Ride Report: Spring gear shakeout to Dana Point, California
Southern California has emerged from the inhospitable wintry days of sub-60 degree temperatures and into Spring, where sunny and 72 climes prevail. In our household, that means it is time to dust off the camping gear and see what fits onto the bikes. I call it a shakeout ride, and this season, it was to Dana Point, California, for a night at Doheny State Beach.
- Putting things in a Lululemon reusable tote bag and bungee-ing them down onto the back of a Ducati is probably what Ducati would call “defiling”.
- This defilement also ends up making the bike top-heavy, which is an issue for any rider, but for small riders like me, becomes a big issue quickly.
- I thought the wind would keep the bungeed mass back off of me, but instead, the shape of the seat brought it forward, into my back, making the ride uncomfortable for the first half of the trip. (For the second half of the trip, I put my stuff on my loving compadre’s bike, which is a solution I can only cash in so many times before I start to get the marital glare. You know the one.)
- In the back of my mind, I was worried that something was going to come loose or fly off of this bungeed heap. That takes away brain bandwidth that should be spent keeping myself upright and on the road.
|That’s it! Minimal.|
|Note to self|
|Sunset from our campsite, Dana Point, California|
|A point on Dana Point’s shores|
|Another amazing sunset waiting for us at home in Venice.|
- I need to figure out a storage system for the Ducati. I’ve searched the interwebs and have found only a couple viable options, and one, the Ducati Performance saddlebags option, is the most expensive. Everything else is a patchwork of frames, bags and fitments to work around high exhaust pipes. It’s difficult to turn down that one slam-dunk option, even if it does amount to $550 for a set of saddlebags. However, I was inspired to try to work around that cost by this Ducati Monster touring report by AmyTracker.
- I need to devise an actual checklist of things to bring on any camping trip, two-wheeled or two-footed. I don’t have my drill down yet, so I keep forgetting little things that end up being big deals, like the multi-tool. I’m almost never without that thing. Not sure how it got left out of the kit this time around.
- General comfort. I know touring by motorcycle is never going to be 100% comfortable. Only my couch does that, and there’s a reason I’ve chosen a lifestyle that doesn’t keep me on it. But…I have a few things I need to modify on the Ducati to make it a little less sporty and a little more tour-y. Changing out the handlebars to a more tour-friendly position will likely be the first modification.