Another beautiful day in paradise, rich blue skies, 70’s and little or no wind. Today I’m traveling down to San Diego to pick up Judi, who is flying in from Chicago around 7:30PM. Prior to heading down to SD, Howard invited me to watch his daughter play in a three game 12″ softball tournament. It was an eye opener, these girls got game! They play the game with real intensity. Don’t get in their way unless you want to get run over.
After watching a couple of games I decided to head out to San Diego via I-5. It was only suppose to be a 90 minute trip, but as anyone who has driven on the California highways will tell you, nothing is routine. It was Saturday afternoon and the freeway was packed, but moving. Within a few miles it ground to a halt and we began crawling along. That’s when I experienced what motorcyclists are allowed to do in California, but not anywhere else in the USA, lane splitting. Lane splitting is where a motorcyclists can legally ride the white line between two lanes of traffic. This technique is not limited to slow moving traffic jams, they do it at 60-70 MPH!! I watched as these idiots come within 6-12″ of cars traveling at highway speeds. They also have no problem with passing other motorcyclists (me) within my lane. Needless to say, this is extremely dangerous because of the element of surprise. While on my way to San Diego, one of these morons decided to pass me in the left portion of my lane just as I was making an evasive maneuver around a pot hole in the roadway. I was within inches of him at 65 MPH and he was by me in an instant. After this little scare, I decided the safest place on the highway was in the left hand portion of the left hand lane. They do most of their lane splitting between the “fast lane” and middle lane. At least I only had to worry about one section of my lane vs. both sides. Just to show you how nuts the legislature is in California, they allow this type of extremely aggressive riding behavior, but have helmet laws. I guess they figure it’s nature’s way of thinning out the herd.
I arrived in SD and immediately went to the pool to start writing my blogs. I am sure everyone thinks that SD is warm and sunny in late June, its California! I am hear to tell you that is not the case. The temps were in the 60’s, which I am told is quite normal for this area. I have now transitioned from ventilated warm weather riding gear into regular gear with fleeces. Nothing like experiencing a 40 degree temperature change in a day or two.
Judi landed and made it to the hotel without incident. Now for the real challenge, how to pack two people on one bike for two weeks. Every square inch is precious and will be planned out so that we can get all of our equipment on the bike. We shall see.
Well, all of the equipment fit, but we will be jettisoning the Metamucil. Once I got the bike packed, Judi had to help me push it off its side stand. She wouldn’t get on it until I took it around the block to get used to the new weight distribution. My first 100′ was to ride down the hill that was in front of the hotel which then dumps you right onto a fast moving street. Are we having fun yet? It took a little while, but I got used to it. Judi decided to walk down the 100′ to get to street level. I told you she was smart!
We took off at 9:45AM for my second corner, which was only 20 miles south of San Diego. San Ysidro is a small town that borders Mexico. As we approached the town off of I-5, we realized that virtually all of the signage along the highway was in Spanish.
Thank goodness for my 15 years of Spanish in the Chicago public school system. I actually learned more Spanish while busing tables in Highwood then those 15 years! Unfortunately, the words and phrases I learned at the restaurant would get me in trouble on the street of San Ysidro. After taking the proverbial pictures at the San Ysidro Post Office in order to document our completion of this leg of the trip, we jumped on I-5 towards Carlsbad to meet up with a grammar school friend and his wife, Mark and Kathy Mazur. Mark and Kathy moved out here a few years back and are living the Southern California dream. Mark was the one who told me that the ocean never allows the temperatures to get much above the high 70’s. After lunch we wandered over to the boardwalk which overlooks the beach. The crowds in these ocean front communities make Oak Street beach in August look tame. There are people everywhere!!
Corner #2 San Ysidro, CA
Judi at Corner #2
Mark and I on the boardwalk