Mulholland cruise on the FZR

Did a cruise in the Santa Monica mountains on the fuzzer this Sunday. Was trying to meet up with my friend Provine, but I took the long way to the Rock Store and missed him.

The FZR did OK, but I could really use a new rear shock. Things were fine if the road stayed smooth, but if I got my fast on and there were some bumps I had to be ready to many pogo-stick induced line changes. *good times*

Also of note; they’ve done some weird construction at the top of Stunt road. Basically, they’ve made parking for the lookout a one-way affair. Weird.

First group ride for the fuzzer

“Your front tire looks low.”

I’d been trying to remind myself of that all morning. Luckily Scot saw that the fuzzer’s front tire was low and reminded me to check the tire pressures. 25psi front and 20psi rear. Hmm…maybe that had just a little to do with the fuzzers mushy handling?

Michael says, "Hey, stop taking pix and let's ride!"

So why were Peer, Michael, and Scot waiting out in front of my house for me to get ready? Because this was the first group ride with my new-to-me 1990 FZR. Having not had the bike out much, and having not gone on a group ride since ’04, I wanted to keep things short and close to home. We just did a short two hour run up Francisquito, across Spunky Canyon, then back down Bouquet Canyon with a short rest at the Big Oaks Inn for some smokes and sodas.

Because we were in my backyard, the group made me lead. I was a little timid about this because I haven’t lead a ride in a long long time, but it worked out just fine. The fuzzer handled and ran just fine at our relaxed pace, and I think everyone enjoyed the ride.

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Progressive Springs for the FZR

Changed out the fork springs and fork oil on the FZR. The thing actually sorta handles now, or it at least now holds a line. We’ll call it rideable. It could still use a new rear shock. And a new chain. And an oil change.

Above: FZR fork springs. The original Yamaha spring is the shorter one. I had to create some new spacers from PVC pipe

All jacked up. Tied to the roof for stability.

Nasty old fork oil.

Hello FZR 600

Picked up this used 1990 Yamaha FZR 600 from my friend Lars for $500. The bike had been sitting for a year and Lars had a good spook on the thing so he was letting it go. Lars had it towed to my place, where I put a new battery in it and got it going.

Here she is after a year of sitting in Lars’ parking garage:

Here she is a few days later after a nice wash:

Twistypedia is ONLINE!!

My new site, Twistypedia is now online! I project manage large websites for a living, and this was my way to give a little back to the motorcycle community while also learning some new web technologies.

The site is designed to be a crowd-sourced database of motorcycle, sportbike, sports car, or just plain scenic canyon roads. Anybody who registers can create a road page or edit an existing one.

I hope you enjoy it.


Core-Tarded Motorcycle Club™ Chadman Birthday Cruise to Solvang

Welcome to the Core-Tarded Motorcycle Club’s Birthday Ride to Solvang!!

Solvang Cruise 1

Above: Here we are pulled up in front of the Breakfast Joint Formerly Known as Country Folks in Simi Valley. What ride doesn’t start off with a giant breakfast for low bucks? None, that’s what ride! Yummy big breakfast. The better to make you sleepy with. Again, I’m slumming it on Dirty’s Sportster while Dirty is riding his Dyna. Why? Because I used to own a 300ZX Twin Turbo that made owning any other toys financially unsound for years to come. That’s why. Stop asking already. You might also notice that I still need a new helmet – which will be purchased just as soon as I know what color my next bike will be – so, not anytime soon. Besides, riding a Harley with a day-glow Transformers helmet is weird-cool and stuff, so I’m ok with being a tard on the Harley.

From Simi we went over Grimes Canyon (which was miraculously clean!) and headed towards Ojai with a final destination of Solvang.

Solvang Cruise 4

Above: We stopped in Santa Paula at the Saint Francis Dam Disaster Memorial to pay our respects to these two moto cops that saved a bunch of people from the resulting flood. Good on ya boys!

From there it was a nice cruise up the 150 through Ojai and then on the 192 across Carpinteria/Montecito/Santa Barbara. No pictures during this part of the cruise. It was nice until we got near the coast, where the temps dropped and the fog was thick. Not the best weather for fully vented riding gear. Oops. Note for future rides: although scenic and it runs through some seriously nice neighborhoods, the 192 is filled with stop signs and should be avoided. Anyway – after freezing our asses off for 20 miles or so, we made it out of the fog and into the Santa Ynez Valley for gas and a break. The place we stopped at, right across from the Chumash Casino, said that there wasn’t much in the way of BBQ in Solvang, but there is one right on the corner of the 246 and Alisal Road. So with new BBQ coordinates we were off to Solvang.

Solvang Cruise 9

Above: Although tempted to park “Harley Style” (one bike in each space) – we decided to be cool and only take up one space.

