Track day and the road to Mecca then San Diego

My route Friday
My route Friday

I started off Friday morning from Palm Springs and headed east on I-10, it’s the only way to get to the Chuckwalla racetrack in Desert Center Ca.image

I had been invited by the Yamaha corporate office to attend a ” run what you brung” or as they call it, “Get to know your bike day”. The concept was started up in the Northwest by Bill Cameron at Skagit Power Sports and is extremely popular.  The last time it was held in the Northwest, a PNWSTOG member got some track time. Watch as Mike has some fun.

My day at the track wasn’t as wet. In Desert Center Ca, the temps where in the high 90’s by noon and when I got on the bike to head to San Diego, it read 118F!

The Yamaha instructors were very thorough in their explanation of the track rules and they ran us through some drills before heading out there.


The instructors were also doing a great job of keeping us hydrated and they even had lunch brought in!

I had a complete BLAST out on the track! I was encouraged to even leave my panniers on. I didn’t quite get my foot pegs scraped but I did have to tuck my toes in a few times 😉  Aren’t these photos amazing?!?!?!


After leaving the track, I headed to San Diego to meet up with an old supervisor and friend Kevin Logan and his family. The 1st town off I-10 I stopped at was after 20 miles of canyon carving to the town of Mecca Ca. Having served time in Saudi Arabia and stationed 40 miles outside the other “Mecca” I have to say they are eerily similar…… No “infidel bypass” here 😉

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After scooting around the west side of the great Salton Sea, I headed west into and over more canyons and eventually climbed to the 4000ft mark before dropping down into San Diego. I’m really enjoying my time here catching up with an old friend. The time off the bike over this long Memorial Day weekend is nice as well. Next week, 1st stop is corner #2 where the Pacific Ocean meets the Mexican border where I hope not to get hauled off by ICE agents.   I’ll then be stopping at Jacumba Hot Springs (less than a mile from the border) and head to Tucson before going north across Arizona, Utah, a quick visit to Vegas, then back north to Salt Lake City. In Idaho, I hope to see the Klim HQ before crossing into Wyoming by mid June.

Thanks to everyone that’s been following me. The Facebook blog has 375 likes!


Central California curves and beauty

Good afternoon y’all! I passed the 3000 mile mark today!  🙂 I guess it’s going good because I don’t want to stop.

I’ll caption some of the pics with locations as I post, a lot of ground was covered in a few days..

Patterson Ca to the Lick Observatory/Mt Hamilton  and on to San Jose. 50+ miles of blind corners

Lunch was NW of San Jose on Skyline at The real Alice’s Restaurant, and I got whatever I wanted… A BLT 🙂

The original Alice’s Restaurant


After lunch, I stopped to see John Bettoncourt and his great crew at Moto Amoré in Scotts Valley. Need a Heidenau tire? They have plenty!

That night, I camped not far from the Pacific Ocean in Carmel Valley, 1st night in a tent on the trip. I think I’ll plan my tent times for more than one night from now on. Setting up and tearing down in less than 12 hours doesn’t seem worth the effort.


The next 2 maps are how I crossed the state SE to get to Edwards AFB.  I had reservations for a single room but they were full up so I was put in family quarters( 2 bed/bath duplex fully furnished)  for the same price.


Yes, with garage 😉


Earlier this his morning I met up with Mike and Cindy from Idaho, they were returning home from picking up their Super Tenere in Long Beach that had been shipped from Peru! They have already ridden  two up across North America and down into South America. A VERY inspirational couple that just get on their bike and ride!  The blog for their travels is


My day ended in Palm Springs because it’s the closest town to the Chuckwalla raceway SE of Joshua Tree. Yamaha invited me to their “Run what you brung” track /demo day. Say a prayer for me if I get on an R-1 on a real racetrack…. I’ll post pics tomorrow if I’m still around 🙂

California….. So far





Scooting around the Bay Area

I had such a great last couple days scooting around the Bay Area . It started Sunday with a ride on a race tuned YZ 450 on the Sacramento River delta. Thankfully the roads were flat and in straight lines because that’s more dirt bike then I’ll ever be able to handle 😉

The fun continued on Monday  with a very nolstogic ride up to Lake Berryassa with my old friend Matt Thomas. We served and rode together 20 years ago while stationed at Travis AFB. Matt is about to retire after 24 years of service.THANK YOU for your service and friendship.

Lunch was in Rio Vista care of Kurt Friedrich from a go fund me donation. Thanks for the tacos!

Then I rode down to Tracy Ca. to meet up with the founder of the Super Tenere USA Facebook page, Murray Newton. While his Tenere is getting a complete Ohlins custom suspension, he let me ride his brand new Yamaha XSR 900. That thing is a kick in the pants! (especially after riding the loaded Tenere around) Light and nimble is an understatement. We met up with Don Nordstrom in Modesto for BBQ, Don is also a PNWSTOG member that rode with us to the Horizions Unlimited meeting a few years back.

Today I’ll be taking the road less traveled up to the Link observatory as I skirt my way around the south end of the Bay Area to have lunch at the Iconic “Alice’s Restruant” where I hear I can get anything I want 😉

3 great days in Northern California

Day 6, 1822 miles,  Northern California.

