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Thread: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

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    Yes, I'm the guy pashnit's Avatar
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    Artist Painting Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Riding with Pashnit Tours:
    Exploring the California Central Coast

    A Motorcycle Ride through the Land of Oz

    I love to ride. And if you are reading this, you probably do also. And each Spring, a season of riding starts anew. Lately here in California, we've had an intense amount of rain. The most in 10 years they say. All the reservoirs are full, the ground is saturated, and last month, it rained for 25 days out of 31. There's so much water, they're giving it away. I'm told they set a record up at Mammoth- over 700 inches of snow. And 100 miles to the east of our tour, a state of disaster was declared in the Central Valley with its extensive levee system (nearly 1000 miles of) pushed to the limit, and just days after the tour, even the President of the United States came to visit.

    So as our tour date approached, myself and all the tour participants held our breath and checked the weather like rabid sports fans desperate for the latest scores. As it turned out, the predictions changed every day, twice a day, and in the end, didn't match up with reality anyway. Oh well, so much for predicting the weather.

    So with no further delay... I give you




    A little sidenote: One of the things I was working on with this trip in terms of the photography was shooting a lot of photography in portrait mode, in other words, tall pics vs. wider landscape shots. Each trip I work on something new, and build off the previous ride. I was asked to share some more photo tips awhile back, and continue the previous text on my photography in the previous trip so I'll do a bit of that along the way. Maybe some of you will get something out of it (ntm, the previous thread is approaching 20,000 views so somebody must be reading this).

    Meeting along the edge of San Francisco, at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Fellow Tour Guide Tim says Hi to all of you, Joseph looks on



    Meeting the new riders for the first time, Breck, Dianne, Kevin & Rick



    As was usual on a Pashnit Tour, there was quite the variety of bikes. The hallmark of a Pashnit Tour is variety and this one was no different. I had been in contact with Andy and Malie for months prior trying to coincide our schedules. Malie is a Rep for a Publishing Company in London, England. She was lucky enough to coincide a business trip with our tour.

    Malie & Andy (pronounced Mah-lee)



    She was accompanied by her husband Andy, who's a sales rep for Wrigglys Chewing Gum. Which he happened to mention is a 5 billion dollar a year business. Just chewing gum. Just Wriggleys. Lot of money sitting on the undersides of tables. Andy rides a SV650 and they live on the north side of London. They rented a BMW 1150GS from Dubbelju.com, had actually contemplated a 14 day tour, but our 3-Day Weekend Tour in the end was perfect for them.

    Andy




    There was another couple on the ride, Joseph and Dianne (above) flew in from Houston, Texas picking up a Honda Goldwing from Moturis in San Leandro. Joseph has been in Venture Capital for over 30 years, is a Vietnam Veteran and shared a few war stories with us, as he was an officer during the war, and had seen his share of combat. With a wink, he made it clear that he could get away with more than the average person. After all, he was from Texas.



    Joseph & Dianne's Goldwing



    Rick also joined our ride and in chatting with him, we quickly got engrossed in talking all about his classic cars- he owns 4. His daily driver is a 1970 Chevelle station wagon. He had recently gotten back into riding and was aboard the ultimate sport-touring machine of its time. A '94 Honda VFR in red. Wouldn't have it any other way. One of the things Rick was going to do when he got back from the tour was go climb Mt. Rainer. All in a days work.

    Rick



    Rick's VFR



    Breck came down from Plumas Lake on a new V-Strom. He owns a Civil Engineering company which installs & maintains all the cell phone towers in far-flung places. Many of them only accesible by a 4x4 or dirt bike. So his other bike is naturally a KLR650, a bike that does nothing well and but can do all things (or however the saying goes). One of the interesting things that Breck was involved in was large-scale model rockets. As in rockets 20 feet tall, that could reach heights of 50,000 feet or more. These devout hobbyists often build the rocket themselves, then head out to the Black Rock Desert north of Reno, Nevada and fire them off. These rockets go so high, they have to file a flight plan with the FAA before the clubs launch their diverse cadre of rockets.

    Breck




    Breck's V-Strom



    Kevin was a new rider that had only been riding for 5 months or so. His bike was a BMW R1150R Rockster, a mean lookin' streetfighter style motorcycle that mysteriously didn't sound like a BMW. It may have had something to do with a missing baffle or two Kevin seemed to have misplaced, but we really couldn't be sure. Kevin works in finance for the San Francisco Airport and used to own a bicycle shop in the Bay Area.

    Kevin



    The Rockster




  2. #2
    Yes, I'm the guy pashnit's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Our plan was to make our way south and hope for the best with the weather, which alledgedly was better the further south we'd go. This is the middle of April in California after all. A quick ride up Highway 9 and into Big Basin introduced the Giant Redwood forest to several of the riders for the first time.

    Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains





    Your average everyday redwood tree. Hard to judge the scale though.



    Try this one. These can get up to 300 feet tall, and weigh 1,000,000 each.




    The bikes in Big Basin. Another great place to experience the redwoods is Avenue of the Giants up in NorCal (which we do on our NorCal ride).



    Andy & Breck




    As we made our way south out of the Santa Cruz Mtns through some light rain (it is a rainforest after all), as soon as we cleared Monterey and got past Rocky Point, the light rain we had ridden through abated, and the further south we got, the more the weather improved. The more I ride Hwy 1 Big Sur, the more you come to fall in love with this region of California.

    Every picture is off the cover of a magazine, and it doesn't matter where you stand, every view is stunning!


  3. #3
    Yes, I'm the guy pashnit's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Now check out the panoramic of the previous pic. See what I see?

