Mid-Week Rides: New bikes, new riders
Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012
Pictures start here
Well, we were supposed to eat at the Golden Egg Omelette House at 807 Grant Ave in old town Novato. We’d been there before but alas, the Golden Egg Omelette House is no more. Today the restaurant is known at the ‘Left Coast Depot’. The SMBC (Sunday Morning Breakfast Club) will want to reflect this change in their ‘beanery listings’. Be aware - pricey! Late arrival, Randy Bush tried to assert that he was actually early and spent lots’o time searching for the Golden Egg. Ha!
It was a good group for breakfast though some were missed (Beining, Hyman, Hendricks and Theile to mention but a few.. Deider? Well, he found a job!). However, Joe Steiner, Bob Burns (aka: Major Wobble), Brent Hansen, Dick Zunkel, Bill Grass, Chris Weld and a new guy, Paul Hampton showed, not to mention the aforementioned Randy Bush. Steiner (who’s a real friend to someone), left after breakfast to help someone move.
Seven for the ride! We rode through old downtown Novato to pick-up Novato Blvd for the short jog on Petaluma Blvd for Wilson Hill, Chilano Valley and others. We rode through Fallon, a two-house community which ranks a spot on a really good map, this to connect with farm roads and a route to Dillon Beach and our first ‘break’. Weld’s ‘new-to-him’ GS was given a thorough inspection and review during which Brother Bush noted the saddlebags were big enough to rent-out to a certain Asian minority as an apartment. Paul Hampton, the new guy and a retired IBM employee, knew nothing about Dillon Beach so we showed him the cottages and then took him up the hill for the million dollar summer homes and the spectacular view of Dillon Beach and the mouth of Tomales Bay.
We came this way because Weld found a road on the map he hadn’t been down. However, Major Wobble insisted he (Weld) had, ( Bay Hill Road - runs from the N. end of Bodega Bay to CA Hwy #1). Weld plotted a course through Valley Ford for Freestone but turned left (W) and picked-up Joy Road for Coleman Valley. The group paused near the ridge top for a couple of pics with Carmet and Sereno Del Mar in the background. It was here that pangs of hunger struck several of the assembled riders. The Major called for chowder at the Tides Restaurant in Bodega Bay, a wish supported by Bro Zunkel and others. The Tides was crowded…well, perhaps the bar? Nobody would sit near us! The really bad news was reported by the ‘Professional Witness’ on door closures and systems. The Tides has installed new automatic doors and the ‘get rich quick schemes’ are now a distant memory.
We back-tracked through Bodega Bay so as to find Bay Hill Road - this was by design, not a true ‘wendy’. Weld insists he’d never ridden Bay Hill before so somebody’s ‘loosing it’. Weld thinks it’s the Major (he was the only non-BMW mounted rider in the group [Steiner left if you’ll recall]), and that’s ‘proof enough’.
We rode directly into downtown Sebastopol where Hansen (who lives there), and Bush departed with some weak excuse of having to pick his son up from school. Hansen? Dunno!
That left just five ‘real riders’ to finish the run. Weld wanted to ride Sweetwater Springs and the fact that Hampton was unaware of this ‘gem’ merely sweetened the resolve. We paused at the cinnabar mine and found it as decrepit as ever, which is to say more photogenic than ever. Hampton uses Hyman-type equipment and killed a lot’o pixels.
We rode over the mountain, through the redwoods. Sweetwater Springs is about 12 miles long and one needs a good map to find it! In the Spring, when the hills are green, it’s spectacular but since it runs through a lot of open range one must keep hamburger in mind.
It was late enough now to head for home so we passed the Hop Khiln Winnery and headed for the Wholer Bridge and on to Forestville but not before pausing in Miribel Park to shop a country market for cold drinks and oil. Bill’s early 80’s R80 was pumping oil through the pressure switch almost as fast as he could add it, very old Harley-like. Major Wobble begged to leave us with some lame excuse about company coming, (Oh how I hate to see a grown man beg…), and he took-off without a cold drink.
Once out on the freeway and cruising, Weld’s new-to-him GS started flashing lights and indicating he needed gas, saying he was ‘out’ in fifty miles. Weld slowed down some to try’n pick an easy-on/off exit with gas. Hampton (who obviously had gas in his GS) zoomed-on past. Weld and Grass left Zunkel at the GG Bridge and motored 19th Ave, stopping at State College to add oil.
Weld reports it was a great ride, 236 miles on the day for him. He was only sorry that he couldn’t recall how to re-set the trip meter (it’s a button on the handlebar stupid!), and still doesn’t know his MPG. He liked the new ride, better with the re-adjusted windshield but noticed that crosswinds couldn’t be ignored like they could on his RT.