LA….I don’t know what to say

T – After another amazing sleep last night it was time to pack up and head for the big city. We decided last night to get up reasonably early and get going through the desert while it was still cool. Mabel has developed quite the leak from her kick start oil seal and when its hot she only needs a few minutes while she is stopped to end up with a nice little puddle of oil underneath her. It’s nothing major as yet, but it’s there and needs to be fixed…at some point.

C – We were up just as the light was starting shine across the desert and it was an absolutely exquisite morning. The desert is certainly at its best at this time of day. We went about packing the bikes up, knowing that the Palm Springs area would rise to higher temperatures today and we wanted to get our girls closer to the coast before the heat got too far over 100!

T – We said farewell to Craig, who has looked after us so well. It has been a difficult past 2 months for Craig and we are so grateful to him for having us over during this time. His wife Ellie is an amazingly talented photographer and we feel blessed to have been able to see her work. Craig gave us some of her photos printed into postcards and we shall carry them with us on our trip. You’re an amazing man Craig and your strength and resolve shall carry you through.

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It was such a beautiful morning for riding. There wasn’t too much traffic on the road and both bikes seemed to be singing along. Riding bliss!

We passed through Palm Springs and from there on it seemed as though we were pretty well into the suburbia that sprawls out from LA. We took highway 74 which wound up into some hills. The road full of tight fast turns and dips and rises. Even on a small underpowered and overloaded bike these roads are a blast! We pulled over often to let the much fast moving traffic pass us and which also meant we had a heap of free road to ourselves.

C – The ride through the Santa Rosa National Forest was beautiful and so much fun. These little bikes love the twisty roads and we actually managed to keep up the traffic for a while!

T – We could tell we were into the city surrounds proper when we started to ride on 3 and 4 lane highways. Traffic was fast moving and we stuck to the shoulder, dodging bits of tyre and screws. I would risk a hundred flat tyres rather than a distracted speeding driver smashing into us at full pelt.

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C – We had been warned a lot about LA traffic and the tone was set as were coming in. We witnessed a large suburban car decide that they didnt need to stop for red lights. They aggressively changed lanes from behind a car who was stopping for the red light, darted in front of us and just drove through the red light. Todd and I were completely speechless!

T – We had lined up a Motostay for tonight and the GPS did a sterling job of taking us straight to the front door without us having to ride on any Interstate or major highway. Good job Garmin!

Alisa and Edward welcomed us into their home and introduced us to their cat, Mr Purr! I was smitten with Purr instantly, but she was quite aloof, as cats often are when you try to give them some love! We settled in nicely and it wasn’t long before we were immersed in the pool with a few cold beers. Ahhh. Such a hard life…

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We had an absolute ball with these guys and we were so impressed with all the bikes and bike gear they had! It was like a bikers paradise! Right down to the Ducati parked in the house!

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C – It was so wonderful to meet Alisa. I am always inspired by women who work hard to empower other women and Alisa is certainly one these gals! Alisa led a group of women on the Sisters Centenary ride across the USA, following the Van Buren sisters original route… so very cool!!! Alisa has done some amazing ride, including the Trans America Trail and a solo trip to Argentina – you can check out her adventures at motoadventuregal.com.

T – We were treated to a feast of Tri-tip. A cut of meat we had never heard of! Edward was a master BBQer and the meat was soooo good! This pic I stole from Edward….I was too busy shovelling food into my mouth to go and get my camera!

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We sat around a chimnea for a little while after dinner and sank a few more beers before my eyes began closing. I was off to bed before I fell asleep in the chair outside.

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Tomorrow we shall have another day off the bikes. They both need a little maintenance and Chantelles parents are bringing a heap of parts over to the US with them. Mabels rear sprocket is now so bad that the tops of the teeth are starting to shear off, meaning I don’t want to ride her too far or too hard until I can fit new sprockets and chain! Unless there’s a big mountain nearby to climb…..

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