What a great start to the year this has been. I have ridden 3 out of the past 4 weekends, including this one. Occidental and Bodega Bay with my friend Mike, then Woodbridge with my friends Mike, Hans and Tom, followed the same day by some lower elevation foothills run with Mike and Tom and now this..
This weekend, I wanted to do something different. I posted on the FJRForum Friday evening hoping someone already had a ride plan, something I probably won't come up with myself - I was wanting something new, to go someplace I haven't been before - but where my FJR's nearing the end of life rear tire will still take me safely..
Ask and you shall receive. Today's ride was just what I needed - A heady mix of great sweeping twisties, switchbacks, decreasing radius turns, gravel-ly goat trails, riding amongst the clouds and great company to chat with on stops and lunch.
The day began with receiving a text from Jerry (aka 2010 Cal24 Winner) a little after 7am asking me to ride over to his house that morning. I had a quick breakfast and I was out the door by 8am.
I wanted to take the back roads way to the East Bay (or as much as possible). So after a bit of slabbing on Hwy 50 - I was exiting on Jefferson Blvd (Hwy 84).
It was a soggy foggy ride..
Some Old Vines on this road.
After taking a right on Courtland Road - I was led to Ryer Rd - this is a continuation of Hwy 84 and although slightly bumpy it is great twisty fun. Unfortunately no pictures, too much fun to bother with pictures..
It also led me to a ferry crossing! Yay! I had been wanting to do this.
How much boost would I need to launch off that ramp to the other side of the river?
I stopped in Rio Vista to try and get some artistic shots. Today, however, wasn't my day for this..
I do, however, like the reflection of the Rio Vista bridge's towers in the water..
We have a recent tradition (recent and tradition - is that an oxymoron?) on our Forum to name ride reports based on some picture you took along the way. The picture below is why I named this ride report "Welcome from San Diego", which also plays into another running joke on our Forum about a certain post-whore from San Diego, who keeps trying to up his post count by posting cut-n-paste "Welcome from San Diego" messages to the newbies.
Now for a little history lesson - the ferry below had seen operation in the San Diego Bay, ferrying people to/from Coronado Island and San Diego. This ferry has since ended up abandoned on the Sacramento River Delta. There has been efforts to reclaim it and take it back to Coronado as a dinner theater ferry a la Sacramento's Delta King, however in this tough economy those plans have not had any takers.
The toll bridge to Antioch, from this angle it almost seems like the bridge to nowhere..
Slabbing across the East Bay - I like tunnels! I believe this one bores across from Orinda to Berkeley/Piedmont.
HONK HONK!! No other tourists on this Highway so I was the only dork honking...
Finally at Jerry's, a half hour late. As I pulled into his driveway, I think they heard me pull in and came outside to check what all that racket was. I need help repacking these Holeshot exhausts?
Also, I think my friend Hans doesn't like his picture taken!
After a bit of chit chatting and checking out Jerry's hanging dog bones while his FJR shock is being rebuilt and then Hans complaining of having short dog bones ..I probably lost some of you on that joke.. moving on... we were on our way to Redwood Road.
This road was fantastic! It was great fun following these two fine riders and watching Jerry dip his huge Honda GoldWing into the turns without trepidation and Hans hanging off his FJR. We also took a little goat trail detour on Pinehurst Road to the Canyon Post Office. Jerry said this was his contribution as a bonus location on the 1088 24 hour endurance rally. Riding this road in daylight - I pitied the poor soul who attempted to try this at night. There was this one scary switchback, it was akin to driving up a wall, while attempting to make a 180 degree turn
No pictures, sorry folks.. I was busy!
Rode up to "The Wall" overlooking Berkeley, today unfortunately, the view was hazy and foggy. I did the best I could..
We hung around here and B.S'ed for a bit.. It would have made a great backdrop if not for the haze..
Nope, Hans still doesn't like his picture taken..Jerry however, loves being a dick!!
Hans needed to get back home to do some "chores", so after "The Wall" we slabbed it back to an IHOP in Concord, near his abode - so we could enjoy his company for lunch and still get him home in good time.
It was spritzing when we stepped out after lunch. We thought it was just condensation from the fog - but I am thinking it might actually have been slight rain? Hans went home and Jerry and I headed towards Morgan Territory road. The road starts out as a two-lane road and then turns into a one lane goat trail as you climb to the top, we were literally riding inside a cloud at the top of this road. I tried to take a picture, but my camera lens was overwhelmed..
The road condition does improve as you ride along, still one lane, but much smoother and leads you through these rolling hills - lush green and beautiful this time of year. I tried taking some pictures as this road winds its way through this lush pastures, however there was oncoming traffic and I was being cautious and wasn't able to fire off many shots..
Riding with Jerry is a no-stop affair. However, if I had a chance at "re-do" I would have loved to stop and take a better picture of that little pond and tree.
Looking back, what is it about great motorcycle roads - which attracts McMansions?
Another Forum tradition. Taking pictures of old barns because a wise old man once told us "I love old barns! They always make me think that the owners had a great hope and optimism for the future."
Glad to see others were out riding as well..
We stopped for gas in Livermore and then parted ways - Jerry headed back home to San Leandro. He had pointed me to Vasco Road which eventually leads to Hwy 160 and I retraced my steps across the Delta back home to vanilla skies in Folsom.
Thanks for reading!