Spent the day doing a quick upgrade mod to the Lil Green Monster by adding a USB charger to it. The install of the USB charger is a simple plug and play that requires simple tools (screw driver and a set of Allen wrenches) to install.
I picked up the USB charger that is specifically designed for motorcycles, from Amazon, for a little over $13. After a simple removal of a few panels and the seat, fishing the electrical wire through the frame, and cinching everything down with zip ties, this project was completed in less than an hour.
Now I’ll be able to charge my iPhone or keep my GoPro powered on long rides thanks to this USB motorcycle charger.
A few weekends ago I went with a buddy to take a ride through the Four Corners over at Woodside, a popular location for motorcyclist and sport car enthusiasts as the roads in the area are full of switchbacks and great scenery.
A quick simple introduction about the Four Corners: The two roads that creates the Four Corners are Skyline (HWY 35) and La Honda (SR 84), hence where the name is derived from. Also at the Four Corners is a restaurant called Alice’s, which is another name that some call this area. Some locals refer to the Four Corners as Skylonda, taking bits of the street names and combining them into one.
One can go all the way to the Pacific Ocean and hit the town of San Gregorio by heading west on SR 84 and or go east and hit Redwood City. On SR 35 one can go north and hit San Francisco or head south through the mountains and hit Santa Cruz when the route hits HWY 17.
This was my second time riding the Four Corners and definitely will not be my last. Below is a short video of our ride through the Four Corners. I’ll be honest, the footage isn’t groundbreaking or super exciting since there was a fair amount of traffic in the area which caused us to cruise a moderate pace. Even cruising at a slow speed, the experience was awesome and a great way for a new rider such as myself to develop as a rider and gain confidence. Next time I hit up the Four Corners, it will not be on a weekend but rather on a weekday with less cars on the road.
Recently I picked up a gold iridium visor for my helmet (yay Revzilla!), something that I’ve been wanting to pick up since purchasing my Icon Airmada Chantilly helmet. One thing that I love about an iridium visor is its reflectivity, so bad ass in my opinion. Along with a new visor, I decided to relocate my GoPro from the chin of my helmet to the handle bar of my bike. In one short day, I rode around San Francisco and Marin County; capturing videos of myself with the GoPro that shows off my new visor. With a simple adjustment I’m seeing the world in a different point of view. And with the reflectivity of the iridium visor, you can “see” what I’m seeing. Check out the video below to see what I’m talking about.
Man, it’s not every day or weekend that one gets the opportunity to test ride some bikes! This past weekend I rode two different bike, huge cc bikes in comparison to the Ninja 250r that I am accustomed to.
Had the liberty to test ride my friend’s gorgeous sexy red 2009 Triumph Thruxton 900 on Saturday after logging in some miles at the Four Corners in Woodside. Even though I only rode the Thruxton for a quick minute the bike felt comfortable, accelerated smoothly but did not have that kick that I was expecting. I wasn’t used to the geometry of the bike, so when I turned the bike it felt as if it were dipping into the turn. Overall I thought that the bike sounded sweet, turned some heads, and really wished that I rode it for a bit longer.
Then on Sunday my brother let me take his sweet 2015 Suzuki GSX R1000 out for a spin as we got some ice cream, a win win in my book! Oddly enough, I wasn’t on planning riding this day so I had to borrow my brother’s gear to ride his bike. Once I was on the bike, I stalled…. was playing with the clutch and thought that I had it figured out but nope. As soon as the bike was back running, I took the bike down Auto Mall and headed north on 680. For a 1000cc bike, the bike surprisingly handle great and was nimble like my 250, had me weaving through cars at 80 mph like I was threading a needle, and that was up the Sunol Grade! This GSX R1000 was fun, had a lot of power but was forgiving, I’d love to take the bike further next time, maybe to San Jose…? lol.
Monday rolled around next and as I was cruising on my way to work that day I saw CHP posted up under an overpass next to a bus stop waiting for a sucker like me… What can I say, it is after all Monday.
Riding larger bikes, a 900cc and 1000cc motorcycle, made me realize that the large bikes are not as intimidating as I thought they would be. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I don’t respect the power that they have, just thought that riding a larger bike would be scarier.
Anyway, thanks Stephen and Jon for allowing me to ride a couple big bikes. Now that I’m back on a 250cc, the Lil Green Monster felt a bit more LITTLE yesterday morning…
Now as to what a unicorn is varies to each person. Yes, a unicorn is a mythical creature that resembles a horse but with a horn that protrudes from its forehead, however for urban lore a unicorn is something or someone that is unattainable. Unattainable such as your dream car, your crush, a far off destination, super rare limited edition Jordan, and so on. Sometimes one can obtain their unicorn, once one catches a unicorn they can have a new unicorn in place of the former.
