SOHC/4 Forum Motorcycle Relay Ride Across California

Reader Contribution by The Sohc4 Forum
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(Ed. Note: The Single Overhead Cam Four/Forum, an online community devoted to Honda SOHC/4 bikes of the late 1960s and 1970s, has loosely organized a relay/rally ride that will triple-transect the lower 48 states and all Canadian Provinces. The ride began in mid-March 2011 and continues into the early fall. Learn more and join the ride when it passes your area. )

There have been some great rides during this forum member relay crisscrossing the continent, and even as I write this blog entry another is taking place over the continental divide amid freezing temperature and snow covered mountain passes. But until those ride logs are posted – soon I’m sure – you can sit back and enjoy a lengthy but highly enjoyable ride log by Sean Condon. Scondon, as Sean is known on the forum, racked up 2,000 miles from April 26-April 30, covering California from both north to south and west to east. His ride log is a look inside a true vintage bike enthusiast.

Sean doesn’t ride showroom bikes; he rides fast bikes – vintage fast bikes. He’s his own mechanic and a riding veteran. And you’ll see clearly the joy of his passion in reading his write-up of four days on the road meeting and riding with fellow forum members, visiting the legendary APE motorcycle race part manufacturer and taking some laps at California’s Willow Springs race track.

This post is not to slight any riders who’ve been covering miles of pavement the past couple weeks. There have been, as mentioned, some great rides and cool stuff happening nearly every day of the week. So Scottly, Fatmatt, Mr. Breeze, and Mooshie, to name a few, I’ll circle back to you soon. And you’ll read about ride originator Jerry Griffin’s crossing the Rockies in very questionable weather conditions. Promise.

To get you going on Scondon’s tale, first grab a beer and read “bookends” of his ride log below. Then click on the link and enjoy the whole story and great photos.

Sean Condon snaps a photo of his odometer before leaving home in Walnut
Creek, CA, headed for 29 Palms, CA.

Tuesday- 4/26/11
Alarm goes off at 3:15a.m. and I’m hugging the coffee pot while I do a mental checklist of everything I packed the night before: cell phone, camera, wallet, and hotel info in riding pants – check;  tool roll, fuses, spare Dyna S, 1qt 10-40w, visor spray, road maps and water bottle in tank bag – check; 2 days of fresh clothes, road snacks, reading glasses, pen/paper, nic gum, and fistful of Tylenol in Timbuktu msngr bag – check; chain lubed, full tank, oil topped, cables lubed, and nuts/bolts checked for tightness – check.

I kiss the sleeping girlfriend goodbye, say a prayer to the motorcycle gods, and it’s off into the darkness for a solo burn from Walnut Creek, CA to 29 Palms, CA to meet with Scottly and the Denver Choppers crew (KayJohn, Chopper Jim, and Kenny) at a location yet to be determined.

Nothing to do now except eat as many miles as I can before the sun gets high and the traffic gets heavy. I settle into the fast lane of Hwy 680 and keep the speed about a “slow jog” faster than the occasional car. My speedometer kinda stopped working last year, and the needle bounces between 60-130mph so I have adopted this method of gauging speed to go fast yet avoid tickets. So far, so good …

The Handoff from Team Southwest to Team California. Team SW leader
Scottly, Denver Choppers Crew KayJohn, Chopper Jim and Kenny, along with
Scondon (arms folded).

Team California leader Fatmatt, Moosie from Santa Barbara and Scondon
on the beach at Morro Bay, CA.

Saturday 4/30/11 –  Homeward bound
I wake up to the sound of voices in the parking lot below. It’s the fellas, and though I can’t make out the conversation I can tell they’ve been awake for a bit. Damned if I’m going to hold things up, so I dress quickly and head downstairs. This morning I feel different than the days previous. Don’t know how many of you do long rides, but for me, the last day, the one that finally gets ya home, has a different feel. For me, the senses sharpen, and each step, each move, and every plan made is all about the business of getting home, and getting home safe!

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Got that beer? Ready for the whole trip report? If after reading and savoring Scondon’s ride log you aren’t ready to plan a trip this weekend, well then I don’t know what will get you going.  

See you down the road. – Steve Shanesy

Steve Shanesy is SOHC/Forum member and can’t wait to meet up with the relay/rally ride when it comes through his home in Cincinnati, OH. 

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