100CCC SS5K B2B
Day 1 (100CCC): San Diego, CA to Kerrville, TX
We were able to sleep in because we would not leave San Diego until 8:00 pm that evening. I had been meaning to visit a long time friend and her family for a long time so since it was my first visit to San Diego I had to be sure to see them. It would give us a way to enjoy the day a little bit instead of hanging out at the hotel waiting for evening. We stopped at a Kinko's to copy some paperwork and then headed off to their place. We had a good visit but we couldn't stay long to eat because time was soon approaching to leave and the nerves were starting to build up for me anyway. I wished we could have stayed longer but we were on a mission and had to say our goodbyes.
We made it down to the Shell station that the attendants are use to seeing LD riders there on a regular basis. George Zelenz and Chuck Hickey met us to sign us into our 4700 mile trek across the southern part of the US. It was great to visit with them for a while but the impending ride was the only thing on my mind and doing the southern California hills at night was going to be something I was unfamiliar with. Thanks to both those guys for coming out to see us off. I think it's a 3 hour trip for George so I was grateful that he came all that way for us. The sun was setting on us and it would be dark before we got to the beach. Charlie thought that in the spirit of the ride we should start our ride and then go to the beach so that we would truly go coast to coast to coast in under the 100 hours we had available to do the ride. Chuck and George wished us luck and we headed off down the most unmaintained street in the US to get to the beach in the dark.
We made it to the parking lot that was pretty full and just as unmaintained as the street. As I put my kickstand down and stepped off the bike I realized that suddenly I couldn't move and there was this crushing pain on my hip. I realized it was my bike leaning on me and it sandwiched me between a parked car and the bike. The ground was so uneven that the kickstand hit a bump in the parking spot and wasn't all the way down. I put a very slight pressure dent in the car and thought this was a great way to start the ride. Charlie helped me upright the bike. The pillion shelf turned out to be pretty strong as we basically picked up the bike using the shelf supports. After that fiasco it got better. There was a cop right there who saw it and happened to be giving the owner of the car a ticket for having alcohol on the beach. So now I have to contend with this as the cop starts to explain to the women, who owned the car, how to handle reporting this minor MINOR dent on a POS car to her insurance company. This cop was not helping my case at all. However after looking at it she said that it wasn't an issue and I could forget about it. Man was I relieved. She was very nice about it and I wish the officer would have just shut his mouth about the whole thing and leave us alone to deal with it but it all worked out in the end. Chuck showed up at the parking lot just to check on us only to catch the end of the whole incident. I'm sure he was thinking he is never going to make it across the US and back if can't navigate a parking lot but he didn't say anything of the such and after making sure we were ok he took off.
We made our way out to the beach and took a few pictures as we got a lot of unusual stares from the people that were hanging out around there. It didn't matter to me as I had a ride to worry about, not people enjoying their normal lives. I-8 was waiting for us and I was ready to get out of California and as far away from that cursed parking lot as I could. We rolled out and a few blocks away was I-8 just waiting for us.
Making it out of the city was even a challenge with the amount of traffic there was that evening but that soon thinned out and we were on our own before we knew it. As we rolled up into the hills we started to get to some curves and I was having some fun with them. Charlie played the smarter more conservative ride but for me the tougher it gets the more aggressive I tend to become so I attacked the curves but with a managed speed. It was neat to see the rocks rushing by on the sides of me in the headlamp light. It makes it seem like you're cutting through the night. It was a great road to ride on and the night time meant more of challenge and it was a good way to start the ride. After the hills came the vast desert of New Mexico and Arizona.
I'm not use to the desert being from Wisconsin and as we ran across the desert at night it was a ominous scene to see this vast flat area with scarce vegetation being lit up by almost a full moon. I enjoyed it but I'm sure that would change once the sun starting coming up but hopefully we would be far enough along by the time it warmed up which was pretty much the case.
The sun eventually came up over the desert but by the time the day started to heat up we were on our way to Texas. Now Texas is one huge state and it takes a long time to get across it. West Texas has a real deer issue and running it at night is a real nightmare and I wouldn't recommend it. However we would get to cross it in the daytime at least on the first leg so lots of rolling hills and grass was the main scenery for the bulk of the afternoon. We had aimed to make it east of San Antonio before we stopped to rest but that plan would be altered quickly as we saw the storm clouds start to roll in coming north to south across San Antonio. The rain started in and it got heavier and heavier. Then the hail started in on us. It was every man for himself. I really didn't know what to do but we were dodging hail, looking for cover, avoiding cars doing stupid things, trying to find shelter, and trying to figure out how we were going to get through this undamaged.
Luckily the pads in my jacket helped protect me but I took a few to the backs of my hands and my arms. I saw a tree down in the ditch that I shot down under with my trusty Pilot Roads on the bike. However Charlie wasn't having any of that with his Metzlers so we decided to head out and find shelter down the road. I got back up out of the ditch without an issue. Damn I love those tires. A few miles down the road we found an underpass so we could talk about a plan. A lot of other people were under there also and probably thought we were nuts but everyone was very nice and let us in to park the bikes. We decided that we would try and make it to basically the half way point which was Kerrville, TX.
With a little more hail we finally made it to Kerrville. We stayed at the Days Inn that wouldn't give us a checkout receipt with a timestamp. We got in, covered the bikes, hung up our stuff in the room and order some pizza. We caught a few Zzzz's before the pizza showed up and once the pizza was gone we were out cold. I don't sleep well on the road but I got some sleep. We were up before we knew it four hours later and ready to head out on the second leg of the trip.
Chapter 5: Day 2 (100CCC): Kerrville, TX to Jacksonville, FL