The Doors of Hell Were Left Open

Route 66

Day 1-July 9th, 2008

The Doors of Hell Were Left Open

By the time I got my bike loaded up with all of its stuff and I was sweating like a pig in fleece at 7:30 in the morning. It was already 78 degrees which is an unheard of temperature for that hour of the morning. Saying it was going to be a hot one would have been an understatement. The weather man was predicting a record setting day and it is normally pretty darn hot at this time of the year in California.

But I got loaded up and had my farewell breakfast at Bob’s At the Marina before heading out. As I got on Interstate 5 and headed south the temperature continued to climb at a pretty amazing rate. By 9 AM it was toying with 98 degrees. My very expensive and useless Corbin Faring was making such a racket that I had to stop at a Travel Plaza and get ear plugs before I went deaf. That helped, but the plugs just made the voices in my head louder. They kept telling me to stop at a UPS store and ship that stupid thing back to Corbin.

As though to add insult to injury I got a message on my phone that the piece I needed to make the faring right had just been delivered to Stockton. Perfect. I was not about to turn around and go back and get it. They had ten days to get it to me and it arrives 2 hours after I leave. Just perfect. As a side note I do get phone calls inside my helmet so not all of the voices are imaginary.

Some other things went wrong. My passenger mounted piece of luggage tore a strap but I found a way to make that stay put. My license plate was falling off after the loss of one screw. I tightened it and picked up some more hardware along the way. I started having some pain in my shoulder but I took some Ibuprofin and that seemed to help that. Later my hands started to cramp probably because I was getting dehydrated.

But I rallied on. When the temperature hit 104 I had had enough and turned west towards the coast. What an incredibly smart idea. In one 20 mile section the temperature dropped from 104 to 66! That is a lot of degrees. I had to stop and put my jacket on.

I followed the coast and stayed comfortable. I made it to Oxnard and had one fairly serious piece of bad luck there when my face shield blew off. I am going to need a replacement for that and will look for a bike shop in the morning. I may have to condescend and go to a Harley shop but I need that face shield. I hope they don’t beat me up for riding a three wheeler. I am not worried as I won my last fight by two blocks.

Now some things did go right.

Tom Tom-perfect all day and hardly ever sassed me.

The mirror extensions probably saved my life a couple of times.

The Throttlemeister throttle lock is just the best. It is not cruise control. It’s better

The Indian Taxi Driver beaded seat was great- no monkey butt for me

The Cortec saddlebags are great. At least they didn’t rip like the BRP one.

And of course the Recluse Spyder just purred along. Not that I could hear it with the ear plugs in.

So I found a room and had some beer for medicinal purposes and a killer dinner at Henri’s Café across from where I was staying. After I get my stuff patched back together in the morning I will be ready to push on to the beginning of route 66.

Today was a 450 mile day which is way too much. I guess the creases in the map must be longer when going from North to South. Tomorrow things will slow down once I get on 66.

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