Tires, Grip, and the Great Pacific Northwet!

Recently Marina and I made a huge lifestyle change by moving to Newport Oregon.  Newport is located on the beautiful central Oregon Coast.  Here, huge waves crash against timeless sea stacks, foggy mists cling to huge trees, and crystal clear rivers rush into the Pacific Ocean.  It is truly, God’s Country in many ways.

One of those heavenly ways shows itself in the quality of  motorcycling. Just leaving our driveway puts us in fabulous, uncrowded riding conditions.  In fact, navigating our driveway could be considered an “adventure ride.”  We, of course, ride Bikeopotamus, our 2011 BMW R1200 GSA, which allows to nimbly pick our way up the moss/pine needle/rain-covered gravel of our driveway.  Those guests who come visit and ride bigger ‘street’ bikes might elect to park down below the house and walk up the final steps to the house! Continue reading


Get Your Kicks (and lunch) on Route 66!

“Mauricio’s Mexican Restaurant” is a little place tucked away in a semi-run-down shopping center on Route 66 in east Glendora.  While the surroundings may not be very easy on the eyes,  it’s definitely worth the time to come by and order up some great Mexican fare.  Mauricio always greets his guests with a hearty “Where you been?” and  says goodbye with “See you tomorrow!”  The food is so good here that I’m sure many people take him up on that!

Today, Jennifer and I had been riding around the local foothills on a brand new R1200 GSA.  What an amazing motorcycle…the smooth, powerplant, behemoth gas tank, and superb suspension begs you to keep on riding and riding…which we might have done, if we weren’t so hungry for Mauricio’s!

The biggest challenge at this charming little place is deciding what to order.  Jennifer decided on the beef vegetable soup (Caldo Res) and I picked the eggs and chorizo…Both meals with coffee, fresh tortillas and complimentary sweet rolls was $21 including tip.

Mauricio’s Restaurant is located at 2256 E Route 66, Glendora, CA 91741.  You can call for take out at 626.963.7515!

Happy riding, and stay safe!


Woo hoo! A New Motorcycle!

Well, new to us, at least!  Jennifer and I bought a 2002 R1150 GSA from a very good friend a couple of months ago and we are really enjoying it!  I don’t normally name my motorcycles, but if I did, “Bikeopotamus” would be it!  The big black GSA is a tall, heavy motorcycle that can take us pretty much anywhere we want to go!

We’ve done a few modifications to make Bikeopotamus a more comfortable sport touring machine…We recently rode to Ojai and had Bill Mayer Saddles make us a new seat.  We’ll post some pix soon!  We also slipped on some Shinko dual sport tires.  So far they are great on the upaved   Southern California roads we have around here, and they seem pretty durable as well.  We’ve ridden the bike about 6,000 miles since we purchased the first week of April, and so far the tires are doing great!  A Cee Bailey’s windscreen rounds out the comfort accessories…at speed, the CB wraps the wind around my head rather than buffeting it all around.   Thanks, Steve Clavin of Cee Bailey’s.  You rock!  Finally a “Versa” LED brake light modification  from will hopefully keep some driver from riding over the top of us from behind.  Those eight LED lights are really bright!

Here is a pic, taken up in the local San Gabriel mountains…

BMW GSA in the Mountains

See you on the road, and ride safely!

Steve and J


A 400 mile Odyssey for Ribs and Musings Along the Way

Is 400 miles to far to ride for some great BBQ?  How about to visit your family AND eat great BBQ?  I had read that the best BBQ in Arizona could be had not more than 20 miles from my son’s place, so the answer to both these questions is an unqualified “NO!”  So, I hopped on the R12RT and set a course east on Interstate 10 for the little city of Maricopa AZ. 

The ride was pretty uneventful as riding the “slab” can be, but the never-ending desert scenery was pretty, and made prettier by the recent rains.  And, I took a well deserved break in Quartzite, AZ for lunch, which broke the ride up a bit.  Quartzite is an amazing place.  In the summer it’s hot and deserted.  In the winter months, everyone from the northern climes moves here, so the desert floor is speckled with RV parks.  In town they hold a swap meet that has all kinds of stuff no one buys. Or at least I hope no one buys.  How about a giant plastic chicken?  Or a rug with a giant beer can stitched on it?  What about a cow skull?  I wonder how the shoppers can cram their new found treasures into their RVs?  I imagine the conversations when the ‘snowbirds’ migrate north again:  “That’s a big plastic chicken, doncha know?”  “You betcha, eh?”

Quartzite Rooster 

After a bemused visit to the vendors, I stopped at “Sweet Darlene’s” restaurant.  Built in a big steel shed, this restaurant probably sat 300 people at a time!  It was huge, with waittresses scurrying around, customers visiting each other, and loads of food being delivered.  Darlene hit all the right notes for a successful place:  very inexpensive, good food, easy parking, and fast turn over.  I sat next to Ron, an 80+ year old man who told me about his life in the special forces, his work at JPL, and finally as he warmed up, all his conspiracy theories about energy, 911, and President Obama.  I was pleasantly entranced by his conversation as I finished off a plate of $2.39 bacon, eggs, and hash browns.  I really liked Ron.  Here he is:

Despite being constantly amazed by how much adventure one can find simply by stopping and talking to people, I was on a mission. 

So, 400 tire-squaring miles later, I downshifted into my son’s driveway where I was met by my hungry son, James, his lovely wife, Chanin, and their baby, Gavin.  Or, as I like to refer to him as “El Jefe.”  Of course I had forgotten the time zone change, so I didn’ t immediately notice the glazed look of hunger in there eyes. 

We hopped into their car and took off for Gilbert, AZ, a rapidly growing suburb of Phoenix.  Gilbert is trying to hold onto it’s old west individuality, so the down town area is quaint, but I couldn’t help remembering the Gilbert of 30 years ago! 

All those thoughts were pushed aside, because downtown Gilbert is the home of “Joe’s Real BBQ.”  And real it is.  The meats are laboriously slow cooked over pecan wood fires which leaves the meat red, juicy, hot, and loaded with a smoky finish that is delightful! 

Well, apparently everyone else in Arizona also thinks it’s delightful.  We pulled up and were greeted by a forty-minute wait that spilled out into the street…surprisingly the line moved fairly quickly.  The menu here is pretty bssic:  ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and bbq’d beef are the mainstays.  I suppose you could order a salad, but hey, what are you, a communist or something?  I will say they have a huge selection of soft drinks including homemade rootbeer that is pretty good.  You pick what you want off a selection board, then move to a serving counter where a courteous yet business- like young person gives you the meat and side dishes you orderd.  Fortunately, there are lots of tables, and we got to our table with stomach’s rumbling.

Chanin ordered the giant baked potato with pulled pork while James and I orded the pork ribs.  Gavin ate Cheerios and anything else we put with his little one year old grasp!  Well, we made short work of our meals.  The ribs were great.  Nearly fall-off-the-bone tender with just the right amount of charring, they were pretty much irresistable.  The baked potato was gigantic, and the side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, corn, and corn bread were pretty good, though the mac ‘n cheese could have used a nice baked finish…

Joe's Ribs are Delicious!

An hour later we waddled out, and my wallet for the three of us was only lighter by about $38.  Not bad for the best BBQ I’ve tasted in Arizona!

By the way, here is the contact information for Joe’s should you decide to go down there and sample it yourself:

Joe’s Real BBQ

Until next time, enjoy the road, and the adventure!