A movie of our First Ural Adventure

If you’ve got a little time to spare, this is a 20 minute “movie” I made from all the photos and videos that we shot during our 7 day vacation/trip/adventure this past June.  We started in Harbor City (near Los Angeles California) and documented our ride as we rode our new Ural motorcycle/sidecar thru Oxnard, Lompoc, Cambria, Big Sur, Monterey, and Turlock on our way bringing our new rig home to Folsom.

Turn up the volume and grab some popcorn…..

The “movie”  is a 7 day summary of the ride in 20 minutes. For more details about each day of our ride along the coast, check out our notes below in the various posts about each day.

Thanks for taking the time to check out our site – hope you enjoyed it.

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Have fun and ride safe!

Day 6 – Riding thru Big Sur

Day 6 – Riding thru Big Sur to Monterey

Today we left Cambria and headed north towards Big Sur and Monterey.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we checked out, loaded up our gear on the Ural and hit Highway 1 for what was to be the most scenic part of our trip.

First we stopped and got gas in Cambria. While filling up the tank, a guy came by to talk about the Ural.  Turned out he had driven down from Monterey to pickup avocados from a local farm there in Cambria (that’s a long way to go just to pickup avocados for a restaurant).  He told us all about how some of the best avocados are grown in this area and how they do really well and have a better taste because of the coastal valley temps and fog. I told him how I love avocados and how my mom has an avocado tree and I ate them a lot while growing up. He said hold on a minute, went to his van and brought us four avocados that he gave to us – that was really cool and I thanked him. We enjoyed some of those avocados slivered up on crackers at a picnic lunch we had later in the day.

Checking out the views

Checking out the views

From Cambria we rode highway 1 up the coast with lots of spectacular ocean views.  We stopped off several times to check out beaches and scenery and took lots of pictures. One fun place we checked out was the Elephant Seal Sanctuary where we saw lots of elephant seals lazing on the beach with some fighting with each other playfully. They sure do make odd guttural like noises, it’s really weird to hear.

Elephant Seal Sanctuary

Elephant Seal Sanctuary

We also stopped at a favorite spot of ours on the coast – the tiny roadside gas stop/store/bar/hotel/town called Lucia.  Just prior to Lucia we had stopped and checked out our #1 favorite campsite in the world – Kirk Creek campgrounds, which are situated on the cliffs overlooking the rugged yet beautiful oceans with big waves breaking below.  For lunch later we stopped at Pfeiffer State Beach and had a nice picnic under the trees.

Lucia

Lucia

Big Sur

Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Later as we rode north and got near Carmel, we pulled over and went on a hike that we found near our parking spot – it turned out we stumbled on some really spectacular scenery and coastal views that were incredible at this location. We looked around and hiked along the cliffs on a nice little trail overlooking the beach below. As could be expected we took a lot of photos and videos of the beautiful scenery that was all around us. This was a very special place, it was hard to leave it but we had a few more miles to go before our stop for the night.

Roadside tree and our Ural

Roadside tree and our Ural

After our hike we rode up thru Carmel and onto the 101 and into Monterey where we stopped for the night at a Best Western hotel.  We got unpacked, settled and showered then headed out on the town. The two of us walked down to Old Fisherman’s Warf to check out the shops and scenery.  After stepping into a few shops to admire the touristy knick knacks, we wandered around more and checked out a few restaurants and finally decided on one where we enjoyed dinner of seafood paella that we shared between us (at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto restaurant). I also had one of the best bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had that came with very tasty large fresh shrimp, it was so good I had to have two.

Monterey Boats

Monterey Boats

We finished dinner and walked around the pier and boat dock and listened to some local street musicians play for a while, then headed back to the hotel for the evening.  It was a nice way to wrap up a great day of riding on the California coast.

Today’s travels:

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Day 5 – Hanging out in Cambria

Day 5 ~ Hanging out in Cambria

The prior evening we decided to stay in Cambria a little longer and so we added another night to our hotel stay and slept in.  We got up late, had breakfast at the hotel and then made our plans for the day.

Sebastian's Store, San Simeon

Sebastian’s Store, San Simeon

We decided to ride back up the coast to Sebastian’s Store, which is a deli, store and winery.  It’s also one of the oldest stores on the central coast, originally built in 1852. Here we would buy some lunch, then go somewhere to have a picnic.

Deli Menu

Deli Menu

We checked out the store (which had some nice interesting items) and we tried and purchased a few of the Hearst wines. They actually had some really good wines, which we found we enjoyed a lot.  For lunch we decided on getting the deli’s Hearst local ranch beef sandwiches that were out of this world delicious and huge! After standing in a fairly long line to place our order, we later received our sandwiches, then packed up our food and rode out on the Ural to check out a few parks and vistas along the oceanfront.  We ended up stopping at a place where we had our picnic lunch at a table on the bluffs over-looking the beach.

San Simeon Pier

San Simeon Pier

At this park we met a guy named Dan, who was a retired psychiatrist from Manhattan NYC who had recently moved here to Cambria.  He was out walking his dog which was a cool little pooch that looked like a mini Doberman but it was something different – forgot the breed name but he said they were rare and he told us all about the breed and how he got it after a long wait.  He told us that this dog was his service dog as he was a Vietnam Vet with PTSD. Really cool guy, talked with him for a while, funny thing was he looked a lot like Tommy Chong.

