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.
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.
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.
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.