Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

May 9th, 2003.-- 1,450 Days; 49 countries; with over 92,000 miles

Credit to times in the City of Angels

-- Story by Erin --

Thurs., May 1st: The traffic leading into Los Angeles and in LA itself was a real shock. Sometimes its as many as 6 lanes across with everyone traveling, bumper to bumper, at speeds over 75 miles an hour. The pavement also has continuous vertical seams that curve and cross the lanes, making one feel like you have to constantly cross them to keep from getting the front tire stuck in a rut.  We eventually got into the HOV lanes, which seemed a little safer, but not much.

Before arriving at our friends Rob and Jackie’s house in Manhattan Beach, we stopped at a BMW Dealer in Torrance.  We had called them the day before, explained about our trip and asked if they had the parts we needed (exhaust gasket and rear brake pads). On the way to LA we also felt my rear sprocket going fast and felt the need to change my sprockets and chain as soon as possible.  I couldn’t roll the bike backward without hearing the click and feeling the rear sprocket catch the chain and tug on it. After purchasing the items, we asked if it was possible to borrow a tool from them to remove my front sprocket. On the ’97 F650 it cannot be removed without a puller (tool). However, it wasn't possible for us to get it done there.

We arrived at Rob and Jackie's for a big reunion, after first meeting them one year earlier in Machu Picchu. That first night Rob, an Xtreme-Sports cameraman, was working a taped comedy show and invited us to come to see it later that evening. After a huge Italian dinner with Jackie and some of their friends, we went to see Rob film the Loco Comedy Jam show, featuring many excellent Latino comedians.

Fri., May 2nd: So much for the Atkin’s diet… had brunch with huge pancakes down on the beach and walked along The Strand, dreaming about what it would be like to live in one of those lovely 2 million dollar cottages. That night had a big BBQ and met some more of their friends, Joe and Lisa.  Joe is also a cameraman, who specializes in filming extreme skydiving competitions and other air stunts.  We all had a lot to drink and Jackie and I had a jump on the trampoline in the pouring rain. Luckily we didn’t fling ourselves off of it.  Chris later said he was concerned for me because we hadn’t yet signed up for health insurance!

The next several days were like going on vacation at Club Med. We ate grand, hung out with good friends, and played like kids again going to one of the biggest big rollercoaster amusement parks in the country, Six Flags Magic Mountain.   We   got 2-for-1 coupons and went on a Wednesday ---- the park was near empty, and we got to ride in the front of almost every ride.  After 11 adrenaline pumping roller coasters, we were exhausted ---- a great day, and we certainly got our monies worth!

Suring that week Rob bent over backwards to call around to all of his contacts to see if he could drum up some help for our bikes.  He also ran around with Chris to mechanics workshops and various auto-parts stores to finally locate a puller tool for the sprocket from Pep Boys, an automotive service center that loans tools----for free! 

While in LA we also visited the factory of Travelcade/Saddlemen, our seat sponsor.  Shortly before we started our journey, they offered to redo our seats with gel pads, heating, and new covers.  Today, after more than 92,000 miles, the seats still look great and function like the first day we installed them. The partners Tom and John both greeted us warmly at their offices when we arrived. They wanted to know how the seats had performed and gave us a tour of their manufacturing facilities. Since Chris had changed bikes in New Zealand, his bike did not have a Travelcade seat.  Tom had sent us a gel pad to install in the seat, but over time the stock covering cracked and became uncomfortable for Chris. 

After taking a few photos of the 2 saddles (Chris' had many cracks, and only half the mileage), they offered to completely redo both seats for free.  I think the best testament to the comfort and durability of these seats is the fact that when they offered to redo mine for me after 92,000 miles, I declined as there was no needIt's amazing, with all the mileage and conditions my bike has been through, my seat is still perfect.

We were, however, pleased to have Chris’ seat done and thrilled to throw away his big, smelly sheepskin he had used since Central America.   We asked them to stitch their logo on both our seats so that we could advertise for them.  John offered to swing by the house to pick up the seats and then delivered the seats back to us 2 days later. Now that’s service!  We highly recommend this product and their great service.

Thurs, May 8th: After being in "party central" with Rob and Jackie for a week, we had to give them a break so we said goodbye, until next time (-:

Of course, it was impossible to get on the road early, hanging out to enjoy breakfast and a long chat before we left. So, that night was spent in a decent cheap hotel in the little dusty town of Blythe, off I-10 on the border of California and Arizona.


The pier at Manhattan Beach


A warm visit with Tom and John from Travelcade/Saddlemen


Live filming of Loco Comedy Jam -- our buddy rob has the shoulder camera on the left


Rob took us to Universal Studios to watch the filming of Nickolodean's Teen Nick program -- hosted by the popular band: Westgate


Chris & I helped out while Rob went on break


Mix a half bottle of Tequila, a rainy night, and a Trampoline...


Rob and Jackie at 6 Flags/Magic Mountain


One of the many roller coaster rides...




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