As for myself, my unicorn is to take a photograph of Lil Green Monster (my motorcycle) at the Pacific Overlook with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background during sunset. As simple as it sounds, it is not.
The Pacific Lookout is located on Lincoln Boulevard on the west part of the Presidio in San Francisco. The lookout is only accessible by a dirt trail that has a barricade that separates it from the street to protect pedestrians and cyclist from cars. The closest opening to the street of the barricade is over 150 feet from the lookout. With the Pacific Lookout having westward-facing views of the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge in the periphery makes the lookout point well visited by tourists, runners, and cyclists. To the east of the lookout are trees that blocks views to the east however provide shade from the sun early in the day.
What makes a simple shot so challenging, asides from accessing the site, are three reasons: people, timing, and the fact that vehicles are prohibited on the site. The lookout also is connected to a trail that many runners and bikers use, therefore the lookout provides a great spot for one to take a break and catch their breath. With a great view of the Pacific and GGB, there are people on the lookout at any given time of the day.
With views facing west and trees to the east, taking a photo at sunset during the golden hour is the ideal time to take a photo. However summer in San Francisco, the fog (aka Karl the Fog) rolls in from the coast right before sunset. Having fog block the view of the Pacific and GGB adds to the challenge to taking this simple photo.
Lastly, it only seems obvious that vehicles are prohibited on the lookout. There are no signs nearby that reads vehicles are prohibited but the fact that I had to ride onto a dirt trial that seems to be meant for pedestrians and bikers only for over 150ft to reach the lookout platform is what makes me believe that vehicles are prohibited. Since I do not want to get in trouble or get cited for ‘trespassing’, I’m weary to ride up onto the lookout since Lincoln blvd. is patrolled on a regular basis by the State Park Police.
Well, over the weekend after work and riding through traffic caused by the Doyle Drive closure, I was frustrated and needed to relax. With the sun starting to set, no fog but some clouds in the sky, and no one on the trail it was a perfect time to take the shot that I’ve wanted to take for months, time to get my unicorn! A quick drive by the lookout to make sure that there were no State Park Police nearby then went back around to the closest entrance and rode onto the dirt. Honestly don’t like riding on dirt since my bike was meant for asphalt, I slowly rode on the dirt and carefully maneuvered onto the lookout then positioned my bike to where I thought would capitalize on the view. Once the motor was dead, I quickly hopped off the bike and got to my knees to get a good perspective of the bike with the GGB in the background. Not satisfied with the way the bike was positioned I got up off my knees where I change the angle of the bike. Then back on my knees, takes photos, get up and readjust bike, then repeat two more times.
Taking all the photos took no more than three minutes; I was rushing and not thinking much about the composition, lighting, or other options (cell phone pics, I do need to invest in a DSLR). With my focus really on the trail to make sure that no one would walk up on me and on the road to make sure that there were no police rolling up. Now that I look back, if a police officer were to had rolled up on me, there wouldn’t be anything that I could do, so I should had taken a deep breath and make the most of the opportunity.
Below are a few shots that I was somewhat pleased with.
Out of all the photos that I took, only two of them turned out decent. Biggest disappointment from many of the photos taken was that the front tire was turned to the left; out of habit that is position of that the handle bar is placed to lock the handle bar. Below is a photo with the tire turned to better understand what I am babbling about.
However after some cropping (a suggestion from a new friend), removing some sky and the ground, the composition looks better. As a photographer that is still mastering the craft, I am always open to feedback. The idea of cropping was brilliant because I had tunnel vision at the time and could not see other solutions to making the photo to work for me.
Here is another photo of the bike with the front tire less angled and straighter, and the photo already cropped.
With the front tire straighter the bike appears more familiar and what people imagine when they think of a sport bike.
Which photos do you like best?
Below is a video of me rambling after capturing my unicorn. From capturing my unicorn I am going through a roller coaster of emotions from glad that I took the opportunity to take the shot when it presented it self to a bit deflated when seeing that the photos taken were not that great; but no worries as I am planning on redoing this shot when the opportunity is right.
As for what is the next unicorn for me to capture? Well… let’s just say that I will be placing myself in danger to take the photo. Is risking my life worth taking a picture?
Yes. Why go through life when one is not willing to take the risks.
