Rain, rain, and more rain…

When the light goes green, the battery is fully charged. I’m a strong proponent of keeping the bikes on a battery tender between outings.

Like the title says, it’s been rain, rain, and more rain.

It started last night, and it has been raining nonstop since then.   The forecast says So Cal is going be under the clouds (i.e., lots of rain) through Monday.  I was hoping I could get to the rifle range Tuesday morning, but odds are the range will be inaccessible for several more days.   Getting there involves driving through a creek (which is a good thing, as it tends to keep the riff-raff out).   In the rainy season, the water’s too high to get across (even in a 4WD vehicle).

Ah, well, that’s okay.  I’ve been puttering around the house taking care of some things I’d been meaning to but just haven’t found the time.   One of those was installing trickle charger leads on my TT250, and I took care of that today.   I am a big fan of the Battery Tender holistic lifestyle approach, and I consistently get at least two years out of most of my motorcycle batteries when I keep them topped off with a Battery Tender.  The trickle charger leads make it a lot easier to connect a Battery Tender to your bike, and the TT250 is on mine as I type this.   The KLR had its turn this morning, and after the Battery Tender goes green on the TT250, I’ll rotate it over to the RX3.  It won’t take much of a charge, I think, because of our ride up in the San Gabriels yesterday.    We sell Battery Tenders, of course, and they are a “must have” item in my opinion.

Think you're a tough ADV type? Read this book and you'll see what tough riding is all about!

Think you’re a tough ADV type? Read this book and you’ll see what tough riding is all about!

Yesterday’s ride sure was fun.   Riding on ice.  Cool stuff.   Literally and figuratively.   Slip sliding around, just like that old song goes.

We thought we were hard core yesterday with our brief trek on Glendora Ridge Road’s ice-glazed roads and in freezing temperatures, but if you want to read about a real hardcore guy and a real hardcore adventure ride, you have to get a copy of Riding the Ice by Dave Barr.

You might wonder…who is Dave Barr?  Dave is a Motorcycle Hall of Fame member, and he’s the real deal.   He rode around the world on a beat-up old Super Glide after losing both legs to a land mine in South Africa (that tale is chronicled in Dave’s first book, Riding the Edge, which I know is the best motorcycle adventure story ever published.   Strong words, I know, but I’ll stand by them.  Riding the Edge is an awesome story, and if you haven’t read that one, you need to.  You can purchase that book here.

As if riding around the world wasn’t enough, Dave took on Siberia as his next challenge.   Yep, Siberia.  Not tough enough for you?  Okay, make that Siberia in the winter.   Yes, you read that right.   A motorcycle ride across Siberia in the winter.   And we thought it was cold yesterday up in the San Gabriels!

Riding the Ice is about Dave’s 13,000-mile run across Siberia on a Sportster in the winter.   It doesn’t get much harder than that.   It’s one of those books I just couldn’t put down.   My advice?  Buy a copy, and you can do so here.

My photo of Dave Barr on a ride around Lake Isabella.

More good stuff on riding on ice:  Have you ever heard of ice racing?   It’s something that’s way out there.   Ice racing motorcycles are modified extensively for this unique form of oval track racing.   If you’ve never seen an ice-racing bike and you find yourself in the St. Louis area, you’ll want to check out the Dave Mungenast Classic Automobiles and Motorcycles Museum.   My good buddy Carl Mungenast (Dave’s brother) read our story about the icy Glendora Ridge Road ride yesterday and sent this photo of an ice bike to me.  It’s one of many exotic motorcycles on display in the Mungenast Museum.

On ice-racing bike on display at the Dave Mungenast Classic Cars and Motorcycles Museum.

An ice-racing bike on display at the Dave Mungenast Classic Automobiles and Motorcycles Museum.

When we do our cross country ride this summer, the Mungenast Museum will be one of our stops.   I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

That’s it for now, folks.  I think I’m going to put on another pot of coffee and check on the TT250’s battery charging progress.

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The February CSC ride: The Rock Store

Our next company ride will be on 4 February, folks, and it will be to the Rock Store just above Malibu.  The Rock Store is one of So Cal’s most iconic moto spots ever, and it is a hoot!  Mark your calendars and watch the blog for more info.

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Sunshine, awesome views, a full head of hair, and ice!


Great ride today, folks.  We had a one-day window in the rain we’ve been having here in So Cal for what seems like a month, the sun was out this morning, and it was cold!  It’s supposed to start raining again tonight, so like they say:  Make hay when the sun shines!


I rode with my good buddies Tom, Willie, Duane, and Rick this morning.   That’s us in the photo above, and I included a few glamour shots of the boys below…





Today was the first time I had an opportunity to ride with Rick (he’s the guy in the photo above with the white RX3).   I told Rick I was going to Photoshop his hair on my head…and I did!


