Hooray for Hollywood

 

(this post, written May 24, 2011 highlights our ride of April 6th)

Only 150 miles of riding was planned for today.  This allowed us to ease into Los Angeles Metro traffic during the two hour window between morning and afternoon rush hours.

Since last night’s hotel, Sunnyvale Garden Suites, had no restaurant, our group rode for its first USA breakfast to Denny’s .  Erwin and Barbel loved their food.  So far, so good regarding their first US visit.

When we saw snow capped peaks, we knew that we would soon be in LA.  Our ride went well.  Before we knew it, we had unloaded our bikes for the last time of the Expedition’s Section 3, Central America – Panama to Los Angeles.

In preparation for importation into Australia for Discover Our Earth Expedition Section 4, our bikes had to be cleaned.  No, they had to be spotless.  Australia, an isolated continent, has strict laws to prevent the introduction of foreign organisms. Formerly greasy, grimey motorcycles must have no substance on them that might conceal contamination. Unfortunately, we would not know if our equipment was clean enough until they arrived in Sydney. If one failed, it would refused admittance and sent back to LA. Kevin started warning us about this when we entered the US.

Over the past week, we have been washing them regularly.  Each day, another layer of dirt, oil, and dried on bugs was removed to simplify the process today.  All of us descended on the Hollywood Car Wash.  Teams of employees washed and detailed each bike.  We all pitched in to examine and clean even the most obscure parts.  Terry even had his boots cleaned.  The entire place looked as though the Munchkins were cleaning up Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion for their trip to see the Wizard Of Oz.

After all bikes passed Kevin’s cleanliness test, we headed for the bonded warehouse when our bikes would wait for their flights to Australia.  This flash photo taken in dim lighting demonstrates the enhanced visibility of both rider and machine due to 3M Scotchlite reflective sheeting on the bike and 3M Scotchlite reflective fabric on our riding suits.  With all the dangers we face while riding, anything that makes us more visible to other drivers is smart.

We said good bye to our bikes, took cabs back to our hotel, and reflected on this important milestone in our Expedition, the conclusion of Section 3.  How appropriate that we are staying 2 blocks from world famous Hollywood Boulevard.  There is found the Guinness Book of World Records museum.  Our leader, Kevin Sanders, along with his wife, Julia, hold the records for fastest circumnavigation of the globe by motorcycle as well as fastest Trans Americas trip, from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina.

 

6-April    Twenty Nine Palms to Hollywood CA     150 miles

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