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“Know Your Rights”, La Honda, California

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October 14, 2007

Had By All
Sunday. An hour's drive to San Carlos just across the Bay and down the way on 101 Saturday afternoon to meet with Mr. K (whom I've not seen in ten years, an old friend whom I met in Korea in the army) who was on his way up from Los Angeles. Some congestion, as there always seems to be “some congestion” driving in the Bay Area, but for me an hour's drive finding that Mr. K had already checked into the motel in San Carlos, the large covered trailer housing the fully restored 1975 Ducati 750 GT and 1980 Ducati 900 SS sitting off to the side of the motel parking lot ready for display on Sunday at the La Honda Center just beyond Alice's Restaurant in La Honda, California.

Mr. K has been heavily addicted to motorcycles since I've known him, he arriving in San Francisco on a big new BMW after the army, and this one step short of a tractor trailer rig housing some of his current iron showed no sign he'd made any attempt to kick his habit. So far so good. I've gotten my ass out of the house and onto the road, albeit an hour on the road, but definitely outside my ZIP code.

La Honda is where Ken Kesey and the Pranksters had had some of their adventures when Mr. K and I were in the army in Korea so one of the first explorations our ex-patriot settled in San Francisco from Seattle group undertook after our arrival was to drive down to La Honda to see if there might not be traces of day glow paint still tucked away somewhere in the environs.

Remember, Mr. B (another Seattle ex-patriot) and I had journied to San Miguel de Allende right after my own discharge from the army to write our respective Great American Novels, one reason for choosing it being we'd read the mad Prankster Neal Cassady had come to a much too early end in San Miguel a year prior. These many years later I still find our motivations for this journey impeccable.

So we drive down in Mr. K's rig to the La Honda Center, a gathering point for motorcyclists who run the twisty two lane road on weekends up through the snap left and snap right turns (Alice's Restaurant is the La Honda motorcycle hangout and not Arlo Guthrie's restaurant located in Sheffield Massachusetts) arriving around nine where Mr. K unloaded the beasts (an amazing process involving tie-downs and straps and ropes and more tie-downs and straps and ropes: you'd think he was planning an assault on Monte Casino). I, a bit fuzzy headed from the rarified air (outside my ZIP code) watched. I'm good at watching.

The show was interesting. A small show, maybe fifty plus a few bikes on display (Mr. K's Ducatis winning three trophies), tent kiosks set up by vendors, many many motorcyclists walking up the steps from the La Honda Center that consisted of a strip of small buildings (a food store, a bar, a restaurant, a veterinary clinic and a volunteer fire department, the fire department holding its annual pancake fund raiser breakfast) that lasted throughout the day. I spent most of it sitting, getting up every now and then to shoot the occasional photo, hitting the all you could eat pancake breakfast and watching people stream through the displayed motorcycles, many of them asking knowledgeable well beyond my ken questions. A good time, in other words, was had by all.

The photograph was taken at the La Honda Center in La Honda, California with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/350th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.