Monday, March 2, 2015

Go Big (Money Rally) or Go Home..

I hadn't been taking any pictures while riding. Sure, I take plenty when I am off the bike, or when I have reached my destination for the day or night, but none while riding. There is a certain element to a ride report which actually has riding pictures, a lack of which is a missing ingredient whose absence is definitely felt, even though it is not an absolutely essential element.

With that in mind, and also being mindful of some upcoming trips to some beautiful Western and South Western countryside, that is in the works - I decided to invest in a GoPro, like many have done so before me. Go(Pro) or Go Home, they have said, which could easily have been the title of this ride report, but I am no Pro, and I like big money (rally) better. :)

Having said that, I am actually not a registered rider in the BMR this year. The scales of the work-life balance have tipped very unfavorably in the past few months, and I foresaw and correctly so, that I wouldn't have time to do a whole lot of riding this year. Not as much as I would like to anyway, and certainly not as much as I did in early 2014. 

Becoming a BMR finisher isn't a difficult task, I mean you have almost 5 months to do it, but since when has just being a finisher been enough for me? I may say it is initially, if you asked me, but I know better. Once those competitive juices start flowing, there is no stopping till Gold. 

I don't have time for Gold, not this year. I do have time for Finisher, but I wouldn't know what to do with that competitive devil hovering over my left shoulder, hungry for and pissed there isn't going to be any Gold! 

Fortunately for me, a solution presented itself. My very good friend Albert signed up for the BMR. Al has been recovering from an incident a while ago, when a car turned left in front of him, while he was riding his motorcycle. I won't go into any detail about his injuries or his ordeal since then, suffice to say - he has been suffering from the aftermaths of that concussion. He doesn't ride much anymore either, for him joining the BMR was an avenue which would lead him to getting on the motorcycle a bit more. A form of meditation and therapy, of being mindful, focusing, anticipating, processing and of course having a little fun. 

Anyway, Al has asked me to help him be a BMR finisher, and I am more than happy to help him with the research and routing/planning and riding along. His riding range is limited these days, so it will be short(er) and sporadic rides on a few weekends, but it should be enough to get him to finisher, besides it is all I have time for these days, so it will work for me just as well as it works for him - I still get to (kind of) ride in the BMR and I get to help my friend while doing so. Perfect! :)

This past weekend was our first BMR outing. A short 160 mile ride door to door, but rich in points. When I did my research, I found a treasure trove of points right in our immediate vicinity, with some terrific weather and great riding roads in the mix to get to them. This was going to be a wonderful start! 

Laird Rd.

We were going to meet in Auburn for Brunch. At one of my long-standing favored Breakfast places in Auburn, Katrina's is better, as most from around here may comment, but I have a long history with Awful Annie's, and good memories as well, so I always choose Annie's. :)

There is almost always traffic around the corner on Laird and Folsom-Auburn on the weekends. The suburbs of Sacramento, which I call home are bustling more with each passing year, have to ride farther and farther away to get away from moving road blocks on four wheels.

Laird Rd.
The first bonus of the day was at Awful Annie's itself. A picture of Al and our Barista serving us some good coffee to start off our bonus hunting day. I am not going to include a picture of every bonus from the day, just a few markers along our route. :)

Al and the Barista.
Next was the Auburn P.O. for a Town Name (with 6 letters) bonus, followed by the Placer County Courthouse in Auburn. It is a beautiful building and a longstanding landmark. 

Courthouse in Auburn.

Hwy 49 just out of Auburn into the foothills is a great road on weekdays, but on weekends - there is many a weekend reveler on this road, hauling everything and anything that you can imagine. We didn't really have a choice but to hold our noses and ride it to our next stop, a town name (with 4 letters) bonus at the Cool P.O. The signage here wasn't easily accessible, so in true BMR fashion, Al rode up his R1200GSA, not a small bike by any standard, up the ramp right up next to the sign. He fits right in with the BMR'ers. He isn't right, but he is all right!! :)

Town Name (4 letters), Cool, CA.
The roads were opening up from here onwards, as we turned on to Hwy 193. We had gotten far enough away from the hub-bub of the suburbs to begin to stretch our motorcycles' legs.

Hwy 193.
A couple of stops along the way, first at Greenwood for Town Name (with 9 letters), followed by Georgetown for Town Name (with 10 letters) bonuses. Once again Al jumps the curb with his GS to get closer to the signage. Yup, he fits right in! :)

Town Name (10 letters), Georgetown, CA.
Great riding out of Georgetown, just pick a direction and start riding, Hwy 193 continues to twist it's way South, Wentworth to the North and Marshall Rd to the South West. We picked Marshall, narrow and tight in the beginning and then it opens up wide to sweet sweepers!

Marshall Rd.
Leading us to our next bonus, Town Name (5 letters), Lotus, CA and the nearby Marshall Gold Discovery Park. This was the site of the very first Gold discovery in the entire state of California. This sparked the beginning of the Gold Rush. I did a short ride report on this Park quite a while ago. (You can find that report Here).

The bonus at this park was a picture of Al and a Blacksmith. These are volunteers who run the Blacksmith shop in the Park, mostly apprentices etc. Before we left, we dropped a small cash donation in the donation box to help them with supplies etc.

Al and a Blacksmith. :)
Al wanted to lead the way out of here to Placerville for our next bonus, he used to live around this area before he moved to Sacramento. I let him run before me, and he sometimes succeeded in pulling away from me in the turns, that R1200GSA has maddening power pulling out of turns..much more than my DL1000 has. 

Lotus Rd.
Green Valley Rd.
Greenstone Rd.
Our stops in Placerville were the Placerville P.O. for the Town Name with 11 letters bonus, and the Hog Wild Barbecue for different ways one can spell Barbecue! Two variations found here, but only one posted..

How many ways can you spell Barbecue?
I led the charge again out of Placerville, as we caught back up with Hwy 49. Although it was sunny and gorgeous in the foothills, there were still some unsettled weather patterns in the higher Sierras, we could see some tails ends of those isolated storms from here. 

Hwy 49.
Our next couple of stops were the Wilderotter Vineyards (no wine tasting involved, picture stop only) and Plymouth P.O. for the Town Name with 8 letters bonus.

Town Name with 8 letters, Plymouth, CA.
We had a few more bonuses planned towards Jackson, but Al had had enough for the day. He is still building his riding stamina back up and this is where he wanted to turn around and get to the 'Go Home' part of the ride. So, as prudence would dictate, that's what we did. Go Home and Go Home safe is ALWAYS the plan! The title of the report should really have an "and" in it instead of an "or". Too late now! :)

I led him over Old Sacramento Rd to Latrobe, where we parted ways and he headed into Sacramento on Hwy 16. 

Old Sacramento Rd.
Old Sacramento Rd.
I continued on to Latrobe on the way back to Folsom. Some light traffic, which was easily dispatched. Latrobe is a fun road, right in my backyard. :)

Latrobe Rd.
I was almost home as I turned on to White Rock Rd. It had been a short but great day of riding with a great friend. Folsom and home were just over that hill...

White Rock Rd.
White Rock Rd.
Thank you for reading! :)


  1. Great pictures, as always. Those GoPro pics do add a cool vantage point of the ride. Nice roads.

    Bummer you aren't going all in for the BMR, but I like that you get to participate vicariously by helping your friend.

  2. Thank you! Yes, it was the first test run for the GoPro, I like it also. :)

    No time to go all in for the BMR. I have to prioritize, and if I get into BMR, I would go all in, I know it! Helping out my friend is a good middle ground.

    Hope you have been well! Cheers! :)


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