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The email invite went out Wednesday, I believe, to meet at a nearby coffee establishment for conversation and a ride out. The usaual San Diego County rabble, no outright criminals and some professional, you know, investors, business types. Ron per usual, responded that he was there. Others were maybes or out of town or kind of sick. The typical holiday holiday excuses. Personally, I think they were all holiday shopping with the wife and too embarassed to admit it. Me, I admit that I was shopping last weekend with the Dear One, all Saturday. Which explains how I managed a Gate Pass the weekend before Christmas (the lights and tree are up).

At Cosmo's, the maybes and sickly were MIA. But, Ron was firmly in place with his coffe mug as I arrived with a full tank of fuel. Turns out two is a good number for a chat, and we covered a few of the basic subjects; child rearing, the bliss of still being married after the kids leave home. We never talk politics, which explains our long friendship.
After forty-five minutes, we tired of checking out the cutties serving coffee and headed out to the cold morning.

Maybe fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, not exactly life threatening, but enough to worry about cold hands. Ron and I, light out for the backcountry spending only 15 minutes or less on the freeway. Once on the two lane, the traffic is quite light. Mmmm, where is everyone I'm thinking. Ah, they didn't get the shopping done last weekend. Fine with me. The farther from town we travel, the fewer cars trucks and even motorcycles. I think I saw more cyclists than motorcyclist. As we climb toward the mountain pass, it is feeling cold and we stop a couple of times to add layers and adjust neck socks. Alas, the pavement is dry and the wind is calm. Quite nice, thank you. Now, Ron is game for just about anything, with or without his wife in the jump seat. Today, Linda stayed home because of a cold. Regardless, we just wandered. Over the pass, down to the desert and gradually north toward Scissors Crossing. Rolling to a stop we flip up shields, "I know Romano's has a wood burning stove," says I. "Sounds good to me," resonds Ron in typical fashion. We are a bit chilled after two and a half hours, the sun refused to put on much of a show, even in the desert. We bravely strike out up Banner Grade toward the five thousand foot high moutain village of Julian. The road is tight, twisty and steep. Only one R1 and rider is sprawled out on the pavement as we assend. Assistance is on hand, so we proceed. If you don't want to pay the price, don't play the game, I say. Jeeze, I've seen soo many riders on the pavement the last couple of years. Ron and I pass the ambulance and CHP on the way up, so all is in hand, hope for the best.

All this time, there has been almost no traffic. Greaaat! The riding is so much more relaxed. At the end of the day, I swear I've made zero four wheeled enemies for motorcycles. No, mad dash passes causing the civillians to hit the breaks nervously. You know I had enough room, but they have no idea of what these bikes are capable. It is nice to know no feathers were ruffled. This is such a good idea, I think the traffic should stay home every time we head out for a ride. Think of the possibilities for Christmas Day, New Years Day. The roads will be empty.

Romano's indeed has a cast iron stove to warm our cold bits. Gas fired, not wood, but good radiating heat all the same. This place is a cozy historic house serving up great Italian meals. The local football (American) team is on TV in the bar and lunch is very nice indeed. We have timed it right to see the home team win. A fine time. After the meal, Ron chooses to skip the jewlery and jam shop my wife has requested I stop in on. Good sport he is, he is off towards home, no worse for wear. I collect some very nice sour cherry preserves, locally jarred, and visit the local jewelry shop to check out blue Montana ruby earrings for our daughter. Julian is a tourist desination, complete with artisan shops, restaurants and lodging.

Since the wife and daughter are out shopping for a womens shelter, I have the time to wind my way home down the mountain, looking only to avoid the freeway and traffic. Lo, still no traffic all the way down through Cuyamaca State Park. One truck to pass in thirty miles. Delightfull! Finally, approaching inhabited space the Mad Dashers appear. They only serve to confirm the delights of the road just behind.
A great thing about the FJR, is that it is just as comfortabe after two hundred miles as at the start of the day. I step off in the driveway with a bounce in the step.

Lost our Riding Pals, but found a good riding day.

In San Diego,
 

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Nice. :D


I had a nice little ride-out myself. 22 degrees Fahrenheit and some snow flurries but the roads were mostly clean of salt and moisture... my Gerbings electric socks, pant liner, jacket liner and gloves were cookin!'

The twisties were likewise pretty deserted. I guess the hillbillies (spoken with endearment) were all busy at their local Super WalMarts.



:)
 
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