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North Bay Counties Tour "check-in"


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We had a great loop around the north bay, covering Napa, Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties. I'll post the (few) pics I took tomorrow. Thanks to Roy for getting us motivated and organized, and to the rest of the hooligans for showing up and riding thumbsup.gif

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In last night after a short lane splitting drill on I 80...


Great group, great ride, great weather, great lunch....


thanks all.




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Arrived home safe. Ride pace was perfect with great riding companions. Thanks to Roy for putting it all together.


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It was a fun 500 mile day. The coast was cool and eclectic. Especially the parade. The food was good and the friends were great.

Thanks Gary for the riding lesson.

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Here's my tale of the day, and the few pictures I took. No scenery, sorry, just the stops!








I left Petaluma at 5:30am, hitting Napa and the meetup at a little after 6. Roy, Dave, Gary, Thor and Peter were there, and Mark showed up a few minutes later. After a cup of coffee and introductions, we got down to deciding just where we were going. We decided on Boney's suggested route out of Napa. A phone call to coordinate with Tim, and we were off.




- Just getting light -






- Thor and Dave -






- Gary, Peter, and Roy -






- Mark and Gary -








Heading northeast out Monticello Rd, we wound up and over a small foggy ridge, and as we came down the other side into Capell Valley the rising sun broke through, creating a richly glowing tunnel of curves for us. We turned north along 128, sweeping up the valley, trees and fields on fire in the low sun. Turning east on Berryessa Knoxville Rd, we skirted the western shore of the sleepy Lake Berryessa.




The air became dryer and the smell of the hills changed with the rising temperature, and as we turned toward Pope Valley I was turning off my grips and unzipping jacket vents. The ride through Pope Valley and on toward Middletown was classic Northern California moto touring: Fine twisty canyon roads, idyllic scenes, and leaning bikes.




We came into Middletown, and found Tim coming the other way, bringing our number to 8. A gas stop and we were off again, this time making our way north to Clear Lake. Just before Lakeport we turned west, continuing on 175 down to Hopland. This road is quite a track, well paved and winding up and over, descending the other side of the ridge in a smorgasbord of tight bends.




Reaching Hopland (and 101), we ran up the freeway to Ukiah, intending to catch 253 west from there. Another gas stop first, and when we stopped we realized we were short a rider! Dave was missing. Gary volunteered to head back while the rest of us kept on.






















253 from Ukiah to Boonville is yet another great moto road. (Are you sensing a trend here?) It's fairly short, but oh so sweet. At Boonville we joined 128 on its way out to the coast. 128's a thoroughfare, so there's generally a lot of car traffic, but it's bendy and the traffic wasn't too bad on the whole. About halfway out I got a bit tired of following one particular set of cars and made a break for it. A successful effort; from there it was smooth sailing, and I had a spectacular run out through the redwoods along the Navarro river.




When we hit the coast highway, it was getting to be about lunchtime, so we decided to make for Gualala and Bones. I donned the sweatshirt I had removed earlier, it was cold and overcast at the coast. First we paused so that Roy could check his voicemail in the hopes that Gary had found Dave. While he was dialing they both pulled up! Turned out that Dave had just missed a turn, and when Gary caught up with him, together they beelined it out to the coast just behind us.




Our numbers back at full-strength, we followed the coastline south. In Elk we encountered a local parade getting ready to make its procession down Hwy 1 through town. Fire trucks and all, getting ready to go. Lots of people were lined up along the roadside, waiting and hanging out. Part of our group passed through, but the rest got caught up in the parade itself, and had to brush up on their queen-waving. Tim said that someone called out "Nice costume!" to him on the way through. That fancy BMW gear is pretty festive, after all!




Finally pulling into Gualala, Bones Roadhouse was a welcome sight. One of my most favorite places to eat, I'd been looking forward to it greatly.




As we arrived a huge line of bikes went through town, a local poker run evidently. Among the harleys there were a lot of beemers, it's just that kind of place. We were then joined at Bones by another BMW group: about ten bikes pulled in, so we had to chat them up a bit.




- One of the other group in front of Bones -








Mary and her grandson Aiden were serving lunch together along with the rest of the family. Tim and I had sort of built up the place to the others, but the food didn't disappoint anyone as far as I know! My pulled pork was superb as always. And the homemade hot sauce was just as I remembered.