Solvang Cruise 10

Above: The Food Shot. We ate at the Cowboy Way. Dirty and I split the pulled pork and tri tip sandwiches. Both were HUGE. The cornbread rocked. We were the only people in the restaurant (Solvang is slow on Thursdays I guess) and the service was great. The owner came over and talked a bit too – seems he’s also a biker. We talked about a chilly “dead zone” along the 101 by Montecito.

Solvang Cruise 13

Above & below: From Cowboy Way we had an easy stroll down the street to the Solvang Motorcycle Museum. They are typically closed during the week, but that nice sign on the door listed a phone number to call, and a dude came down within 10 minutes to open up. AWESOME!!! We took a few pix – they’re posted here – but unfortunately I only had my iPhone with me and Dirty just had a small P&S camera. We’ll be back with the dSLRs at some point to take better pix.

Solvang Cruise 15

Solvang Cruise 22

It was getting late (about 4pm) and time to start heading home, but we both decided that coming to Solvang and not eating at least one pastry would be uber-stupid, so we hoofed it to the closest pastry shop (which is Solvang is not far at all).

Solvang Cruise 52

Above: Not at pastry shop, but you can’t leave Solvang without a windmill pix.

Solvang Cruise 53

Above: This is the pastry shop. Look at all that goodness. Eeek!

Solvang Cruise 54

We consumed pastries and then off to the 101 for the quick route home. Unfortunately as soon as we hit Gaviota we were back into the coastal fog and the temps dropped back down. We froze the rest of the way home. Doh.

We also hit the 5pm traffic just outside Santa Barbara. We ended up lane-splitting most of the way home, from Santa Barbara all the way to Simi Valley. The Harley rocked here. For one, people like Harley’s so (with the exception of one dickhead Priass driver) people were happy to make space for us. Also, the laid back riding position and huge torque of the Harley motor made threading the needle easy. It was actually pretty fun – except for the freezing part.

Solvang Cruise 56

Above: a quick break in Ventura. Two American Icons – one tasty, the others rumbly.

The Route:

View Core Tarded Solvang Ride in a larger map

Like a kid in a candy store. Or, how to trade a photo for $300 boots

About a year ago, Bill Nation, owner of Pro Italia contacted me through Flickr and wanted to know if he could purchase one of my photos for use in winter promotional material for the store. We exchanged a few emails, came up with a price – settling on store credit, I sent the pix to his designer…and then forgot about the whole thing.

A couple of cold ducks

A picture of two cold ducs up at Nuke’s

Forward to the present and although I’m still “without motorcycle” I have a few rides scheduled in October on my friend’s Harley. And I need new riding boots. Badly. BEHOLD my nasty, well crashed, size 9 boots with my size 10.5 feet crammed in them. Why have I kept these so long? Cause I’m a cheap, poor musician, that’s why. But sorry AGV’s, it’s time for you to go.


I’m a nasty set of booties

So off to the land of temptation: Pro Italia. Lots of droolworthy Ducatis and Aprilias. Having not called or emailed in advance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they even remember using my photo? Luckily Mr. Nation was onsite, remembered the photo and our deal and set me up with store credit without hassle. Excellent.


Meet my new boots. SIDI Vertigo Air race boots. $300, but with cool Ducs at Nuke’s photo – FREE! Yay! And what’s funny is that I didn’t even shoot this pix with my good camera – just my Casio.


Newly stoked on my transaction at Pro Italia I’m off to the pinnacle of temptation, Bert’s Mega Mall, for some riding jeans. I don’t have proper riding pants anymore and riding in regular jeans is not cool.  “I will not look at any motorcycles. I will not look at any motorcycles. I will not look at any motorcycles.”


FAIL. I sat on a V-Strom and a VFR and an R1. I’ve been trying to talk myself into liking a type of motorcycle other than race replicas because, like, race reps are dangerous and stuff. So I wanna try an Adventure Bike because those can go off road and I can be like Ewan McGregor. So I look around: no GS’s or KTM 990’s – those are out of my price range anyway – but they do have the cheap analogue here – the Suzuki V-Strom, so I go bounce on that. Ew. Yuck. It’s too freaking tall and I can barely touch my toes down on this beast. Plus, it weighs like 50,000 pounds. So not my style. Oh well, so much for wanting an ADV bike. Oh hey, they have a new 6th gen VFR here. A sports-tourer. That would be cool. I could ride for days and be in total comfort. Let’s check that out. Ew. Ewwwwwww Ew. It’s just like a real bike except that I’m sitting up like I’m riding in a truck and it also weighs like 50 million pounds. I don’t think this is for me. Lets try something more familiar. Here’s a 2004 R1. Ahhhhhhhhhh fits like a glove. It’s light, my heals can touch the ground. This is good. I’ll be back.

