Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: March 2016


Tales on the Courier Shift: Delivery #500 and Trapped With Rich People

It's another installment of tales on the courier shift! In this episode, I acquire cookies and ice cream. I'm also so liked by my customers that I just couldn't leave. And those stereotypical movie images of multiple exotic cars parked on the lot in front of a giant mansion? Yes, that's real.

These assignments were completed at the end of 2014 as I worked through the holiday season that year. It was a good diversion and very needed since I was still dealing with the loss of a dear friend who had suddenly passed away in early December that also resulted in a three-week hiatus in all freelance work. It was good to get the wind therapy.


Tales on the Courier Shift: Some guys are from Mars, but there are women who understand you.

I had to pull from the archives for this collection of posts.

Two months after I came home to Southern California for my last job in the motorcycle industry as an assistant parts manager, I was laid off in April 2014 along with a service tech, service writer, and the janitor. That sudden turn of events forced me to scramble for a source of income, and after a bit of research I came across an up-and-coming on-demand courier service based out of Santa Monica looking for motorcycle riders for work. So Eleanor and I headed out there and became a part of the original fleet for Postmates Los Angeles. I even wrote an article about my courier work that ended up in Women On Wheels® magazine in early 2015. I worked for Postmates until February 2015 when I switched over to another delivery company and was there until about January 2016. The last company in my delivery life (so far) had me relegated to my car for the most part, but there are some interesting tales from that.


Riding to the Death Valley National Park "Superbloom" (2/29-3/1/16)

Hello there, it's the Two-Wheeled Tourist back from a super-long hiatus thanks to life. But I'm back and here with a fun trip that I've been able to pull off amid job layoffs, changes to my personal world, and a super-erratic work schedule. Oh it's been a journey on that end.

With that being said, I needed a long-earned vacation, even if it was going to be short and sweet. And then one day, I was online reading about the media-dubbed "superbloom" occurring at Death Valley National Park, located in the southeastern part of California.

[On a side note, I had traveled with a motorcycle group to Death Valley in 2007 with my previous motorcycle, the Suzuki SV650. Eleanor's ride with me marked her first foray into the park.]

So I had a couple days in which I could push regular duties aside, thanks to a job contract ending and a lull in the workload at my other office. So I set off on Leap Day Monday to ride to the park and stare at the flowers. Thinking this was going to be easy, I decided to follow the Google Maps recommended route, the fastest one, that involved entering from the northern entrance via Panamint Springs. Of course, knowing my history with long solo rides, this was going to be the start of a comedy of errors. Just a small spoiler alert here, most of this story wouldn't have happened if I had taken the grey route highlighted on the map.

But before I get to the comedic part, I did make a quick stop at the Musical Road in Lancaster to play the William Tell Overture at 50MPH since the first part of my ride was straight up CA-14 that connected from I-5.

Eleanor is a Yamaha. Yamaha makes pianos. That makes Eleanor a piano. Yes, a moving piano.
I made it to my first gas stop on CA-178 a little before 9AM, about 180 miles from where I started in Lawndale. Now, gas stations get pretty sparse once you're out near US 395. For the smaller-displacement motorcycles, I'd recommend carrying a fuel can to insure that one doesn't get stranded. My bike's gas tank was stretched a little, and 6.6 gallons is a lot of fuel to burn through on two wheels. I filled up at the Shell in Trona (82264 Trona Rd, Trona, CA 93562) amid the desolate boonies, and I have to say, that particular Shell station does serve up a mean breakfast burrito.