Things we think of while riding down the road

Archive for December, 2009

There’s crazy…

…and then there’s stupid.

The other day I took off on a ride with my friend Bill Stermer, Bill is an author, freelance writer for Rider and V-Twin magazines and an all around good guy…I’m just saying the ‘good guy’ part cuz’ I know he’s going to read this. We had planned to head up one of our favorite roads right here in our backyard to a great breakfast spot and talk about what goes into a motorcycle road test article. Weather can change your plans rather easily.

Thanksgiving Thursday was a beautiful day here in Southern California, sunshine and 80 degrees, what more could you ask for? Two days later…well, who says global warming isn’t real.

The plan was to ride from my home In Fillmore over Hwy150 to Ojai, then up and over Hwy 33 to Lockwood Valley Road, breakfast at Camp Scheideck…and then decide where to go from there, a perfect days ride.

The local TV weather twinkie, uh…I mean meteorologist, predicted snow in the higher elevations right where Bill and I would be riding. We’re hardy souls and adventure riders…no big deal, let’s go.

After a quick gas stop we started up Hwy 33 into the Los Padres National Forrest and it was getting colder by the minute. Sure enough we could could see snow on the peaks and wet roads ahead of us, but we kept climbing the mountain. This is a road that both of us have ridden so many times that we could probably ride it blindfolded so iffy road conditions didn’t bother us too badly. Near the top is a favorite stop, Wolf’s Place. Wolf’s has been closed for a long time now, but it is still the gathering point for everyone. Sportbike riders, Cruisers, Tourer’s…everybody stops at Wolf’s.

While changing into warmer gloves and adding a neck gaiter, Bill and I decided to let the adventure continue. Within a couple of miles we were riding into the clouds and a lot more snow. I stopped to take a couple of pictures and continued on. As I reached the summit at Pine Mountain, it was snowing and I saw Bill turning around. I thought maybe he was heading back down to look for me, so I gave him the internationally known hand signal for…”I was taking pictures”. Bill kept heading back down. When I reached the summit, I knew why. I turned around too.

We stopped aways down from the summit, turned off the bikes and that’s when Bill came up with his moment of brilliance. “there’s crazy and then there’s’ stupid…and I’m not stupid”. As we both looked over the summit, the road became rather shiny and crystaline…not a good thing when you’re on a motorcycle. “So, how about the Deer Lodge for breakfast?”. Back down the mountain we went.

Some days you can ride through weather and some days it’s not worth it, today wasn’t worth it. We had a good ride back down the mountain, a fine breakfast and still got in some good interview time. All in all a fine ride.