Mid-Week Rides: San Juan Bautista, Fremont Peak

Wednesday, Feb 18 2015

Pics start here

Chris writes

It was a good group that gathered at Bobbie’s in Cupertino for breakfast, sad only in the fact that Rich Penrose wouldn’t be able to make the ride. Wwwwobble (AKA: Dim Bulb), on the other hand, couldn’t make it in time for breakfast, but was there for the ride.

We went strait away for the little community of San Juan Bautista, nestled in the corner of one of California’s smaller counties, San Benito. The main attraction here is one of the original Missions and the town grew up around the Mission which was the ‘hub’. Even today, much of San Juan Bautista is as originally laid-out. I’m pleased to report that they’ve paved the town and, at some point in the accent past, paved the roads upon which we rode.

The goal was Fremont Peak at some 3100’ elevation. The location played an important part in John C Fremont’s pursuit of independence for the Californios from Mexico. This was prior to, or part of, the ‘Bear Flag Revolt’. The road snakes upward from San Juan Bautista some 11-12 miles and climbs to within walking distance of the peak itself, some 800-900’ feet higher. None of our group was hot to climb, line’o sight was not a quarter mile, but STEEP. We enjoyed the sun, having broken through the clouds at about 2200’ elevation - first ‘sun’ we’d yet experienced.

The decent took us to an intersection where we could turn toward Salinas on a road that changed names on entering Monterey County. The San Benito portion was last paved circa 1930 and today is just a collection of ‘patches’, but the countryside was worth the jarring. Upon decent GPS was queried for a lunch spot. ‘Country Kitchen’, only 4.7 miles distant was selected. That’s 4.7 miles the way the crow flys. It was a good 10 miles ‘road-wise’. The general consensus was ‘worth it’! Riders split-up for home after dinning (it was just a couple minutes to 2 PM at the moment and ‘beat the rush’ was on everyone’s mind.

Great ride, great company. Only delays involved minor slide setting adjustments on Scottie Sharp’s ride, a customer’s R69S that he’d just rebuilt the motor.

Alberto writes

With the sky closed and a bit of wind at 8:30 am we met at Bobby’s Coffee Shop in Cupertino.

Chris Weld, Don Thiele, Scotty, Dana, Dick, Alberto, and Wwwoble, Rich Penrose, and Marco Hyman. Rich would not ride today, showing up only for breakfast.

Breakfast as usual very animated. Everybody had something to say. The food, just what a coffee House would offer. Not great but not bad.

Sometime after 9:00 Marco, at the parking lot hollered, “are we going to ride or talk all day! “. We mounted, Chris took the lead and chose the most direct route to San Juan Bautista… 101 all the way!

The day had a special coloring on account of the cloud cover, making the Mission special somehow. One half hour later, off we went to conquer Fremont Peak. Ahh, but this report would I not be complete if I fail to bring a sore subject. Yep, leader Weld got a wee bit lost… Just by one block off and for one bumpy minute. That’s okay Chris, we all forgive you. It must have been the sign saying Fremont Peak 11 miles, with an arrow pointing the wrong way.

Up we went. Fremont Peak, on our way had moments where visibility was quite low. The cloud cover was eerie making the front riders look ghostly. Soon enough, as we went higher, the sun showed up warming hearts and spirits.

We had a moment to shoot the baloney thick and heave at the top. Pictures and bantering which Dana seemed to be the recipient of humor. He is okay. Survived.

Okay, you have read this account so far… You deserve the following. Dana introduced us to an app on his iPhone. “GroupPic”. Very cool! In a group taking the picture, the photographer is left out, bummer! Well, have the group stay put (do not move) hand the iPhone to someone in the group and go take your place…. Snap a second picture. The software takes the two pictures and blends them into one with BOTH photographers in the picture!! This app costs $1.99 I never spend for gadgets like this… But this is a WINNER!! I went and got it. Thank you Dana.

As it turns out, when you get to the “top” of Fremont Peak you are not at the very, very top. There is yet another half mile or so and 1,000 feet to climb. This, additional distance however must be done on foot. The road is there but we are not supposed to, verboten to ride the bikes up.

After a half hour or so, time to head down. We all mounted and… As I am getting ready, a shadow heading a different way. Mild mannered and quietly (as if a motorcycle could be quiet), I see Mr Hyman going up the verboten road! Yep, he took off like a rocket heading up the forbidden road and catch the real mountain top. He must have gone like the wind as it took him little time to catch the rest of the group a third way down the mountain. Now I kicked myself, wished I had broken the law and done the verboten thing. Oh well. You surprise me Marco, I had you for a very law abiding and compliant citizen. Well!! How was the view?

Down we went through the fog and eventually thru a very bumpy road that rattled most everyone’s kidneys. Yes, most of us…

Bumpy but pretty, the road took us through what I think is rural Salinas and eventually 101. Chris directed us to a diner one not far from the McDonalds and Starbucks at 101 and Hwy 152. Great food.

