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Pounding sand at The Rock Store and loving LA

December 30, 2009

I broke camp in Calico and headed to Los Angeles. The weather was fantastic and I had less than 200 miles to ride today. Did I say the weather was fantastic? Wow! The ride to my destination in Los Angeles was quick and I stopped at Starbucks which was pure LA. The friend I was staying with works in the movie business and was on break in between movies. He agreed to put up with my requests to visit all the tourist places and sights. Gratuitous tourist photos follow. I must say LA is a fantastic place.

Quick side note – I’m writing this blog on an underpowered netbook and trying to work with huge pictures so the format of the blog is sloppy and for that I apologize. I’m also often in rural areas where high speed is spotty and most of these posts are uploaded via tethering my I-phone. I’m also just learning how to post to WordPress and figuring out how to use the site. Stick with me, it will get better. If you have suggestions or comments please feel free to let me know.

I really appreciate your messages and It keeps me writing.


What follows is a love letter to LA in pictures. Trying to figure out what to put in was the hardest part. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

With one of these you can get into the most interesting places.

Your author getting on his “Bob Evans” on the Paramount Lot

This brings us to that most famous Los Angeles motorcycle destination – The Rock Store. It’s located in Mulholland Highway. There are a handful of turns leading down to the store that are fantastic. Riders go up and down the road like children at a tiny Minnesota ski area with one tow rope and a single kicker jump. Eric, man, what the hell does that mean? What I mean is that there are folks there who strive to be “king of the hill” even if it’s only a handful of turns and will ride the same stretch of road again and again and again passing people, recording their antics with onboard video cameras and tweaking suspension settings alongside the road. It’s fun to watch. We’re not talking about the Tail of The Dragon here just a bunch of turns ending at the rock store. To get a feel of the approximately 29 turns to the rock store check out this link   I think it’s the perfect “California’ destination as you only need a wee bit O skill for the road leading to the rock store then most importantly you need to look good when you get there.

The following was blatantly borowed from the Rock Store website.

History of the Rock Store

Ed and Vern (Veronica) moved to Southern California from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after WWII. They stumbled across this building, made entirely out of volcanic rock, which had been a stagecoach in the 1910’s. They purchased this “Rock Store”, in 1961, and created a small town grocery store out of it. As the years rolled by, many changes were taking place in this town of Cornell, CA. Cornell started growing in population, which forced the development of major roadways connecting Mulholland Highway to the Pacific Coast. As people started flocking to this area, more and more people started taking notice of this small town store. Not only were carloads of people stopping by for cold refreshments, but motorcyclists began pouring in from all directions. They were drawn to the windy canyon roads, and of course the opportunity to really test out their riding skills. As more and more people began frequenting this “pit stop,” it became a landmark institution for the avid motorcyclist’s community. Ed and Vern have built a reputation for the Rock Store as one of the top tourist destinations, and a hangout for the “who’s who” of the motorcycling world. The Rock Store is the most famous motorcycle stop in Southern California and has been featured in many commercials, films, music videos, television productions and magazine photos.

Among the attractions are the rustic settings, celebrity sightings, hundreds of bikes to look at, poker runs, and of course the food and drinks. The Rock Store is most popular for their hefty breakfasts, BBQ Tri-tip Sandwiches, Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches, Homemade Chili and Soups, and who can forget those ice cold beverages. On any given weekend you can stop by and chat with the celebrities who frequent the Rock Store. There is always the interest of Jay Leno and “what is he going to ride up on today?”. Jay enjoys bringing up any one of his latest “toys” so that everyone can see it. You can usually find him in the parking lot talking amongst the people. He’ll be the first one to show you under the hood of his new truck, or help someone with repairs on their bike. Arnold Schwarzenegger often pops his head in for a quick bite, before spinning off into the canyons. Matt LeBlanc can be spotted hanging out on the patio with “friends.” You really never know who you are going to see walk through the front door. Stop by and chat with Ed & Vern over breakfast in our rustic restaurant or a BBQ lunch and beer on our patio. They truly have created the most biker friendly place in the universe. Or, read more about the Rock Store.

The Rock Store in reality – God truly smiled on Ed and Vern as this place is an absolute dump. It’s filthy, grimy and simply nasty and somehow makes enough money to stay open. I mean “dirty” in a filthy, nasty way, not in a cool biker dive bar way. The Rock Store looks like they simply lock the doors at the end of the day and unlock them the next day. Clean the place up? Empty the trash? Sweep away the cobwebs, leaves and trash? Why? People will come anyway. We ordered two beers and ED came up with a total and handed me back change – not even close. I stood there dumbly with my hand out looking at two dollars and four pennies change from a twenty. Apparently this goes on all day. I always enjoy a place where cleaning products and liquor are openly stored together not to mention an assortment of critters scampering about all over empty stacked beer bottles and litter. I’ve been in dive bars in rural Venezuela that were cleaner. I guess it was funny at the time. I know this sounds hypercritical but I have to call it like I see it. As far as a place to gather and meet other motorcyclists it’s great but as far as a memorable experience you have to be kidding me. I did enjoy seeing guys in full Moto GP style leathers sitting next to Harley guys pounding shots and beers. Just do me a favor if you visit the place – don’t eat anything. Trust me.

Sweet picture of Lee Major and Neil Diamond among others…..

After taking in the scene at the rock store we headed for Malibu and dinner. My visit to Los Angeles spanned several days so I’m going to have to pause here and continue in the next post.

Tomorrow – Venice Beach, Beverly Hills Ducati and on the set of the new Seth Rogan movie The Green Hornet

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2009 10:26 pm

    Hey, if you by chance are heading up to Santa Barbara. I have another MUST SEE Biker hangout with REAL live Music and REAL good CLEAN foos. the place is amazing. Its called the Cold Springs Tavern on Stage Coach Rd off the 154. Make sure you go on a Sunday after 1:30 pm. The Tri-Tip is only served on Sundays and its awesome! Butthe food in the restarant is actually high level stuff. Its very good!

    Also, if you make it up there you might as well visit Solvang and pop in to see the Motorcycle museum. Just google Solvang and Motorcycle puseum for directions.


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