Just another Sunday Ride; NOT!

Norm's GoPro Hero Helmet Camera
My GoPRo Video Camera on my Modular Helmet

 Last Sunday, May 23, 2010, I decided to take a bit of a ride here in Southern California.

The ride was not only for pleasure, but I wanted to check out my new Rush Slip on mufflers, my new Sony HD Stereo, and my new GoPro helmet camera. (I will write reviews about all of them later on)

My plan was to meet some of my friends in Chatsworth, CA, ride to Simi Valley Harley Davidson in Simi Valley, CA, and then ride with them to Bartels Harley Davidson in Marina Del Rey, CA. I ended up doing a local 300 mile all day ride minus the time I spent at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

My ride started out early Sunday morning on May 23, 2010. I got on my motorcycle at around 8:30am to take a bit of a ride before I met my friends. I captured the vast majority of my ride on my new GoPro helmet cam, a picture of which you can see to the left.

I have the helmet cam mounted on the side of my helmet rather than the top of my helmet, because I have a modular flip up helmet and the top mount would not work with the flip up aspect of my modular helmet. I will discuss this more when I review the camera.

Suffice is to say, it was a great day. My total riding hours in the saddle riding last Sunday was around 9 hours plus, and I have plenty of video footage of my ride. I am showing 30 minutes of the ride here. It was very hard for me to select which video footage to show here.

I met my friends in Chatsworth at around 9:45am after taking about an hour ride. We then rode together to a little event at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. There was a band, food, and vendors at Simi Valley Harley Davidson.

I took advantage of being at Simi Valley Harley Davidson. It turns out on the ride over there, I discovered that my left spot light was out, plus I needed some bushings and bolts for my removable Tour Pak. I was able to get all of the parts I needed at the dealership which made me very happy notwithstanding the fact that I paid $57.00 for a spot light replacement, two bolts, and two bushings.

I decided to replace the spotlight in the street while I was there. It was probably a good idea, because once I got the spot light off, I could not figure how to get it back on. There is a rubber strip, a backing that the spotlight goes into, as well as a metal ring. I walked the separated parts up to the service desk, and even though they were closed, there was a guy in there who obviously worked there, who packed the rubber back into the housing, and showed me how to put the pieces back together which I did. Repair completed right there in the street.

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My friends and I walked around a bit and hung out at the Harley Davidson dealership until at least noon by my estimation. I purchased a $5.00 lemonade – 5 friggen dollars for a large lemonade. After complaining a bit about the price, the guy agreed to give me a free refill. I don’t know but if I was putting on one of these events, I would talk to my food and drink vendors to ensure that they were not gouging my customers and guests. This is a whole other story.

At some point, the guys decided to take off. When I got on my motorcycle to leave with the guys, I found an electrical problem from my earlier spotlight fix, and my motorcycle would not start. I waived my friends off and told them I would meet them later.

I opened the spotlight back up and everything seemed OK. The light powered up when I put the ignition switch to the run position, but the bike would not start. Then I had a stupid me moment, I engaged the kill switch before I did the repair which I forgot about. Once I disengaged the kill switch, the motorcycle started. I then buttoned the motorcycle back up and was ready to roll. It was by now a half hour later or so. I knew my friends were probably already very close to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey.

By this time I was hungry. I had not had breakfast that morning, I did not eat the food at the Simi Valley event because I did not want to have acid reflux all day, so I decided to take a detour off of the 118 to go to Jerry’s Deli on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, CA to get some Matzo Ball soup and some Kosher Dills. I knew if I rode to Bartel’s in Marina Del Rey, they would probably have the same greasy spoon type of food that they had at Simi Valley Harley Davidson, and that I did not want to wait to eat.

I rode to Jerry’s Deli which is a San Fernando Valley hotspot eatery where many celebrities can be seen from time to time, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal, although it took quite a time to get my meal. There is nothing like Matzo Ball soup when you are on a run where the weather is kind of cool. It will open up your sinus every time. Matzo Ball soup is a Jewish remedy!

