Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jul 17 - Marin/Sonoma County

17 Jul 2010 - Marin/Sonoma County

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This was suppose to be the "Bierkan Ride", but his class changed schedule and they held a Saturday class. So he was unable to make his Ride.

Then Manjo and Lil Doc extended their visit a few days to make this Ride, but Lil Doc's trike needed some transmission repair which was not completed in time for them to make the Ride either, oh well.

Next Ride anywhere near Sonoma I have to check and see if there is a big event happening at the Infineon Raceway. This weekend there was the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals. The traffic was horrendous. But more on that later.

Pdub led the Sacramento NorCal Triumph Riders and Friends contingent to the Jelly Belly. Makini, Phil and Don H. rode on their own as did I.
Peter, Don H., Makini {hidden}, Steve, Stan, Ron's back and Pdub. {Phil missing}

Notice that Stan is dressed in shorts and a light jacket. He froze his tail off on the ride in from Sacramento. Ron also was so cold that he went into the Jelly Belly and bought a sweat shirt.

The Delta Breeze was in full force this morning and the temps were in the low 60's with a 25 mph head/cross wind.

Anyway, since we were going to ride quite a few miles along Tomales Bay barely sheltered from the Pacific Ocean, Stan became a "no starter". As the Ride headed west on Hwy 12, he headed east and back home.

That's Hwy 12 in the background.
An eclectic group of bikes

Pdub insisted that I post his Wee Strom with its new accouterments.

For the start of the ride through Jameson Canyon Road and around the south end of Napa the traffic was normal, which means it is always heavy but moving. The route plan was to take Hwy 121 to Hwy 37.

I rounded the curve where Hwy 12 turns north to Sonoma and saw the "parking lot" in front of me. Since we were still 10 miles from Hwy 37 it became a no brainer to reroute the Ride. {a map of our actual route is at the bottom of this Blog}

A gas stop in Novato where I was hoping to see Lil Doc and Manjo, but Lil Doc had her telephone ringer off and we never got messages.

We rode from Novato to the Marin French Cheese Company.
Some of the cheeses in the display case

I thought that this was a more interesting photo showing the Company sign than the one on the building

Ron had other obligations so bought a sandwich and a salad for lunch. He would head back home from here. Two down, so we are now a seven bike group.
Ron's lunch

The grounds have a couple of parks which are free to the public but close at sundown

Waiting for Peter to get his box of 20 rounds of 8 ounce Brie

We continue the Ride to Hwy 1 just north of Point Reyes Station and continue along Tomales Bay. It is really cool, sunny and crisp weather. The traffic is not real heavy.

We turn inland and ride to Freestone and Wild Flour Bread to buy some goodies.
Peter and Makini parked at Wild Flour Bread

The roadside wall of their building

The "menu" which changes a little daily

Waiting to order stuff

Then only three and a half miles north on the Bohemian Highway is the village of Occidental and Negri's our lunch stop.
Makini, Don H. and Phil

Pdub, Steve, Phil and Don H.

Peter and Makini

Our waitress who forgot to order Pdub's lunch and left Peter's glass of wine at the bar for 10 minutes. She was not too good.

The cheeseburger

Minestrone soup


Fried chicken

Pdub finally gets his all meat personal size pizza and shows his glee

After lunch we lose Steve as he has a brother who lives just a few miles from Occidental. Now we are a group of six.

I decide to change the route from Coleman Valley Road and we just head north on the Bohemian Highway to Monte Rio and Hwy 116. We follow Hwy 116 for many miles along the Russian River and through the redwoods and the vineyards.

Just before Cotati we take Stony Point Road to Railroad Avenue to Old Adobe Road back to Sonoma and the Chocolate Cow.
Along Hwy 116

We get to the Town Square of Sonoma and is it crowded. The weather is in the high 80's and sunny.

I love this little Town Square besides the Chocolate Cow there are bakeries, the Sonoma Cheese Factory and Cafes. Also there is the old Courthouse surrounded by a nice park.
Too hot to bring home any of the Chocolate Cows wonderful chocolates

Peter has the Vanilla Gelato

Makini has an ice cream cone

Phil, Pdub and Don H.

