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Old 09-08-2006, 10:41 PM   #1
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Artist Painting The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean, Mountains & Giant Sequoias

He turned to me and said, "Just so you know, I'm armed."

With that, he turned and lifted up the back of his shirt showing me the gun in the small of his back.

And I knew then it was going to be a very good tour- a Grand Tour.

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Old 09-08-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
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Name: Tim

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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

I was joined by Neil and his father Ron. Neil had booked the ride months ago- as a birthday present for his father who'd be turning 60 soon. I felt a special desire to provide these two an amazing ride- Neil had mentioned to me it was the first time he'd spent time with his father- just the two of them- since he was 17. Now married, two kids, wife, full time job, I knew very well his place in life.

Ron joined us all the way from La Crosse, Wisconsin and works in the apartment management industry. Neil is a police officer with the Turlock PD, and recently learned he'd be going to school soon be a motor cop- as in those police on motorcycles.




During our ride together I constantly kept photographing Ron simply staring off into the distance, maybe in awe of our California scenery.

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Old 09-08-2006, 10:44 PM   #3
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

I also had the pleasure of riding with Gary on his Yamaha FJR again, who'd accompanied me on our Sierra Nevada Tour in June. Gary, had the every consumate joke ready at a moments notice and was quick to let me know he hadn't been able to attend the Pashnit Trackday because he didn't have a full leather suit as they'd have to kill two cows, and the animal rights folks woulda been all over him. Gary you see, is a rather large fella.

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Old 09-08-2006, 10:45 PM   #4
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Name: Tim

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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

If you have the time... take a moment to listen to this story.

48 hours before the ride, my partner Tim takes ill. It will be the first ride he's missed due to illness in all the years we've been running the tour company. He's a nurse, been riding over 40 years, and the healthiest guy I know. Another couple bows out at the last minute and I cancel my unneeded hotel rooms wrapping up all the preparations.

So it's Thursday evening, the night before the ride. The wife, the kids and I are headed home from the store as I'm going to be gone for the next three days.

It's 6 pm. The phone rings.

It's a man. In a bar. In the San Jose Airport. In the Bay Area. Is this "Pashnit" he asks?

I say yes.

He hands the phone to the man next to him and the other fella comes on with a thick sounding melodic Scottish accent.

I've flown over from Scotland he says to go on your tour. I just got off the plane.

The tour is tomorrow morning.

Do you have a bike? No.
Do you have any gear? No.
Do you even know where we're going? Not really, never been in the United States before.

I'll call you back I say taking down the cell number of the man in the bar. I call Eagle Rider, the Harley rental folks in San Jose. It's now 6:30 pm, they close at 5, and they have no answering machine.

A voice picks up, it's Gloria, the owner. Hi Tim, How are you, she says. Gloria, I need a favor. Call this number, I say, giving her the cell number of the unknown man in the bar sitting next to our Scottsman. I put down the phone and look at the clock.

Thirty minutes later, now 7pm, I call our unknown man at the bar back. He hands the phone to the Scottsman- Well?

I've got a bike he says, I can pick it up at 9am tomorrow. Great I say, we'll meet you in Santa Cruz. The ride is in 12 hours. And with that, Robert was able to room with me due to Tim taking ill, he had a bike, and we were set.

All the way from Scotland, no plans.

Robert, who flew all the way from Scotland to attend the Grand Tour of Pashnit California.



In short, Robert described himself as a 'Fatalist'. My dictionary tells me that Robert was with me because some things in life are simply meant to be- that some events in life are supposedly predetermined by some agency beyond human control, an inevitable succession of events. For some reason, we were supposed to be together on that ride and it all worked out.

Robert was with me because of what he called 'Voluntary Redundancy', a term I've not heard before. In Scottish terms, it meant early retirement, and he was here with me after 20 years of working in the IT field and needing to get far, far away. He had four beautiful children back in Scotland and was quick to produce a photo of them. Eagle Rider was able to provide a Harley Davidson Road Glide for him and he described the very act of riding down Hwy 1 Big Sur - Iconic.

The Road Glide the Eagle Rider was able to provide at the last minute




We'd also be joined by Mark & Judy who are local to the Bakersfield region and came on their BMW GS. They'd meet up with us on the 2nd day of our ride.

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Old 09-08-2006, 10:50 PM   #5
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

After the usual meeting in Saratoga,



it was off to Big Basin to see the massive coastal redwoods. Robert we would meet in Santa Cruz after he'd picked up the bike. In this pic, you really can't tell just how big this tree is.




Now you can. For scale...


(Photo by Neil)
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:11 PM   #6
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

Bikes in Big Basin State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains




Wee bit order than I. Or you.






A ride down Hwy 236 to Jamison Grade, on up the hill and that a relaxed jaunt down Emipire Grade to Santa Cruz where we awaited Robert. He was a bit frazzled when he arrived, first time driving, or rather riding, in America, all the street signs were different, the street lights, we drive on the wrong side of the road, the huge Harley (his normal ride is a Ninja 636). After securing Robert a Jacket it was off southward through Carmel to to Rocky Point Restaurant for Lunch.



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Old 09-08-2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

The view here is quite something, although things were a bit foggy. (See the people??)




Pashnit Busa and friends




Father and Son- Ron's Street Glide and Neils Intruder

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Old 09-08-2006, 11:12 PM   #8
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

Robert's Road Glide




Painting... with the Rocky Creek Bridge in the background completed in 1932.




Flowers


(Neil)


Painter's painting


(Neil)
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

A second painter, busily capturing the scene




In the shadow of the Street Glide.


(Neil)
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: The Grand Tour of Pashnit California- Ocean & Mountains

Then it was off to explore Hwy 1 Big Sur Coastline, a fantastic 80 mile stretch of pavement where every turn and pullout is a picture perfect postcard.

Ron taking in the California Coastline.


(Neil)

Ron's Street Glide

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