Winter is coming!

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Thruxton71
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:43 pm
Location: Ojai, CA

Winter is coming!

Post by Thruxton71 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:02 pm

It has been hot and humid in Ojai, so when I prepared for our Sunday ride I left my liner out of my jacket, and pulled on my summer gloves. The 400DRZ SM started with a thumb push and it was a quick ride down the street to the Gas Station where we meet. Today there was a Miata, a Corvair Trike, a T160 with a newly installed electric starter (Classic Triumph Triple), a modern Triumph twin, a vintage Honda Hawk, and my Suzuki.

The group decided to head north on Highway 33 to Ventucopa for breakfast at 'The Place.' T160 had to head home, the Miata left early, and the rest of us turned right on 33 headed towards the mountains. It was clear from the beginning that this was not an other hot day, but no one anticipated the kind of low 30's chill we rode up into. Yikes.

I got off the front, but never caught the Miata, even at the devil light controlled section in the middle of a great series of sweeping corners. By then it was painfully clear that we were in for a cool ride. I finally caught the Miata at the first turnout, a view point of the Sespe creek and the mountains surrounding the watershed. I prefer the view of the Pacific ocean before the summit, but there is more parking here. As the other riders pulled in all complained of cold hands. We haven't been cold on a ride for months, it really was a surprise.

First the Miata, then the Trike got started before I pulled out. I kept expecting to pull up on Trike, but didn't see them again till we regrouped at the bottom of the pass, where there is a fire station (Ozena Station) which is on high fire danger alert. What is bad for the fire station makes for some pretty spectacular scenery, as the gold of the dry grasses contrasts beautifully against the rusts and olive green colors of the high desert vegetation. Trike reports that a recent carb switch has eliminated the slight bog that Corvair owners are familiar with when a sharp corner is negotiated and gas in the float bowl sloshes away from the pickup. He seemed to be pushing his pace a little more than usual.

Everyone found places to stuff their gloves to pick up engine heat. The Suzuki has oil in the frame, and there is a space in front of the gas tank where the frame is available. It helps.

10 more miles and we were begging for hot beverages to warm our hands. Alick started a fire and warmth slowly returned.

I went off the front to go home, and kept it around 60mph, even when tempted by the long empty straights. And it was a good thing, as a CHP in a explorer gave us a long look when we encountered him coming the opposite direction. I watched my (now good) mirror, but he kept going. This is the first CHP I have seen on this ride, this time of day, in years. A rider died last week on one of those big Indian cruisers, and wasn't found till he was reported missing by his family. He went off the road up by Cherry Creek. (https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local ... 424156001/). Maybe they decided to increase their presence. I would guess that they would be pretty busy today, as the cold was gone, and there were a LOT of fast motorcycle coming up 33 as we left, in addition to a pod of what looked and sounded like high performance rally cars.

I rode my usual conservative pace (we saw 3 deer on the way in, 1 dead, 2 very alive), but still managed to catch up with some tourist in a very new and shiny Ferrari, who pulled over for us. If he only knew what utilitarian machinery overtook him, I am sure he would have to turn in his pink slip.

It is a wonderful road, and on the way down the traffic light worked to our advantage, as we filtered past a line of cars and had the rest of the best part of the road to ourselves when it went green. No deer, no CHP, just smooth well designed road.

Cheers.

From Ojai, CA.

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