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While we were eating our lunch we noticed several people walk up to the Ural and take photos of it.  One guy even took close up pictures of it with several different lenses for a while.  It was cool to see people interested in the bike, more UDF.

From here we headed back to the hotel to unload the bike and check out some GoPro videos we had just filmed.  It is our first attempts at making videos on this bike so we don’t know if we’re doing it right yet, but we are learning a lot. There will be some video clips posted soon.

We decided to head into downtown Cambria to walk around and check out the place.  As I was getting on my bike to leave the hotel, a guy ran over from across the street on the boardwalk by the beach to ask me about the Ural – turns out he is the national president of the antique motorcycle club. We talked for a while about the Ural and he told me about his club and the vintage bikes he owns and he gave me his card.  That was an interesting individual. He literally saw the Ural and ran out his way to see it and talk about it. I really enjoy meeting people like this at random; the bike seems to be a magnet for all kinds of different and interesting folk.

Black Hand Winery

After riding into Cambria we parked the bike then strolled up and down the block to see what there was to see.   We stepped into a winery called Black Hand Wines and sampled several of their wines. Ronda and I had a good time with the gal who was pouring the tastings. She was hilarious.  We bought a couple of bottles and continued walking down the street checking out the town.

Cambria Brewery

Cambria Brewery

Down the road we turned and walked off the main street and went to Cambria Brewery to try out their beers. Ronda and I shared the beer sampler and after a while two guys walked in – both short, both with very long hair – they looked a lot like Jay and Silent Bob. We hung out for a while and they told us all about their road trip from San Francisco heading towards LA and all the places they went and the people they met.  During their travels they met some interesting people too and had some pretty good stories. We hoisted a few beers together and had a good time; we had become a part of each other’s road trip, got to luv the fun that can be found by wandering around and meeting people.

People we met at the brewery

People we met at Cambria Brewery

We left the guys at the brewery and went back to main street to a few shops where we bought a few things. We then got the Ural, packed up our purchases and rode up to Nitwit Ridge to check out the bizarre house up there that was built by hand with scrap materials over many years.

Nitwit Ridge House

Nitwit Ridge House

After leaving downtown Cambria we rode back out to Moonstone Drive and headed to the hotel.  Later we went back to the Moonstone Grill for dinner then returned to the hotel for some vino while watching a beautiful sunset.

Sunset in Cambria

Sunset in Cambria

Life is good.

 

Day 4 – The Coast and The Castle

Day 4 – The coast and the castle

California Coast

California Coast

We had a nice restful night in our ocean front hotel room in Cambria and awoke early and refreshed.  After grabbing a quick breakfast at the hotel, we got our gear ready to head out to explore the local area.

Today we rode up the coast a few miles thru San Simeon to the world famous Hearst’s Castle.  We’ve been here a few times before but this time we went on a different tour (they have several to choose from).

Hearst’s Castle

Although we’ve both been here several times before, we never grow tired of visiting this spectacular historical estate built by Randolph Hearst, the newspaper magnate.

Outdoor Pool (drained due to drought)

Outdoor Pool (drained due to drought)

The estate offers multiple tours of the castle and grounds and this is the first time we went on the Cottages, Kitchen and Wine Cellar tour which took us down to the wine cellar, to the outer buildings (where Hearst and his family lived during the construction of the castle) and to the massive kitchen that was used to serve the family and guests for many extravagant soiree’s over the years.

Spectacular View

Spectacular View

After the tour we walked around the grounds to admire and photograph a lot of historical architecture, statues and views that can be seen all over.

One of many statues at the estate

One of many statues at the estate

For today’s lunch we rode down the street to Sebastian’s Store which also includes Hearst’s Wine tasting room where we tried out several of the local wines and purchased a couple of bottles. Sebastian’s is a historical monument; it’s one of the oldest stores still in existence in California.  Unfortunately Sebastian’s (the sandwich shop part) was closed today so we just enjoyed the wines for now J.

Cambria View

Cambria View

We headed back to Cambria after a few more ocean side stops to check out the great views.  After we got back, we unloaded the bike and relaxed at the hotel for a while. Later we went on a long walk along the boardwalk and then had another nice dinner at Moonstone Grill again.  We ended the evening with a good glass of wine some star watching and enjoyed listening to the waves as we sat out on our patio.

Today’s travels:

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First Ural Ride Video (attempt)

This is my first attempt to make a short video from some of the footage that was recorded during our trip to pickup the new Ural and ride it back home last month.

For this video footage, Ronda accidentally set her camera to record in slow-motion while we were riding along some back roads behind Santa Barbara.  After a little bit of editing, titling and goofing around with audio add-on’s, it came out half way decent (I think…?).

Check it out…..

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

 

Cambria

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 *

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Video of our new 2014 Ural Gear Up 2WD Red October Custom

The Ural dealer we purchased our new Ural from in New England made this video after the modifications I ordered were added to the motorcycle. Soon after making this video, they shipped out my new 2014 Ural Gear Up 2WD Red October Custom, destined to arrive in SoCal at Boss Hoss Motorcycles in Harbor City.  I believe this is the second cross country trip this bike has already made – the next one will be with me and Ronda riding it.

Quick notes: my salesman Dmitry, at Ural of New England (featured in the video below) was great to work with and extremely knowledgeable about Ural Motorcycles.  Don at Boss Hoss Motorcycles, which also sells Ural’s, was a great help in getting my Ural setup for CA emissions and getting it registered for me (which can only be done by a dealer).