Sunday, April 7, 2019
"Another" California / San Diego County Camping Ride!
My buddie and I had "schemed" about making another camping ride so decided to ride over into San Diego County and ride some of the hill country near the Mex. Border. Also Dan spotted a Railway Museum over in Campo CA. which interested the both of us. Sounds like a good enough reason for a motorcycle camping trip to me...
I'd planned on riding the old Honda GL1000 Gold Wing. During my routine "check out" a couple days before departure I found that the new wet acid battery was low on H20....3 cells having exposed plates....not good! I had installed an LED Volt meter a while back and knew that voltage output was on the "high" end, but had never verified exact voltage to battery. Hooked up digital meter and found over 18 Volts going to battery....no wonder battery was low. My last 300+ mile ride was cooking the battery.
After some wiring checks, I figured it was a good chance the regulator was faulty. Found a cheap used one on eBay for $7.00 / $8.00 shipping....compared to over $100.00 new and many over $35.00 used. Didn't have time to wait for new regulator so decided to go to "Plan B"...ride another bike....
(regulator arrived a week later and voltage output down to 14.2 volts to 15.0 volts...acceptable range)
Spent an afternoon and cleaned up the BMW R75/5....hadn't ridden it since last Summer. Checked vital signs (Tire pressures / fluids / charged battery to 100%) and then cleaned off last Summers bugs and road grime.
I recently bought an old Yamaha 400 SX which had an "ill fitting" windscreen. By chance the windscreen fit the /5 better than the Yamaha. I typically ride it without a shield, or use a little Café style fairing. The Café fairing adds little protection. The "new" screen is just right.
Riding buddies big ole Suzuki Cruiser. (below) He suffers from serious back / spine problems so his endurance on road trips is not good. He needs to stop every 30 minutes / 30 miles to "walk things off". This actually works pretty good for me as I typically "iron butt" most rides and cause myself quite a bit of similar suffering. The more frequent stops were good and kept the fatigue level down for both of us.
Desert break time near Mex. Border.
US / Mex. Border barrier wall near Boulevard CA.
Old Railway Trestle in CA.
Next stop was Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo CA.
We spent 2 - 3 hours wandering around the place. Well worth the stop.
Huge fully restored steam engine
The Museum delegated quite a bit of information concerning the African American influence on the American Railroads throughout the years. Very well done.
Lots of working engines here.
Ugly old Green Naval Yard "Push / Pull" Engine.
Ended up at Potrero Park in San Diego County.
Buddy "Dan" is a minimalist camper so no tents for him.
Nice park and very few campers on a Sunday night.
Got a bit chilly during the night....probably low 40's.
Found a bit of firewood laying about so had a small campfire.
Next morning was very nice/ mostly sunny and we got a fairly early start at 8:00 or so.
No real route planned so just "winged" it as we rode....finally crossed under I-8 and headed North into cooler elevations.
Near Lake Cuyumaka Ca.... then over to Julian California.
Eventually back down into the desert….Anza Borrego Area.
Stopped at an unmanned U.S. Border Patrol check point....
Had to "check" ourselves....
The route we had planned had a "bridge out" from earlier storms this Winter so we had to retrace our route from yesterday. All in all a great couple days of easy riding...no problems or drama.