How Google screwed me… And help me

I have a confession I don’t like Google and the products it makes.

Internet blasphemy right here

Google makes good services but horrible products, at least for me. It has screwed me a good number of times already. It has closed all the products that I liked and used: Google Notebook, Google Reader, Google Code.

Recently Google screwed me again. At this time with its Google Maps.

Riding motorcycle

I love motorcycles, adventure motorcycles in particular. I love the freedom they give. There are no words that can describe the feeling of being alone on an empty road; it’s only you, nature and your motorcycle.

You get to see a ghost town in the middle of nowhere

You know why do I love riding my motorcycle? It’s because of a couple of reasons:

  • You get to meet a lot of great people. A lot of great people drive cars, I know that, but when you are on your bike people tend to talk with you more. Your motorcycle’s like a magnet for them. People ask your story, and you listen to their story. It’s awesome.

Like this guy from Canada. He has ridden his big KTM almost all over the world. If you take a look at his bike or panniers you would see no empty spot, it all covered with stickers from the places and countries he has visited.

  • You get to see a lot of great places. From my personal experience, the same place the same road or a scenery will look and feel completely different from your car window than through the visor of your helmet.

I wish this old fuel pump was working.

You can find a ghost town in the middle of nowhere with an old fuel pump, or an awesome side road on 10,000 feet elevation.

JL Collins perfectly described the beauty of riding a motorcycle, you can read it here. It’s better in the wind, indeed.

A Perfect Ride

I haven’t ridden for a while. I don’t know why. Maybe I was scared, or maybe I was looking for a perfect ride. A ride with perfect conditions.


I had a dream to ride from San Francisco to San Diego on one of the best scenic roads in  California – Hwy-1. But there was a problem, a big part of the highway was destroyed by the landslide in late 2016.

Of course, I could take a 70 miles detour and miss a lot of beautiful places like Big Sur, CA. ButI didn’t want to lose even a foot from this amazing road. I decided to wait.

It would always use a detour like this

Periodically I would check Google Maps trying to build a route from San Francisco to San Diego via Hwy-1, but it would always use a detour.

Until one day

Until one day, GMaps finally let me build my perfect route from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, (that was my Day-1 destination). I was excited and told my wife, “Hunny, I am going to San Diego tomorrow for a couple of days“.*

Nice and awesome route from San Francisco to Santa Barbara

Next morning I mounted my small saddlebags on the motorcycle and started what I thought would be my perfect ride.

And the ride was great. The weather was perfect: not hot, not cold and no traffic at all.

As soon as I took Hwy-1, I started seeing weird road signs that say “Road is closed after this town” or “Road is closed after that town”.

Probably, they didn’t have time to remove all these signs. This was my thought for a while. I was relaxed and enjoyed the great view I had through my visor.

Just have no words to describe this

I was enjoying the ride and didn’t pay attention to all the signs saying “No Detour in XX miles“. There’s no way Google would have let me create a route without any detours. This was my way of thinking.

Bixby Bridge, CA

The Further I rode the more signs I saw.

No Detour in 50 miles

No Detour in 30 miles

No Detour in 20 miles

No Detour in 10 miles

And here I am, staring at the road barrier with the sign saying “The Road Is Closed. No Detour”. I would have thought there’s a joke except for a Sheriff’s car staying close to the block.

👱🏻‍♂️ – Hello Sir. The road closed I assume?

That was a stupid question to ask after seeing everything I saw, but…

👮  – As you can see: the block, me and all the signs. Yes, the road is closed
👱🏻‍♂️ – Really? But I checked Google Maps this morning and it said the road is open.

Another stupid statement from me.

👮  – Are you really gonna question my knowledge and this block with your Google Search?
👱🏻‍♂️ – No, Sir!
👮  – Where are you going?
👱🏻‍♂️ – San Diego, Sir!
👮  – Yeah… It’s gonna be a long-long ride for you today.

Back Home

It was about 4 pm when I hit this roadblock and had a funny conversation with the Sheriff. I had neither tent nor enough money to stay at a Big Sur hotel. I decided to ride back home.

Was I upset? Oh yeas, I was upset… And tired. I didn’t finish “the” ride. But at the same time, I was happy. Because I decided not to wait for the “perfect ride” but started my motorcycle and rode…

Will I ride this road again? You bet! I haven’t finished it yet, and there are a lot of greats rides that Lord willing I will ride.

What I Learned

There’s always something to learn, especially if something went not exactly the way you’d planned.

I learned a couple of things:

  1. I need to buy a tent. I’ve been thinking about buying a tent for a long time. But have you seen the price for those things? It’s $200 and more, at least for a good quality one.
  2. I need to buy a rear rack for my motorcycle because carrying a backpack full of stuff for the whole day ain’t no fun.

And the main lesson for me would be this, don’t wait for the perfect ride.

 Every ride is perfect!

Unfortunately, understand that perfect is a myth came to me later. You can read all the books or blogs you want about moto adventure. You can watch YouTube videos other people make about their journey. You can create all the list you need:

  • stuff to take with you
  • medicine
  • clothing
  • and so on

But if you waited until you were perfect at understanding everything you need to know about moto adventure, if you waited until a perfect condition, if you waited until a perfect bike, you might never take a trip. And you’d never learn to be a good moto adventure. You’d never have a great adventure either, because if you have to start first.

Quit chasing perfect. 

90 percent perfect and shared with others always change more lives than perfect 100 percent that stuck in your head.

Here’s a short video I made, I hope you’ll enjoy it

You can see all the pictures from the trip here [Google Photos]

* I have a perfect wife who allows me and encourages me to do the things I love. 

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4 Responses to How Google screwed me… And help me

  1. Menard Solve says:

    I enjoyed reading the post. Maybe you should have used the Waze app. Technology-wise it’s using Google Maps, but with input from its large community of users. I’ve driven that road before, SF to LA albeit with my car. It was a great drive– loved the scenery.
    Menard Solve recently posted…Cars that I’ve driven and the lessons that I learned from themMy Profile

    • Thanks a lot, Menard.
      I know about the Waze app and use it a lot, but when I’m on my bike I prefer GMaps just because of one reason – I can build a custom route and send it to my GPhone.
      I am thinking to take this road later maybe in in the Spring

  2. Justin says:

    You should have googled it first to see if it was open 😉

    I’ve certainly been led astray by lines on a google map when hiking or driving. What looks like a passable dirt road for a car might be nothing more than a barely visible footpath. And what looks like a footpath on the map might be an old animal trail (we found out the hard way about half way down a mountain in Germany after slipping and sliding quite a bit that the “shortcut” was in fact not a short cut; no severe injuries happened fortunately).
    Justin recently posted…The Meandering Canals and Bridges of Venice, ItalyMy Profile

    • Yes, I should’ve 🙂
      Google Maps has a lot of soft spots, but as I mentioned in the text, I’m thankful for showing me the lesson. It really helped me understand that there’s no such thing as a perfect ride because every ride is perfect.
      Thanks, Justin, for stopping by and commenting.

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