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Vivi and I found the urge to ride. Why this happens in the afternoon, I don't know. The desire to escape the housework is an afternoon affliction. I notice the afternoon air is cold and the thin sun is surrounded by an icy halo. We bundled up.

We stepped out onto our driveway and discuss the possibilities while the Burgie idles contently on its center stand. How about Half-moon bay? “The Coast will be cold today”. I guess we’ll try the other way, over to the city. And, a ride to the city means Raviolis!. Mmmm.

The prettiest short roads along the California coast wind up through the redwood filled valleys to the top of the coastal ranges. The roads, dating back to stage coach travel, follow the winding paths of the coastal streams.

These are the same roads that the famed Bostrom bros. learned to ride on. Riding the Burgie at 45 mph and have one of these guys go by effortlessly at 75, leaves me in awe, considering how tight the roads are. These are the same wild eyed guys that regularly show up at the shop with a soft comp tire that has no rubber on either side. Mmmm You’ll notice perfectly good rubber down the center.

http://www.fattirefotos.com/2004events/ ... 1_RT16.jpg

We start up the Soquel valley, passing the occasional fields of green grass with splashes of bright wildflowers.

http://natureali.org/latemaywildflowers.htm

At the point we’re starting to climb the base of the hills, we drive through our first batch of towering Redwoods. The light dims, the air gets cool and the fragrance of trees fills my helmet. Muddy streams flush with rain water murmurs somewhere in the depths. The trees have a presence. It’s as if these giants, standing shoulder to shoulder are looking down on us. Our silver Burgie whispers by, guided steadily around the bends.

http://www.marksbirdtours.com/images/Kl ... dwoods.jpg

We climb the winding grades past the meadows and through the forests. A sign that we’re getting near the top of the mountain is a forest of Bay trees. The pungent aroma of damp Bay leaves fills my helmet. (The same ones used in cooking)

We have climbed into the sky and touched the icy haze. The seams in our jackets feel cold; the steam off my breath confirms that the temperature up here is 20 degrees lower than our spot down by the beach. Vivi’s tugging on my jacket complaining. We find the nearest road down into the next valley.

Silicon Valley is a powerful engine of business. Modern, sharp, buildings with fashionable chrome signs abound. (Cisco, EBay, Yahoo) Eight lane freeways packed with snarling cars rush at 25 mph over any speed limit. The pitch of the Burgie’s engine increases as we climb up to 78 mph. Cars continue to blow past us. We flee the industrial section to the older towns.

Willow Glen is one such town. This town, built in the 40s is a great place for finding true Italian Delis, Greek restaurants and other delights. The central boulevard is lined with ancient trees. High end stores abound. Vivi and I checked out the “fashion apparel for dogs” store. English tweed suits for dogs, something perky for Valentines day?. Nothing had price tags which makes you wonder. We looked at some of the art stores and then head for the “La Villa” deli.

http://www.willowglen.com/

LaVilla Deli is quite a find. A narrow store with shelves packed with Pastas, Dried Tomatoes and cans of rare mushrooms, climb 30’ to the ceiling. We grab a number and wait. Busy counter persons are yelling in Italian, stout women can be seen in the back making trays of Ravioli’s. Our number is up!. The Lunch special is half a BBQ’d chicken, Raviolis and salad. Delicious.

http://www.svcn.com/archives/wgresident ... -0150.html

I checked my watch and noticed that we had just enough time to visit the local motorcycle apparel store. (RoadRider) I always enjoy digging through the close out racks. This is an old metal warehouse with rows of bikes parked in front. Lost looking Cars occasionally circle the parking lot, looking for spaces between the rows of bikes. Benches out front are visited by different groups. An ancient Coke machine drops .45 cent Sodas. Nylon clad Gold Wing and BMW riders have laid claim along one stretch. Gnarly, dangerous looking, Harley drivers another. Stout women in their tight, black leathers sport chrome jewelry, piercing and Tattoos. One gal has a tattoo of the popular state park logo “Put trash in its place” on her muscular bicep

In the distance a low hum echoes down the highway. Into view, 25 or so blue Yamaha R-1s can be seen coming down the highway. Team Yamaha pulls in and the leather clad youths dismount. I notice they’re mostly young Asian men and women. All wearing crew cuts and dark glasses, this is a very clean, fashionable crowd.

I notice in the corner of my eye, the graying BMW crowd is eying my Burgman and reassuring each other that such a bike would never do. I chuckle.

Well, I was sad to see that RoadRider has gotten with the times. No more close out racks. It appears that they’re selling their extras on EBay now. I can see, how having such items around, would cut into their retail sales. Oh well.

Vivi and I mount up. The light is beginning to fade. Saturn shines brightly next to the moon. We find the fast track to home, content with our afternoon’s adventure.

I hope such an article is not too cumbersome for you all. I must admit that it was written with a bit of a hang over and raging allergies. Please forgive the errors this time around.
 

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Thanks for the nice write up, my daughter lives out there, and I know is pretty country.

Me and my wife are going for ride this afternoon, maybe an hr or 2. The sun is out, 2 mph wind, 40 degrees, with 2" of snow left, cool but not to bad. It's a bit different going by lakes with ice fishing shanty's on them and snowmobiles running, but the roads are dry, and we still have that itch.

Again thanks for the nice write up.
 

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Craig - great write up. I lived in LeMoore for 8 years, and then moved to Camarillo. I did quite a bit of touring out there. The mountain bike rides I took off of route 1 near Point Mugu were fabulous, as were the ones I took north of Ventura county. My sister lives up in Walnut Creek. Thanks for the memories. I left the left coast back in 90 just because I wanted to get back to my home of origin....the slow-going (and cheap!) gulf coast. Hurricanes or earthquakes? Go figure.... :wink:
 

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Costs

The cost of living out in Cal is going through the roof. It won't be long before we are looking for a warmer and cheaper place. The Gulf sounds nice. If you have a link to the sites, I would like to see it.
 

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Crank in Fort Walton Beach into Google, you'll find lotsa stuff. Or try Emerald Coast too. But, nope - sorry Craig no current urls to share of my neck of the woods. I guess you've just stoked my memories of my bunch of roudy squid friends and myself terrorizing Sierra Summit, Big Bear, and spots along the PCH and Ojai on skis or mountain bikes. Man those were some great times I had back then.

I surely loved Cali., but the C.O.L. and my missing the main hub of my family made me decide to go back home (Pensacola/Ft. Walton)...My Pop retired there (P-cola) and I had a bunch of friends from "back in the day" (high school) still hanging around the lower alabama area. The gulf coast is nice, but you would have to have an appreciation for, um, lemme see....no state (FL) taxes, no vehicle inspections (or smog checks), bald tires and pick up trucks, and a relatively backwards and conservative prevailing mindset. Personally, I've gotten used to it and find it sort of endearing (in an aggravating sort of way)... Pensacola is a Navy retirement community and Ft Walton is mostly Airfarce. The latter being a little cleaner, newer, and a bit more "with it". All in all, the weather isn't half as wonderful as S.Cali, but I think it's just as nice as N. Cali., plus the beaches are way better (if youre not a surfer). Be Well - Ciao.
 
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