of the pics above from him btw) and Troy (and one from him too) and off we went. 50 bumpy boring miles later up the 101 freeway we turned into Ojai and onto the 33. I have to tell you this road has it all, it never gets old. Smooth tarmac, mountain views, twisties, straights, long sweeping bends and very few cars. If at the end you then turn left on to the 166 that will take you right up to where it drops you back on the 101 by Santa Maria. That means you get even more long valley floor straight miles and more sweeping curves in hill country. Total pleasure. What you don't get is much gas. One place only in the middle of nowhere. A country store, that roasts it's own Pistachio nuts weirdly, has an old petrol pump. $5 a gallon of regular, that's all there is for miles but it's a great place to stop and take a breather. Go on for another 15 miles north and again in the middle of nowhere is a cafe that does very tasty BBQ. We ate, turned around and went back the way we came for some more awesomeness. We then got on the PCH up by Ventura and followed the ocean all the way back into LA rather than the freeway. So we actually got to see it all. A 320 mile roundtrip and the bike ran like a champ. Everything feels right with the world again. Roll on Monday?!?!
If anyone wants to do this route at some point, and really why wouldn't you?! then email me and I will pass on all the details. firstname.lastname@example.org