Makini has a son who lives in Sonoma so there are five of us headed back to I-80 and home.
As we get back to Hwy 12 from Napa-Sonoma Road I see a "parking lot". Luckily there is a Passing Lane which allows us to lane split for a nice long stretch. So we had about a 10 minute delay over a normal traffic day in getting to I-80.

It was a beautiful day and a good ride, except for the traffic.

Here is the actual ride route. But you will have to click on the View Larger Map at the bottom as there are too many variations to display on this embedded map.

View Larger Map

Today's Riders:

Phil T...........Citrus Heights........Nomad...................VROC #19198
Makini..........Vacaville.................Custom Nomad....VROC #25908
Don I...........Stockton.................F650GS...................VROC #5569-r
Pdub............West Sac.................Wee Strom
Don H..........Walnut Grove.........Speed Triple
PeterJ..........Elk Grove................ST 1300
Steve H........Shingle Springs......R1200RT
Ron H..........Gold Run................FJR 1300

and a non starter
Stan K.........Valley Springs.........Bonne America


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jul 06 - Manjo and Lil Doc

Jul 06, 2010 - Manjo and Lil Doc
Panoche Road and Lunch at Wool Growers

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Today is a Tuesday. Manjo and Lil Doc from Sudbury, MA are visiting family in Sunnyvale. So we are to meet up at the usual McDonalds in south Hollister at 0930. From there we will Ride Panoche Road then up to Los Banos and the Wool Growers for lunch.
I had an early start so I stopped at the Vista Point west of Gustine on I-5.

Although there was no wind at all along I-5 the Bulletin Board along I-5 displayed a Gusty Wind Warning for Pacheco Pass {which is normal}. I was going through Pacheco Pass {Hwy 152} from I-5 to Hollister. But this morning it was also covered in a thick Marine layer and cold. And the winds were especially gusty. I was planning to stop on the 15 foot wide shoulder to take a photo, but as I came up on a truck the truck was blowing all over his lane and often was using almost the entire shoulder. After seeing that I decided that stopping on the shoulder was not such a good idea.
Looking westward from Bell Station

Looking at the road that I had just traveled from Bell Station

I meet p with Manjo and Lil Doc at the McDonalds on Airline Hwy. We have our senior coffees and Lil Doc had her hot chocolate. We then head on down Hwy 25 and leave the Marine layer by the time we get to Ridgemark.
Hwy 25 near the Fairgrounds

The Paicines end of Panoche Road

Just east of Paicines

Starting to climb

It was fairly cool in the high 50's in Hollister, but by now the temps are in the mid 70's and time to "unlayer". We stop at the usual wide spot along Panoche Road because I know the temps will get hotter from here.
Lil Doc putting her stuff in her trunk as Manjo is starting to unlayer

Still not quite at Panoche Summit which is only at 2,200 feet

Over the Summit and it is getting hotter

We lose the center line as the road narrows here

A small climb before getting to the straights

The Panoche Inn {which is in the middle of nowhere} is closed for a few days as the owners are taking a short vacation. They probably had a big Fourth of July shindig. But they left their outhouse open. Actually although it looks like an outhouse it is fitted with a standard toilet and running water.
The dogs are also still hanging out. Neighbors must be feeding them.

We head out and in a half mile leave Panoche Road which will soon turn into a dirt road and turn onto Little Panoche Road.
The beginning of Little Panoche Road is straight, but will become a set of twisties as we get into the mountains

We have 10 miles of I-5 and 10 miles of Hwy 165 before we get to Los Banos and the Wool Growers.
Lil Doc in front of the bar door and historical marker

We just finished ordering our main course

I did not take any food photos today as I have many, many photos of the wonderful food at the Wool Growers. Click here to see another one of my Blogs with Food Photos.
Here is Manjo in the parking lot with the restaurant sign in the background

Now it was getting real windy even in Los Banos, so I did not want them to travel Pacheco Pass for the first time in what I think are gonna be really tough , gusty winds. So we take some back roads and a bit of I-5 to Corral Hollow Road to Hwy 84.

Here is a map of my entire route with Manjo and Lil Doc today:

View Larger Map