As the title implies, this is a ride report of our current trip. (You'll be familiar with the people and the bikes soon enough.)
So....If you believe in omens or that things happen for a reason then you'd probably think we should have turned around and gone back home by now. Instead, we're trudging along on our 15 day, 3,000 mile round-trip from the SF Bay Area to Victoria, Canada. I'll explain....
As you can imagine, a lot of planning goes into a trip like this. Some of you may have seen the thread by "antihero" on here, in which he's going coast to coast on a Ducati Panigale. He's able to just GO without much planning. This of course would be great, but unfortunately, we have a limited timeframe of 15 days and in order to get the most from the trip, some planning was needed.
Two days ago, after all the planning and necessities purchased, it was time to head off.
Our first stop would be Mendocino, a small coastal town along the California coast. Although we've been there a few times I figured it would be good to ease into the trip by starting in familiar territory. You know, work out any kinks, make sure all the gear is working correctly etc. we weren't going to be leaving at the butt-crack of dawn or anything since we likely would have just gotten traffic going there.
We were pretty much packed the night before and spent the morning taking care of the things one takes care of when leaving for 15 days. So with all that taken care of, and with the bikes all packed up and ready to go, we shoved off. First stop, the gas station. Simple enough. Once there, it's the same ritual; gloves off, credit card in slot, etc. this time though I see Stephanie trying to get her gas cap open. I go on over and sure enough, the gas cap won't open. Can you imagine?? After all the planning, all the waiting, it all comes down to a few pins in a cylinder. This isn't the start we were looking for. I should mention that last week Stephanie, my significant other, decided to play mechanic when her kickstand sensor appeared to be having issues and "accidentally" unplugged the throttle control sensor instead of the kickstand sensor. This meant a trip to the dealer where, after several calls to and from Ducati North America, they were finally able to get the throttle control sensor reset.
So since this current issue is happening on a Monday, EVERY Ducati dealer and repair shop within reach is closed. We decide to go back home and try the spare key (yeah I know that's not going to work, but it buys me some time, ok??). We get home and of course the key doesn't work. I would've had more luck throwing the damn key at the lock than it actually working in the cylinder. Then hit me.....I once had a similar issue with my MV. It had a finicky ignition key and the tech told me the pins sometimes get locked up and they just need to be lubricated. THIS I can handle!! I grabbed a can of WD-40 and DROWNED the cylinder with the stuff. Tried the key and it worked. *Needless to say we were both relieved.
Now we were ready to go. We rarely take the highway on these trips but we took 101 to 128, by Coverdale. Traffic was light getting there We stopped for gas and since we hadn't had lunch we stopped for a burger at the Hamburger Ranch & BBQ. I'm a healthy eater, but they have awesome, good old fashioned NON lean meat hamburgers and like to stop here in our way through. And besides, We're on vacation.
I like this place. The waitress there is awesome and it just reminds me of the type of BBQ places one went to as a kid. Of note was when I thought Stephanie asked for a cup to-go for her iced tea, to which I replied asking if she really just asked for a cul to go....for the motorcycle.
Another place we've stopped at before is at Gowans Oak Tree. They have home-made apple cider so we stopped for some
It had been sunny and hot all the way through (93 at one point). Getting to the coast though was another story. The temperature dropped down to 55 and not helping the situation, the fog had also rolled in. At least there was no traffic.
Mendocino was quiet. We got our room key and got ready for dinner. We stay at the Blue Heron Inn. Awesome place with a fantastic owner. Highly recommend it.
Dinner at the restaurant downstairs was awesome as usual. Now it was time to get to bed. Tomorrow would be another day.....more to follow. Let just say that the next day was hopefully a cleansing of anything more that might go wrong. Let's just say that it involves these two images: