I slept in to NINE AM! What! How did that happen? Well, I don’t know, but it felt great. Mickey was long gone. His day at work started two hours before and my day was just beginning at nine. I immediately jumped out of bed and ran out the door. Mickey told me that the lobby at Residence Inn had continental breakfast until nine am. If I hurried, perhaps they would still have part of it open. I missed it the day before and paid for breakfast from the produce department at Target. Could have saved some loot had I known. The hotel staff were slow to clean up the breakfast counter and everything was still out for me to enjoy. I loaded up on almost one of everything. With my belly full and the caffeine from the coffee desperately trying to counter the effects from the food induced coma, I walked back to the room to knock out a post.
I was having trouble finding something to get into that didn’t cost anything. Being southern California, I decided to fall back on the motocross mecca again. I knew that somewhere out there in the great expanse of city was the FMF factory. FMF (flying machine factory) is a manufacturer of hand-made performance motorcycle and atv exhausts. More than once, I’ve run their exhausts on my race bikes. Before I took off for the next moto destination, I did another 20 minute workout, took a shower and jumped on-line for directions. Much to my dismay, FMF was located in the well-known gang city of Compton, a sublet of Los Angeles. I milled it over in my head for a while, whether or not to go there. I just couldn’t understand why such a wholesome company would be located in a place with such a hard-core reputation. Eventually I settled on the thought that Compton probably has a section that is really bad and the rest of the city is where the normal folks reside. After all, from my bit of traveling, I’ve realized that most people are up to good. Not, no good. The directions would take me on the interstate all the way there except for the last half mile. That didn’t seem so bad. In fact the only thing that I had trouble with getting there was the heavy traffic. I pulled up to the right address, but the building was unrecognizable. If it weren’t for one, yellow, FMF box van on the side of the building, I wouldn’t have had a clue that I was there. The heavy automated gate reminded me of what city I was in. I had to pull the Goose up to the gate and honk before it slid open. FMF, like Race tech in Corona, is located in a huge building in an industrial park. My visit landed me there right in the middle of a warehouse remodel. The fellow at the front desk, Carlos, filled me in on the lack of a finished exterior on the building and the good and bad sides of Compton. He said that they are in the middle of putting a shiny new, metallic looking, veneer on the front of the building. He also told me that the empty little waiting room will possibly be transformed into a cafe. He attempted to get me a behind the scenes tour, but was denied by upper management. Remodeling was the priority at the moment for the company. I didn’t mind since I had no expectations when I showed up. Before I left, I confirmed with him that I was in the building where the exhausts were hand-made. FMF doesn’t really have the showroom like Pro-Circuit does. It relies on its dealers to display the product. He hooked me up with a hefty handful of stickers and I was back on the road to Manhattan Beach.
A couple of days before, Igor and I met these gals just outside of our room in Santa Monica. They were the ones that gave me the firemans hat. They mentioned that they would be at Busbys Sports Bar on Friday night and that I should come out with them. Their plan was to get the rest of their group together, about 2o folks in total, and hit the town. I told them, I’d give it a shot, so my night at Busbys started at around 7:30pm when I ordered some diner. At that point they weren’t in the bar. I’ve been in this position before and knew quite acutely that there was a slim chance that they would show, so I just did my own thing and enjoyed the best chicken tenders of my life. After a few minutes of being there, this other group of gals got my attention. They wanted me to take a picture of their girls night out. “No prob here” I thought. 😉 After one of them handed me her cell phone and it couldn’t handle the dark inside shot, I whipped out the Canon, my camera, and took a picture for them. It turned out pretty good and I’m going to email it to one of the gals. Unfortunately the group that I was waiting for turned out to be a no-show. I had to get back to the room by a decent time since Mickey was there and I didn’t want to barge in and wake him up in the middle of the night. There is a good chance that the firemans hat group showed up after I left at 9:30, but I’ll never know. On a side note, Busbys Sports Bar in Santa Monica is rated as the third best sports bar in the nation, so that in itself was a treat. A couple of years ago, you couldn’t have pulled me out of the door until last call. Now though, I’m ready to leave the late night seen after a few hours and you know what? I don’t regret it.