Long time with no posts. Long time with not much riding. I've got a new job that is pretty intense and time demanding. My beloved Versys has been a little difficult, and is, in fact, in the shop right now for a weird electrical gremlin. However, the weather could not be better, and the Hypermotard has new tires, so today was a day to ride, and ride I did.
Have I mentioned how much I love new tires? Something about the Hyper, these multi-compound tires, and maybe the way I ride, makes tires get REAL ugly before they wear out. I mean scary ugly. The most recent set of tires on the Hyper, Dunlop Roadsmarts, wore in the same pattern I've seen on Bridgestones (14's, 16's, 20's, 21's, 23's, they all do it) in which the sides wear off before the centers, leaving a tire with a profile that looks something like a stop sign. Lots of tread in the middle, wear bars showing on the sides, and a frightening transition as you fall off the center, and plummet to the side. Not confidence inspiring. You have to flick over hard and get on the gas like you mean it to catch it. New tires are so much nicer. Pirellis Scorpion Trails, which I've run on the Versys, but not on the Hyper before now. They were nice today.
A couple of great goat trails were on order today. Fairfax-Bolinas - running that direction - was delightful. Not much in the way of cars, plenty of bicycles, and only a handful of motos. The coast side was chip sealed late last year, and you'd think the winter rains - that we hadn't had much of - would have washed away more of the gravel than is the case, but it was still a good time.
Then I headed north to try out a highly recommended goat that starts near Guerneville and goes over near Healdsburg called Sweetwater Springs Road. This was really a good time. No cars, two bicycles, one other motorcycle that I passed. The road was technical and fun. Lots to keep you busy. Dirty, narrow, rough, short sightlines. Life is good!
One of the treats of living in Northern California, is that the great roads attract some neat vehicles. Today was no exception. How about what appeared to an Allard J2x? That's pretty unusual anywhere. Okay, how about a brace of Alfa GTA's? A gaggle of Morgans? And just for spice, a Ferrari 365 GTC, and at the other end of the spectrum, an MGA coupe? To top it all off, coming home from work on Thursday on the San Pablo Dam road, I see a red Vincent coming the other way!
Last but not least, I staggered into a nice little diner today at the edge of Sebastopol called D's - Diner. Great hamburger and malt, and neat ambiance. Not cheap, but definitely very good. Check it out.
Have a great riding season.
PS: The Aerostich folks have been in town for the past week. Went and got measured for Roadcrafter. Nice folks. Got to meet the founder, Andy Goldfine, the new CEO, Mark, and the fitter extraordinaire, Stephanie, not to leave out, Oora (sp?). The technical term is "Minnesota Nice". Oh, and Andy introduced me too well-known moto-journalist, Marc Cook. It was a great visit.