Eureka, CA to Phoenix, AZ

Gil and Becky's Great Motorcycle Adventure!

In which we find our intrepid heros, Becky and Gil, spending 13 days in the Spring of 2004 travelling touring the Great American Southwest on their motorcycles!

(ed note: We'll be using the same sort of format we did for our last trip to Europe for this trip report. The text is once again taken straight from the daily journals and that Becky kept and then I (Gil) added some of our combined photos when I put together the web pages. For non-motorcycling family and friends, please beware that this report will be much more motorcycle-centric as our motorcycles played as dominant figures in this vacation...they were our home, our transportation and created much of our sense of adventure for over two weeks and 3000+ miles! Any comments I feel compelled to add will be noted in red. Please, enjoy...I know we sure did!)

1 May 2004

We left Eureka about 7:15 am - southbound on Highway 101 - and breakfasted in Garberville at the most tasty Woodrose Café. Back on the road, at Mile 75, I suffer a minor breakdown - my throttle is suddenly sticking and the right grip appears to be melting. Evidently my hot grips have caused mischief. Hmmm… Gil removes the grip and sprays WD40, but to no avail. We decide to press on, stopping for cream pie at the Bluebird Café in Hopland.

Gil note...damn, I hate to jump in so early with editorial comments but I feel that a "what we rode" might be in order here. Becky is riding her red, 2001 Suzuki SV650S. We've added some heated grips and some HeliBar risers on the handlebars (raising the grips about 1 1/2" and bringing them back an inch or's a comfort/riding position thing) and I'm riding my nasty-black, 1998 Triumph Sprint Sport with some minor modifications of its own; lower fairing added, Corbin seat (more comfortable than the stock), heated grips, risers on the handlebars, etc. Both bikes are really basically pretty much stock...they've had no engine, intake or exhaust modification at all.

Our destination in Novato is the Travelodge, just off the Atherton Avenue exit. Our room, 117, is a large room, next to the pool and guest laundry. We quickly unload our bikes, in what will become a nightly ritual, then jump back on our trusty steeds and head out to Infineon Raceway. We should be just in time to catch Saturday's Superbike race. How nice to be treated so specially once we arrive - motorcyclists get to enter at Gate 2 and park on asphalt, closest to the track. There's even a friendly place to check in all one's gear for a donation to Christian Ministries.

That night, we had dinner quite late with Lisa, Jeremy, Kate and the rest of the gang from Humboldt County, in Rohnert Park at the Outback.

Jeremy very kindly took my throttle grip apart and tried to fix it right there in the parking lot before dinner. He and Gil prowled through the nearby Walmart trying to find just the right lubricant. Alas, no luck. But we had a very tasty dinner, and got home very late - 11:30.

Sunday 2 May 2004

Headed out to the track for Day Two of the Races. Gil went on a demo ride on a Moto Guzzi, along with about 30 others riding Guzzis and Aprilias.

Gil: The Moto Guzzi I test rode was the V11 Le Mans Nero Corsa...I gave it a mixed review at the time but fortunately have had more opportunities to ride the LeMans since this initial ride and this delightful bike has now been elevated to the category of "Please Becky Please, I've Really, REALLY Gotta Have One!" category!

We watched superstock, super sport then superbike races. The ever wily fox Miguel Duhamel slipped in passed Jake Zempke just before the finish line! Twice! Eric Bostrom lowsided at the top of Turn Two, right in front of us. We sat in the blazing sun with a grand view of much of the course, sheltering under our cardboard "roof."

Later, I got Eric's autograph on a poster and a Ducati T-shirt and had another pleasant chat with my hero. Back at the motel, we had a lovely swim, did laundry (yes, already!) and ordered in pizza and salad.

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