By the time I finished my meal at Jerry’s Deli, it was already around between 1:30 and 2:00pm, and I did not have my friend’s phone numbers with me, so I decided to skip Bartel’s Harley Davidson. I figured that by the time I rode there with traffic, I would not make it until around 3pm or later, and to be frank, I wanted to ride rather than sit around hanging out at another Harley Davidson dealership, so that is exactly what I did, I rode; I rode my ass off : )

I decided to ride to the Rock Store by way of Topanga Canyon to Mulholland Highway, the long twisty route. You can see some of the video from my GoPro here. It was a fanfuckentastic run. You see we absolutely have the best and most beautiful riding in the world right here in Southern California. It does not get much better than this anywhere in the world. Most Angelinos (Los Angeles Residents) have no clue about the beauty just outside of the concrete jungle here. We have great mountains, great coastline, and twisties that are just as radical as any in the world here.

As I approached the last stop sign before arriving at the Rock Store, I ran straight into a friggen road block. You see the Tour De California Bicycle race was also being put on this weekend, and the Rock Store was on their route. I was a bit pissed. I wanted to visit the Rock Store and then do my hidden route behind Mulholland to some of the best 1st gear twisties, ending up at the coast. I ended up turning off my motorcycle and watching the bicycle racers, the fans yelling like screaming Durban’s, and the helicopters overhead, not to mention the bicycle rider chase trucks, and chase motorcycles on the route. When a CHP officer told me the route was to be closed all day, I flicked a U’ie and rode back to Malibu Canyon Road. I rode to Pacific Coast Highway, and ended up doing a straight coast ride all the way up to Neptune’s Net. I stopped at my old surfing grounds before Zuma Beach and cruised the coast a bit. I have some great memories on this strip of beach.

It was a great day to ride on Sunday. The coast part of my journey was fanfuckentastic to say the least. Look I love riding with my friends and my brothers, but I also like riding solo as well. There is no pressure to stay in the pack when you are riding solo, and you can ride wherever the fuck you want with no one bitching. It is freedom.

I rode real easy up to Neptune’s Net. I had many cagers waiving at me, and honking at me. I presume this was because of my helmet camera. I assume these people probably thought that I was filming for some kind of Hollywood movie or something. I literally had people in Mercedes Benz’s, Ferrari’s and beater cars all giving me the thumbs up. It was unique and I got many of it on the helmet cam.

When I finally got to Neptune’s Net there were a bunch of bikes and bikers there just like every Sunday. For me it is the same old thing, kind of like a routine if you know what I mean. I had a bunch of guys come up and ask me about the camera on my helmet. One of the guys was this Euro type who claimed to have shot all of the pictures for Harley Davidson’s new motorcycle line that was coming out. He was very interested in the specs for my camera and the mount. I ended talking to these guys for a half hour, exchanging business cards and what not. This is the good thing about being a biker, it is easy to meet and greet with new people. Something that cagers will never really get to experience. It is a biker comradery.

At this point is was around 4pm plus or minus an hour : ) I had a choice, I could take Kanan Dune, or Malibu Canyon to the 101 Ventura Freeway, and ride home, or I could cruise Pacific Coast Highway up to Santa Monica, then take the 10 to the 405 and cruise up to the snow via the Antelope Valley back route. Hell this time of year it stays daylight until at least 8pm; what would you do? : ) Well what do you think I decided to do? If you guess take PCH to Santa Monica and then cruise up the snow by way of the Antelope Valley back route you would be correct.

Look, my wife is in law school, she was at home studying for some freaking test, it was a great not too warm sunny day by this time, and I had nothing better to do. I was one of those great days where I could have rode 24 hours straight, all around my favorite spots.

So there I did it, I rode PCH all the way to the 10. It was a great costal ride. I noticed that there are many more homes along the coast which is a real bummer. When I was growing up, it was straight coast all the way up, now there are homes blocking the view for a substantial part of the trip. No biggie, it was a great ride. I got on the 10 to the 405 north. There it was bumper to bumper traffic; a good excuse to get off before Getty Center Drive, get some gas, and then take Sepulveda up the canyon until the traffic opened up. Once I got on the 405 I took it to the 14 east and then got off at Sand Canyon Road for a bit of dinner at Coco’s Restaurant.

