Advanced Rider Training in San Diego, CA

This past weekend I and 6 other guys had the wonderful opportunity to get some advanced training from a Royal Canadian Police Sergeant Ryan Austin and his civilian partner Gus El-Moussa. Both of them came in from Canada to host this weekend course.

It was a great learning opportunity for me on controlling the big beast that I am riding. Ryan was able to adeptly handle the beast even at an extremely low speed, which is a very hard thing to do. Any fool can go fast on a motorcycle but it takes a skilled rider to handle the beast at a low speed.

We went over many different actual police training patterns. We learned “figure 8”, “circular cone”, “gate key”, “criss cross intersections”, and “high speed emergency braking” to name a few. The course was filled with fun motorcycle enthusiasts from various backgrounds. We have various type of brands represented as well : BMW, Harley, Honda, and Kawasaki. I even got a chance to ride Gus’ new BMW GS1200 Adventure, which I thought was quite nice.

All in all, I came out to be a much more confident rider and hopefully a safer rider on the street.

I encourage any of you reading this blog to check these guys out.

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San Diego Arrival! Coast to Coast to Coast Finished!!!

Touchdown San Diego, CA. I am so glad to make it safely. Thank God for His guidance. I covered over 6,000 miles in the past 10 days. I passed through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona. It was a trip of a lifetime for me.

This is my return trip spotwalla :

I installed a new 12” windshield bought in Fort Worth Harley while getting my 5,000 miles service done there. I also installed highway pegs bought from Greenville Harley. These 2 installations did wonder in enhancing my comfort during the ride back to California.

This is the end of the road trip. I will post some comments and review on the gear that I used for the trip.

Hopefully this trip of mine can encourage others to explore the wonderful nation that we have. Life is too short to stay in your comfort zone. Go out there and see the different things in our country. I am glad that I did. It’s one thing checked off my bucket list.

Bessemer, AL to Grand Prairie, TX

Last night I arrived in Dallas area. The ride on I-20 was not very scenic. Notable observations are :

– Mississippi had many highway patrols on I-20. I saw about 8 police cars trying to spot high speed vehicles.

– Mississippi rest areas had guard post!!! This is great for safety. All rest areas should have this safety feature.

– Shreverport, LA was a huge city with mega buildings. Beautiful big city lights scene. Casino galore. It’s like mini-Vegas.

A rest stop in Louisiana and I took a quick nap under the shade of that tree.

I made some adjustments to my bike during a rest stop in Mississippi.

Charleston, SC to Bessemer, AL

So after my completion of the coast to coast at Charleston, I decided to go back as fast as I could to California. Tonight I stopped by Bessemer, AL. Just had a late Applebee’s dinner.

I was very drowsy this whole afternoon while riding…very not good…I thank the Lord for His protection. I finally decided to pull off into the welcome center of Georgia. I slept for a few minutes on the bench inside the park. That deep sleep powered me through until I reach Alabama.

Tomorrow I am planning to stop by HD dealer on the way to Dallas, TX. I need to get myself some highway pegs to stretch out during my ride back to Cali.

Here is my spotwalla per tonight :

Finally COAST TO COAST completed!!!

I have reached Charleston, SC as the final destination marking my personal ambition to ride the motorcycle coast to coast (from Riverside, CA to Charleston, SC). This is the 7th day riding. Celebration is to treat myself at Five Guys Burger in downtown Charleston.

Here is the spotwalla showing my exact route that I took. Spotwalla is awesome GPS tracking system! By the way, the starting point is a bit off because I realized that I haven’t enabled tracking on my phone after a little bit into the ride.

30 minutes celebration and then off I go heading back to Cali. I will be taking the I-20 on this return coast to coast to coast route.

6th Day Riding (Great Smoky Mountain Region)

Early morning start this Sunday. First off is the Great Smoky Mountain via Cherokee National Forest. I did my Sunday worship in a lookout of GSM. Our Daily Bread while playing Christian songs on my Boom.

Below is my spotwalla tracking shot for the whole day ride (I just remembered to turn this on) :

The starting point should be where the motorcycle is at (same as ending point) but I remembered to turn it on when I entered GSM.

