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Thomas Desmond
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Saturday 11/13/2016 Motorcycle Ride

1993 Honda Nighthawk motorcycle at a Southern California beach

This is my very first post talking about a ride I did on my 1993 CB750 Honda Nighthawk. I have had my bike now for maybe a little over a month now. After a full carb rebuild, the bike is running in tip-top shape. It ran well beforehand but now it has quite a bit more throttle responsiveness. Now off the stop sign or stop light the bike does not wait for a second or so before taking off. The bike is beautiful and was amazingly taken care of by previous owners.

On Saturday morning I decided I wanted to go for a longer ride something about 50 or 60 miles. And with that, I also decided I want to take it for an overnight camping trip. I packed up the bike ghetto bungied on a duffle bag and set out. I was a little nervous about the duffle bag and saddlebags flying off or shifting around but no issues at all during the ride. 1993 Honda Nighthawk motorcycle all packed up for a long ride

I was on my way to the Indian Flats campground just outside of Warner Springs CA. I chose this spot because I had been there before a couple of years ago, but mainly because of the roads I would take there I was very familiar with. I did not want to worry about directions and getting lost on my first big ride.

The ride out was superb. The weather was perfect just a little chilly which felt great while wearing the heavy touring jacket I have (Thanks to Tom). The scenery was great as well. I had taken this route almost every weekend when I was camping with the Boy Scouts or heading out to the desert to ride dirt bikes. The 76 freeway is a grand route to take while riding a motorcycle. It was fun to see so many riders and even more for a decent amount of the 76 I was riding with a group of 5 other motorcycles.

I was soon at the 76/79 turn and got on the 79 headed north. I took the almost mandatory break at the turn off of the S2. I say mandatory because just about any time we were going out the desert we would park here regroup and stretch our legs. Having ridden basically non-stop from home up to this point my legs appreciated a little moving around. Catching the views from here was also a plus. I knew that there was not too much riding left till I got to the camping spot so I hopped back on the bike and continued on to Indian Flats.

The dirt lot at the corner of the 79 freeway and S2 in Southern California

As I rode down the road I saw the sign for Indian Flats while still going 60 miles per hour. It is a pretty easy turnoff to miss. Note to self if you are coming from the 76 up the 79 and reach the glider plane airport, you have already passed the Indian Flats campground turn off. So I turned around and this time made the turn. At this point, it is a 7-mile single lane paved road (paved is a bit of an overstatement). It is paved enough just had to keep an eye out for potholes and occasionally stand up on the pegs when a big bump was up ahead.

I only met one or two cars along the way but the 7 miles felt a little longer than 7 miles for some reason. Probably because I had to keep my speed down for the most part. After riding into the hills for 7 miles the paved road leads you directly into the campground. There are 17 spots total and maybe about 6 of them were already filled. I set up shop in campground 11 because it was secluded and shady.

A view of the Indian Flats campground near Warner Springs California

I set up my cot and sleeping bag, yes I did not bring a tent. I wanted to sleep under the stars. I was a little tired from riding out there so I went for a nice nap in the shade on my cot. Slept for about an hour feeling rejuvenated. It was 1 in the afternoon. I came to the realization that it would not get dark for another 4 hours and once it was dark I would not even be able to have a campfire because I did not have any wood (Hard to carry a night's worth of firewood on a Honda Nighthawk).

What I wanted to do was RIDE! So I packed up everything back onto the bike and headed back out. The first stop was a gas station, I just wanted to make sure I was all fueled up. So the 7 miles back to the main road and just a few more miles North and I was fueling up. I did not really have any plans as to where I would end up but I knew going back south on the 79 would put me in Julien. So Julien was my next destination. Back on the road riding through the hills and country was great!

Once in Julien, I had forgotten how busy and cramped that town was. I had also forgotten how much of a motorcycle destination it was. There were lots of people everywhere and a HUGE line for the Julien pie company as usual. I did not want to stay in a crowded town so I kept riding. I knew Lake Cuyamaca was close so that was my next stop. I had not been to Cuyamaca in years so it was nice to revisit. The views on the way out to the lake were breathtaking as well.

By this time I had to make a decision, should  I go back and hope to find a camping spot again at Indian Flats or head back home. I had everything I needed to camp but decided anyway that I would just head on home. I took a slightly different route back which led me through Ramona. Going down the hills outside of Romana was lots of fun. Then once at the bottom seeing the huge orange groves, you could even smell the citrus in the air.

On my ride, I had passed plenty of fruit stands. If only I had some more room on my bike I would have picked some up. But next time I ride out in these parts I will have to make sure to leave some room for picking up some farm-fresh produce.

I was now pulling back into the main part of the city having to deal with stoplights and major roads. I enjoyed the ride, I put probably 150 miles of riding on that day. I still really want to go motorcycle camping in the near future and I am sure I will make a post on that. But deciding to keep riding instead of lounging around a campsite all day was my best decision!!