Mid-Week Rides: Between rain storms
Thursday, December 18 2014
Pictures start here
Major WWWobble writes
When it rains nearly every day as it has the past week or two, it causes a couple midweek riders to scour the internet weather channels in search of one that predicts a sunny day. We didn’t find one. But we found a day that called for part sun, and less than 10% chance for showers. Good enough, so word went around for a Midweek Lunch Ride.
Where? Into Marin. Destination? Dillon Beach Cafe.
So four riders braved misty overcast to meet at the Northbound GGB view area at 9:30, where the Captain, Chris Weld led Ran Bush, Alberto Sevilla and WWWobble on a direct course to the Cafe….
…101, Lucas Valley, Nicasio, uh oh, beginning to drizzle down a bit, Petaluma for the Cheese Factory… green grass, full lake with ducks, Wilson Hill, Chileno Valley, Tomales Rd, Twin Bridge, Fallon / Two Rocks, weather looking better toward the coast, right turn onto Gericke Rd, Left on Petaluma / Valley Ford, reverse course with a Left on Middle Road, back southbound now, hey, Middle Road tees at Dillon Beach Rd so lunch must be close.
Yes, the Cafe is open, we take a table inside the “enclose patio” seating area warmed by Kerosene heaters. Hot coffee is served, the best coffee of any of the recent cafes that we’ve visited, and the food was good as well. Good discussion, lots of laughs, and soon the Captain departed outside to smoke his pipe — which is a signal lunchtime socializing is over.
We depart down Hwy 1 with blue sky over there, and a little mist and drizzle right here, so the pace was reserved. Some pretty good puddles along Hwy 1 would reduce the roadway to a lane and a half, but overall the roadways were in better shape thane we expected. Ran peeled off at Olema for the San Rafael bridge. The Captain and Alberto took some turn off, I think to reach Fairfax / Bolinas Rd. WWWobble continued south on Hwy 1 thru Stinson Beach, then over Panorama Hwy into Mill Valley as Hwy 1 is closed between Stinson and MV due to road damage.
To my best knowledge WWWobble and Ran were home by 3. The Captain and Alberto got home a bit later…. and if there’s more to this story, they’ll have to tell it….
Surely, If WWWobles says a Mid Week Ride… you bet it will be interesting. And so it was for me!
A comedy of errors is hardly an apt a description.
Let me break today’s ride into Three Parts. (1) Starting the Day, (2) the Mid Week Ride and (3) Heading Back Sourth.
PART 1 - STARTING THE DAY
5:00 am - I could not sleep anticipating the MWR. I got up early as I had some maintenance to perform on the bike. Not very complex (for you, but for me…read on). Since I have all the tools I decided to check the tire pressure. The valve, was in a manner that I could not see it. I had to roll the bike a few feet, and I did. The front tire was at 28 Pounds - 4 low. From the left side of the bike, The rear tire valve was not visible at all. I walked to the RIGHT side of the bike for a better look. It was there all right, but way up. No way to measure. From the side, I pulled the bike toward me and started “walking the bike forward”… are you getting the image? Many of you probably already know what comes next. Once the valve was in the correct place, I started lowering the bike AWAY from me to make it rest on then Stand (which was on the other side of the bike)… can you see? Yep, it is about to happen. Gently I lowered the bike to the foot-stand hoping to soon let go of the bike…. going, going, getting heavier, and heavier …..
No need to tell you how far down it went. But this much I can tell you: The Clutch Lever is now broken. Luckily it remains usable. While the bikes was “resting” I checked the tire pressure. The back tire was 6 pounds low. Well! At least I was justified. At least I will be able to join the MWRs.
Went to the gas station. Pumped up the tires, and loaded some gas. and off I went to meet WWWobles, Chris and whoever else would be there. It is now 7:00 am.
I arrived to the Vista Point (North side of the GG) almost 1 hour early. Sausalito is but 4 minutes away so I went for coffee and a bite of whatever. At 9:25, hopped on my bike so as not to be late… OH surprise!! there is no entrance to the Vista Point from the Sausalito side and found myself on the highgway heading back to SF. Fecal matter! As Chris would put it. Not the first time I have messed up directions, so I took it on stride.
