Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Parking Phobia

Last Sunday was the 4th Annual Bikes on the Bay in Capitola. It was a small but awesome vintage motorcycle show in the parking lot of the Capitola Mall. I met Willy D, Carol, B.B. and Dave there and we had a great time hanging out for a little while.

As I prepared to ride to the Mall to meet them, I realized I had a huge problem. It's been creeping up on me for some time, but I had no idea it was this bad. I have developed a parking phobia. This also crosses over to my car, but I won't cover that here.

Almost every time I ride or even think of riding somewhere, the thought starts haunting me. What is the parking situation? Is it on a slope? Will the street be so narrow that I can't turn around? Will I be able to get out of the parking spot?

I know that I can back into any space, but sometimes even that is a little difficult. This problem is keeping me from venturing out to places unknown when I am by myself. As I prepared to ride to the Mall, the panic and dread hit me. Of course, once I got there I found a nice spot in the parking lot, which is partially sloped in most directions. I was a little nervous I wouldn't be able to get out of the spot, since I had gone into it forward.

I had absolutely no trouble and rolled right out of the spot. What was I afraid of? That is usually the case so I don't know where this is coming from; although I have had trouble once or twice rolling my heavy bike backwards out of a sloped spot. I am not that tall so it is always a challenge, even though my bike is pretty low. It is just getting leverage that gives me a problem. I really want to overcome this, so I will be working on it by going lots of places that I am unfamiliar with.

Is this just a 'girl' problem or does anyone else experience this?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

4th Annual Bikes on the Bay

Sunday, June 28 is the upcoming 4th Annual Bikes on the Bay vintage motorcycle show at the Capitola Mall near Santa Cruz, CA.

The 4th Annual Capitola/Soquel Vintage Motorcycle Show is held in the parking lot of the Mall located on 41st Ave, Capitola. Aside from the vintage cycles there is entertainment, food, swap meet, vendors, etc. The show draws local families as well as lots of bikers who appreciate the oldies.

The show runs from 9am to 4pm on Sunday, June 28th so if you're in the Monterey Bay area that day ride on over to beautiful Capitola and have some fun.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Ride to Work Day!

For those of you who have a job, you probably already ride to work whenever the weather cooperates. If you don't, today is a day to get out there and join together with riders everywhere who are using their motorcycles for daily transportation.

It takes a little planning and organization if you take items to work with you. Once you find a place to carry everything, (laptop, lunch, extra clothes to change into once you arrive, if needed)
you will find a routine that is quick, comfortable, and a great way to begin your workday.

From Wikipedia:
Ride To Work is a Minnesota-based charitable organization devoted to increasing awareness of motorcycling as a transportation alternative, mainly through the annual Ride to Work Day. The organization was incorporated in 2000 by Andy Goldfine, the owner of Aerostich.
Ride to Work Day started in 1992 as an informal event, before Ride To Work existed. In 2009, Ride to Work Day will be on June 15.

According to a 2006 statement to the National Transportation Safety Board by Goldfine, Ride to Work Day is the largest motorcycle event by number of participants. Ride to Work Day is also run in other countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Israel, Turkey, Ecuador and the Philippines. In the United Kingdom, the Motorcycle Industry Association runs the event alongside National Motorcycle Week.

This year the day was moved up from July. It will from now on be the 3rd Monday in June. This was decided partly because the weather in most parts of the world is milder in June than July, and I guess Europeans are on summer holiday in July so aren't riding to work then.

I, for one, won't be working today. Still looking. I will be riding today, though aimlessly with no destination. That's the best kind of riding, right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Victory Arrives in Santa Cruz

Special Note: I promised my son that I would write a new post since I haven't been updating for quite some time. I knew I was disappointing some of my regular readers, but when my son asked me "what's up with your blog, Mom?" I felt really bad. While I promised him a couple of weeks ago, it has taken me this long to actually do it. Nate has grown into a wonderful person and a thinking, responsible adult. I am really proud of him and can't let him down. So this is for you, Nate.

I've been living in Santa Cruz since November and was without my Vulcan until late December. I've ridden alone since then, aside from a couple of rides with my brother and with my Salinas friends. On Memorial Day weekend Dave decided he would ride the Victory from Seattle to Santa Cruz and leave it down here. That way when he is here a couple of times a month we can go for rides together and enjoy exploring the lovely California roads.

According to Dave, the ride south was alot of fun but mostly uneventful. I guess that's a good thing when your bike doesn't let you down. He rode I-5 most of the way, which climbs across the Siskeyous and is a straight ride towards San Francisco. He rode 600 miles the first day and stopped in Anderson, CA for the night. The next day was 300 miles and he arrived here around 1:30 pm. The weather was good all the way through Washington and Oregon, with a few sprinkles as he passed into California. From there on it was great. I felt a little jealous as he kept calling to check in with me along the way. It sounded so fun!!

After riding all that time, the next day he was ready to ride again. We rode down the coast on Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. I can't even describe the scenery as we passed through Monterey and down along the coast south of there. There were no photos taken as it is a winding, 2 lane road with no guardrails to protect you from falling down giant cliffs to the sea.

It was great riding together once again and was another gorgeous day.

This is the famous Bixby Bridge that you may have seen on TV and in movies. This is the landmark bridge near Big Sur.

I can't wait to ride further south one day to explore Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach and other destinations I've never been.

