Roller Derby Ride

Me, Robert, Kirk & Jeff

This week has been a nightmare at work with servers crashing, my boss out of town, etc, etc, so this post is a week late. Better late than never though.

This year I’ve tried to schedule at least one group ride a month. And I’m going to take just a second to complain about my fellow riders. It kind of amazes me to be honest how little most guys ride. You’d think spending $15,000 or so on a motorcycle would make you want to ride it, right? Yet out of 22 riders on my mailing list, it’s a miracle to get 4 guys to ride on any particular weekend no matter how far you schedule in advance.

At any rate, last weekend we decided to ride to Ventura, CA to see our own Fresno roller derby team, the NoTown Roller Girls, play against the Ventura County Derby Darlin’s. I know what you’re thinking; roller derby? Listen, roller derby is an adventure. If you don’t believe me, read this post.

So Jeff, Robert and I headed on out Saturday morning early. The route took us over to Monterrey, then down the glorious Hwy 1 through Carmel, Big Sur, etc. I have to say that even though it was freezing cold on the coast, it was gorgeous. That is one of my favorite rides in the world and the only downside was that we had to be in Ventura by 6 to get to the derby match, otherwise I could have taken all day long just stopping and taking pictures and enjoying the coast.

We met up with Kirk in Cayucos, which is a super cool little town. I’ve made a mental note to take my wife back there some day. We had a few beers at a little bar there and then hit the road to Ventura. We got there in good time, checked in to our hotel and got to the fair grounds just in time for the start of the main event.

The derby match wasn’t quite the same as watching in Fresno. The crown was probably a third of what we get in Fresno, but it was a good match full of hard hits and bodies hitting the floor. Even though we ended up losing the match, it was a good show.

Jay Leno at The Rock Store

Sunday we decided to ride over to the Malibu hills and visit a place called The Rock Store. The Rock Store is basically a restaurant tucked away up in the hills and is the gathering place for motorcyclists in southern california. We pulled up not really knowing what to expect and found about 500 bikes and several super cars parked all over the place. This was machine heaven. We dismounted and started milling around with all the other bikers, checking out all the fantastic bikes from all genres and time periods. It was awesome. We then decided to go have a beer at the bar and while we were sitting there we see a guy ride up on a Norton. People started to gather around the rider and as he took off his helmet it was clear why. The rider was Jay Leno. I had heard that he drops in often on one of his classic cars or bikes, but I was still surprised to see him in person. He walked around for about half an hour talking to people about their bikes and taking pictures with folks, then hopped on his bike and rode off. Very cool.

The rest of the ride was uneventful as we took the quick route up Hwy 99 back to Fresno. All in all it was a great weekend. 700 miles of riding through some of California’s most beautiful scenery. Good times.

Next month I had originally planned to take us over to Bodie for the weekend, but with holidays and schedules it looks like we might only squeeze in a day ride to the coast. We’ll see.