Day 3 – Northbound on PCH

Day 3 – Continuing our ride Northbound on Pacific Coast Highway

Ural Delay Factor ~ UDF

Woke up this morning to the sound of people outside our room where the Ural was parked. I peaked outside the window and there were a few people surrounding my Ural with one taking photos of it.  This is getting strange, but I’m not complaining, this bike is definitely unique and I’d be wondering what the heck it was too.

As I started loading up the bike with our gear, a few more people came by and wanted to know all about what kind of bike it was. Some thought it was a restored vintage bike; others wanted to know where it came from. This is what I learned is called “UDF” – Ural Delay Factor.  It’s when people come up to the Ural and want to talk about it and learn about it and sometimes take pictures. It’s all good, but I’m still learning more about it myself.

This Travel Lodge hotel in Lompoc was a fun stay. We met a whole cast of all kinds of characters, real people, our kind of people. This is what traveling on the road is all about, meeting different people and sharing a moment in time while we’re all traveling to our own destinations.

Budget Cafe for Breakfast

We left Lompoc around 9am and had breakfast at a local restaurant called Budget Café. It was pretty decent food for cheap prices, thus the name.  We like to go to mom and pop run restaurants instead of chains. Checking out new places on the road is what we live for.  You know the saying, “ride to eat, eat to ride” (heh).

Breakfast Stop

Today we decided to lighten the luggage load a little bit and make some space in the trunk of the sidecar by shipping some gear back home that we felt we could live without.  As you can guess, we kind of over packed a little bit.  So we looked up a nearby UPS store and headed over there to box up some stuff to ship back home.

Highway 1

After taking care of shipping the box of stuff back home, we took Pacific Coast Highway 1 north thru farm country via Guadalupe and enjoyed the open road with very little traffic and nothing but farms as far as the eye could see. I really like riding thru this area and seeing it every time (there’s also a super great Mexican restaurant in town in a really old building on main street).  Guadalupe is an older farming community and to me it really represents a big part of California, which is well known for the agriculture industry here.

Roadside Stop

We cruised north on Highway 1 until we got to Pismo Beach where we continued on an arterial road version of Hwy 101 that ran parallel to the main highway. I soon found a side street with a sign that said coastal access and turned there and headed to the water to take a break and check out the ocean views.

Pismo Beach View

We found some nice parking along a cliffside city park above the beach and enjoyed some beautiful coastal views from here as we took a brief photo op break.

Pismo Beach Stop

We soon got back on highway 1 and headed to Morro Bay, where for the very first time ever I decided to pull off the road and check out the big rock – Morro Rock.

I went down one of the exits and found my way to the bay right across from the Rock and happened to really luck out and get the very last space in a tiny parking lot next to a small pier between buildings where we were able to check out the bayside scenery.

UDF happened again,  a couple of women came over and talked to Ronda about the bike for about 15 minutes.  While they were talking I went and got a couple of quick  photos from the dock of Morro Rock and the nearby fishing boats.  This is our kind of vacation; we’re loving every minute of it.

Photo stop at Morro Rock


Click on the photo below(2x) to see it in expanded high resolution panoramic mode


Morro Bay and Rock

The Rock

Back on Highway 1/101, we rode up to San Louis Obispo and cruised around old down town and passed by the alley with the wall of gum.

Wall of Gum

We stopped for lunch at a nice tacqueria off of the main street, found nearby parking and enjoyed some really good tacos outdoors while overlooking a small river and checking out the local scene.

After finishing our lunch we got back on the road and drove for a while until we stopped at a town that we’ve driven by dozens of times but have also never stopped to see before  – Harmony California, Population 18.

Harmony, California

This is the smallest town in California (as far as I know).  There are just a couple of houses, a pottery shop, a glass shop and a winery and that’s it. But hey, what more does one need (when there is a winery in town…).

Harmony Post Office


Pottery Studio

After visiting a few shops and buying some pottery for Ronda, we cruised on to Cambria to a favorite hotel of ours that we’ve been to several times before and really enjoyed.  It’s The Fireside Inn on Moonstone Drive, our ocean front room looks right out at the water, this is nice, this is what we enjoy, this makes us happy campers.

Parked at Hotel

Cambria BeachLater after checking in and getting settled, we took a walk down the wooden boardwalk that hugs the cliffs over the shores and walked down to a restaurant a couple blocks away called Moonstone Bar and Grill where we enjoyed some really great meals over the next few days.

Seafood Cioppino



The rest of the evening was spent on our hotel room patio looking out at the ocean enjoying some good vino, reminiscing over the day and enjoying the spectacular sunset.

Sunset in Cambria

We like the Ural more and more as we get more experience with it and it’s been a lot of fun.  Tomorrow we are riding up to see the “castle”.

Today’s travels:

Lompoc to Cambria

Route Planning

Here’s the game plan so far, we’ll be starting at Harbor City in Southern California and we plan to ride the Ural up the coast on Highway 1 with several stops along the way for some R&R and fun in the sun over the course of a week.

Our adventure starts tomorrow!

Route Planning

Our Ural arrives in Harbor City

Got an email today from Don at Boss Hoss Motorcycles in Harbor City that our new Ural has arrived from New England.

He sent these new photos of the bike today as it sits at his shop in So Cal.  Next he’s going to install a CA EPA kit and get it registered this week and then we’ll be meeting up with him on Saturday to pickup the bike.  Woo Hoo!!

* click on photos for larger higher resolution pictures *





Doing something different, buying a Motorcycle w/ a Sidecar

I had first heard of Ural motorcycles about 15+ years ago and the first I saw one was about 10 years ago in a storage facility where we were keeping our RV. It was an older yellow-ish one and when I saw the owner one time I told him it looked great, and asked if I could see what it was like. He said yes and I tried it on for size and thought, hey this could be one helluva fun ride!

The next time I saw one was about 3 years later as I was out picking up some furniture from a Craigslist ad.  The rig was covered but I asked the seller if that was a Ural and he said yes. Of course I had to ask him if he was selling that too and he said yes, but he wanted too much for it so it was not meant to be at that time.  The Ural was always in the back of my mind but I thought it was too funky to go out and buy a new one anytime soon.

Earlier this year the misses and I talked about getting another motorcycle, but this time we wanted something different and so I brought up the Ural, showed her what it looks like, what it does and we were hooked and ready to check them out more. We really liked the new model that featured better and more stable engine performance.  And so the search to buy one began….

I started my search locally but was disappointed to find that none of the dealers near me had any more than 2 models available and none were in the configuration that I was looking for.

I searched the internet and finally found Ural of New England and they had quite a few very nice Ural’s in many different configurations in their inventory.

I wanted the Gear Up 2WD model and found a great nice looking red one with black powder coated drive train and wheels and it looked great! We decided this was the one for us.

I contacted the dealer via the website and Dmitry (our sales guy) was quick to respond and so the purchase process began. I added a bunch of nice modifications/upgrades and we’re now ready to begin our adventures.

Here’s some photos of it taken at the dealership after they were finished with the modifications I ordered were all installed.

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