Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where Angels Tread

Father's Day! My Dad and I met for breakfast at a local eatery and then headed off on our very first excursion on the (in)famous Angeles Crest Highway. The day was absolutely perfect for riding: about 75F and partly cloudy. Our first stop was at the fork that leads to Mount Wilson Observatory -- locally known as "Red Box Road". There were a few other motorcycles with the same pitstop in mind, and we got to talk all things two-wheeled after lightening our load a bit.

Continuing along the Crest for another nine or so miles brings you to Newcomb's Ranch Restaurant and Bar. As can be seen in the picture, Newcomb's is a very popular place with the motorcycle set. We spent fifteen minutes just walking along the front looking at the enormous variety of bikes.

Inside the eatery was to be found cold soda and the Superbike race on big screens! What a terrific way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect day was an oncoming 900-pound full dress Harley that apparently thought of the double yellow line as more of a suggestion than rule. Thank goodness for quick reflexes.

Happy Father's Day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday River Ride

My Dad and I took a leisurely sixty-mile ride up to the East Fork of the San Gabriel River and back today. The weather was overcast and cool, and the traffic was very light for a weekend. In short, perfect riding conditions! We stopped at the campground where the road ends and looked down on the river below for a while. We've gone fly fishing in the river in the past, though only caught planted trout in the 6"-8" range.

A nice ride back down the hill and we stopped for a soda at Williams Camp. Everyone -- from the rangers to the hikers to the store clerks -- were very friendly and welcoming. We waved at many other bikers as we passed.

I recommend the road as an alternative to the ubiquitous (and fast-paced) Angeles Crest.

Monday, June 1, 2009

These Boots Were Made For Ridin'

I have owned this pair of Sidi Vertigo Air boots for nearly a year now, and with the sole exception of rainy days, do all of my riding in them. I have worn the boots 50-60 hours a week many weeks in a row with no discomfort. I love the fact that they are dead simple to put on (one full-length zipper and a top velcro flap), offer terrific protection, are breathable (have perforated uppers), have a built-in closable air vent, adjustable calf, and are comfortable on and off the bike. Truly a race-quality boot for everyday wear.

My Sidi Canyon boots have also been around for nearly a year, though have gotten a lot less use than my Vertigo's. I bought these for rainy days: they have a full goretex membrane, are very waterproof, and offer thick soles. The Canyon's are also very comfortable. They feel like they are much more solid than the Vertigo's due to the full-length velcro flap closure, cinch-down foot strap, and chunky sole. Unfortunately this contributes to less feel on the bike -- my feet are really insulated from everything, even the shift/brake foot controls. That being said, they are my go-to boots when the storms roll in without question.