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June 30, 2003

pegaso progress.
Proving once again that I have the best friends ever, five hearty souls came over on Saturday to help out with the Pegaso. I managed to get the carbs out before anyone showed up, and was merrily disassembling jets and float valves when Ceej and David came by. Shortly thereafter, Tony and Stephanie showed up. We finished up with the carbs, and were just about to re-install them when I realized that the fuel line needed to be replaced. Fortunately, Peter hadn't left his house yet, and he was able to swing by the auto parts store on his way over.

We actually ended up needing all five people to get the Pegaso back together. Ceej put the Giants game on the radio while Stephanie and I (and our small hands) got the carbs installed. David and Peter helped me line up the exhaust header pipes (they'd separated when the subframe fell) and get those back together. People tag-teamed in and out of holding up the back of the bike while all of this was going on, and finally, everything was back together and the subframe bolts were back in. Whew! So, six people and about three hours later, the Pegaso is 90% assembled. I'll put the fuel tank on early this week and make sure it all runs.

It sounds like a joke. How many motorcyclists does it take to hold up a subframe?

sunday riding
I went on the weekly ride with the folk yesterday. It's always a fun day: ride a bit, stop to bullshit. Ride a bit more, stop to bullshit. We met at Paul and Carla's, so that I could finally meet their baby daughter Kathleen, who is probably the most adorable (and huge!) 3-month old ever. I brought her a little hat from the Arlen Ness headquarters, which fit her perfectly; naturally, I forgot to take a picture.

After leaving Carla and Kathleen, we rode down to Saratoga for coffee. As usual, we stood around and talked about mods and roads and idiot drivers...the standard fare. Dave's early-90's gixxer ("Barney", since it's purple) is in the shop with transmission issues, so he was riding Paul's Bandit 600. Paul had his Triumph Sprint RS, and Brian was riding a new Ducati 749. The latter was interesting to me, since I'd apparently just fallen off of the turnip truck and had thought that only the 999 came in red. But no, Brian's 749 was red. See? I learn something every day.

We rode up Hwy 9 to the vista point just past the junction of 9 and 35, and hung out there for a while. It was a nice 'n' easy ride up 9; I only got stuck behind an annoyingly slow driver once, and they pulled off the road after a while. Otherwise, it was smooth and clear, and relatively squid-free. It was bloody hot at the vista point, though, so we didn't hang around as long as we would normally.

Hopping back on 9, we turned north on Hwy 35 and then west on Hwy 84 towards the coast. We stopped at the San Gregorio General Store, about a mile inland, for water, more coffee, etc. There were a lot of people milling about the parking lot; some bicyclists, some motorcyclists, some motorists. A drunkish hippie-looking guy pawed my hair on my way back from the restroom, and followed me outside, blathering about how much he liked the color. His friend eventually herded him into a car, and they pulled out down the road, the hippie still leaning out the window and yelling "nice color!" as they drove away.

We hopped back on west 84 until we turned south onto Highway 1 and rode along the coast for a while. The guys took off at the speed of light, since there was finally a minimal amount of traffic; I hung back with Mark, since I knew where we were going and he didn't. We turned left onto Pescadero Creek Road (where Dave's transmission horked; he proudly showed off his huge skid mark) and rode into the downtown for Archangeli's Deli sandwiches. The sandwiches were great as always, and I bought a nice loaf of cinnamon bread. Mmmmm, cinnamon bread.

After lunch, we continued up Pescadero Creek Road. I'd never been on this section of it before, which made it really fun. It was more narrow and twisty than Highways 9/35/84 -- more like Page Mill and my other roads of choice. The road runs alongside the Pescadero Creek (no surprise there, I'm sure), and we stopped at one wide turnout along the riverbanks for a little while. It was a really nice area; shaded by huge redwoods, very little traffic, quiet, bubbling creek nearby. We puttered around for a bit, playing with the Duc's clutch, drinking water, smoking cigarettes (well, not me, but pretty much everyone else), shooting the breeze, etc.

Once we were done trading lies and kicking tires, we hopped back onto Pescardero Creek Road and headed north towards Highway 84. At 84, we turned east and ended up back at Alice's. I had been riding towards the back for most of the day, but I ended up ahead of Paul along most of 84. It was fun; he was right behind me, but I know Paul well enough to know that he'd pass me if I was holding him up, so we just rode up together at a pretty good clip. Later, while hanging around at Alice's, he told me that my form was looking really good, which made me happy. He said my butt looked good in the leathers, too, so I gave him a dollar.

A couple of minutes after arriving at Alice's, we realized that Mark wasn't behind us. When it had been nearly 20 minutes with no sign of him, we started to get worried. He hadn't been riding outside of his skill level at all, and was doing well during the day, so our hope was that he'd made a wrong turn. We didn't want to risk it, though, so Paul, Dave, and Brian took off back down 84 to Pescadero Creek Road, and I hung out in the Alice's parking lot in case he showed up. He finally did, about 20 minutes after the boys left -- just as we'd thought/hoped, he'd accidentally made the right turn onto Alpine Road instead of onto Hwy 84. He went up to the top of Alpine, where it intersects with Hwy 35, and took 35 back down to Alice's. The two of us hung out until the rest of the guys returned, and everyone was much relieved to see everyone safe and sound.

So we hung out at Alice's for a while, chatting with people we knew and ogling the gorgeous bikes in the parking lot.

I took 35 and Page Mill home from Alice's, which made me happy. I do love that road. I was doing well yesterday, too; until getting stuck behind a slow Toyota, I was averaging a decent 30mph. Woot.

impending road trip.
I leave for Prescott on Saturday morning, which is a little surreal. The only preparation I've made is to arrange a meeting time/place with Akili and Jen; I think we're all of the "playing things by ear" mindset. We're all experienced tourers, so I'm not concerned about this. We're hoping to take back roads to Barstow on Saturday, and then get into Prescott on Sunday evening. The conference runs from Monday - Wednesday. I have no idea how I'll get home, route-wise; I'm definitely going it alone, though. I'll probably worry about route more when I have an inkling of what the weather will be like. It's supposed to be 103 degrees in Barstow on Saturday and just about 90 degrees in Prescott next week. There's really no way to get to Prescott (or back) without riding through desert; too bad I can't teleport to Lake Tahoe or Yosemite.