Sunday, December 7, 2008

2008 Dec 06 - Polar Bear Ride

2008 December 06 - Polar Bear Ride

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Today's Ride Route

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Well, I had wet fog problems on Hwy 12 from Rio Vista to Fairfield. I reached Rio Vista at 9:45 AM, but then it took me another 2 hours and 15 minutes to get the 25 miles to Fairfield. :-(
It is not the ground visibilty which is over a quarter of a mile. But the humidity is just at that point where the moisture creeps into the helmet to spread a thin mist over the INSIDE of my face shield. It is not humid enough for the mist to form droplets and run off. But the humidity is just right to coat the face shield. I would lift my face shield and if I did not need my glasses to see I could have made it to Fairfield. But my glasses would soon become coated. So I was riding stop and wipe and go along Hwy 12. Finally stopping at the Western Railway Museum parking lot.

Meanwhile I had been in contact with Phil T. via cell phone and he and Bob M. were waiting for me at a McDonalds near I-80.

I finally reach Fairfield at Noon and we all have a bite to eat since I had not eaten yet that day.

I tried my camera in Rio Vista and at the Western Railway Museum where I stopped for about 25 minutes. But it turns out that the new rechargeable batteries did not charge in my usual battery charger. So I was without a working camera today.

The photos were taken by Phil T. {a link to Bob's pics are at the end}
Don I. and Bob
Bob next to his Triumph Sprint RS. We had a Triumph on this Ride
We get a guy in the parking lot to take a photo of the Three Intrepid Polar Bear Riders
Since Bob lives in Sonoma the Ride will be in his back yard so we let him lead the Ride while Phil and I follow. It is a really sunny day although a bit chilly. My electric jacket liner comes in handy. We head down I-80 to the Hwy 12 exit toward Napa. At the Hwy 12 turn off for Sonoma we take Hwy 121 to Hwy 116 which takes us into Petaluma. We needed to make an emergency pit stop at the intersection of Stage Gulch Road and Lakeville Road at Ernie's Tin Bar, Lakeville, CA. Seems like there was too much coffee being drunk. :-)

Photo found by Googling

The traffic is fairly heavy as the weather is bright and clear. It takes a bit of time to get through the traffic in Petaluma. But then it is a beautiful Ride along Valley Ford Road which merges into Hwy 1. Just beyond the village of Valley Ford we take the turn off to Occidental. That road is a bit rough, but saves a bunch of time.

We reach the turn off for the Bohemian Highway, which is the road to Occidental and then to Monte Rio. But Freestone is just off the Bodega Highway and we pull into the Wild Flour Bread parking lot. The bakery is really busy.

Wild Flour Bread web site

The road side sign
Looking back toward the Bodega Highway

A baker at the brick ovenLook at the loaves of bread
The board shows what is available today

I bought four loaves of bread and cut them up to share some with my Lunch Bunch
{ added after I ate the bread - The bread is full of flavor with a nice dense consistency. I guess this is what bread used to be.}

Off we head toward Sebastopol and it takes a bit of creative lane splitting {when a turn lane showed up} to get us through the really heavy traffic in Sebastopol.

We stop for gasoline along Hwy 12 a few miles before Santa Rosa. Then we head over Bennet Valley Road to Warm Springs Road to Glen Ellen. Just south of the main part of Glen Ellen there is General Vallejo's old saw mill. It has been converted into a series of shops and restaurants and is called Jack London Village. One restaurant is the Yeti. One of my fellow Chain Gang members {BMW F650 Riders} goes by the nick of i_Yeti. So I had to get a photo of the restaurant for him.

Jack London Village

The old water wheel still works
Yeti Restaurant web site
Here is the Yeti, Indian and Nepalese Restaurant

We then head off along Arnold Road which we took on our last Ride. We turn off a little earlier at Verona Road and work our way to the Sonoma Cheese Factory. It is now 3:30 PM, so I decide to skip lunch and head home. Good choice since the fog never completely left east of Hwy 113. There was just enough sun light to keep the fog above the ground as I rode my way back to Stockton.

A last smoke break before I head home across the street from the Sonoma Cheese Factory
Phil and Bob {who lives within walking distance of the Sonoma Plaza} stop for a Deli Sandwich at the Cheese Factory.

