I rode my Suzuki V‑Strom from Santa Barbara to Las Cruces, New Mexico to meet six other men for a 3,778 Mile, 6,981 KM, adventure into Mexico. This montage has a shot from sixteen of our days. I have created a separate blog containing lots of images and details. Click anywhere on this montage to be taken there.
Two weeks ago Jesse mentioned an annual community mass burning of Christmas trees in Solvang. Well I just perked right up at the image that brought to my mind and mentioned it to several others. Carol and Virginia were immediately on board with Libby soon after.
Three of us drove over Hwy. 154 during a beautiful pink clouded sunset and met Libby at the new “The Cowboy Way” bar-b-que restaurant in Solvang for dinner and a fun chat. Then it was on to the big event, held in the huge open field that adjoins Hwy. 246 and the Santa Ynez Mission. Hundreds of other folks and families had arrived to watch.
After a fire department demonstration showing us all how quickly a dry tree ignites as compared to a tree that has been watered the big pile of trees was set aflame. The effect was definitely worth the drive and during the entire show there was a continuous cycle of pop songs having lyrics containing fire, burn, light, etc. blaring out into the night.
To see and hear some of our fireside fun click on the montage above.
I was almost set to ride off this morning, I just needed to push the Suzuki out of the garage and down onto the driveway (a total of 15 feet) so I could close the garage door. So I thought I’d just leave the bike in neutral while I put down the stand, not something I had yet done on the sloping driveway. How did that idea play out you ask? Pretty much as depicted in the left image above.
But ANON! I was able to compose the right image by myself within 5 minutes (camera shots and outtakes included therein).
This morning’s productive new technique was to lift the bike using the handlebars. This allowed some sort of fulcrum action that made righting the bike a manageable lift by me alone. All prior times I’ve attempted the lift centered between the wheels as my mind somehow calculated that as the most balanced way to right it. Balanced or not it makes the lift greater than one I can perform alone. So much for mind over matter.
Today’s insight was nurtured by Ian’s helping me to right the bike after I fell in the middle of the Santa Ynez River on our December 10, 2010 outing. I was doing my part using my standard centered lift while Ian just grabbed onto the rear most part of the bike and seemingly pulled the bike up by himself. I was very impressed at the time. So this morning after again trying my futile center technique I recalled Ian’s effort and tried to right the bike from the back corner. This was more than I could manage but when I shifted to the front of the bike using the handlebars I was able, with relative ease, to pull the bike up.
After my delayed start I had a wonderful ride down to and through Cal State Channel Islands, some poking around in the Santa Monica Mountains, through Thousand Oaks then north to Highway 126 and along 150 and 101 home. An interesting day seeing territory I have not seen since bicycling through it in the 70’s along with some altogether new.
I am very relieved to know I can right the bike alone as this has been an ongoing anxiety when I’ve been off exploring by myself.