But for now, jeans. Off to the apparel section. Nice Icon riding jeans found. I try them on. They suck. They’re baggy like home-boy pants. And no padding. Just some kevlar over the knees that feels thinner than a layer of duct tape. Not good. We need another option. Across the isle are the mesh Tourmasters with padding and proper knee armor. These’ll do. Sold.

Core-Tarded Motorcycle Club Ride Number 2

Once again, dirty loaned me his Harley Sportster and we went off for a ride. I was lucky to get out because my 8month pregnant wife is suffering from pregnancy induced sciatica, and my toddler has the flu, but it’s my birthday weekend, so I get to go play for a few hours. Besides, I currently don’t own a motorcycle, so when a friend offers you one to borrow, you take it!

Here we are in Simi Valley gassing up. That’s my friend Dirty Dave gassing up his burgman while his Sportster waits for its turn at the bar. He also has a Dyna Glide in his garage. Nice collection he’s got going.

Here we are motoring out of Simi Valley on Santa Susana Pass. You can see in the background the hills that got burned up in the fires.

Heading down to Stoney Point Park.

We then had to slog across The Valley on Topanga to get Mulholland. So I grabbed a self portrait. I’m wrinkling my nose up at the SFV.

Still trolling across the valley, so I took a picture of the Sporty’s shifter. I’m a sportbike guy, so this has got to be the biggest, most manly shifter I’ve ever used. Chrome is teh awesome, but its teh heavy too. Kinda hurt my foot after a while. Too long away from bikes I guess.

Whohoo! We’re finally on Mulholland. If you’re ever in the area and are in the mood for a short blast of goatness combined with rich people’s driveways, turn onto Cold Creek Road. It’s short and crazy. We were on the wrong hardware, so we skipped it today.

Another good road we skipped; just before Mulholland turns right at the bottom of the hill is the left turn onto Stunt Road. This is a local favorite of the sportybiker types and shouldn’t be missed…unless they’re working on it like today. Bah, another pass then.

A little further down Mulholland we got our first sign of something weird going on with the weather. This is looking south towards LA and the beaches.

Enjoying some curves on Muholland.

Got in a nice groove behind a few older single cylinder bikes, so had time to take this self portrait.

The Rock Store was bananas busy, so we skipped past and stopped at Squid Point up above The Rock Store and The Snake. Here’s our rides taking in the view. Note hypersports bike with paper plates in the background. Hopefully it’s just a new bike and not a new rider. These can be pretty tricky roads.

Dirty enjoying the view from Squid Point.

Back on Mulholland just past Kanan, and a favorite revenue generating spot for the CHP.

If you ever try to take Muholland all the way to the beach but can’t figure out how you got on Encinal Canyon instead, it’s because you missed this sign. Cal Trans was nice enough to hide it behind a tree. Turn right for tight, twisty awesomeness, turn left for fast, sweeping awesomeness. We went left.

Oh hey, what happened? Remember that weird weather from a few pix back? Now we’re riding right into it. the 20 degree temp drop was a welcome change.

Coming down Encinal to PCH. It’s almost like we rode into another country, the weather was so different from just 15 minutes ago.

Dirty gives PCH the devil horns. Rockin.

We get pointed to our parking spots by the attendant at Neptune’s Net. Dirty’s burgman gets kicked to the curb while the Sporty enjoys premiere parking.

THE GRUB SHOT. Standard Burger wit Che on the left. Pulled pork “special” on the right.

Hunger induced poses.

Heading back inland on Yerba Buena Road. Yerba can get really narrow in parts, and is really rough and dirty in others.

But the views are nice

And some nice twisties

And after a long while, some nice new pavement. Smoooooooth

Here’s a good example of what not to do when you’re borrowing your friend’s bike and trying to take photos while riding for the first time (thx to this board for the lanyard idea!). Ooops. Luckily that was the only time this happened.

Another accidental “shooting while riding” photo. Not sure how that happened, but came out kinda cool

Getting close to the end of our ride, we ran into “Captain Naked”. He and his buddy had just blown the stop sign. At least he has pants on. You run into all kinda in LALA-land.

The tunnels on Kanan signal that we’re almost done with the Santa Monica Mountains for the day.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be LA without seeing something expensive on your ride. Here was today’s example.

Full gallery here on flickr.

That’s all folks, thanks for looking!

Behold!! Birth of the Core-Tarded Motorcycle Club!! 6/29/09

Dirty loaned me one of his Harley’s and we went cruising up Angeles Crest today. The whole Harley Thing was new and strange to me, but it was pretty chill. It was nice to pull up to Nuke’s and not be in a car for once.

Gassing up the Harley's in Simi

Core-Tarded: Army of Two

Nuke’s was freaking packed and it was an excellent day for a ride, Except maybe the 108 degree nastiness that was waiting for us back in the valleys.

108 Outside. Lame!!