For the last 15 years (wow that sounds like a long time when I actually write it down) one of my best friends, John Blatter, and I have been riding motorcycles. We started in Provo buying used motorcycles out of the Thrifty Nickle for $250. Our first bikes were barely ridable and we spent most of our time working on them rather than riding them. We would be out in front of our student apartment buildings with a socket set, a phillips screwdriver, and a Clymer's repair manual that we checked out from the BYU library, deep into the night wrenching away on our machines. The Saturday riding trips to South Mountain or American Fork Canyon only lasted about 2 hours because that's about how long it would take for someone to crash and break a clutch lever or some other catastrophic mechancial failure to occur.
Life has changed alot since those early days. We've both gotten married and have 9 kids between us. We have gone through about 20 different motorcyles, ridden in places as far as Tennessee, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. We've ridden on the beach and in the desert, in the mountains, and in the swamp. It's been something that John and I do together as friends. It's as much a part of my life's history as anything else. We have so many "war" stories that we can sit around a camp fire and go on for hours, laughing until it hurts.
This year John and I were talking about how we were needing a riding trip and he said "Well what about this weekend?" It was Tuesday. But that's kind of how these trips happen, and after a quick look at the calender and a phone call to Tara, I was in. We were headed to Pismo Beach for a weekend of camping (in a fifth wheel RV, because John and I both decided we are too old for tent camping.)
This trip was going to be a little different. We were going to bring our boys. John has three and I have Austin. Austin thought it would be fun to bring his good friend Caleb, and Caleb is always welcome with our family, so he was in too. Over the next several days, John and I shared dozend of phone calls, emails and text messages getting this whole thing put together. We were so excited to share this part of ourselves with the next generation. Don't get me wrong, Tara and I have taken the kids on riding trips in the past and we have even taken them to Pismo before, but this was a "boys' riding trip" and things were going to be a little different, haha.
We got there in the pouring rain, and quickly set up camp. We rode until it got dark and then made our way into town to eat at Round Table Pizza and to dry off a little. We were all soaking and chilled to the bone. Round Table never tasted so good.
We got back to camp and Austin asked if he and Caleb could ride some more in the dark. I said "Sure." He looked at me like "really?", and I said, "have at it." I told him that if he gets lost, to head toward the ocean and then ride up and down the beach until he finds us. His face was priceless. I am very dry and sarcastic (in a good way) with the kids sometimes, so they will find themselves in a situation where they can't tell if I am serious or joking. I convinced him that I was serious and he and Caleb scampered off on the quads and I watched until I saw their taillights disappear over a dune.
We did everything that is Pismo to me, we had a huge campfire, let off fireworks, ate a bag of dorritos for breakfast, listened to John pass gas, worked on bikes, and RODE until our bums got sore, and slept in our riding gear. John and I have been doing this forever and are forever refining the experience with lessons learned from past trips. I could go on forever here, but we have had tents literally floating as the tide came because we set up too close to the water when we set up camp in the middle of the night at low tide. We learned that canned food is easier to eat if you bring a can opener, to check the gas in your bike or quad before EVERY ride, because it's a long walk out, and list goes on.
Our boys were the direct beneficiaries of our years of collective knowledge regarding the ingredients for a successful Pismo trip. John and I have it pretty down pat and even threw in a new one with renting a 40 foot fifth wheel trailer from a local that set it all up at the beach for us before we arrived. We just showed up and "moved in." It was a long way from sleeping in cars and tents with no toilets or showers.
I loved seing Austin's and Caleb's faces when John and I were telling our stories as we stood/sat around the campfire. I loved to see their smiles when they would come back from a ride and listen to their excited chatter about a jump they went off or a cool riding spot they found. I know the feeling that they were enjoying and I was enjoying it too, one of those moments that you wish could last forever.
We came home tired, dirty, and happy vowing to go back soon. I loved having John and his boys there, and letting Austin get to know him too. I just wish I would have taken more pictures, next time I guess....