- Mary and Aiden -












- Tim -






- Choosing the route home -






- Don't ask these guys how to get there! -








Finally we took off, heading south again. From here we didn't stop, but ran all the way down Hwy 1 through Sea Ranch and Fort Ross, clinging to the curves on the edge of the abyss on the cliffs above Jenner. If you haven't been there, it's hard to describe the feeling adequately. The road is essentially just a glorified ledge curving along the face of a vertical bluff, and the ocean is directly below. Way, way, way down below. It's a stunning view, but it also has a way of making you acutely aware of your mortality.




Through Jenner and on south, the traffic got heaver and heavier as we joined all the other beach seekers around Bodega Bay. Once through the congestion it lightened up and we followed 1 down through Tomales and then through the superb stretch of road along the east side Tomales Bay.




Just before Point Reyes Station we turned inland on Pt Reyes-Petaluma Rd, through the Marin hills, past Nicasio Reservoir, the Cheese Factory, and into Petaluma. This is where Tim and I left the group, and the rest of them continued on to Lakeville Hwy and eastward.




My GPS reported 335 miles for the day. Only a few of those were on anything other than twisty two-lane roads. That must be why I'm still grinning. Thanks again to all, and to Roy for getting it together.

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Thanks Gary for the riding lesson.


That's how we remember Gary from the last time we rode with him, with his young son in his leathers tucked-in behind him, they just flew .


Left home at 5:05 AM (an ungodly hour for me!), returned at 6:15 PM, 436 miles yesterday. I was tired, but a good tired. This morning I had some good classical music on while preparing for the day - yeah, I listen to classical music - and I felt real mellow.


It was a good ride! I still have a vision of those hot-air balloons floating above the hills near Pope Valley(?).


Mark and Sebastian, it was good meeting you both. Roy, Thor, Gary, Dave, Tim, it was good seeing you all again. Thanks for a great day! thumbsup.gif


Nice account and pictures of the day, Sebastian. clap.gif

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Home safe & sound, 1200 miles from Friday at 2:30 to Sunday night at 8 pm. Had a great time. Thanks for letting me ride in your back yard.

Burned my chicken strips down to 1/4 inch on highway 175, that's a nice road WOW smirk.gif


Excellent company, Excellent food & Excellent roads couldn't be happier if it was raining money grin.gif


Thanks to everyone, Boney for suggesting the route.

Gary for adding in highway 253 and taking the lead on the first section to Middle Town, and for going back and finding Dave when he got lost thumbsup.gif

Thanks Sebastian for taking the lead on the last half. and the photos and the great ride tale grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif


I was so having so much fun I only took one picture, at Bones grin.gif




Thanks to everyone who showed up, quite a memorable ride grin.gif

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Since this is California...was I really lost, existentially speaking. lmao.gif


Existentially speaking, you are always lost!! lmao.giflmao.gif

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Thanks guys for a really great day. It was good to see Pete, Tim and Dave again. I'd even met Thor before but didn't remember until he reminded me of the day I met his riding group out of Marin BMW out at Berryessa and the the day I met the Carey. I'm really glad I jumped in on this ride, I needed it. It had been a while since I've been out riding with a group of well accomplished riders.


Well, there's really nothing quite like running hwy. 253 with almost no traffic and no, um, speed tax collectors in view. I was trying to tow Dave along as best I could and I have to say he really was a good sport and rode well as we tried to make up ground on the group. That road is in my top 3 favorites behind Wentworth springs road and Hwy 36. Wow, so many good curves. You guys thinks sweeper madness is in Utah?, go hit up Hwy 253 and compare. Just for kicks do it back and forth............twice just to get the heart rate up a little.


Thank you Roy for organizing the ride, hello again to Mark and Sebastian.


And Thor, I don't know much about you but I'm left with the impression that you've got a million fascinating stories to tell and I wish I had time to hear them all. Perhaps our paths will cross again, I certainly hope so.


Pete, last time we rode together I think you were behind me most of the day. This time I spent a good time riding behind you and I must say to anybody reading........Pete is an impressive motorcyclist. I observed your masterful control of your mount and the excellent lines and pace you produce with the twist of the wrist. Sir, I admire your riding skills. thumbsup.gif

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Peter, sorry I had your name wrong! I think I previously 'imprinted' on your handle and interpreted it wrong. dopeslap.gif Dang, hopefully a mod can help me out.

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Thanks for the kind words, Gary. blush.gif Now you'll make my head swell, .... and Jane would likely tell you that I'm insufferable anyway! grin.gif


No problem, Sebastian. I regularly get called "Al" as an abbreviation of my last name.

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