I have to say that Northern California has some extremely challenging roads and by challenging, I mean FUN!, it also has some spectacular views. Here are a few pics that help make my point. If you are ever out this way, take the road less traveled.

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I also  need to give a shout out to Steve and Paula McCarley of Redding Yamaha Seadoo . We had just stopped in to say hi and were invited to the 1st of their summer bike nights. The hot dogs were delicious! Thanks!


My tour of Northern California ended in Garberville with the best Cajun food west of Louisiana. ( I know, it’s shocking) Cecil’s New Orleans Bistro‘s head chef once worked with Emeril at Commanders Palace in New Orleans. The food is amazing!


Tomorrow I head to the Bay Area in the rain, hopefully it won’t be too wet.

Days 1,2&3


Good of morning from my 1st rest day in Redding Ca.  WOW, what a ride so far!

My ride started Sunday morning the 15th leaving my house in Roy to meet up with Dan Siverston at the Kingston Ferry dock for my 1st destination of Cape Flattery. It’s the most northwestern point you can ride to in the lower 48.  We met up with Cindy and Greg Guoan in Port Angeles and headed out to Neah Bay.  Highway 112 is a great road but being so close to the Straight of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island BC, its best to turn your phone on airplane mode or you might get Canadian roaming charges on your next bill.

In Neah bay, We stoped at Linda’s Pizza kitchen and hotel to order our pizzas before heading out to the cape. Linda is the mom of a former co-worker and also my main supplier of smoked salmon.  Being a member of the Makah tribe,  she knows a thing or two about smoking fish. The pizza was smoked salmon and artichoke, yummy!

Cape Flattery is a little over 1/2 mile from the trail head, with all of us being in D/S boots, we opted for the picture from the trail head and geo-tag on the Delorme In Reach.

We stopped for a few pictures on Shi-Shi beach. Thanks Cindy for this great group shot!

We all headed back from there after our delicious pizza, Dan and I headed for the Kingston ferry, and the only rain we had all day was from Edmonds up to Elsa’s in Arlington.


Day 2 started off chilly and damp from Arlington until I got over Snoqualmie pass to about Cle Elum.  After that, the sun came out and it warmed up nicely. In Ellensburg, I hopped on US 97 all the way to Madras Oregon to meet up with Paul Nelson. After a quick lunch, we headed for the Summer Lake Hot Springs in Paisley Or. It was a 550 mile day for me, the hot spring felt amazing after all those miles!

Day 3 started with a soak in the outdoor hot pool while watching the sunrise. I’ll have to say that’s a great way to start a 250 mile day 😉

I stopped in Adin Ca. for lunch at the Adin Supply Company, you get a real small town feeling in there. I had lunch care of Chris Dandzscher. Chris is the mastermind behind the Go Fund Me page that was set up so others could buy me lunch while I’m out on the road. I didn’t ask for this but gladly accept the support from everyone. I’m truly thankful to call Chris a friend.

The day ended at custom seat builder,  Seth Laam of  Laam seats . Dan Sivertson and I were there about 2 years ago to get our seats rebuilt, since then Seth has truly mastered the Tenere seat. He’s been building seats professionally for 15 years now and that’s saying something since he’s only 33!   I know my butt will be happy for the journey.


Days 2,3 & 4 of the “Shakedown” ride

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4 day shakedown ride 785 miles

It’s been 4 days and almost 800 miles    (785miles) and my “Shakedown” rise is done. I learned a bunch. 1st being I’m out of shape and the 1st few weeks on the road will kick my butt ;-/  2nd is I packed to much stuff! (no suprise!)

Here is a list of a few things that sadly won’t be on the journey:

  1. The Survival Utilikilt  As much as I’d love to have it with me……It’s just too bulky.
  2. “T” Glen the Traveling gnome. He’s too fat….
  3. Defense bar soap, I’ll be switching to a travel size version of the same soap but in liquid form.
  4. REI long pants. I was going to take an “extra” pair of long pants for around camp but decided I just don’t need it.

Here is a list of the “stuff” that is staying:

  1. The Klim K Fifty 1 riding jeans, There was allot of thought put into this decision to pack these bulky and heavy jeans….overriding everything,it’s been safety! The D-30 armor from my Klim Adventure Rally pants are directly interchangeable with these jeans. Double use for one set of armor so I can wear the jeans out in town or with the friends I make along the way. I’ll be able ride the bike out in town and still feel like I have armor and kevlar between me and the road…. because I do!
  2. LD Comfort base layers. After my visit with Mario on friday and wearing his base layers for all 785 miles, IT WORKS AS ADVERTISED!! Along the Klickatat  River the bikes temp read-out neared 100 degrees and I was honestly getting a chill between my shoulders!  I didn’t have any vents open either on the Klim Latitude 840D! All that was open was the sleeves! That was enough to cool my torso. To cool the lower half, I just stood up for a few minuets. I was VERY comfortable all day long. As soon as I got home today,I ordered another shirt.
  3. The Redverz Solo Tent. Even at 12 lbs and taking up 70% of a 37 liter pannier, I’m keeping it. I like the private space it provides, I like that I can stand up and put on my gear. It also didn’t flinch in the 30+mph winds that were blowing most of the night with the guide lines anchored down. I can also park the bike “IN” the tent if need be, a very handy feature, if you ask me! I have the bike pack up procedure to about 30-40 min from waking up to having a fully loaded bike. Not too bad if I were in a hurry or in the rain, but I hope not to be in either of those situations on my trip.

