Monday, November 9, 2009

Our First Overnighter

Happy Birthday to me...Happy Birthday to me...Happy Birthday Dear Bad Ass...Happy Birthday to ME!!

For my birthday weekend, we took our bikes on their first “overnighter.” (No, the bikes sleeping at the clubhouse does not count!)

When we traveled to Cook's Corner the Sunday prior, we were on a very tight schedule, so I was not comfortable riding my motorcycle up there. Chris and James rode their Harleys and I drove the Pony. This plan worked for me for at least three reasons:

1. I got to smoke during the 90-minute car ride to Lake Forest.
2. I got to sing the whole way to Cook’s Corner.
3. I got to turn on the heat on the way home ;)

Though I could see the benefits in not riding my motorcycle to Orange County, I did, however, still want to ride to the most awesome biker bar in Southern California. The guys agreed that if James enjoyed Cook’s then we would all return the following weekend (for what I like to call the “The First Ever Birthday Run”).

Chris suggested we stay in a hotel close to Cook’s on Saturday night so we would not have to ride home in the cold dark night. I definitely liked that idea!

The Birthday Run almost didn’t happen. First, Chris contracted the H1N1 virus. His temperature was almost 104 degrees when Medical sent him home Wednesday! Thankfully, his wife is an excellent nurse and even though he wasn’t feeling 100 percent, he felt good enough to ride his bike. (It probably helped that he had not even seen his motorcycle in three days…he was going through withdrawals!)

Second, we woke up to cloudy skies and 55 degrees. Brrrrr! That did NOT sound like a super happy awesomely fun birthday run. Truthfully, I would have been cool if James had said it was too cold or if Chris had said he did not feel up to the ride. Thankfully, the boys still wanted to go.

Unfortunately, Martin and Ko did not go :( Apparently, they had had a rough week at work…regardless of their personal circumstances, I was a little peeved that they were ditching me on my birthday. (But maybe, that was their payback for me taking forever to post pictures of their new bikes on the blog. Touché!)

Chris led, I rode in the middle and James covered my ass. Unfortunately for him that meant almost getting an eye taken out by the visor that flew off my helmet at 75 MPH. That also meant rarely getting into sixth gear and almost rear-ending me when Chris made a sudden turn and I did not know what to do. I made Chris buy James lunch for his patience.

Not only does Cook’s Corner have live music, an on-site biker accessory store, lots of motorcycles to ogle, and MCs to discover, but they also have really good food!

Some of the Motorcycle Clubs we have seen at Cook’s Corner include:

Eagles of Capistrano
Ruff Riders
Pasadena MC
HOG Chapters
Flaming Knights
Devil Dolls

(If you want to see Angels, you have to go to Hell's Kitchen.)

We took the 94 West from the Clubhouse and hopped onto the 805 North. The 805, by the way, is a horrible ride on a motorcycle. I recommend avoiding it.

In Solano Beach, we jumped on the PCH to enjoy the ocean views. We enjoyed a leisurely ride all the way to Oceanside where we stopped to put gas in my cute little bike. We hopped back on the 5, but then had to stop at the rest stop just outside of Oceanside because the gas station’s restroom was out of order.

A lady on a Harley pulled up behind us and we had a nice little chat about the joys of riding. She suggested we try the S2 from Ocotillo Wells to Julian. We suggested she check out Cook’s Corner and went on our way.

We took the 5 North all the way to El Toro Road. Originally we had planned to pick up the PCH again in Dana Point, but the coast was much cooler than the 5, so I was not really interested anymore.

One of the coolest moments of my 31st year (so far) was while heading inland on El Toro Road in Lake Forest, California. I have not been to Cook’s Corner enough to have all the landmarks memorized, but there is a point where you go over a little hill and suddenly - BAM! - there are all these bikes lined up in the distance.

Truly, my heart skipped a beat - I fucking made it! Me and my cute little 250 rode 94 miles successfully! If I wasn’t so scared to take my hands off the handlebars, I totally would have pumped my fist in the air!

And then, I almost dumped my bike. LOL. Thankfully, my bike is so small and light; I can always catch it before it actually falls.

We arrived at Cook’s around 1 p.m. and hung out for about 3.5 hours. One of the first things we noticed is that foundation seems to work like Velcro for road grime. My face was almost completely black!

Unfortunately, while we were there, an accident occurred. A line of bikes was waiting to make a left turn into Cook’s. A Jeep Cherokee, going northbound on El Toro at 50 MPH somehow crossed the double yellow and hit the first bike head on…how in the world it happened, I will never know. How it is that the only casualty was the front-end of one bike, is a true miracle.

The coolest part was to see every single biker at Cook’s Corner rush on to the street the minute we heard brakes squeal. One guy was particularly overzealous at making sure whoever was driving the four-wheeled vehicle did not leave the scene. Thankfully, he calmed down a little when a woman stepped out of the driver’s side of the Jeep.

