October 8, 2016
100 miles before noon - The San Joaquin Valley (SF to LA)
Like, I always think that I like San Francisco until I actually get here, at which point I want to kill myself with a rusty knife. Like, the city is so loud...you just can't get away from it. Ever. Like, the city is this fucking echo chamber of sirens and car alarms and homeless people cursing, rooting around the in trash cans for God knows what. Like...it's basically hell on earth. I think that anyone that lives here needs to have their head examined. I mean, sure...it's a nice place to spend a day or two, but after that, Lord God I want to run for the hills. It's so loud and crowded and...ugh.
I wake up, check out the hostel, and drive around taking pictures. Stop to shoot treasure Island and then drive to Oakland and fill up.
At the Oakland gas station, I put my license plate back on the bike. (I never have plates when I'm in San Francisco, for a lot of reasons I won't go into.) Set my trip meter, oil the chain in the parking lot, and check to make sure the engine has oil in it. Like, I'm not a mechanic, but you have to do a few things or you're going to have a bad time.
Like, I really, really, really can't afford for anything to go wrong at this point. I have a couple hundred dollars in my pocket, and if I can't make it to LA on this, I'm screwed 9 ways from Sunday.
My general plan when I'm riding is to get up and drive 100 miles before noon. This comes from years of riding. You have to get up, get out of bed, and get on the road so that you've covered 100 miles before you stop for lunch. If you don't, then you're not going to make much progress.
Today, I hit 100 miles at 11:30 a.m., so I'm making pretty good time. My plan is to escape from the city, drive east on I-580, and then turn south on I-5. Just run through the San Joaquin Valley like a wild man.
At 11:30 a.m., I stop for gas, food, and hit the restroom in Santa Nella. There's a sign on the bathroom door that says "Do You Want Company?" I am afraid to ask what it means.
I've never driven down I-5, to the best of my recollection. The The San Joaquin Valley (aka the central valley) is not much to look at. It alternates between desert and irrigated farmland.
The speed limit is 70 mph, but I run between 90-100 mph for hours on end. Why? I don't really know. I think I just wanted to get back to the LA basin. But, there is some concern that, if I get stopped by the pigs, I'm royally hosed. I only see them stop 2 people all day though. And, I seriously am just running 90-100 all day long, no joke.
Finally, the The San Joaquin Valley does come to and end. As we go south, we finally start climbing out of the Central Valley down at a place called Grapevine, CA.
Once we hit I-210 east, it's just a nightmare of traffic. I should have taken 138 through Lancaster to bypass this noise. But, we're just lane-splitting at triple digits because, after a while, why the fuck not, right? Like...I don't really care if I live or die. I just want to make it back to Riverside for God's sake.
Finally, I roll into March Air Reserve, CA at about 5:00 p.m. on fumes. Go back to my place in Mission Grove, get a shower, and crash for the night. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point, but I'm very glad to have the KTM back in Riverside. I'm really hesitant to take it away from here again. That was a nightmare.
Posted by Rob Kiser on October 8, 2016 at 12:44 PM