    Scroll -->

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    Senior Member Invisigoth's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by pashnit
    Now check out the panoramic of the previous pic. See what I see?

    Scroll -->
    O.K. Tim,

    I have blown this picture up and looked everywhere for Waldo and found nothing. What do you see that I don't see.
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Awesome pictures!
    With all that green some of those pictures could have been taken in Ireland.
    Name:  Img_1772-Bitterwater-800.jpg
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    Go ahead and pass me... Backmarker's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Invisigoth
    O.K. Tim,

    I have blown this picture up and looked everywhere for Waldo and found nothing. What do you see that I don't see.
    I believe he was talking about that wonderful twisty road that disappears into the distance. We are talking about the Guru of Roads here. Ya gotta think like he does...

    BTW Tim, amazing photos on this post. I went over each one slowly. Taking in every bit each one had to offer. Landscape, portrait, angled. Didn't matter. I soaked up every little bit of this beauty of a ride.
    Some people just don't know how to drive... I call these people "Everybody But Me."

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    Super Member GS-RON's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    A new road to explore off Hwy 1.... . Right side of pic center?
    I'm not lost, I'm right there at the cursor on my GPS...Where ever that is

    Do a poppa-wheelie

    I cried because I could not wheelie, till I met a man with no motorcycle..

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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    Breck, Glad you made it home safe. Yes, the rain we hit as you, Kevin and I split off in San Jose was BY FAR, the worst I've ever hit on a m/c! It took me three days to dry out my clothes. I'm scheduled to do the Northern California tour on Aug. 18-20. I can only imagine how much three days of sunny weather will be! You gonna join?

  9. #9
    Yes, I'm the guy pashnit's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    We stop often on rides like this. We ride awhile, then stop, take in the view, get to know each other better. Fun to think we've all only met hours before.

    The busa & Rick's VFR



    Breck's V-Strom, which is quickly becoming an enduring motorcycle, with an devout following.



    My poster child shot of Andy & Malie's BMW 1150GS. I'm sitting by the phone waiting for the folks at BMW North America to call me.




    Here's what happens when you take the previous shot, and make it a landscape shot. Have a preference?



    Tim's FJR & Rick's VFR



    Have to sneak in another shot of the Hayabusa. My travelin' machine- Be sure and look on newstands after May 2nd, 2005- Cycle World is publishing the annual called 'Sportbike'. Cover story is on the Hayabusa, and I got asked to write the portion about setting the Hayabusa up as a 'Long-Haul Busa'



    We were about to leave, when what should pull up?





    Here's Greg, who although was a complete stranger to us, knew who I was. Funny how that works. (Greg is also a member of the Pashnit Forum too.)



    Greg was equally eager to chat with us, and tell us about his new 2005 Ural.



    Greg and Connie had just purchased this Russian made Ural in Bellingham, Washington and were riding it back down the Pacific Coast to Los Angeles.



    Although the '05 model was brand new, it'd already blown out the rear main seal and was seeping a bit of oil.





    But the bike was georgeous, and even came with a reverse gear, complete with a wood knob for a shift lever.



    Even the headlight is cool looking.



    I have teased my wife for years that someday when the kids are old enough, I'm going to get a sidecar to put the kids in the hack to take riding with me. Maybe I will do just that someday. A Ural even maybe. Or maybe a Hayabusa with a sidecar might work.




    After our short rest and enjoyable chat with Greg & Connie, it was off on the joyous task of riding Hwy 1.



    Point Sur



    See the difference in the two shots? Have a preference? I think I need to get a teleconverter for my Canon Pro1.




    Lunch at the Nepenthe Restaurant was outstanding, I'm sure we'll be swinging by here again. The restaurant overlooks the spectacular Big Sur Pacific Coastline. While outside, fog and mist hung in the air. http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/



    Even the walk up was impressive!





    At the top of the stairs was this.



    The Nepenthe dates to 1949 when it first opened up to travelers along Highway 1 Big Sur. And the view you say?? From these windows...



    ...It looked something like this. Breathtaking!!



    Same pic, but in landscape mode. I think I like the previous one best.


  10. #10
    Yes, I'm the guy pashnit's Avatar
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    Re: Riding with Pashnit Tours: Exploring the California Central Coast

    After lunch, the rain stopped and we were greeted with this- just low clouds that hung in the sky. But no fog, and no rain.



    Another quick example of Portrait vs. Landscape. Here's the portrait style...



    And the landscape shot of the same scene. Again, I think I like the first. Or maybe it's a toss-up. See the natural bridge?



    The surf along Highway 1 Big Sur. If you've never traveled this stretch of highway, the road is hundreds of feet above the ocean so the view is fantastic no matter where you stand.



    Joseph's Goldwing & Breck's V-Strom. This shot is a quick example of zooming vs using the curvature of the lens to get the effect you want. This is the zoom shot with the 200mm lens. I've backed up as far as I can and zoomed the lens to its max 200mm. The shot in turn looks like this.



    However, if you leave the lens as 28mm, it's shortest focal length (on the Canon Pro1), and use no zoom, then walk up to the bikes as close as you can, but still be able to fit the bikes in the shot, you get something that looks like this. Can get two very different feels out of two different techniques.



    Adding in the BMW GS to that shot.



    Malie who's come all the way from England to see this!



    This one will be the new brochure cover shot for the new BMW 1150GS. Still waiting for BMW North America's ad agency to call me.



    'Nother shot of the busa. Okay, let's go ride.



    One thing about these clouds, although it wasn't raining, they continued to hang very low in the sky.



    The view even faded off into the haze.


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