Hey all. It’s been a minute since I had posted up a motovlog but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been recording any content. I’m still staying busy and grinding. Below is my latest motovlog as well as other knucklehead things that I’ve been up to.
Weather in San Francisco is normally mild sitting in the mid 60’s. When the day is hot, 70 is hot for San Franciscans, I take full advantage of the day by hitting the beach.
Karl (the fog) likes to come out and play when the weather is warm. When warm and hot air mixes with the cold Pacific Ocean, the fog comes out in force and blankets the Golden Gate Bridge. I was lucky on this day as I captured a selfie of myself on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Honestly, taking a selfie while riding a motorcycle isn’t the safest or smartest thing to do. But the same can be said about riding motorcycles in general. Just use your best judgment. Ride safe folks!
Haight and Ashbury is one of many iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, widely known as the birthplace of the hippie movement. This past weekend San Francisco held the Haight Ashbury Street Fair, one of many street fairs and festivals that happens in the City (Fillmore Jazz Festival, How Weird Street Fair, Cherry Blossom Festival, and Folsom Street Fair to name a few), a street fair that has been happening for over 30 years.
Surprisingly this was my first time going the street fair after living in the City for several years, not because I feared being surrounded by hippies but rather cause of laziness and the ‘living in the area and can go when ever I want’ mentality. For the record I don’t have a fear of hippies or have a disdain of hippies, I’ve been to Haight Street many times for food, shopping, and people watching. The neighborhood itself reminds me of Berkeley and consists more of yuccies, transients, and tourists rather than hippies.
From the few street fairs and festivals that I have attended in the City, it felt that the Haight Ashbury Street Fair seemed small. I haven’t been to all the street fairs and festivals in the City (click here for a list to all the street fairs and festivals in SF) but a few things great about this fair were that it was well organized, clean, and family friendly. Many businesses stayed open during the event, which is a great way for tourist to experience both the street fair and the unique stores that reside in the neighborhood. There were a couple stages that featured bands that I was unfamiliar with, but even away from the stages there were artists playing music at different corners of the streets with people dancing to their beat. As for food, one can smell all sorts ofdelicious flavors floating in the air since the fair was filled with a plethora of food vendors; food vendors that offered a range of food fromshawarmasto turkey legs and deserts such as funnel cakes and ice cream.
Overall I thought that the Haight Ashbury Street Fair was a great event to experience. Even though I felt that the event seemed more of a novelty, honestly not my scene, the fair was a good representation of the neighborhood and good for the City. I would go back again if a friend asked me to go with them or if I had a friend/family that was visiting the same time the event was happening. If I wanted to go to Haight, I’d go when the street fair wasn’t happening just to have less of a crowd to fight.
Yes! It feels that I just conquered the world with such a simple task of picking up pizza
This was my first time ever transporting something from point A to point B and I did one hell of a job. To some it may not be a big deal, but with for myself this was a huge feat that was accomplished. The reason this was an accomplishment for myself was because I gained so much confidence and trust from not messing up a simple task of transporting pizza on a motorcycle. Who knows what will be next; beer, groceries, tool box, tire, dog, and the list goes on.
Oh man, what a great experience it was to ride in a group!
This past weekend I went on my first group ride with my family (brothers, sisters, and in laws). There was a good variety of motorcycles in the group: a couple Harleys (a Road Glide and an 883), three Ninjas (two 1000’s and my 250), a Honda CB1000, and a Suzuki GSX R1000.
Kick stands were up around 10:00, we started off in Dublin and then rode out towards Jackson Rancheria taking back roads. From there we rode to Angels Camp where we made a stop at the Glory Hole by New Melones Lake where we used to go wake boarding. Then we headed back home tracking over 250 miles, riding through three counties, and experiencing different micro climates.
It was a huge difference from riding by yourself to riding with a group, there was much energy that you can feed off from the other riders. From the ride I learned how one can communicate with the group with hand signals and body movements, got comfortable riding close to other riders, and that there is so much more for me to experience on two wheels!
The only bad thing that happened to our group was that my brother lost his GoPro as it fell off the windshield and tumbled onto the freeway. I feel guilty for him losing his GoPro since I suggested that he mount his GoPro on the windshield of the bike and assured him that the suction mount would hold it’s grip… But it didn’t…
For my next group ride I’d love to have another GoPro to capture other angles, a couple extra batteries for the GoPro (it was dead half way through the trip), log more miles for the, invite some friends, and have a bigger bike (but that ain’t happening). Lastly a nice summer jacket would be great since I was sweating balls.
Can’t wait to go for the next group ride, who wants to join?!?