14 January 2012

Digging into the Archives: Flashback 2003

I finally found my old web pages from when I lived in California.  I knew I had them on one of the many CDs that I'm holding onto!  Here's one of my first ride reports from not long after I'd settled (I was still settling) into my new life in Southern California.

29 June 2003:  My first Women On Wheels Ride

I finally got in contact with a local Women on Wheels chapter in hopes of finding some cool people to ride with.  I went to the Saturday skills in Huntington Beach and met Debbie, the chapter leader, who rides a red 1200 Harley Davidson Sportster.  After meeting some of the women, I decided to join them for their monthly Sunday ride.  This ride went from Orange County Harley Dealer in Irvine to The Hideout Saloon in Santa Ysabel, CA.

I met Debbie at a 76 station in Huntington Beach and we rode to the Harley Dealer taking the 405 south toward San Diego.  Debbie claims we were doing 72 on the way, but my speedo read 95.

Syl, she rides a 2000 Ducati M900, was waiting and for a while, it looked like we'd be the only three riding  until Nedra, BMW 1150R, showed up with a friend riding a Honda 1300 cruiser.  Nedra was leading the ride.  We waited for Dani, the other new person besides me to join us, but when she didn't we headed out.

Left to right:  Debbie, Patrice (before theWolf), Nedra, Nedra's unnamed friend, Syl.
I don't remember all of these ladies but reading these reports have triggered some memories.
Our route took us south on the 405 to the 5 then to the CA-76 highway.  Somewhere along the 405, we passed Dani who was waiting on the side of the road for us.  We slowed up and she caught up with us in time to get onto the 5.  From there it was onto the 76 which turned out to be a twisty road that meandered through some mountains that I don't know the name of.  I was in the third position behind Nedra and Syl.  Syl left us as soon as the road got twisty.  Nedra led us along this winding route like she already knew how I could ride.

The first curve we came to was a left handed sweeper at the top of the mountain that dove downhill in a way that made the road disappear leaving me an eye full of blue sky and tree covered mountain.  Nedra dove into the curve and disappeared.  I slowed down, as I couldn't see the road and worried that the lady behind me, on the Honda 1300, would run right up my tail pipe.  Just as I was wondering how well Sam could fly, I picked up the road again and dove into the corner.  Which wasn't as bad as I'd imagined.  Nedra reappeared and I decided to pay closer attention to the road and not the scenery.

We wound our way to The Hideout Saloon behind a few too many cars and stopped for lunch.  It had been uneventful until it was time to park and I tested my tight left-hand u-turn skills that we'd practiced the day before.

I didn't have an incident that day, but on this day, Sam did exactly as he should while I for some unexplained reason fell to the right.  I could only grab a handful of throttle and let out the clutch.  This pulled me back on the bike and safely down the road.

All I could do was laugh hysterically as we all regrouped and marveled at the ride we'd just taken.  Debbie told us she almost rode off the mountain taking a small excursion into the gravel.  She was able to ride through it with no incident, but the riders behind her decided to give her room.

We ate lunch, grateful that no one was really hurt, and got to know each other better to the sound of some soul-less blues.

The Ladies rides:

Nedra's BMW 1150R and her friends Honda 1300.

My VX800, Debbie's Sportster, and Syl's M900.
Not pictured:  Danee's Suzuki Savage 800.
Debbie and Nedra discuss the ride back.
Our fearless ride leader exits The Hideout Saloon and Steakhouse.
From Left to right: Syl (walking away), Nedra, and Danee.

It was hot, but not Atlanta hot because there was no humidity.  I felt the heat as we rode through the Valley toward The Hideout and thought it was getting warm.

We left The Hideout with Syl in the lead and the warning "I'll probably ride fast, but don't try to keep up.  I'll slow down and wait when it's time to slow down." echoing in my ear.  I was again third, this time behind Syl and Danee.

The road was just as twisty on the way back.  True to her word, Syl passed a truck leaving us stuck.  Danee and I negotiated the curves,  but after nearly running up her Jardine pipes a couple of times, I decided to see if I could run with the Big Dawg and passed the truck.  I am happy to say, I could keep up.

Syl and I waited for the rest of the ladies to catch up at a gas station.  It was the last time we stopped.  The rest of the way, I thought, would be on the super slab with each of us waving goodbye when it was time to go.  Nedra had a little surprise for me.

Cooling off at the Gas Station in Temeculah.

We left Temeculah going North (I think) on the 15 before exiting at CA-74 (I think) where Nedra's friend left us.  We continued on the 74 to the 5.  Nedra changed our riding order, putting me 3rd behind Syl and her because we were approaching the twisties.

We left the cruisers behind, and but for the cages slowing us down, rode a beautifully twisted road through some more mountains, this time overlooking the valley and some water than I could only guess was ocean.

The road was as captivating as the scenery and with my intention to keep up with the Big Girls, I turned my attention to the road.  We passed the slower cages when it was safe and wound our way through some the national forest that lined the road.  It was a beautiful ride!  The grin is still on my face.

All in all, I kept thanking God for giving me this day on those roads and the ability to keep up with the big girls.

Thank you OC Spirit Riders!

I did not change this from the way I wrote it so many years ago, with the exception of changing road to rode or vice versa where needed.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

No garage for me in Long Beach.  Sam had to live under cover on the street!

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