Friday, July 31, 2015

Over 40 years of Experience Racing E Type Jaguars...

Since 1973 I have been repairing, restoring, and racing E Types and other classic Jaguars and British sports cars.. For more information go to:

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Home Safe and Sound..
Dear Family & Friends,

First I need to make two spelling corrections pointed out to me by my editors…..
We went to Bryce Canyon National Part, not Bryson.
Second we stayed in Panguitch, UT last night..
I know my spelling is bad but please understand English is my second language, Car Talk is my native tongue….
So this morning we awoke in Panguitch, UT. This is our last full day riding so we started heading towards home, but not without a few hour detour through Zion National Park.. Well worth the extra time.. Such  beautiful and dramatic place.
When I entered the park I got some good news and bad news…. First the bad.. The entry fee for motorcycles is $25 but when I went to pay the young female park ranger she looked at me and said “You look like you  qualify for a senior discount.” Wow! I guess I am looking old… the good news was the fee was $10 and I now have a lifetime pass for any national park!
After a few hours of riding back roads and Zion Park we headed north to US15 the freeway directly home… We spent the entire afternoon on a boring, HOT, freeway traveling through four states, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and finally back to California…
On the way over last week we hit temperatures of 117 and going through Nevada today it was “only” 95 degrees but after riding the cool mountains it really felt hot.. The we got to Baker, CA. and the temperature rose to 105 degrees and it was just plain hot and boring.. We did finally make it to Tehachapi, Ca. so we have an easy 3-4 hour ride home. We plan to leave at the crack of dawn and try to avoid any more heat….but tonight we celebrated a great trip with one more excellent meal of prime rib and red wine. Tomorrow back on the wagon of better eating.. :(
This has been another great motorcycle trip! Over 3000 miles of fun.
A few of the special highlights:
-In Utah in a very remote part of the state we pulled over to view the countryside and a mini van pulled over next to us with two families from Germany. They were motorcycle enthusiast and just wanted to talk to us. They notice my stickers from all over Europe so they had lots of questions.. The two mothers  I would guess were late 30s or early 40s? They were friends since childhood and both grew up in East Germany so they never expected to have the wealth or freedom to travel the world. They were all very friendly and nice and were so excited to meet us they asked us to pose with them for photos….
-Another thing on the is trip… I always try to learn something new wherever I go.This time I had been struggling with a GoPro camera that I have had for over a year and with the help of a tech friend (Becky) and some YouTube instruction videos I finally figured out how to use and adjust the dam thing. I took a half a dozen videos of our trip. Now I need to learn how to edit them.. Some are just to long and boring. Here is one short one going through Zion.
Here is a link to the video. Not exactly academy award material but at least you can see what parts of Zion look like

-Finally one of the big pluses of the trip was getting to know my new riding friend Brian… As a motorcyclist I am always looking for people to travel with. It is hard to find good competent safe riders, that have similar interests, are intelligent to have good conversations with, and that you want to enjoy a week or more with. Brian fits the bill and I am sure we will be doing more rides together.

Tomorrow we get up at the crack of dawn to ride home. We are only a few hours from SLO but we want to avoid the heat so we are leaving EARLY!!
As soon as I return I have a very busy rest of the year!! 
-First I need to get caught up at work.
-Then I get to have my grandson come spend a week with me!! I am looking forward to that!
-Then Bonnie and I are off for a week at the Monterey Car week.
-Then home for more business.
-Then over to Buttonwillow race track to do some testing. I just completed a full two year rebuild on my racing E Type and I need to give some track time to get it ready for a race in September.
-Then I finish of the year with a trip to South America with my lovely wife.That will be my next series of travel reports.
I hope you enjoyed my writings.
Until next time.

Entering Zion

My trusty GSA, what a great motorcycle!

I think I need a "SEFLY" stick!

A great breakfast in a little road side cafe just outside Zion. I much prefer the local establishments to chain restaurants!

Give a man a welder and there is no telling what he will make..

