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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(Long, but includes art, violence, and police intervention. Everything but a gas meter painted like a flamingo…actually got that, too…)

All right, so I want a fork brace. ;) But I was thinking about what kind of trip I could take. I’ve already posted some about riding on the coast and my other favorite spots. Plus, due to some family issues, I didn’t have a lot of time. So, I decided to share a little bit of different scenery. I love the Bay Area because of the fact that I can ride to San Diego all along the coast if I want to, or go up into the Marin headlands…or go to Pt. Reyes. But I also love San Francisco. And since I live in Sausalito, I thought I’d take all of us back to my Bay Area roots.

I started off by crossing the GG Bridge into the city and went through Golden Gate Park and up into The Mission. (I moved to the Bay Area when I was 19 and got a room with a bunch of other rockers in a broken down part of the Mission District. I lived at 24th and Mission for a long time.) ‘Balmy Alley’ is a famous alley on 24th and Harrison. A short walk from my old hood. A real short ride. The Mission is a predominately Latino neighborhood and there are beautiful and historic murals everywhere. But Balmy Alley is a little alley in the ghetto that is nothing but murals. And one very busted, rusted Honda as you will see. Some of the murals are really old and depict immigrant struggle, the United Farm Workers, Gentrification, and the newest one is a memorial to Katrina…the one with the houses flooding. Anyway, I love the artwork here. And I thought I’d share it with y’all. (Make sure you see the flamingo gas meter.)











After I checked out the murals I thought I would head over to Zeitgeist, a biker bar in the city. Not a ‘get your teeth busted in’ kind of biker bar (although I did almost get my teeth busted in…read on)…there are a bunch of picnic tables out back and they grill up burgers and serve great beers. Parked my bike by a sweet old Norton…went to take a pic…damn camera was out of batteries. So I asked a passing woman to take a pic of me with the two bikes on her iPhone and email it to me. She did.

Then I went to meet up with the family for some Italian food and we headed back home through Golden Gate park and over the bridge. My wife took some pics on her cell.


Now, here’s the exciting part of the story. I was just about to pull into my driveway when a convertible almost ran me off the road and some drunk asshole threw a beer bottle at my head...smashing the bottle on my helmet and scaring the crap out of me (all hail full face helmets). I followed him down the hill by my house for about a second and he was yelling back how he was going to F me up and have his pit bull F me up. I decided I did not want any part of this, so I slowed down. But then I started thinking about all the bikers and cyclists and kids near my house, so I rode to go try and find a cop. No cop. Of course. So, I’m going home and I see the car. I call 911 and they ask me to get the plate #. So, I grabbed the biggest wrench I had in my trunk and put it in my pocket and headed down. The guy was gone, but his wife was there. I called my wife and gave her the plate # and then approached the car, told the woman that the police were coming and she shouldn’t leave. She was terribly apologetic. She did not mean to swerve at me. She knew her husband was being an ass. I told her all that was fine…I had no problem with her (or with her pretty cream puff of a pitbull puppy), but that if her husband came back (he was in a store getting more beer), that she HAD to keep him away from me. I told her that I am not violent and wanted no trouble, but that I would defend myself if he tried to hurt me. She said she would talk to him. Guy comes out. Calls me an Fing Wop (what the hell? I’m not even Italian…my wife is, but that’s beside the point). Tells me it must be too long since I got hurt and he’s going to hurt me. So he starts to reach into his glove compartment. Thank the lord I did not brain him with the wrench. I was getting ready to duck. He pulls out some smokes and lights up and slurs more shit. Then he gets up in my face. I pull out the wrench and tell him to back the F up. I don’t want to hurt him, but I will. He calls me a wop. Curses. Then he charges and punches me in the chest twice. It did not hurt. I did not hit him with the wrench. The cops came. I said I didn’t want to press charges as long as they did not know where I lived. (The cop said the wrench would come back to bite me in the ass…what a crazy world).

Best part…because the kickstand is too freaking long on my 08, I always have to park on an incline down to the left. I did so this time, and downhill (I was in a hurry, the bike was in first)…but a car came and parked in front of me. The cops had to help me “back” my bike up the hill. ;)
 

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I understand that there are areas where one would not want others to know where he lived, but what was the reason for not pressing charges, after you had called the police?

I love the murals, and wish I could find someone to paint one on the back of our rig.
 

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Hey DJ...basically, there was no witness to any part of it other than when he pushed me and I was standing holding a big ass wrench. The cops said I could make a citizen's arrest or press assault charges, but the DA would use the wrench against me. Plus, I'm busy and didn't want to go to court. I talked to the cops for a while...I felt bad for the wife...the guy was an idiot, but I didn't feel like pursuing anything other than going home seeing my girls (my wife was more than a little freaked when I called and said, "write this number down RIGHT NOW!). ;)

Once I had established that there was no way I would ever see the guy again, and knew that the cops were involved, I was on my way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh yeah, if you come out to SF, I can hook you up with some muralists.
 

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Glad you ok for sure with the confrontation.. It's sure a shame you can't defend yourself anymore..
The ride and Photos are great.. I have been to the Bay and all over CA.. ( I used to drive coast to coast). The only two things I never liked in CA were the LEO's and Their hatred for truckers.
 

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Lockjaw -

Those are some really beautiful murals, and nice photographs. I especially liked the one of the brown eyes on the garage door.

