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After the races, I continued up north along the coast. Ideal riding weather.

The Golden Gate Bridge:

Here’s Alcatraz.

And San Francisco.

More beautiful California coast line:

Met a lot of racer bikes on PCH and it was a joy trying to keep up with them. Life was good.

Then I started seeing some business activity on the old crackberry. (It was now a Monday and the work week started) This would be the first test of the system on the road. I had tried many dry runs in the city and was fairly confident that all would work well. One of my bigger clients found a bug in the software, and it needed to be fixed. No problem. I setup the machine, got on to the web, and tried to access the VPN. Multiple attempts, and nothing. Could just be the web. Why else would it just suddenly stop working? Perhaps tomorrow it will be better. Don’t things magically fix themselves over night?

I decided to get a hotel room so I could get a controlled environment to help diagnose the problem and higher speed access. Wasn’t too concerned about the technology break down at this point. This stuff happens. I figured Id get this to work before morning. Was more pissed that here I was now in a hotel after spending a couple of nights in a trailer, and had yet to do a single night of camping. I was getting soft.


Today was race day. Never got on my bike, and don’t recall not having a beer in my hand. So all work out very well. It was sunny but cool, motorcycles everywhere, and lots of speed. Good times.

I wish I had one of those giant sports/paparazzi lenses for my camera.

More Laguna Seca Pics:

After the races, we went in to the paddock and pit area to go see what we could.

I guess you can’t have too many spare wheels.

After a day of excess, I was looking forward to getting back on the road and heading north.

After countless delays, the day finally arrived and I hit the road. The plan for this first inaugural trip of my new state of the art Bavarian machine was to make it all the way up to Canada and visit the Banff and Jasper National Parks. I live in LA, so I figured a good month.

I’ve been on long road trips before, but never on a motorcycle. In the past, the rule was to take everything you could think of from tools to camping supplies to music to coolers full of beer, everything. Space and weight just weren’t relevant. Of course, on a bike that just won’t jive, so a lot of preparation was done to turn my kit into a lean one. Fortunately, I love backpacking and have a lot of light weight camping gear, so roughing it was covered. Prepping the bike and getting my riding gear together was a whole other story.

Never before have I found it so hard to give money to vendors. Everything was always either out of stock, the wrong parts got shipped, or didn’t fit. Getting a good deal became irrelevant, getting on the road in my life time was. So what I figured would be a good month of prep, took a half year. In the end, summer was half over before the tires even hit the asphalt.

But there was one other issue that had to be handled prior to departure, my work. Most people consider being self-employed a blessing. You can make your own hours, you come and go as you please, you work on what you want. Well nothing it farther from the truth. The reality is you are always working, you are always on call, and the very thought of taking an unbothered vacation is a pipe dream. It’s just not possible. Understand that my company is only a one and half man operation. It falls right between where it can easily support me and a part timer, but can not afford to hire additional full time labor. So this means, I’m taking the company with me.

Now before all the business owners attack. Yes, I completely acknowledge that what I have is not a company at all, but a private job. But lets keep the illusion alive.

So the plan was to do the business nonsense in the morning and then ride in the afternoon. It would be slow going, but who’s in a rush. Running the company meant dealing with software sales, support, licensing, development and (most importantly) never letting my clients know I’m not in LA. Fortunately, I already have all the business web servers and a VPN in place for getting secure access to the systems from anywhere. All I needed to do was stuff everything on a laptop, and find internet access from the road. Couldn’t be simpler.

With everything in place, I was good to go.

Now some pics:

My first stop after getting out of LA, was some where in Los Padres Nat’l forest outside Frazier park.

I immediately realized I was on the heavy side. Made some adjustments and went looking for dirt.

Sure the road was pretty tame, but it was good test for a fully loaded bike. I have taken the bike off road before, but never this loaded up. Gotta start easy I figured.

This was in the middle of July, so the temps were up. I decided to head to the coast for cooler conditions.

I made it all the way to Monterey, and in the afternoon, decided it was time to start looking for a place to camp. Having been on road trips up the California coast before, I know that finding a good remote camping spot is easier said than done. So I decided to head inland, find a dirt road, and camp.

I started seeing a ton of bikes going in the opposite direction. Every make and model, and huge groups of them. So many, that waving to them all became ridiculous. I wondered what this was all about, and then it struck me. Could this be Laguna Seca? I’ve never been to the MotoGP races, and wasn’t sure where Laguna Seca was located. But then all of a sudden there it was. The entrance. Well I’ll be damned.

Now I knew a dude that was going. In fact, he even invited me a month or so back, but I was so desperate at the time to get on the road, I decided to pass. I made a few phone calls, got the guys number, and gave him a ring. To make a short story even shorter, ten minutes later I was following him and his friend’s golf cart in to the fair grounds. They had a big trailer, there were showers, motorcycles everywhere, and plenty of beer. I had no passes or tickets for anything, but some how they got me in every where: the races, the paddock. The golf cart made traveling around the fairgrounds easy too. Needless to say, I spent the next couple days partying.

Could this trip have started out any better!

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