Day 12
June 24th, 2005
Castro Valley, California

It felt good to sleep in just a little today.  I passed the morning checking email, and on the phone with folks back east.

"Well brother time to get started on your bike."  Jerrol was eager to going.  When it comes to anything mechanical, I know just enough to be dangerous.  Why I ride a Honda, you don't have to work on them. 

Because Jerrol is so meticulous about his 1300, I trusted him with mine.  He knows the electrics of the 1300 better than anyone.  I'd been wanting to add a few things to my bike, but don't trust my bikes electrics to just anyone.  Nothing is worse than punching the starter button and have nothing happen. 

Today he will be adding PIAA 1100s, heated grips, 2-12 volt plugs, and a special box to wire everything into.  The unit offers a convenient one stop place for those items, and any item I may add in the future has a quick connect place.  Jerrol recommended it, and he's the boss.

After New England last fall, I decided NOT to be cold anymore.  The 12 volt plugs will operate my heated gear, and the grips will take care of my hands.

The PIAA 1100's improve night riding by at least 50%.  As good as the 1300s stock lighting is, you never have enough.  I appreciate how conspicuous they make a bike in the daylight, the difference is dramatic. 
We went to work on the 1300.  I assisted removing the Tupperware and after that pretty much got out his way.   As Don requested, my rear tire was delivered as promised.  We had missed the courier by a few minutes, but Don got FedEx on the phone and had things straightened out.  He can be so calm yet so persuasive.   I don't know how he does it.  " Yes, I specifically left instructions for the courier to leave the tire if no one was home.  I'm real disappointed my instructions were not followed, were they not clear?  Get in touch with him, and have him return my package, I know he has a phone, and you have his number, or can find it."  Sure enough a short while later, he was coming up the hill with my tire.
​While Jerrol works on wiring my accessories, Don "The
Freestyle," Cortez goes to work on my rear tire.  I'm in 
good hands.  Not only are they good with their hands, but 
probably the best ST riders I'd ever come across.

Don went to work on my grips while we worked down low. 
Things were going good, and Jerrol looked like he had things under control.  We understood when you have someone who knows what they are doing, best to leave him alone.  They don't need anyone standing over their shoulder.  A few times I had options, and he wanted to know which way to go, other than that, I turned him loose.  

I jumped in Don's pick up and we took off to the store to shop for the BBQ.  Joyce had a list, but we couldn't find it.  She was going to email it, but something happened.  So Don and I made a list.  "Lets get some wings Free, know how to do em?"  "I dunno but we can figure it out."

Don and I left the Hill, (if Uncle Phil lives in the Holler, than Freestyle lives on "The Hill") and went to the grocery store.  He bought all the items for a cookout.  Hamburger stuff, Hot Dogs, and wings.  Lots of soda and chips and a BIG bag of candy.  I don't know what all we had in the back of his truck, but it was a lot.  

Back on the Hill Jerrol was moving right along.  Free and I iced down the stuff we needed to, then he made some awesome fruit salad.  We told Jerrol to break for lunch.  We picked up sandwiches from the grocery's deli.  It was good eating.  
​Down to the skeleton of the ST 1300.  Note Freestyle's
blue tire machine in the background.  He has since upgraded
to a automatic unit.

Freestyle showed me around his garages.  He has every kind of tool you might need, just don't ask him where his booster cables are.  "You know I have 3 pair."  "Yeah, what if Joyce calls ya right now with a dead battery, can you find the cables?"  The remainder of the afternoon I'd see him walking around 1 of his 3 garages.  He said he was just checking some things out, but he was looking for those cables.  

After lunch, Free and I mounted my tire with the help of his machine and balancer.  The Z6 was only half gone, and it was unfortunate I had to kill it.  The plug was working fine, and if I had been home, I would have continued to ride it.  Like Free said, "the worst that could happen it goes flat."  If that happens 30 miles from home, no big deal, but I was going far north before turning east, and sure to be in isolated areas, and didn't want to think about a plugged tire in the Idaho Mountains, or out on the Dakota Prairies, where a flat is a big deal.

I kidded Jerrol, "you sure you know what you're doin?  I don't wanna hit the turn signal and have the windshield come up."  "Now, that's a good idea."

We were finishing up the tire about the time Jerrol finished the wiring.  One final check before putting the plastic back on.  Everything in order.  The light blue PIAAs look snazzy on the 1300.  Heated grips were good to go, so were the plugs.  I fired up the 1300, shining the lights on a board Don found.  Jerrol and I sighted in the beams for most effect.  "Now you're ready."

It was time to get cleaned up for the BBQ.  It was a great time.  All the Bay Area riders were there.  I can't name all the folks because I don't want to leave anyone out.  It was great.  Norma Ryan came, and a fine time was had by all.  It was good to see everyone again.  Dennis would have been proud.  It was a great party.  For some reason I left my camera upstairs, leaving the picture taking to someone else, so if you have some pics be sure to send them my way to add to this story. 

After the long cross country ride, the layover felt good.  I'm was quickly recharging for the trip back east, and looking forward to the ride.  The guys out here really make me feel at home, just super people.  And they always have my back. 

I chatted with everyone a significant amount of time.  Especially Norma.  She has done well the past year.  Freestyle's wings were a big hit, so were the burgers, but he did leave a few hot dogs on for about 3 hours.  When you touched them, they blew away in the wind, and turned into a black dust.

Another great BBQ went in the book.  It was late by the time everyone went down the hill.   We did some cleaning up, and hit the sack.  Tomorrow I make the short ride to Angel's Camp to meet my son and neighbors, and get ready for the wedding.  I was looking forward to seeing Chris, and the folks from home.

Footnote- To Jerrol Olson for taking care of my 1300, he spent a whole day working on my bike.  He did an excellent job.  I appreciate it.  I had a great time in Oceanside, and on the road.  Let me know when you go back to Outback.

To Don "The Freestyle" and Joyce Cortez.  You know I love y'all, thanks for your hospitality, and warmness. 
I've spent so much time in the Bay Area the last few years, I feel like a local.  To Alan Tryhorn and MartinB, who rode with me north that day, it was fun. Alan keep that sense of humor, and damn you ride like the wind. 

Martin dang bro, what would folks like ME, do without you to keep our STs in top running order.  Folks, MartinB has forgotten more about the ST 1100 then most folks would ever know. 

 I could never repay all the kindness I've been afforded by y'all.