I flew to Oakland to grab the bike the other day. I had always wanted to ride down the coast highway (Route 1 or PCH or whatever you want to call it). I had done this trip north to near the Oregon border, but hadn’t gone farther south than Half Moon Bay or so. So I decided to make the most of this delivery trip. Sunshine Travel booked a room for me in San Simeon and after thanking Anne for storing the bike I took off. It took about 6 hours to get to San Simeon – a lot longer than I expected and I was exhausted. The next morning I took a quick tour of Hearst Castle and was off again. I am not quite sure what to make of Hearst Castle. He built something truly extraordinary and preserved some fantastic European art there. But at the same time there is something ersatz about his castle since most of it was created in the early 20th century to look 500 years old. And thinking of him wining and dining pampered Hollywood celebrities there while pissing away the great wealth his father built up in mining and other hard pursuits makes you lose a little respect for the man. I am sure I am missing something redeeming, but despite the tour speaking of him in only glowing terms, this is the impression I came away with. Pondering that I jumped on the bike for the remaining 5 hour ride to LA. The coast here is absolutely gobsmacking spectacular all the way (except when you get close to LA). Big Sur reminded me very much of Northern California with fog, big redwoods and woods dwellers – those particular kind of people I had thought indigenous only to Mendocino and its environs, many of whom dabble in a certain kind of farming. This ride was a prelude for the big Arctic to Tierra del Fuego ride that Mal and I are going to do in a few years. It is certain we are going to do it. Mal has staked his manhood on it. He could never back out now. Anyway, it showed that a lot of practice is needed, or at least a much more comfortable seat. This ride was very tiring since it consisted about 75% of twisty mountain roads. You’re sometimes cold in the fog, hot in traffic, wrists sore from holding yourself up, torso tired from the constant flapping of whatever you are wearing, ears ringing from the wind roar, knees aching from being bent up for hours on end and worst of all your butt is aching from that hard motorcycle seat. And to top it all off, just when I could barely stand it anymore, I arrived in LA and smack into, what else, bumper to bumper traffic. Well, the bike’s now here and for sale and I’ve got some things to think about for the big bike trip.