Sunday, February 26, 2012

Death Valley and Beyond - BMW Airhead Sidecar Tour

Pacific Coast - Tire and (almost) Tears....

We found a nice little motel with a view....
In the morning we pulled out and checked out one on the big rocks there at Morro Bay.

The sliding hood on the sidecar wasn't closing properly and has been tough to get closed lately...I didn't realize that the lock nuts had come loose on a mount....
Attempting to close it, Darian pulled with all her might when my fingers were under the deck. The result was my fingers getting caught in the lid, gashing two fingers top and bottom. My left index finger was laid wide open....We found a drug store and stocked up on bandages. Should have had a few stitches in it but no way were we going to deal with that....Since I seriously cut two fingers on my right hand last week...I now had 6 different injuries to my fingers. ....had to man up and just deal with it! At least I could still get my gloves on and the constant (painful) movement while riding kept them from stiffening up.
Heading south we headed towards Malibu and LA..... Traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway wasn't too bad at all...

During a break we visited with a couple on Harleys and they took this photo for us...me and my bandaged fingers....lol.

We arrived at the Malibu Campground well before dark so had plenty of time to get set up. We stayed here years ago on a car camping trip and liked the place...downside is that you cannot bring your vehicle right to the campsite but carts are provided to move the gear the 80 feet or so to the tent area.

A great view.....for $29.00...hell, KOA's are often higher than that...

and a nice colorful sunset....

Looking closely at the rear tire situation I decided that it would never make AZ. Of course I have a couple brand new tires sitting in Yuma but never dreamed I'd wear one out so quickly....maybe I should slow down in the curves a bit more?
I think I'll be dragging a spare with me in the future...I've taken one with me before but never needed one.

I called an acquaintance in Murrieta hoping that he might have a cheap used tire but to no avail...he hooked me up with a tire shop in Reseda. By chance I had done business with the tire guy via internet and bought the saddle bags on the bike from him. He would not answer his phone so we just headed towards his shop. We went through Malibu Canyon and then onto Highway 101 to Reseda...unfortunately the guy did not have a rear tire of the size needed.
He gave me the name of another tire shop in LA so we braved 15 - 20 miles of city traffic to find the next place. He did not have a highway tire but had a more treaded tire which would fit. He let me remove the wheel to save $60.00 and mounted up / balanced the new tire. The areas of LA we were driving in were pretty seedy....bars and graffiti everywhere...


We wanted to get back to the coast so decided to get on the 405 freeway to avoid the city streets....bad idea on the sidecar. The road was rough.....traffic running at 80 mph+. I tried to keep in the slow lane at 65 mph but the road condition was terrible with holes, ruts, nasty mis-matched rain grooves.....you name it. Traffic was passing us like we were standing still. After 20 miles or so I couldn't take it any more and took an exit....which by chance took us right to the coastline again.

We wandered through coastal LA streets for the remainder of the day and eventually ended up in San Clemente CA for the night. We were going to go camp near Carlsbad CA. but were worn out and a seedy motel / shower sounded better.
This location left us only 300 miles or so from home so we decided to make it to Yuma on Friday.


Coastal views:Coastal Gas:
Probably the shape of things to come for all of us. We saw gas as high as $5.60 a gallon along the trip.

Some Coastal shots....

We got on a lot of little city streets along the coast....stop and go....stop and go....stop and go.....I decided to get south a little faster and got on the 710 Freeway for a while...another mistake which took us onto Terminal Island over the big shipping channel bridge. With 6 lanes of very fast traffic being in the proper lane at the proper time can be an issue for us who don't know where the hell we are going anyway. Sorta lost so Darian got me headed back in the right direction into Long Beach. From there we stuck to the Pacific Coast Highway 1 all the way south to San Clemente.

1 comment:

Richard Machida said...

Pretty brave of you to tackle LA freeways and traffic. I've been enjoying your trip and thought I should post at least one comment.

Thank you for posting.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.