After eating it seemed everybody was in a hurry to get someplace and everyone opted to head home… One more time 101 for some 50 miles. Shame because for me the day had just started. Oh well.

Pics from Marc and Chris

Overcast leaving breakfast

Overcast leaving breakfast

Overcast leaving breakfast
Eight bikes total

Eight bikes total

Eight bikes total
Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista
Across the Plaza

Across the Plaza

Across the Plaza
Hotel

Hotel

Hotel
Stables

Stables

Stables
Mission bell tower

Mission bell tower

Mission bell tower
San Juan Bautista #1

San Juan Bautista #1

San Juan Bautista #1
Across Frm Mission

Across Frm Mission

Across Frm Mission
On the Mission Wall

On the Mission Wall

On the Mission Wall
Mission pathway

Mission pathway

Mission pathway
Statue, cross, and bell tower

Statue, cross, and bell tower

Statue, cross, and bell tower
Original El Camino Real

Original El Camino Real

Original El Camino Real
Veranda facing Courtyard

Veranda facing Courtyard

Veranda facing Courtyard
Bell tower, again

Bell tower, again

Bell tower, again
No Enterence

No Enterence

No Enterence
Parade Ground IFO Mission

Parade Ground IFO Mission

Parade Ground IFO Mission
Roof detail

Roof detail

Roof detail
Church Entrance

Church Entrance

Church Entrance
Located Side of Church

Located Side of Church

Located Side of Church
Needs washing and paint

Needs washing and paint

Needs washing and paint
Graveyard Next to Church

Graveyard Next to Church

Graveyard Next to Church
Settlers Cabin

Settlers Cabin

Settlers Cabin
Adobe & Rock Wall adjacent Cemetary

Adobe & Rock Wall adjacent Cemetary

Adobe & Rock Wall adjacent Cemetary
The ECR with early paving

The ECR with early paving

The ECR with early paving
Bikes

Bikes

Bikes
Veranda, Parade Grnd Side

Veranda, Parade Grnd Side

Veranda, Parade Grnd Side
'65 or '66 R69S with rare spotlight

‘65 or ‘66 R69S with rare spotlight

‘65 or ‘66 R69S with rare spotlight
Can you find Don's Anttenae?

Can you find Don’s Anttenae?

Can you find Don’s Anttenae?
Leaving Dwtn San Juan Bautista

Leaving Dwtn San Juan Bautista

Leaving Dwtn San Juan Bautista
Heading 'up' on the good pavement

Heading ‘up’ on the good pavement

Heading ‘up’ on the good pavement
Road to Fremont Peak

Road to Fremont Peak

Road to Fremont Peak
A little bit of this

A little bit of this

A little bit of this
We're Climbing Now!

We’re Climbing Now!

We’re Climbing Now!
Climbed outta fog at 2200%22 elv.

Climbed outta fog at 2200%22 elv.

Climbed outta fog at 2200%22 elv.
To get to this

To get to this

To get to this
R69S Again

R69S Again

R69S Again
Bikes and people

Bikes and people

Bikes and people
All Smiling Too!

All Smiling Too!

All Smiling Too!
End'o Road at 2800+:- Elev

End’o Road at 2800+:- Elev

End’o Road at 2800+:- Elev
Fremont Peak -Steep Pedestrain Climb

Fremont Peak -Steep Pedestrain Climb

Fremont Peak -Steep Pedestrain Climb
Check Those Brakes

Check Those Brakes

Check Those Brakes
Great Photgrapher! (heh-heh)

Great Photgrapher! (heh-heh)

Great Photgrapher! (heh-heh)
We're Dropping!

We’re Dropping!

We’re Dropping!
Back down the peak

Back down the peak

Back down the peak
Don Theile (L), Dim Bulb (R)

Don Theile (L), Dim Bulb (R)

Don Theile (L), Dim Bulb (R)
No Straightaways!

No Straightaways!

No Straightaways!
When was this road last maintained?

When was this road last maintained?

When was this road last maintained?
On the way to lunch

On the way to lunch

On the way to lunch
Almost 100K on Clock

Almost 100K on Clock

Almost 100K on Clock
Good Roadway (= Monterey Cty)

Good Roadway (= Monterey Cty)

Good Roadway (= Monterey Cty)
It doesn't get any Greener!

It doesn’t get any Greener!

It doesn’t get any Greener!
Lunch Spot, but Where?

Lunch Spot, but Where?

Lunch Spot, but Where?
I Said 'Look up!' Marco did..

I Said ‘Look up!’ Marco did..

I Said ‘Look up!’ Marco did..
Chef's Salad - Yummy!

Chef’s Salad - Yummy!

Chef’s Salad - Yummy!

Pics from Alberto