Thursday, October 30, 2008

My definition of a good day!

A couple days ago I had a 25 hour layover in Los Angeles, CA. I usually spend layovers relaxing, reading, working out, and laying by the pool. A long layover in Los Angeles however means one! My good friend Mark and I rented sport-bikes from a company called South Bay Sport Bike Rentals about four years ago and despite a cold ride in the rain, we had fun. The weather this time of the year in Southern California is usually perfect, so I called Mark and asked if he'd be interested in renting bikes again. Mark taught me how to ride motorcycles and it's been a passion of ours for several years, so it didn't take him very long to say yes. We called Jeff, the owner of the motorcycle rental company, and made arrangements to ride all day during my layover.

We arrived in L.A. around midnight, Mark had flown in from Minneapolis and met up with myself and the rest of my crew to ride over to the hotel. Jeff picked us up in the morning and drove us to where the bikes were. Mark elected to ride the Honda 600RR and I rode the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. Both are great bikes that put plenty of power in between your legs. Our goal was Angeles Crest Highway which is world renowned for motorcycle riding. It's located in Angeles National Forest and is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the busy Los Angeles area. After a quick 30 minute ride through the freeways of L.A. we made it to Angeles Crest Highway. After a quick stop to discuss how quickly we could become a hood ornament or end up plunging to our death if we weren't careful, we started the adventure.

I can't think of words that can properly describe what an awesome road we were on. Not only were the views spectacular but the road itself was a perfect blend of curves, straight-aways, and hairpin turns. We rode about half-way down the highway and then made a stop for lunch at Newcombsranch which is a popular restaurant among bikers. While we were there, we talked with a few locals about the road and what to look out for, as well as other good roads to ride. Since we were there to ride and not eat, we finished up lunch quickly and continued toward the end of the highway. We stopped at the end to relax for a little while and talk about what a great day we were having!

Over the next few hours we explored some more of the roads located in the park and ended up riding Angeles Crest Highway a second time. After we left the forest we braved rush hour and headed over to Malibu via "the 101" and Topanga Canyon Road (which is another awesome road for riding). We met up with the Pacific Coast Highway and rode south along the ocean to Manhattan Beach and ate fish taco's at a bar overlooking the ocean. By now it was almost 9:00 PM and time to return the bikes.

After an exhausting day, we returned the bikes and headed back to the hotel (as I was to fly the red-eye from LAX back to Houston, TX). Mark, who is also an airline pilot, accompanied me in the cockpit on the way back to Houston and after arriving, we flew home to Minneapolis. I slept the afternoon away when I got home but let's see, a day riding motorcycles on one of the best roads in the world with your best friend....yeah, that's a good day.

A sign of what was ahead of us! Looks like fun to me!

The bikes, a Honda 600RR (red) and a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R (green).

The only restaurant on Angeles Crest Highway, Newcombsranch.

A staged photo of Mark, taken especially for his wife. Funny, huh?

A picture of me contemplating life.

It doesn't get any better than this!

Me with the bike at the end of Angeles Crest Highway. Yeah, this is a good way to spend a layover.

1 comment:

Nancy Holte said...

You could probably translate "world renowned motorcycle highway" as "place cops hang out on slow days." :-) Glad you had fun!