February 1, 2003

I’ve already put about 250 miles on the bike and there’s about 100 left before I can rest, all of it through rush hour traffic on the 5 north and whatever freeways I choose as my route through LA toward Ventura. My back is sore, my knees are killing me… Its been a while since I’ve made a trip like this (LA to San Diego), and I don’t think I’ve ever made it twice in one day.

I waver between the 5 and the 405… I’ve done the 405 a few times and its generally smooth sailing until the 10 or so. My friend James is a big fan of the 5 and told me how much better it is for splitting; nice wide lanes.

I didn’t get very far past the split before I discovered he was right.

I dive down the white line between #1 and #2, breaking my rule about never splitting past first gear… The miles roll by and I’m getting up to 40 or so… There’s just no end to the traffic; its insane.

Some guy shuts me out against a big wide load semi and I get a bit ticked off… Finally blow past him and I just have to express myself with a 1 finger salute… Unfortunately the traffic doesn’t really permit a full open clutch here, so I have to salute with my right hand… Probably looked like I was flipping off the semi…. Sorry about that.

Sailing along toward whatever is south of bell gardens… I don’t know the area at all… I’m bursting up to 50 down the line, now… Totally in the zone, and loving the wide lanes… I’m diving across the #2 lane to split #2-#3, then back across to the 1-2 gap when it opens up again… Beautiful.

Some fucker in an SUV blocks me out on the 1-2. Again, there’s no question that its deliberate. I’m watching as he rides the line, showing no sign of letting me by.

Glance left.

I dive around him on the left side. There’s no shoulder, just a foot or so of pavement beyond the dots, and then wall… I don’t care, its smooth sailing and I’m past him with no issue.

As I clear the SUV, I glance right and see another biker blowing past this guy on the right side. We’d split him on either side; it was beautiful.

This guy is on his shit, I’m riding a nice bit of quiet anger, so I dive down the line after him… I’m hitting 60 in the wide open wake he’s leaving for me, and he’s opening a gap… Finally, I lose sight of him.

The road opens up wide and I’m just running in the #1… I see a bike get on and give him a peace sign… He shows up in my mirror in the #2, so I peace him again as he passes…

He slows as he goes by to give me a look and a very enthusiastic thumbs up, then takes off. Take it easy, mr black and white gsxr with motul on the side and groovy reflective visor… I think he took the 710 interchange.

Its the big split, now… 5, 101, 10, 60… Do I stay on the 5 or try the 101? I go with the 101… I figure, if its open, then it’ll be a smooth shot into the 170, which is better than the 5. If it isn’t open, then I get to split more… which is appealing to me at this point.

As soon as we pass through the second tunnel, past the spring st offramp, traffic slows… I don’t think I’ve ever driven this during the day, let alone rush hour, with the sun setting off toward the West (as sunsets tend to do). The white line looked very picturesque as I made my way along it, only stopping as I neared Universal…

Up the 170 to the merge… I’m splitting at the merge to fascilitate lane changes… Then the 118 west and I’m cruising with the flow of traffic… (A bit less, don’t want to draw any tickets my way; I’d seen a ton of police activity all day and I just don’t understand how I didn’t get pulled over)…

Home and I am exhausted. Gloves, helmet, jacket, boots all come off… I go soak in a bath tub for a while. I call james to tell him about my adventure… and enjoy a hard earned night’s sleep.

What a blast.

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