Were those real clip-ons on the Norton, or flipped handlebars?

Nice post.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gun Junkie...thanks man. I was glad I was OK, too. ;) And if it helps I have nothing but respect for long haul truckers. They always get a wave from me. Yeah, CA has a lot of issues, but it is a pretty great place to live. But yeah, I agree. I was pretty surprised that the wrench was such an issue. Glad I didn't grab a knife.

Tom...I wish I could answer your Q about the Norton, but I didn't notice at the time and I can't tell from the pic. It was weird...asking the woman to take the pic...and there was a left turner accident right behind the woman taking the pic (cage on cage). Brake fluid all over the road. Weird scene. This TOUGH looking chick on a Harley pulled up right after and said, "left turner?". And I said, "at least they didn't get one of us". And she said, "Right on brother" and then roared off. I should have put that part in the report, too. It was an interesting day. ;)

Oh yeah, the one with the eyes is my favorite. It is one of the oldest murals. Originally it was a pastoral farming scene like the border, but someone hit the garage door and trashed it, so they hired someone to "fix" it. The woman they hired painted those awesome eyes. They are supposedly the eyes of an 8 year old Nicaraguan girl. In one eyeball is a skeleton soldier. In the other a dove of peace. It is AMAZING in person.

Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed my trip!
 

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Dan,

I know that it would be just about impossible to turn the other cheek when someone hit me with a beer bottle but unless you're packing these days going after them is very dangerous.

I had a guy loose his chew on me awhile back and he definitely needed his ass kicked but the gun thing scares me. He didn't need a whooping bad enough for me to risk my life.

Oh yeah, why did he go nuts on me? I was in my old work truck and it had a bumper sticker on it that said; "Honk if You Voted For Bush so I can Give You The Finger".

I thought it was funny but this fella saw not a speck of humor in it I guess. He honked, I waved, He pulled up and while foaming at the mouth and screaming something incohearent gave me the finger. As a matter of fact he gave me the double F finger. Then he swerved his little poop eating car in front of the old F250 and hit his breaks.

I really wanted to punch him in the face but after only a few seconds of seeing how crazy he was acting I started to enjoy the show. Having this guy shoot me would have ruined the whole day. I still smile when I think about him ranting and raving, swerving and gesturing, completely loosing what tiny portion of his mind he may have had at that time.

Stay safe dude,

Ard
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Ard. Yeah, it's amazing what the toothless and drunk are capable of. I had assumed that the wrench would serve as some kind of deterrent. It really didn't. I need to remember that.
 

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Hey Lockjaw,

One never knows what one will do in a situation until he has been there.

We made it out there in 07, but I don't think we will make it that far west for another couple years at least. Besides CA wasn't too friendly to us when we were there. We got ran out of Ramona Canyon during the witch fire back it 10-07.

Evacuated to Ramona, then three other towns before we hunkered down near the Salton Sea for 5 days waiting to see if we had any motorcycles to pick up in Ramona Canyon.

MarkB4 did show us around the GG while we were there, and we had the privilege of eating dinner with Mark, Mary, Swish, TOBJ, and little TOBJ (Joseph).

http://www.klrforum.com/showthread.php?t=3138


But living in a RV our plans are written in sand so they can change at anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the sands shift, DJ, I'd be obliged for the opportunity to buy you dinner and hear about your travels. I'd even invite Mark (I still have one of his bolts I think). ;)

I've lived in many places and loved and hated most of them. Funny, this thing called life. I work with kids from the ghettos of San Francisco. Sometimes I wonder who learns more. ;)
 

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If the sands shift, DJ, I'd be obliged for the opportunity to buy you dinner and hear about your travels. I'd even invite Mark (I still have one of his bolts I think). ;)
Don't do it Daddyjoe!!! he has a screw loose!

Nice trip report Dan, see ya on the 17th. If'n your planning another urban adventure ride, give me a ring. I love riding down there. There is something about riding over the Golden Gate that sure is impressive.

MB4
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For sure, man. I was going to ask you (and any other people who want to) if you wanted to take a ride one of these days. Headlands and the GG and Sir Francis Drake up to Pt. Reyes. When I ride I sometimes actually feel selfish that I'm not sharing it with anyone. Such amazing riding right outside my door.

We'll plot and plan in a few weeks. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I forgot to mention (wife just asked me)...a lot of the murals in the area are done with spray paint. Freaking amazing what you can do with a can of spray paint. I think most of the ones I posted are older and acrylic though.
 

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Lockjaw,

I realize the seriousness of what happened but I couldn't help but LOL at the humor you added to tell the story. This is a nice read and great pics to boot!

You know, in the time that I have been here...I still haven't gone over the Golden Gate Bridge on the bike (I just registered my complaint to Joe, LOL)....I've ridden over the GGB twice every other weekend since I've been here...three years now....always in a cage. I wonder how many times that is.
I have to do something about that!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Swish. Yeah, you gotta ride the GG bridge. It's more fun when there aren't 40 mph winds, but it's always a blast. I commute over it, so I end every day riding back over the bridge and looking at all the happy tourists. Pretty cool.

Take care.
 

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Put your gear on and I'll come get you.


:character00271:



I stood on the pegs when I rode the Guzzi over the bridge last month.

Promises, promises........













:character00109:




PS......Way cool video!


PPS.....Is that one of those spycams?..........lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah, that video was cool! Nice, LB. :16a:
 
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