Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 5 - Big Sur, And Find the XLR 650 5/17

Flashing back to yesterday, I was only a couple of hours from my destination of Pismo Beach when I stopped for gas and checked my messages.  It seems that my buddy Rob Kiser who was on his way south to meet me so that we could ride Big Sur together had experienced a little emergency: his Honda XLR650 had just died.  I called him and found out that he was stranded on a remote stretch of road "way out on the boonies".  Imagine that last bit spoken in a Mississippi southern drawl.

Not to worry, he said, a tow truck was on the way to fetch him & the bike.

I got a text from him a few hours later: "the tow truck never showed up".  So I called him again.  It seems that after he realized the tow truck was never coming, he tried to hitch a ride, but nobody wanted to pick up a scruffy looking guy wearing camo pants and army boots carrying a ragged canvas bag full of who knows what.  He finally dragged his bike to the side of the road and laid it down to make it look like he'd crashed, and tricked someone into stopping and then guilt-tripped them in to letting him ride back with them to Monterey or wherever, and they dropped him off at a motel.

"Where's the bike?" I asked.

"Near Lucia, I think."

"Did you get a mile marker?"

"No dude!  I was in the middle of nowhere, out in the boonies!  Can you look for it tomorrow and tell me where it is?"

"Uh, ok.  What do you want me to do if I find it?

"Push it over the cliff!"

Imagine my surprise when I found this poor, sad-looking, lonely, beat-up XLR about three miles north of Lucia.

I swear I could hear little Honda sobs as I drove away, but I learned later that Rob had it picked up later that evening.  So much for riding with LiveWire this trip.

One of the things I enjoy about riding is some of the other riders I meet. I bumped into these guys while checking out the elephant seals on a beach south of Big Sur. They bought me a coffee a bit later up the road.

Check out the elephant seals, there must be a thousand of them basking in the 58 degree  weather. I'm the one in the red sunglasses.

A flowering bush outside my room in Pismo.


  1. P.S. If you get up our way, you'd better stop by!

  2. Thanks Annie! Not going to make it up that foar this trip. Going to visit a winery or two in the Napa valley, then head back towards home.

  3. A few corrections. The bike is a Honda XR650L. I was 3 miles north of Lucia. I told the towtruck driver I was roughly 6 miles north of Lucia. So, I'd argue I knew exactly where I was. You, on the other hand have the navigational skills of a blind weasel. You told me the bike was southbof town when it was in fact north of town, as I initially asserted. You failed to push it into the ocean as directed. I then had to pay $230 to have it towed to Monterey. I plan on having it disassembled and shipped to you C.O.D. In NM.

  4. Also the flower is called a Bird Of Paradise.

  5. It was those little broken-hearted Honda sobs, Rob. I just couldn't do it. However, I suppose I could use parts of it for paperweights. It is nice, I might add, to hear you taking responsibility for giving the tow truck driver bad directions!

    Also, please help me remember to fly a bird of paradise up your nose the next time we see each other.

  6. Just for clarification, the "ragged canvas bag" is made by C. C. Filson with horse bridle leather handles.

  7. Only four more days to Oakland...

  8. The people that i coerced into giving me a ride took me south to Cambria (not north to Monterey). From Cambria, i took three buses to get to the Amtrak station in San Luis Obispo, a private sleeper car on Amtrak north to Jack London Square in Oakland, then a bus across the Bay Bridge to the Ferry Building, then a cab to North Beach bar scene.