Once Dave got the Victory to California, he looked up to see where the nearest dealer is in case he needs work or parts. THERE ARE NONE. The nearest 'dealer' is in Danville, about 100 miles away. If anyone in the Monterey area, San Jose area, or Santa Cruz area knows of anyone who works on Victory motorcycles, please let me know. I guess there aren't many other Victorys around here so Dave should be getting some good attention when he rides.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm Another Statistic

There have been alot of changes in my life in the last 6 months. One of them is that I have found myself blogging less and less because it requires me to stay inside on the computer (I don't have a laptop) when I really want to be out in the sun, walking on the beach or riding my motorcycle on unfamiliar roads.

I moved to Santa Cruz, CA and have a new job which I really love. Until today..... I was laid off as well as a few others. The company is small and so it was a big impact on the number of people still employed there. The downtrodden economy has affected orders for our equipment, so it was necessary to downsize, for now. If orders do pick up in the near future I am assured that they will call me back to work. For now, I am another statistic.

I don't know what the future holds for me. Today, I want to continue living in Santa Cruz and see if there is another job out there for me locally. I did take a quick look at Craigslist and was amazed at the scarcity of job postings, compared to 5 months ago when I was actively looking.

I apologize in advance if I don't post as frequently as in the past. On the other hand, I guess I will have alot of free time on my hands for a while. Sounds like alot of daytime rides in the near future. This unemployed business might not be so bad after all.......

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My First Ride to Pescadero

When I first arrived in Santa Cruz the weather was warm compared to the Seattle area I had left behind. One of the sunny weekends my brother decided to ride with me north up Hiway 1 to Pescadero. The town is a tiny crossroads a couple of miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. I found out later that the town has a wonderful bakery that produces artichoke bread, which has artichoke hearts throughout the bread. Now, as a native Californian, I grew up eating artichokes and have always had an emotional attachment to anything artichoke. I will go back one day specifically to find the heavenly bread.

We started out making our way up Hiway 1 by passing through the town of Santa Cruz. Once you head up the coast the towns are few and far between. It is the loveliest stretch of coastline I have ever ridden on, although the Oregon Coast was just as gorgeous.

We stopped and rode up alot of side roads off of the Hiway. My brother has covered all of them on his motorcycles over the years. This day he was riding his '69 Honda.

We stopped at ano nuevo lighthouse for a moment. The iceplant covering the tops of the cliffs is a sight to behold. When it blooms it is a sea of hot-pink flowers.

We continued our round trip back towards Santa Cruz and stopped for a last look at Greyhound Rock. This particular day there were minus tides, which means the sea was much further out than usual. This made the Rock accessable and you can see there are a few people who made it to the top. Any other day you cannot reach Greyhound rock.

It was a fun day of warm temps and comfortable riding. Next time I go north will be heading to Half Moon Bay. I am hoping B.B., Dave, Willy D. and Carol can go along for the ride. As soon as things dry out and warm up again, we are off.

This coastal living is good for the soul.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Since I've Been In Santa Cruz.....

Since I arrived in Santa Cruz around Thanksgiving time I have been nothing but busy. I began a new job, which I liked from day one. I am starting to like it more each day and becoming more sure that I am doing good work and more comfortable with all the new people I work with.

I've always liked to take a little walk after eating lunch during my work day. The second week on my new job I was out for a walk and not paying attention to where I was stepping. I stumbled and fell face down on the sidewalk which seemed unavoidable at that moment. I really banged myself up and had to go back to work with blood running down my face and a stupid look on it as well.

I lived with this colorful eye for 3 weeks!

Living near the beach lends to lots of outdoor activity and exciting sight-filled walks. There is always something to see that is new or unusual.

I was finally pleased when my husband, 2 cats and my motorcycle arrived just before Christmas in a moving truck. All made the trip safely amid heavy snow storms between Seattle and Santa Cruz. Things are good.

Here is my Vulcan safe and sound in her new little garage.

Now that the Vulcan is here and the weather has been unseasonably warm (sorry everyone in the freezing climates) I have been riding to work a little and every weekend I'm on the road. There are endless places to go and new roads to discover. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Biker Bloggers Meet-up in Salinas

To break out of my self-imposed temporary blog retirement, I contacted B.B. and decided to ride to Salinas this weekend and find Dave's coffee shop since I was only 45 minutes away and had been dying to meet them for a while. The weather here in Santa Cruz has been record-breaking warm the past week. I had to ride.

We arranged to meet at the shop and I found out that Willy D and his wife Carol would also be there. I was excited as I started out that morning, not sure of where I was going and remembering that Salinas had already had 6 murders this year. I didn't want to end up in the wrong part of town.

My ride took me through fields of artichokes, which is one of the most beautiful sights there is. The central coast of California grows much of the nations strawberries, brussel sprouts, leeks, and many artichokes. It was a lovely sight to see fertile black soil plowed in rows for as far as you can see, ready for the next crop to be sewn.

I did get lost as I got into Salinas, so Dave and Willy D came and found me, then escorted me back to the coffee shop.

The girls were waiting to ride so we started out towards Monterey.

It was a very fun ride, and it seemed like I was riding with people I already knew. They were all very comfortable and fun to talk to. We ended up going along the coastline to Pacific Grove, and then back towards Salinas for another coffee drink. I loved it!

By the time I was ready to head back to Santa Cruz, the group decided they hadn't had enough riding for the day. Everyone rode together back to Santa Cruz to my exit off the hiway, then they gassed up and turned back towards home. My total miles for the day on the Vulcan were 129.

It was a memorable day and real pleasure to meet everyone. As B.B. said, it seemed like we were old friends in a way. I had enjoyed Dave's humor on his blog, and was not disappointed that he was a very funny guy. B.B was real down to earth and fun. Willy D. and his wife Carol were so cool I felt like I'd always known them. We plan to ride again and I look forward to spending more time on the road with all of them.