Monday, December 21, 2015

SOLVANG TRIP

While I was living in Southern California in April 2013 I wanted to take a ride with my trike.
I have a friend who lives in Solvang, California and he wanted me to come up and visit him.  We hadn’t seen each other for over 12 years.  So, last weekend was very warm, for this time of the year, and it seemed like a good idea to head up there with my trike.  Ron Herbig, my friend, has been a motorcyclist about as long as I have and he and I are both old fogies the same age.  I wanted to show him another means of riding in the wind without having to hold up the heavy motorcycle.  I packed up a few items, stuffed them in my small trunk on the back of the trike, and off I went, heading north. 
I gassed up at Sam’s Club and after checking the mileage from here to there, which is 162 miles, I hit the road.  I wanted to know the mileage so I could get what gas mileage the trike gets.  I don’t have a speedometer, so I did it by gallons and mileage I got from my computer.  I was pretty disappointed with the results.  I only got 18 MPG with a Weber 44 on a 1776 engine.
The trike was running real well and the weather was great even in the morning.  I got to Thousand Oaks and wanted to see the old church I used to attend and preach at.  I even helped build it in 1973.  It’s called The First Baptist Church of Thousand Oaks.  It had been since 1974 when I last seen the church, so I had to ask directions.  Of course, I picked a motorcycle shop to ask.  While there I drooled over the bikes, especially the four wheel drive quads.  I would love to have one of those to go up in the hills gold prospecting.  With my bad back limiting my walking it would work real well.  After getting directions I headed up the hill and saw the church.  Unfortunately, it was a Saturday and no one was there, but it was great seeing it still standing, despite my building abilities.
Then I headed up to Oxnard where I had married my bride, Rosann, on November 26, 1961, exactly 50 years ago to the day.  With tears in my eyes, I told her “Happy Anniversary, Honey.  I hope she can hear me up there in Heaven.  When I got to Oxnard I headed to El Rio where we used to live on 334 Will Ave.  There was our old house looking just like it looked many years before, and even one of our old neighbors was there next door; at least, their children were.  We had a great talk.  Sylvia, the daughter of the folks who were our old neighbors and who I knew when she was a young girl, came to the door when I knocked.  We talked about old times and then she told me about how many of the family had died which made me sad, and even the one girl Rosann and I helped raise, since she was at our house almost more than at her own.  She died in a motorcycle crash a few years ago.  I was so sad.  It was an emotional time with the thoughts of all the neighbors who died and especially my Rosann, who I will dearly love for eternity. 
So, I gassed up there in El Rio and headed north again.  When I reached the highway it runs right along the side of the ocean.  I so love the smell, sight and sound of the ocean.  Of course, with my VERY loud mufflers, if you can call them that, I did not really hear the ocean; I just imagined it.  It made me want to get my old SCUBA gear out and head out to those Channel Islands again like in the old days.  It was so clear I could see the islands real well that day.
Ron told me about a nice scenic way to get to his place that goes past Lake Cachuma.  I was all for that and it was as he said.  I found a place to stop and pulled out my camera only to find out that it was broken.  I have never dropped it so I have no idea what happened, but now I have no camera.  Sorry, no pictures this time.  Oh well, if I took a picture of Ron it would have broken it anyway.  J
The trip went real well and I even found the Ron’s house on the first try, which is almost a miracle for me.  He was real impressed with the trike, so much so that he called a friend of his and told him all about it.  The next thing I knew Ron jumped on the back seat and off we went heading to his friends place before I really even got off my trike.  After traveling about 20 miles I asked just where is this place.  Of course he said, with his southern twang, “Just up the road a bit.”    Well, “a bit” was still quite a ways, but finally, without warning he said, “Turn here.”  A car behind us came close to running up our tail pipes.  I asked next time give me a little more warning.  We traveled up a long dirt road through horse corrals and dog kennels up to a nice looking little home.  Next to his house he had a quad.  Of course I had to see it.  While I was admiring the quad he was admiring my trike.  I wasn’t quite ready to trade for it, but almost tempted.  I sure want one of those things.  So, after much talk I asked my new friend, Richard, if he would like to take a ride.  He was a little hesitant, but finally went.  He had rode Harleys for a very long time (he was 75) and now after a stroke, really missed the wind in his hair.  We went down the road a ways and then I asked if he wanted to drive.  It took a little arm bending to get him to try it, but when he did I thought we wouldn’t ever stop until it ran out of gas.  He loved it.  When we got back to his place he was so excited that he couldn’t stop talking to his wife about it and then we sat down at a table out in the patio and then non-stop he talked about getting a trike.  It was quite an experience.  I made two triker converts within an hour.  Both were long time bikers. 
After we left there Ron and I headed to another friends house he wanted to show it to.  This friend had a Harley already, but when we showed him the trike he was very interested in looking into those as well.  His wife liked the Harley, though, so you probably know where that will end up.  Gotta keep momma happy.  If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.  He had a quad as well.  It was a four wheel drive and had two PTO’s; front and back.  Now I was real jealous.  Does everyone around here have quads?  They were real nice people and they asked us in for coffee and cookies.  Well, we couldn’t turn down that offer, so in we went and sat down and talked bikes and trikes for quite a spell.  Now, within a few hours I have made three converts.  I’m not sure how many of them will actually get a trike, but they sure were interested in mine.
Finally, we were heading back to Ron’s place.  I let him drive.  Boy, that was a mistake.  Now I can’t get him off it.  Everywhere we went he had to drive.  Like most bike riders, though he would cut the corners way too close forgetting that there are wheels way out to the sides and a few times I thought he was going to clip a few posts and one car.  I remember when I first drove one the same thing happened with me.  It takes a little getting used to having wheels so far out from the sides when you are used to riding a two wheel motorcycle. 
It was still Saturday, but now Ron wanted to go to his church.  He likes to go on Saturday night so he can have all day Sunday to do what he wants.  Problem is, on Saturday night the only service is a Spanish one, but he goes anyway, and it’s a Catholic service which I have no idea about any of it since I’m a Baptist and can’t speak a word of Spanish.  Ron doesn’t speak Spanish either, but when I asked him about that he said that when he was young he went to the Catholic church and then they only spoke Latin and he didn’t speak that either.  Being a Baptist none of it made any since to me; literally.
By this time I have had a whole lot of Saturday and not much for sustenance.  It was past 9 p.m. and all I had to eat was a small breakfast at 6:00 a.m. and our coffee and a cookie.  I guess that was lunch.  We then had to go to another neighbor and help him do something.  They were all playing some very complicated board game, but they did invite us to their left over Thanksgiving dinner.  We through it in the microwave and finally; food.  The game was way too complicated for me.  It was something like Monopoly, but with dragons and whatever.  Monopoly was too complicated for me.  The rest of the night drug on and on and I was asleep on my feet.  Finally, Ron said we could go home.  I threw a few pillows on the floor from a couch and fell on them.  It was after midnight and I didn’t wake up until 6:00 a.m. like my body does every morning.  
The next day I had to go home and I got a later start than I wanted to since my headlight was questionable.  Before I left for this trip I had ordered a bulb, but it didn’t come in so I jury rigged a small single filament bulb on the front that I taped on.  I raced the sun home, but the sun won.  Luckily, the small lights I attached to the lower faring worked pretty well and I made it home in record time.  I’m glad the road gods were with me that night and I didn’t get any tickets.  I was hauling … 
All in all it was a pretty fun weekend and I just wanted to share it with all of you.  I hope you enjoyed it a little too.
 



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