Plan B: The Whole Thing

It had been a long time..
Nearly Five Years.
I’ve ridden 40,000 miles since, and in all those miles I haven’t been south of King City on a motorcycle since September 30th, 2010. I haven’t been south of Laguna Seca with out bad happening since then either.

Let us just say that there was some anxiety from me and my Lovely Wife regards to this trip, but thankfully everything went smoothly.

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It was a good trip. Weather was good, though I did freeze in the mornings. I mean I wasn’t surprised by the cold, it was still technically winter when I left, but cold fingers and toes aren’t fun.

I kept to my planned route, and since I wasn’t covering that many miles I had plenty of time for breaks and rarely felt rushed.

The 685 miles total in two days isn’t that strenuous. 350 mile days are pretty easy, even when you’re on one lane back roads for part of the day. (333.2 miles on day one)

The Highlights were almost always these one lane back roads. With the dramatic exception of Coalinga Rd. which was a stressful nightmare. Not just because of the poor pavement, but also because of the unknown of it all. Santa Rosa Rd and Indian Valley Rd were fantastic though, and really captured what is great about motorcycles that doesn’t involve going fast.

Going fast is fun though, and 198 was the surprise of the trip. It was not just a road to get to a better road which I thought it was going to be. It was fun and I will ride down that way again so I can ride it again.

The trip was a success, and there are somethings that worked really well. My route was good and I really don’t think I could improve on it much. The days I chose to travel also worked really well, going on a trip on weekdays is always a good idea, less traffic which means less idiots on the road.

The only thing I would change would be camping instead of staying in a hotel. I found staying in a hotel by myself rather depressing and in many ways killed the feel/sense of adventure the trip had. It took a bit of effort in the morning to get back into the groove of the trip, though this sunrise helped quite a bit.

The rising sun was behind me thankfully, but it was beautiful.

The rising sun was behind me thankfully, but it was beautiful.

 

 

 

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So This Happened (Motorcycle Vandals)

I was having a pretty hectic day and I know I was in a rush to get home so when I came out to find my bike looking like this I was thrown for a loop. I was literally speechless for a minute.

I was stumped

I was stumped.

It was Aprils Fools Day and I was the fool, I took this picture and quickly picked the stuff up so I could get home. I was struggling to think of what Bee Eee Dee stood for as I got my gear on. I was feeling pretty dumb for not figuring it out and thought to myself “You’re going to feel really dumb once you do figure it out”. Truer words were never thought before. I did not think about it much as I made my way through heavy traffic to the freeway, but sure enough a few minutes down the freeway I began thinking of it again.

And then it hit me.  Not Bee Eee Dee, not B. E. D. but BED, bed. Monster under the bed. Sure enough… I felt a bit stupid for not figuring it out earlier.

I still don’t know who my motorcycle vandal was. I have some suspicions, but I haven’t gotten the DNA or finger prints back from the lab. I’m waiting before kicking in their door and taking them away to prankster prison.

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A Year Ago Today: Almost Home

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I had a good spring time ride a few weeks ago, but last years was hard to beat. Hopefully I’ll get to do something like this again soon.

I took this great shot just a few miles away from home. It is one of my favorites even if a bit cliche.

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Plan B: Highway 198 to Coalinga to Heaven and Hell

I decided to stick with my plan and head East on 198. I do not regret this decision at all despite the anxiety I had later because of it.

The last time I road Highway 198 was in 2007 I think, it was on my first real road trip on a motorcycle and while it was an amazing ride I made the mistake of not filling up with gas in Coalinga and so entire time I was on 198 I was worried about running out of gas.

This time I had plenty of gas so I was able to enjoy the ride. I did not remember that this section of 198 is actually pretty fun to ride. The road is well paved and early in the afternoon on a Friday there was only light traffic. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and look forward to riding it again, since it is close enough to get to in a half days ride. Sadly I have no pictures since it is a fast road with not a whole lot of places to pull over safely.

I took a break in Coalinga, just a quick stop since I was feeling pressured for time. I told my Lovely Wife that I would be home by four and I did not want to be late.

Leaving Coalinga I headed out to a new road for me: Los Gatos Creek Road which turns into Coalinga Road before it links up with Highway 25.

This stretch of road is… unique. The first part, Los Gatos Creek Road, is amazing. It’s well paved, curvy and lots of fun. I had a blast making my way north. Then I passed the entrance to the park and the road changed. It was no longer two lanes and the pavement was not as good. Initially I was unconcerned, it was very similar to Peach Tree Road and Santa Rosa Road so far. So when I saw this sign I was actually pretty happy.

Coalinga Rd. I have nothing nice to say about you.

Coalinga Rd. I have nothing nice to say about you.

However, what followed was the most annoying 25 miles of my trip. The pavement deterioated and there was so much gravel hiding on the uneven surface it made every corner slow torture. It was made worse by my deadline to get home, I was going so slow that I was concerned that I was going to be very late and with no cell service I was unable to call and let my wife know. The lack of cell service also made the consequences of even a minor crash much more dire, adding even more to my stress. To top it all off I was not a hundred percent sure that I was on the correct road since there was no signs indicating when the switch from Los Gatos Creek Rd to Coalinga Rd. I was pretty sure I was on the right track but there was no way to confirm this. I was very relieved to get to the end of the road about 40 minutes later.

 

I've never been happier to reach the end of a twisty road.

I’ve never been happier to reach the end of a twisty road.

I hopped on Highway 25 from here and headed home. Highway 25 is nice enough, but not that special in comparison to the amazing roads I had been on in the previous 36 hours. I put my head down and did my best to make good time for the rest of my trip with out getting a ticket for speeding.

The trip ended well I made it home just a few minutes after 4PM. Everyone was happy.

 

(Except all the bugs killed in the journey)

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My Sunday Morning Ride

I was awake a bit earlier than I wanted to be, but since I was having trouble getting back to sleep I decided I would just get up and start the day. I threw on some clothes, got my gear together and went for a ride. Nothing too special, just out to Calaveras Rd.

I did end up riding a bit longer than planned since someone’s Minivan was on it’s side in a culvert and the CHP were out there driving very slowly (15mph ish) so I just turned around and headed back the way I had come. It was a beautiful spring morning. Hills green again because of the recent rain.

Calaveras April 2015 Panorama

 

Calaveras April 2015 02

Calaveras April 2015

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A Year Ago Today: Portland Trip

Last year at this time I was on my way to Portland, it was an amazing trip. I’ll have to do something like it again soon.

It was crazy windy at that vista point, but the morning light and the view was invigorating.

It was crazy windy at that vista point, but the morning light and the view was invigorating.

I was finally up out of the fog! It took an hour but it was the beginning of a glorious day.

I was finally up out of the fog! It took an hour but it was the beginning of a glorious day.

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Plan B: Indian Valley Road to Peach Tree Road

When I was done with Hwy 58 I stopped to have breakfast, then after a short run up Highway 101, I refueled in San Miguel then headed to Indian Valley Road.

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Very similar to Santa Rosa Rd. in that it wasn’t about going quickly, it was about riding through nowhere on the way to no place in particular. It was a nice day and it was very beautiful out there. Indian Valley Rd. turned into Peach Tree Rd. and eventually I rode pass where my friend had his incident with the vulture.

I managed to get to 198 unscathed. It was here that I debated what to do next. I had a choice of heading north on 25 and getting home a bit early, or go east on 198 to Coalinga and continue with my original route. It actually was a tough decision, since I did have plans that evening and was looking forward to seeing my lovely wife ASAP.

Indian Valley Road, it was beautiful out there.

Indian Valley Road, it was beautiful out there.

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