Saturday morning Day 2, I met Dain and Bhargav( thanks guys!) in Kelso about 9:30 and we headed out to Woodland, Cougar and beyond on Highway 503 then the Wind River Highway( a MUST ride) to Carson on the Columbia River. Luckly, the gusting headwind wasn’t too punishing. We then pulled off on Highway 142 through Klickitat to Goldendale. (Some of the best riding all day!) It’s amazing that it reminds me of roads in Northern California. A simply amazing road that you need to search out!  In Goldendale we met up with Scott and made our way up Highway 97 to Miner’s Burgers in Yakima. The look on Bhargav’s face when he saw how big the burgers were was priceless 😉 too bad I didn’t have my camera at the ready.

screen shot of my “In Reach” SE GPS tracker from Delorme
Bhargav and Dain at the McClellan Overlook of Mt St Helens

My day ended in Ellensberg at the Yakima River RV Park where I set up the Redverz solo tent. A spectacular sunset with a clear sky wasn’t a good warning of the 30+mph wind gusts that  blew most of the night and all the next day. The tent held up like a champ! With a set of ear plugs in, I didn’t really let the freight train bother me much that rolls through just about every night. The entire valley hears it so there’s not much escaping that horn…..

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The morning of day 3 was family time with my daughter Madison that’s a freshman at Central Washington Univ., her sister Emily(a sophomore in High School)  and their mom and grandma on mothers day._DSC2546

After brunch with them, I headed up US 97 to Leavenworth and over Stephens Pass to Elsa’s in Arlington for the night.

On Day 4, I made a bee-line to AltRider to see Jermey, Jimmy and the crew for their new Stainless Steel light guard. I can’t say enough good things about the support AltRider has given the group over the years. Jimmy installed the headlight guard for me, Thanks Jimmy!


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The one real casualty of the trip was my pannier lock on the Twisted Throttle TRAX luggage. My two brothers exhaust is at the wrong angle and I’m guessing the heat is a little excessive…. ouch! I have the original all steel non-key locked fasteners that will be put back on till I can get up to the Twisted Throttle HQ in Rhode Island on my journey.


Just a few more days to go and my list of things to do around the house hasn’t gotten any shorter. I did find someone to hang out here at the house while I’m gone so that is one less thing……yay!




Day 1 “shakedown” ride

Good evening y’all. I had a awesome 1st day on the road today. The bike is running great (thanks to Jeff Haar) and my luggage configuration is working. It is a little heavy for technical off road but will handle most rough gravel road with ease. I was able to do two sections of gravel roads today. Brooklyn Rd has always been a favorite with the group. “T” Glen even got to check out the the weather station there. image

The second was King Road between the area known as Curtis and Winlock. It has 5 mph gravel twisties ;-)! The Tenere handled them both superbly!


My main goal today was to get to Hoquiam Wa., the home of LD Comfort. It’s in the towns old indoor community pool that has been filled in. I was lucky enough to meet the owner and inventor Mario Winkelman. He took time out of its production to describe in detail how his product works. After the day I had riding, it works as advertised! I even got a chill in the 80 degree heat!

One of  the PNWSTOG members, Gerald Massey is an Iron Butt rider and fan of the base layers, click here to  read his words about the product.


Here is a screen shot of the route today. The miles logged were about 220 and I was able to do it on 4.5 gallons of gas, 48 mpg isn’t bad fully loaded and hitting the twisties hard. I know I was able to wear down the corners of the tires a bit 😉


Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting up with a few PNWSTOG members for a ride from Kelso through Cougar,Trout Lake,Gleenwood,Goldendale, Yakima and Ellensberg.

Thanks for following me!


Productive day

I had a very productive day yesterday that went a long way toward prepping for my trip. 1st stop was to meet up with David Peterson at Best Rest Products  IMG_2813IMG_2814I picked up a cool camp chair, some tire repair goodies plus he rebuilt my Cycle Pump and air gauge. Thanks David, your pump has saved me in the back country more than once, it’s awesome! IMG_0166Next stop was to see Darryl and Sandra VanNieuweuhuise’s great crew at Cyclops Adventure Sports / IMG_2817IMG_2818IMG_2834IMG_2835IMG_2833I had the 3000 lumen light bar custom installed by Greg. The attention to detail and overall level of customer service is outstanding! The lights are truly amazing!  13138802_10206513774419533_8786182287370312269_n-2Lastly, I dropped the bike off at Jeff’s in Issaquah so he can get a closer look to see where I have a small oil leak. It might be a knick in the valve cover gasket from the last valve check or I may have just over filled the oil at the last change. Jeff is a great mechanic and will figure it out. He assured me it’s nothing too serious but wants to double check it before the trip. Thanks Jeff!