State line Nevada.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Day 8 of The 131 Motorcycle Tour.. off to Utah!AmNo

Dear Family & Friends,

Today we are leaving Colorado so I was reflecting on our time there. Sometimes there are moments of magic or clarity.. Nothing terribly important but fun… One afternoon we were riding over a Rocky Mountain Pass so I thought it would be nice to listen to John Denver singing Colorado Rocky Mountain High…. don’t you think that would be appropriate?? So off we went with John Denver singing in my ear. I have listened to this song many times in the last 40 years and have always enjoyed it, but the words went in one ear and out the other without any great meaning.  This time when he sang about “Fire and rain in the Sky” it really struck a cord as I looked out over the Rocky Mountains, the sky dark with rain and lightening all around me.. Wow! I was living the song and suddenly the words really touched me.. Nothing earth shattering but none the less an enjoyable experience to feel it.. I am not an artsy guy so I have to get it when I can,,,,,’

So today Duane has given up on his motorcycle and is trucking it home.. Brian and I after reviewing the map realize that Telluride is just to far out of the way for us to fit in on this trip so we decide to head west into Utah. There is lots to see there and some great roads too.
Within an hour of leaving this morning we were out of Colorado and into Utah with a completely different landscape. Barren and dramatic with geological marvels all around us. Most of Utah was a vast sea or lake millions of years ago and the dramatic views all around reflect it. This place would be a geologist dream.  Many layers of earth and sediment exposed everywhere. Great sculptures formed by time and weather..  You would see towering formations with huge rocks balanced on the top that look like they are about to fall. I am sure another ten to twenty thousand years and they will fall.
Road side sites featuring dinosaurs are as common here as Taco Bell is in California….

At one site the rocks were so dramatic that we stopped to photograph and look at them… Brian pointed out one dramatic tower of rocks with a very distinctive formation on top. Like it had been carved by man.. Brian asked me what I thought it looked like.. Immediately I said it looked like a gigantic phallic symbol….. Brian looked a bit shocked at me and said to him it looked like an old woman wrapped in a shawl..  I think Brian was right and I am beginning to worry about me…am I becoming a dirty old man or have I always been this way??

Anyways we kept riding, the morning had beautiful weather, clear and mid 80s. Great for riding a motorcycle… We were not riding any freeways, just two lane back roads which are so fun on a motorcycle. We decided to head a bit south to Bryce Canyon National park and ride around that area. As we continued the mountains ahead started to appear very dark.. What was going on??? We stopped about noon at a small road side store to have a drink and asked the local shop keeper what he thought the weather was going to do since it looked so dark.. Without missing a beat  he immediately answered us… “Looks like it is going to get you wet”…. Concise and to the point and 100% accurate.. That is country wisdom..
The next two hours we wound our way through pouring rain in a lush forest area of the local mountains. I am sure it would have been beautiful if we could have seen anything…
From there we started our decent back to the valley. The road was very dramatic. Most mountain roads are cut into the side of the mountain but this road went right along the top ridge of the mountain so it was a very dramatic drop off on each side but the views were amazing.. As we descended the rain let up and the temperature started to rise again which felt great. Around 3pm we were back in the valley around Bryson National park. We stopped and took a few photos.. From there we went to the next very small town and stopped for lunch. 
The cafe was inviting and warm and it felt good to be out of the elements for a while.. The waitress came over and I asked her what she recommend. She said “Get the JalapeƱo chili, bacon, BBQ hamburger.. it is a very memorable meal”. So I had to ask her “memorable” in a good way or bad way?? She replied good and she was right.. It was one of the best hamburgers I have ever had. IT was good but by the time we go there I was so cold and tired a well cooked shoe would have been good.
Tonight we finish up Pangutich (SEC??) a small town in Utah. Tomorrow we head to Nevada and we should be back in SLO Wednesday. So far it has been a very memorable trip.


Amazing how quickly the landscape changes from Colorado to Utah...

No traffic, no turns., warm weather.. about as easy as motorcycle riding gets..

This cut of went off road and cut about 200 miles off our route.. I would have taken it but the get was tied shut with a double knot rope and that is just to complicated to deal with... :)

Is it just me or does that look like a phallic symbol?? I may be losing it... :(

This cute cabin was available for less than $100K. I wonder if Bonnie would like to move to Utah???

Entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park

Tonight we are staying in a cute motel with pink doors. Very warm and cozy..

Uh Oh,,,, this does not look good. Where did our warm weather go???

Two hours of pouring rain!!

Coming out of the mountains along this ridge road.

Sometimes even the simplest things need instructions....

The Story of my V12 XK120 FHC,,,, start to finish~

This was by far the hardest project I have ever done from the frame up! I started with a rusty bare body. It was completely rebuilt with ext...