Mid-Week Rides: Late March Ride
Pictures start here
It was ‘breakfast in Petaluma’ and four riders gathered together at the Golden Gate Bridge north-end view area, Simon Hanson, Rob Hyman, Joe Steiner, Randy Hendricks and me, Chris Weld. We had a quick, yet pleasant romp up US #101 for Petaluma, this against clogged commuter traffic headed for the City.
We gassed at the Chevron Station next to Pete’s but only to find Bob Burns (aka: wwwobble), just topping-off. Six for the ride! Looked good. Then the new guy appears, Les; his last name is un-recalled/known at this writing. Les imports high-class plumbing fixtures and hangs his hat in Illinois or Headsburg, depending on business, the sun shinning, perhaps snow-blowing. Gee! Seven for the ride.
We clogged-up the biggest table when in walks Brent & Sue Hansen, that’s nine, we’ll close ranks, shed jackets, move helmets and make room. Wow! What a nice group. We’re all comfortable and change is inevitable. The local yokel, who lives in Petaluma, Jon Beining is the last to arrive. If Wobble will keep his elbow outta my hashbrowns, this I’ll work. I love Jon, more so when he rides with us, but he did admit that he’s been spending so much time on his off-road KTM ‘adventures’ that he didn’t have to set the clock on his RT, it’d been that long.
Brent’n Sue left us after breakfast to go work on their old house in San Anselmo - this to prepare it for sale, and get ready for this weekend’s BBQ at their new place. (You did RSVP didn’t you?)
We left Pete’s Henny Penny on Stoney Point Road for Railroad Avenue, taking it east to Petaluma Hill Rd and a left for a brief sprint to Robert’s Road. We climbed over the mountains for Glen Ellen using Roberts, Prestley and Sonoma Mountain Roads. We passed through Glen Ellen and spent but a couple miles on CA #12 before turning right and up into the Mayacamas Mtns. on Trinity Road. We dropped down into the Napa Valley on the Oakville Grade and rode Hwy#29 north for a mile before crossing-over the valley for the Silverado Trail, this on the Oakville Crossover. Upon arrival at the Silverado Trail Chris had a brain fart and turned the wrong way. Oh well! Wendy’s can be fun, but only when planned in advance. After turning around we rode NB on the Silverado Trail to pick-up Hwy #128 for Conn Dam/Lake Hennesey (they’re one’n the same). We paused at the boat ramp here to avail ourselves to the structural amenities, kick tires and tell lies. We rode about six miles till Lower Chiles Valley and turned north for Pope Valley and the Blacksmith’s Shop. This is a ‘photo op’. Brother Beining says that there’s this great deli in Middletown and it’s a ‘go’. Perry’s was good, except maybe for the sprits of rain that fell while we dinned’n gossiped. Randy seemingly owns rain gear, even saddlebags but they’d distort his rugged, jacket-faded image. Chris offers-up rain pants and all’s well. Naturally, the presence of rain gear dispells the rain. It was a damp-pavement romp over Mt St Helena on Hwy #29. We paused briefly at the Tubbs Lane intersection to wave good bye to Les. Wobble wanted to stretch his throttle and had by now zoomed on ahead. (He called later - he took Silverado Trail for Yountville and Hwy 29 to 121-37 to 101 and home.)
Our numbers, now but six, rode through beautiful downtown Calistoga for Hwy #29 SB and St. Helena. The rain had stopped by now so the handsome leader turned uphill at the first cross street in St. Helena, stopped and took a poll. Were they riders? Were they interested in a neat road to Santa Rosa? Having thus garnered enough nods we rode a block’er two and turned up Spring Mountain Road, one which changes its name to Mt. St Helena Road at the county line and dropped-down to the Santa Rosa-Calistoga Road, taking that into Santa Rosa via Hwy#12 for Hwy #101 and south for San Francisco. We turned-off at Washington Street so as to get a gas station for Steiner who needed to both load-up and off-load. His V-Strom delivered 49.34 MPG based on Weld’s trip meter. We did this ‘off’ to say G’day to Jon Beining but he took an earlier ‘off’. Well, we were thinking of you Jon just the same.
We all broke-up on the Waldo Grade, and/or toll plaza. Weld knocked-down 235 miles, Pacifica - Pacifica. Wobble went further. No mishaps (less the ‘wendy’), no tickets, no known threats of divorce, and we met Les. Great day and a great ride, company was okay too!