The views from the saddle up in the San Gabriels were stunning this morning…




The stretch of road you see in the photo above is the actual ridgeline (the one for which Glendora Ridge Road is named).

I managed to get a few shots of the boys on their bikes, too…


170121_8296-650170121_8301-650170121_8308-650170121_8311-650At one point as we continued to climb, I thought for a second I was getting a flat tire because the rear of my RX3 felt a little squishy and then I realized:  We were riding on ice!   The road had a thin sheet of glare ice on it when we were on the shady side of the mountains (not readily visible) and it was slick.  We had about 4 miles of that stuff and that was more than enough for me (I don’t like riding on ice).  The road didn’t look icey, but it sure was!


When we realized we were on the ice (never a good idea on a motorcycle, I think), we slowed the pace considerably.   It was an “easy does it” low rpm run the rest of the way into Mt. Baldy Village.  We thought we would eat at the lodge there, but the cold weather and snow (and our one brief day of sunshine) brought the tourists out.  The Mt. Baldy Lodge was packed (I’ve never seen it that busy), so we went with Plan B and had a great Mexican lunch at my favorite Mexican place down below.

All in all, it was a great ride today.  Keep an eye on the blog and on our CSC calendar.  We’re thinking of maybe doing the Rock Store above Malibu for the February ride!

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Shop Talk: Tires!

The latest in our continuing stream of Shop Talk videos, folks!

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….it’s not supposed to rain tomorrow.  Here, see….


I sure hope the weather people got it right this time, and I hope to see you on our CSC ride tomorrow!

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Snow up at Twin Peaks Steve’s place!

IMG_1568-650Wow, we sure are making up for lost time with the rain.  It’s been close to two weeks now of nearly nonstop rain, and it’s been raining hard all day today.  It started late last night and it’s been steady.

My good CSC-150 and RX3 buddy Twin Peaks Steve (who lives waaay up in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear) sent the above photo to me earlier this morning.   His RX3 is somewhere beneath all that white stuff.

The rainy weather is supposed to go away tomorrow (at least that’s what the forecast is showing), so we’re still planning to do our company ride.   We’ll be leaving at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, and I hope to see you there!

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A Saturday ride…

We’re attempting a makeup for our earlier rained-out ride folks, and it’s this Saturday.  We’ll be leaving from the plant at 9:00 a.m. and we’re riding in the San Gabriels.   You can read all about it on our Meetup page!

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We’re at capacity for Baja 2017!

We reached our limit today on the number of folks signed up for our Baja tour, and I just sent an email to everyone who is riding with us (so if you think you’ve let us know you want to ride with us in March and you didn’t get my email today, please let us know ASAP).

The CSC Baja rides are very popular and they have to be the best deal in motorcycling.   It’s 8 days of the some of the best riding on the planet, and we don’t charge anything for it.  If you didn’t make the list this year, let us know you want in on the 2018 ride!

If you want to see some of what we experienced on the first two Baja rides, take a look!

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Walt Berkuta

The similarity between our last names notwithstanding, I’m not related to Walt Berkuta other than growing up next door to the Berkuta family.  I’m in Nor Cal today visiting with my good buddy Paul, and Walter Berkuta was Paul’s dad.   Walter was one of the coolest guys in the neighborhood because he used to ride a motorcycle, and as you can see from the photo below, it was not just any motorcycle.   While visiting with Paul and talking over old times (we’ve known each other all our lives), I had to grab a copy for the blog…


Paul and I were guessing that’s a ’36 or ’37 Knucklehead Harley (if any of you know please send an email to me), and I think Walt was in his early 20s when that photo was taken.   It’s a great photo, it’s got to be at least 70 years old, and it captures Walter’s personality perfectly.   Paul’s Dad and my Dad grew up together, and Paul and I repeated the pattern when we grew up together (all in the same very rural neighborhood).  It’s amazing how our interests and personalities are so much like those of our fathers, and how similar Paul’s interests and mine are.   We’re two apples who ended up on the other side of the country, but we didn’t tall too far from the tree.

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A cool line drawing…

I stared at this for 5 minutes before I saw it.  I looked at it from different angles, I looked at it upside down, and I still didn’t get it…


It’s an RX3, as drawn by none other than my good buddy Joe Gresh.  He included it in a card he sent to me.  Once I realized what it was, I couldn’t see it as anything but an RX3…it was obvious!

I’ve been on two big rides with Mr. Gresh (the 5000-mile Western America Adventure Ride, and the 6000-mile China ride).  Both were awesome.  Here’s one of my favorite photos from the China adventure…


That’s Joe tearing across the Gobi Desert last summer while we rode across China.  It was an incredible 37-day expedition.  I was on my RX3, riding right alongside Joe when I took that photo, with both of us doing about 70 mph.   Good times.

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