Found my way back to the Vista point. 9:35 am - not so bad I knew they would wait considering I am coming from the South Bay and I had emailed that for sure, I was coming. Sure thing there was WWWobbles and Chris Weld. Ready to go!… so, Off we went!
PART 3 - HEADING BACK SOUTH
Huh? What happened to part 2 - the Mid Week Ride? It is coming just be patient.
WWWobles and Randolph had departed earlier at a different road citing the need for an early return. Chris and I continued onto Tamalpais. Later, South, on Hwy 101, just short of the tunnel (no chance for stopping) there was some debris which I hit squarely at 70 MPH. It looked like plumbing with a rounded head to it, hard to tell. Thump! K-bang! I heard, but nothing seemed amiss. paying close attention I was certain all was well. The bike seemed to be rolling smoothly.
We took a short stop just before the GG bridge, on the right, for a stretch and my inspecting the bike. It all seemed ok. Chris invited me for a celebratory drink at his house, after all, on my way home, we were going but a mile away from his house, and I wanted to meet Pat (of whom I had read in Chris’s account to the BMW rallies).
We continued. All of 19th Ave. Right on Lincoln. Chris made the turn. In the two-foot gap between Chris and I, a pedestrian simply crosses in front of me. What!!. There is no time to think, I applied brakes aggressively, right in then middle of the turn, front forks collapsed as I am turning… again, are you getting the picture? I am certain that is has happened to you! - It all happened too fast. The bike is down for the second time in a single day. Fecal matter!!
As the bike is, one more time, “resting”, smoke is rising everywhere from under the bike. A green liquid is flowing onto the ground with a pungent smell. Other people come to my rescue. they all get the bike upright. Quickly, no time to analyze, concerned people ask me questions and I assure them that I am okay… which I was. I move the bike out-of-the-way, some 25 yards up and gather my wits (whatever wits I have).
Chris is gone. There is plenty of traffic. I conclude that Chris might have thought I had changed my mind about the celebratory drink. I decided not to call Chris as he would be on the bike, instead I send him a text message letting him know in few words about my predicament. I would come to learn later that Chris has a cell phone, but it is an antique! No texting!
Thinking and acting, I made alternate arrangements to correct my situation. No biggie. I can be resourceful. You do not get to be 66 years old without learning a trick or two. Once that was done, about a 1/2 hour later, I called Chris and appraised him of events.. he answered all concerned about my whereabouts, after having waited but only 2 blocks from my event he continued on. Thank goodness he continued home as I had moved myself to the Shell station at the corner of 19th Ave and Lincoln - He would not have found me.
Chris immediately offered to come pick me up. 30 minutes later (5:30 PM - SF rush hour is in full action) he and his friend John showed up. We loaded the bike and went for a TRULLY celebratory drink.
That was an adventure I will not soon forget!
PART 2 - THE MID WEEK RIDE
Well, after part 1, and part 3 what can I say about today’s MWR?. All of you missed a GREAT ONE!!
Up 101, toward Lucas Valley (where we were joined by Randolph). Magnificent views meandering the hills and winding roads I had a chance to again practice my Laguna Seca cornering techniques. We stopped a some Cheese factory - sans le fromage. Pictures of a quaint pond. Some two hours later, via what Chris called “the direct route” we arrived at Dillon Beach. Great local Clam Chowder (one step above Campbell’s).
I was lost all the time as I am not familiar with … Marin County? Who know where we were, ask the others.
Time to head home. Randolph and WWWobbles split after Olema opt Point Reyes heading toward Marshall’s Chris and ontinued on to Tamalpais park.
Tamapais. It was amazing, curvy roads, challenging debris and wet roads. we headed home about 4:00 PM.
All in all… A GREAT DAY!… So far…
Go back and read PART 3, is you think it is worth it.
Thank you for reading this account.