Tuesday, August 28, 2012

41st Wedding Anniversary

My parents 41st wedding anniversary was today.  My dad sent over a few photos from when he was in college, and also when the two of them were dating.  These are pictures of pictures so I'm sorry for the quality.  This first one is out in front of his house in Ridgecrest, CA.  Here's my dad on his brothers bike, an old desert sled that my uncle used to race outside of town.  My dad thinks it might have been a Yamaha or Husqvarna of some sort.
This was inside his college dorm room.  Notice the poster of Peter Fonda on the wall from Easy Rider.  I still haven't seen that movie yet!  This was the closest I could come to finding the same image on Google.
My parents during their dating years.  My dad's bike was a Honda 305 Scrambler, he's not sure on the year..probably 66, 67 or 68.  He ended up selling the bike in '76 and replaced it with a Grand Torino.  It would be another 22 years before he bought his next motorcycle, a '98 Honda 650XLR for elk hunting.
For their anniversary my mom bought the two of them a Sena SMH5 helmet communicator set.  I rode over last week and helped them set it up.  I should have taken some pictures during installation, it would have made a good post, but alas I wasn't thinking:(.  Here's another blogger who breaks down what is involved: GearChic Site.  The install was very smooth..about 10 to 15minutes per helmet.  We powered on the units and wha-la! they were talking back and forth.  What I liked about the Sena gear is that it's very simple to use.  Only two buttons and a volume dial on the main control.  The headsets were already paired to each other using Bluetooth, and we quickly paired my dad's phone to his headset so he can receive phone calls while on the road...probably shouldn't have showed him that.
We celebrated their anniversary early by riding to breakfast on Mt. Lemmon last Sunday.  My sister and her family were going to join us, but they had to back out at the last second.  So it was just my parents and Kiri.  I sweet talked Kiri into taking pictures again.  She must really love me:).  This is heading up to the mountain.  Around 8:30ish.
There are quite a few twisties as you make your way up the foothills portion of the mountain.
I'm not much of a canyon carver.  I let the speed demons pass when possible.
It's about 30 miles to the top and it's possible to have a 20-30 degree drop in temperature.  So it's always a nice escape from the heat.  The only downside is that you have to come back into the heat eventually.  It's always worse coming down.
You'll see tons of bicyclists heading up and down the mountain.  They say its the best place to train for elevation changes.  You go from ~2000 feet at the bottom to ~8000 feet at the top.  I've talked to bicyclists who say they can hit 50Mph or more coming down.  That's a lot of speed for those little tires.
My parents behind us.  I must admit I like the Triumph Explorer's headlights.  They just look sinister.  My mom waving ruins the effect...but you know what I mean.
Kiri even filmed a small movie of the ride and touched it up using movie maker.  This was all her, I have no idea how to edit movies.  Thanks for the help honey!!
Turning onto the Ski Valley road, the winter ski area.  I've never gone skiing here, I might have to give it a shot one of these days.
And here are the two love birds after 41 years.  The highlight being the year I was born of course.
Food Porn!  I got the blueberry pancakes.  My mom had the egg frittata, and my dad got ketchup with a side of eggs, sausage, and potatoes.
Had to take pictures of some of the bikes in the parking lot.  A 1400 Suzuki Intruder and a Harley Davidson of some sort.  I'm not that great at naming all the Harley's, it's a V-Twin of some sort and lets leave it at that.
I wanted to show the foot pegs that my dad added to his crash bars.  I wish I had something like this to stretch out my legs on long rides.
We found out that with breakfast you get a free ride on the ski lift so we headed over to partake.
I've shown riding the ski lift before.  So I won't post too many pictures of the trip up and down...believe me there are quite a few!
Group photo at the top.  The dead trees are from a fire that ran through this area a few years ago.
Snapped a quick shot of this beetle that was on Kiri's jacket.  His shell reminded me of old metal with bullet holes.
Bug Porn!  These guys should get a room.
Heading back down.
On the way, Kiri spotted some deer off in the distance.  How many deer can you find?
As we got off the ski lift I spotted this brand new 2012 Ducati Monster 1100 EVO in the parking lot.  Still had the dealer temporary plates.
Clouds were starting to roll in over the mountain so we headed back down.  Kiri's parents live nearby so Kiri and I broke off to take a dip in their pool.  I asked Kiri to give me a hair flipping action shot.  I thought it turned out pretty cool.
 Ahh the easy life!  You can see the clouds that had rolled in over the mountain on the left.
Well that's it for tonight.  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marana Stockyards for Breakfast

Last Sunday Kiri, Tuyen and I decided to do an early morning breakfast ride to a new place in Marana.  A friend of my dad's had pointed it out earlier in the year and I wanted to check it out.  So off we went.

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I sweet talked Kiri into being the trip photographer.
To beat the heat and humidity, we we're supposed to meet Tuyen at a gas station at 6:30am.  Kiri and I were on time.  Mr. Tuyen, on the other hand, texted some lie about his alarm clock not going off and we had to go over to his house.  Here he is wiping the sleep out of his eyes and mumbling something about not being a morning person.
We headed over Gates Pass, our usual route for Sunday mornings.  Kiri had the camera tied to her wrist and snapped pictures over my shoulder on the straight a-ways.  We've been getting some nice rain from the monsoons.  This is why the desert looks so green.
Even though the sun was out, it hadn't gotten hot yet.  You could still smell the lingering rain from the previous day.  If you've ever been in the southwest, and been lucky enough to experience a rain storm roll in, you'll always remember the amazing smells it generates.
Looking out over Avra Valley.  This is the valley west of Tucson.  Home to Old Tucson and the Desert Museum.
 Turning off of McCain Loop Rd onto Kenny.  Mr. Tuyen striking a menacing pose.
 You'll always see tons of bicyclists out on these roads.  El Tour de Tucson is coming up on the calendar.  People are starting to train for the event.  I swear that when I started this pass I had a dashed line.
 On straight a-ways I'll lean forwards and let Kiri get some nice air flow.  She says it helps when the weather is warm.  I thought it was neat you could see Kiri's shoulder in the left mirror and Tuyen in the right.  Group Photo!
 Traveling north on Sandario Rd, you eventually end up in the town of Marana.  Just prior to this picture we passed a hidden police car in some trees off to the right.  Luckily we weren't speeding as that would have cast a dark cloud over our nice morning ride.
 Sandario dead ends at the Marana regional airport.  We hung a left.
 The landscape changed to lush agricultural fields.
You can barely make out the white Kitt Peak telescopes on the far mountain tops.
This guy on the red bike keeps tailing us.  I can't lose him.
There are flowing irrigation canals that parallel the roads out here.
We finally made it to our destination.  The Marana Stockyards.  They auction off cattle here, but the place also has a cafe.  This is our first visit.
Synchronized kickstand placement.  Tuyen and I didn't make the cut for the 2012 Olympic trials.  We'll be ready for Rio 2016.
What a cute couple!
Our beautiful photographer Kiri.
After a long ride we were ready for breakfast.  The Cattlemans Cafe can be found inside the auction house.
Kiri ordered gravy and biscuits and Tuyen and I had the french toast.  MmmmMmmm we'll definitely be back!
After breakfast we inspected where they sold the livestock. 
Kiri and I decided we're going to come here and buy our first steer.  We'll keep him in the backyard and see how long it takes for the neighbors to notice.
As we were leaving Tuyen noticed the strange symbols painted nearby.  I'm 100% sure they were left behind by alien lifeforms.  Kiri and Tuyen believes they're plain old branding symbols.  Pffffth, luckily they have me along to set them straight!
It was an enjoyable ride.  We'll be coming back soon!  Until next time!