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Thread: First long ride Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-03-2012 03:48 PM
mattlill2000 Ditto from me. When I purchased my SLK, I never realized it would be this good!
06-03-2012 12:48 PM
Godfrey this falls into the "things you see along the way" category...

06-03-2012 11:49 AM
Godfrey Made my way home yesterday, taking a different route. Instead of crossing the LA Basin, I headed north through San Bernardino to Antelope Valley and wandered across the high desert. Been a while since I was there.

My partner was traveling separately in his car ... he left Hemet a bit after me, so I waited for him in Palmdale, taking a rest stop and having a snack. Then we parted ways once more, as he wanted to see a solar power facility on the way and I had a friend to visit.

Of course, I pull into his driveway and he immediately laughs out loud, "Of course I knew that you would pull up in a FREEKIN' YELLOW MERCEDES!" Al and I are old moto buddies, we both drove Alfas and rode Ducatis together back in the day. He still has his favorite Ducati and Alfa Romeo in the garage, but they haven't been run in many years now. A most enjoyable visit: I hadn't seen Al in about 10 years so we had a good bit of catching up to do.

He really liked Die Gelbe Gefahr. He especially liked The Long Tale Of The Yet-To-Arrive New Catalytic Converter, and the delightful rusted out 1957 Chevy sound the old, damaged one makes when I start up the engine. It reminded him of acquiring parts for a 1982 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica in 1994. ]:-)

I swung northwards through Antelope Valley and enjoyed the severe high desert landscape. At one point I glanced at the ambient temperature gauge ... wow, 105 degrees! Baking out there. It was cool and comfortable in the SLK, no sign of heat distress in the engine bay at all. Hwy 138 out to Interstate 5, a moment's thought of running the backroads out to 101 and the coast but no: didn't want to spend the extra time. I settled back into a constant 75-80 mph cruise and the miles melted away.

The Yellow One didn't miss a beat the entire trip. The seat and interior space are so comfortable that after 550 miles of driving I hardly even felt tired, my back wasn't stiff, my legs weren't achey. Despite a very, very strong headwind all the way up the 5 and across Pacheco Pass, and that miserable stop-n-go traffic on the way down, I averaged 25.5 mpg for the round trip and the car was barely affected by the gusts of wind and bow wakes of tractor-trailers. Peak fuel mileage hit 27.9 mpg on one tank.

A most impressive little car. :-)

- addendum -

Forgot to mention one notable thing: along the way, I saw tons of BMWs, Mercedes, Jaguars, even Alfa Romeos, FIATs, and one or two Ferraris. But not a single other SLK! Where were all you folks?
06-01-2012 07:52 PM
cheahk Looks awesome! 431 miles, 8 hour drive. =)
06-01-2012 07:38 PM
06SLK-Noob If you are going through Antelope Valley to I-5, you might want to take a look at the 126 going from Valencia through the back way to Oxnard. It's a pleasant drive, and then you are on the coast route.
06-01-2012 07:00 PM
cheahk I'll be doing that trip in about 3 weeks. Will take I-5 to LA, and then highway 1 on the way back.

06-01-2012 05:17 PM
Godfrey I've driven the coast route from San Francisto to LA many times, it's a wonderful ride. I won't be going that way, however, as it means traversing all the way across the LA basin from where I am.

I'll be heading home tomorrow and am not in a rush, but I do have a lot to do when I get back home and before I get to work on Monday—I don't want to take the time for the coast route on this excursion.

What I have in mind is to bypass the LA basin entirely by heading north from here, through San Bernardino, and then up and across Antelope Valley to meet up with I-5 well north of the mess. I have a friend I haven't seen in forever who lives in Lancaster too, so if he's available it will be a moment to visit, see his children (now mostly growed up!), etc.

The high desert has its own beauty, I might even make some photographs.

06-01-2012 03:30 PM
Der Flieger I have to agree...about the run back along the coast. It will take some time (so take someone special with you) but the scenery is gorgeous. I remember coming around a corner near San Simeon and coming upon several dozen otters in the water below. Just got better from there.
06-01-2012 01:44 PM
REB_TN_06 Great post. It is amazing how these cars make you want to prolong the trip instead of taking the fastest way. Interstate driving is actually my least favorite routes in my SLK.

What if you went back along the coast ! That would be one of my must do's if I had my SLK in California.

Enjoy regardless !
06-01-2012 01:32 PM
First long ride

Die Gelbe Gefahr is a magnificent car to drive long distances with. It cruises along effortlessly at 70-85 mph, average speeds on I-5, quiet and comfortable, and returns 27-28 mpg in the process. With the top up, the trunk is cavernous for a two seater and the seats are very comfy, with lots of legroom too.

Despite the misery of 60+ miles in insane stop and go traffic once I'd fallen into the pit of Lost Angeles, I wasn't sore or tired after a 470 mile day. Getting to the rehearsal dinne and back added another 70 miles to that days total, and the last thirty with the top down in the warm night air under a full moon. Nice!

The air is very dry here in Hemet, at the eastern edge of the LA basin and into the desert. Hot .. Day temps into the mid 90s.

I'll take a different route back. :-)


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