This park is amazingly beautiful. It differs from Ozark in the sense that this is a protected and secluded national park so no habitation nor dwelling structures can be found inside GSM. Much less crowded compared to Ozark and it is much bigger. The whole Blue Ridge Pkwy stretches from Cherokee, NC to Virginia! Obviously I didn’t do that ride. Instead I turned back into Tennessee to ride the infamous Tail of the Dragon.

Spotwalla for my Tail of the Dragon ride is below :

From the map one can see that the curves are many and sharp. Some of them are curvy and hilly and U- shaped at the same time! No wonder last night other riders (staying in the same hotel) were warning me that there are many fatal accidents happening there. Today I saw an accident with police and ambulance onsite. This route is the most challenging that I have tried thus far. Not only I need to control my motorcycle but I also need to watch out for other riders and drivers coming from the opposite directions. The lanes were narrow. One vehicle each direction. Margin of error here is small! At the end of the ride is the Deal’s Gap Motorcycle mecca. See photo below :

This area is a must visit (at least once in a lifetime) for any motorcycle enthusiast. The route is challenging and the Deal’s Gap sells various merchandises with Tail of the Dragon theme on them. There is a restaurant here as well.

But just my luck that the Goldwing parked next to me smashed into my left hand side mirror when the guy left!!! Eye witnesses said he hit my bike TWICE! Once caused the mirror to break and the other caused my helmet to drop! Not nice. He left a business card and I tried to call him but no response yet. If I cannot get this mirror fix by tomorrow then I am riding half-blind.

Anyway, I am posting the cancellation stamps I got for visiting Great Smoky Mountain :

Some photo of GSM :

4th and 5th Day Riding (Fort Smith, AK to Nashville, TN)

I am impressed by Memphis, TN as I rode by yesterday. I thought Memphis was a backwater town. I was completely wrong. I was gawking at the vast Memphis downtown. It is probably as big as Downtown LA. High rise fancy buildings. Huge freeway. They even got a pyramid looking building, similar to Luxor Las Vegas. Impressive.

I stayed the night right outside Nashville in a BW. I like Tennessee. Friendly folks and beautiful cities.

Nashville’s traffic was horrendous…a military guy I chat with in a gas stop told me that Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. I believe it by the look of the traffic jam.

I also chatted with an older couple on another gas stop. He was riding a nice Indian Motorcycle and were comparing our bikes. The Indian looked splendid! He was the one who advised me to stay on the outskirt of Nashville instead of in the city due to the mass traffic. Boy, he was right on!

Then this morning I visited Trail of Tears and the Stone River National Battlefield. This was where the US Army evicted the Native Americans in the 1800s, hence the name Trail of Tears.

Tonight I arrived in the Great Smoky Mountain. It is a very extremely beautiful place. This is a wonderful resort town. Amazing. There are so many things to do in this area. I am staying at a quieter place in a town called Waynesville. Tomorrow morning I am planning to ride the famed Tail of the Dragon!!! This road is supposed to be the mecca of Motorcycle route.

Update on my cancellation stamp from Stone River :

Fort Smith National Park

This is my visit to Fort Smith National Park. Not too impressive in my opinion. It’s located in downtown Fort Smith along the Arkansas River.

Update with a photo of cancellation stamp in Fort Smith :

Ozark Mountain Pig Tail Ride

Early in the morning I rode up the Ozark. It was a real nice experience. The morning air was cool. Mist is coming from the Ozark ground. The mountain kids were getting ready for school. Sweet smell permeated the air from the household getting ready for morning meal. The Ozark Mountain is a community of its own. Some homes were huge. Many others were dilapidated. Some farms were well tended while others were laid waste.

Beware of the fact that there were many unpaved roads in the mountain region. My Harley GPS got confused and took me to some off beaten path, which I refused to enter into because of my day one experience (see previous blog). I think a BMW GS1200 would fit right at home but definitely not the SGS, at least not with my current skills.

But for the paved roads, they were awesome! Hills going up and down. Curving left and right. Sharp turns. Cornering skills needed. The Pig Trail was fun! It also has a scenic outlook spot where I was able to do my morning devotion.

This trail is highly recommended for any motorcyclist. It reminds me a bit of Idyllwild, CA.

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