Though my heart was broken for the 60ish man who had to have his bike towed away from Cook’s Corner, I must admit, I also felt bad for the lady who hit him…It must have been a horrible experience for her. A suburban Orange County blonde in a pale blue velvet sweat suit in front of a biker bar…Seriously, if you accidentally hit a motorcycle, do not do it when 150 bikers are standing around.

I bought a Crampbuster contraption to test out and Chris bought me a guardian bell to hang on my bike. The boys also picked up more spikes, and I bought my first sticker, “Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.”

We saw a lot of great bikes, including the Captain America from Easy Rider. I would have taken more pictures, but we didn’t feel “cool” being touristy. This guy didn't seem to mind though. We also saw a guy do a wheelie!

Around 4:30 we rolled out to check-in to the nearest hotel. We found a Marriott about two miles away off Glenn Ranch Road. After checking in, we decided to go play pool at Big Shots on El Toro. We played pool for five hours! Bikes, billiards, laughs and Atomic Dog by George Clinton (the extended version even) - seriously, that is the best birthday Saturday a girl could ask for!!

I fell asleep Saturday wondering what cool adventures Sunday would bring, and I was not disappointed.

Chris and I did not pack anything for this trip, because we weren’t sure if the saddlebags we bought for my bike would really work. Waking up in the morning with no toiletries or change of clothes makes it really easy to determine what few items would have made my life easier Sunday morning. On our next overnighter, Chris and I plan to bring:

Deodorant (Travel-Size for each of us)
Toothpaste (I can use my finger to brush, but I need the cleaning agent!)
Q-Tips (I NEED to get the water out of my ears.)
Comb (I also need to get the snarls out of my hair.)
Lotion (For massages after a loooooong ride!)
T-Shirt (I refused to return to Cook’s on Sunday, because I was in the same shirt.)

We met up with James around 10 am, and headed out to find breakfast. The nearest Denny’s was in the perfect location - on El Toro right before the 5! I tried a new dish they have - a Grand Slamwich. It was SO delicious. I don’t normally try new food, but this sandwich was definitely awesome!

During breakfast, we realized we hadn’t taken any pictures yesterday (except for the Captain America bike at Cook’s). I suggested stopping at the View Point on the 5 just north of the rest stop. The guys agreed, so off we went in search of an excellent ocean view to showcase our motorcycles.

Unfortunately, when we got to the view point, the asphalt was actually much farther from the ocean than I remembered and the sky was hazy. And then, a big dumb AT&T semi pulled up in front of us blocking our entire ocean view. Doubly unfortunate were the two cups of coffee and large orange juice I had drunk at breakfast. There was not a restroom at the view point, so I had to get back on my bike and ride 3 miles before relieving myself.

I figured out on that first long ride of the day that my uber-tight full-fingered gloves help with the circulation in my fingers. Who knew?!

From the rest stop, we decided to take the 5 South to the 76 where we would try to find Renegade Classics, a biker store advertised in the Quick Throttle magazine. From the time we got to the 76, it took us approximately 45 minutes to find that store. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful so all the back and forth and U-turns and stops for map checks weren’t too much hassle. Next time, I’ll make sure James actually puts the address in his GPS rather than just the street name…

During this leg of the trip, I finally got my Crampbuster in the correct position on my throttle and was able to use it. Love it! Highly recommend it.

We found Renegade Classics, and it turned out pretty cool. Not surprisingly, my husband bought ANOTHER helmet. That brings the total to seven! (One of the helmets we did have was offloaded to Mr. John Martin.)

We left Renegade and decided to take the PCH from Oceanside. The sun was starting to go down, so we got some awesome views while traveling along the ocean. We stopped around Encinitas and took a couple pictures. It was a little difficult with the sun and the traffic, but we managed.
Why are we laughing? Because a sweaty jogger in an A-Shirt and tiny running shorts offered to take a picture!

After the pictures, we got on the 5 and headed home. The ride from Encinitas to Lemon Grove was MUCH colder than I expected. It was actually the first time on the whole trip that I got cold.

Somehow I ended up in the lead on the way home and barreled down the 5 to the 94 East as fast as my little bike would carry me. When we got to the exit for the clubhouse, I was so relieved; I traveled about 30 MPH the rest of the way to James’ house.

Interesting side note: it took me eight months to get 200 miles on my odometer. I doubled that this weekend :D

Chris decided he wanted to barbecue, so while he went and picked up Brytin, James and I went to Albertson’s and bought steaks. We also rented a couple movies from Blockbuster - Gran Torino being the one I demanded James watch. He didn’t like it so much, but he did enjoy Stepbrothers.

We finally got home from our first overnighter late Sunday/early Monday and fell asleep. What a great trip!! I can’t wait until the next Motorcycle Adventure!
My bike finally has a name. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Sarah

Chris’ bike is named Betty

James’ is named Charlene

Martin’s bike is named Cherry.

Ko is still working on his. I think it should be Chelsea (because Cherry and Chelsea are fraternal twins).

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