In Coco’s a young 20 year old kid named Shane who was sitting with his absolutely fine girlfriend 19 year old girlfriend Tammy, and his 25 year old friend Steve, introduced themselves to me and shook my hand, they sat directly in front of my in another booth.

I had a good meal and good conversation with these folks. Hell we talked about everything from relationships, to career, to riding motorcycles, you name it. It has been a long time since I had such a good conversation with young folks. I thought to myself that these kids ought to be more careful about opening up to strangers like me the way they did because there are many assholes out there that might do them harm just because they were so nice. I did not have enough time to tell them what I thought, but I thought it as I saw them leaving. These were some good kids. They showed me respect which is unique these days. I think their parents raised them right.

After a really good steak dinner, I got back on the road. I took the 14 to Pearblossum Highway, to my secret turn off on the 138 and headed up to the still snow covered mountains.

At the turnoff I decided to change the batteries in my Gopro cam, and to check the memory card. Turns out I needed to replace both. The batteries were dead, plus I had already used up an 8GB SD card which records 6 hours of video. Whoops. I put in new batteries, and a 2 GB SD card to record this aspect of my ride.

To give a short summary I owned the road, I was basically all alone form the desert to the mountains. I rode to my spot where the San Andreas Fault line is, and then up to the Juniper Hills and beyond up to the snow. By this time I was freezing my ass off, and the sun was going down, so I decided to ride home.

When I finally got home, my wife bitched about me being gone form the early morning to the evening and wondered what I did for so long. I let her see the video’s of the day. I know the real reason that she was upset; because she did not ride with me, and spent a beautiful Sunday by herself studying all day. Been there; done that.

Unfortunately I lost the 2 GB SD card of the final part of my journey in my home office somewhere. Once I find it I will post some video from it.

So there it is, one hell of a great Sunday Ride in Southern California, from the desert to the sea, to the mountains.

Maybe I may take one of my lucky readers on this same ride someday.

By California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2010

12 Responses to Just another Sunday Ride; NOT!

  1. Neat vids Norm. Let me ask, is the resolution good enough to make out car license numbers from perhaps 75-100′ away? say in case you witness a hit and run or something.

  2. Magic solution to the wind noise in the camera: A small piece of scotch tape over the microphone hole. Works wonders. Cuts huge amounts of wind noise out.

  3. What a day. Love the camera! I tell you…it is like being there with you. I do not blame the wife….it looked like a nice peaceful and relaxing way to spend the a beautiful day. You know, most times it is better to hit the highway alone…or with just the better half. I am excited about your new helmet camera. To be a lucky reader and go on a trip like this one! That is a lottery win.

  4. a great thanks Norm for your enthusiasm and detail. I’ve ridden for a few years and still enjoy your videos. Your blog is great. It would be good sometime to see a list of your gear, ie. jacket, helmet, chaps, gloves etc and why you like them. thanks!!

  5. Jeff this camera is in a waterproof enclosure that is good to depth below 1600 feet supposedly. I don’t know where the mic hole is in the camera. Besides, I want people to hear what is going on except for the wind noise.

    It does have a setting for high and low depending upon if you are in a high vibration environment such as mounting it on a race car bumper. I have it set up for the helmet.

    I may exchange this camera and go for the HD version. I think the noise will be the same.

    Norm

  6. With the fish-eye lens on the standard resolution camera I have I would have to say no. However, if I took the camera out of the waterproof fish-eye enclosure, It may. I am probably going to return the Hero version of this camera and get the HD version which is about 200 bucks more.

    The video is good enough to see if someone cuts you off, turns in front of you, or otherwise causes a wreck!

    Norm

  7. I am glad you like it Sandie. I am probably going to dump this one and get the HD version which is about 200 bucks more so I can have better quality.

    I am going to be doing some great rides this summer including Sturgis. I will will take you there with me :)

    Norm

  8. Great story, video!! Thanks. You’ve road my favorite places. Wish I could have ran across your blog/website for my accident in Oct 09.
    Andrew

  9. Ever write that review of the GoPro?

    Your blog was one of the few places to see a snapshot of installation on modular. Interested to see more.

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