Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two up

Day 11

Miles today: 353 Total miles: 3,515

I picked up a passenger in Las Vegas - my dad hopped on the back of
the bike today and we rode to Los Angeles. I mentioned that there were
times on the way out here that the bike topped out at around 65 going
up hills with a headwind. Well, we decided to add another challenge on
o that by adding a passenger (riding with two people on the bike is
called riding "two up"). Now, I should mention that the two genlemen
in question here are of svelte build and thereby do not pose a great
problem for the bike in terms of weight; nonetheless, the distribution
of this weight was slightly different than usual. The good news was
that we went downhill most of the way, but the bad news was that the
winds were still strong. The bike did really well - only a couple of
times did I max out the throttle, and we were able to do 70 and keep
up with traffic. We took the freeway again because there's really no
other way to get between those 2 cities without going almost a day out
of the way.

We got off the freeway at Victorville and came in through the valley
to the north of the city. This was a great drive and made up for the
boring stretches on I-15. Then we got back on the 405 (note: in
California, this is how people refer to major roads - the 405, the
101, etc. Just another one of those little reminders that you're in
another country. Still not sure why I haven't been asked for my
passport even though Ive gone through Texas and into California.)

It was also fun hearing my dad's reactions to getting used to the
bike. He loved how open everything was around him. Especially as a
passenger, he was able to look all around and have an unrestricted
view of the scenery. He was also battleing the cold, even when it was
65 degrees out. Without a windbreaker he was shivering. We switched
around some clothes, and he was much happier. We also spent a lot of
time figuring out how to ride with two people. The passenger has to be
sort of a co-pilot, leaning into turns, working with the driver in
tight spots. Because a passenger's weight is so high above the center
of gravity on a motorcycle, his movements can tip the bike more easily
than the driver.

We were both pretty wiped after the trip. Riding two up seems to be a
lot more tiring than riding single. We went to ralph's for a 6 pack
and got some pizza, then crashed.

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