Sonoma Cheese Factory web site

The front of the Sonoma Cheese Factory

A link to Bob's photos


Saturday, November 15, 2008

2008 Nov 15 - Buster's and Chocolate Cow

2008 November 15 - Buster's and Chocolate Cow

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Phil T. wanted to have BBQ at Buster's in Calistoga. We had a Ride scheduled for November 1st, but that weekend was our first measurable rain since February. So that Ride was rained out.

So today we meet at the Chevron at the west end of West Sacramento. We are to ride to Calistoga and Buster's Southern BBQ via Hwy 128 and the Silverado Trail. From Buster's we are to ride the back way into Sonoma via Santa Rosa and the Valley of the Moon for ice cream at the Chocolate Cow. Then we are to head back home.

Map of today's Ride Route
Phil has phoned Pdub from the Chevron Station on the other side of West Sacramento. We finally get everyone together and actually start our Ride only 2 minutes late. Which is darned good for this bunch.

Phil T. filling up his Nomad

Pdub and Daniel B.
Eric B. makes it on his Harley. He left his Triumph at home today
ReneƩ, Yvonne, Jess . and Daniel

Jess, Daniel, Yvonne, Renee, Pdub and PhilThe posed picture. Renee is riding on the back of Phil's bike and Yvonne is riding behind husband Pdub.
We minimize our time on the Interstate by taking an exit only 6 miles up the road and work our way around the north side of Davis.

We were intending to call this our annual Polar Bear Ride, but the weather played a trick on us. It was 79° today in both Calistoga and Sonoma which are very close to their historical high temperatures for this date.

The traffic on Hwy 128 was not too heavy, but a slow moving pick up took his time before pulling over to let us pass.

The entrance {exit} to the CornersTaking our first break at the Corners
Eric and Daniel
Jess and Pdub checking out a KTM
It is so warm that everyone is taking off layers of clothing and/or taking liners out of their jackets. We could all have used our Summer mesh jackets today. Very little traffic on Hwy 128 to Silverado Trail. We made good time.

Silverado Trail had some traffic as I think the sunshine and warmth brought out the drivers taking a weekend trip to the Wine Country.

A picture of Buster's sign
Waiting to order at Buster'sShould I get the tri-tip sandwich?

Here's a photo of my tri-tip sandwich with cole slaw. I ordered mine with the bread on the side.
Pdub was the only one who did not have the tri-tip sandwich. He opted for the ribs.
Pdub shares a rib with his wife, Yvonne
Just eatingHere's Buster reading the paper. He just flew in from cold, rainy Chicago last night.

Daniel and Jess waiting their turn for the John
Pdub had to wash his hands after eating the ribs
The weather was so nice that this is another batch of tri-tipJess has to get home to order some counter tops for his home remodeling. Eric and Daniel also need to head back home so they will skip the Ride to Sonoma. So the three bikes head south on Hwy 29 to take a cross road over to Silverado Trail and through Napa to Hwy 12 and over to I-80.
I did get home in time to make it to the granite countertop shop to place my order for the kitchen remodel. --- Jess
Meanwhile two of my bikes {Pdub is borrowing my 1999 Triumph Legend until he gets his new bike} and Phil's Nomad continue over to the Petrified Forest Road and on to Santa Rosa. This way we can ride through the Valley of the Moon, one of Sonoma Counties better wine growing regions and a very picturesque ride. But Hwy 12 through the Valley of the Moon is quite busy almost all of the time. We do turn off into Glen Ellen and take Arnold Drive into Sonoma.

The Sonoma Town Square is full of people. With the tempearature at 79° I think a lot of people just wanted to walk around outdoors somewhere.

We arrive at the parking lot right next to the Chocolate Cow
Can't wait to order the ice cream
But first Pdub had to get the lock combination to use the facilities
Now refreshed it was time to order the ice cream

The young ladies working the counter were camera shy and ducked as I took a picture of the candy counter
The truffles here are "to die for"
A posed photo of Yvonne, Pdub, Renee and Phil
Here is a photo of me in front of the Chocolate Cow
Some pictures of the ice cream
I had the fat free Raspberry Sorbet. Not because it was fat free, but because they did not have my favorite hazel nut gelato today.
Pdub loaded up on some candy treats from his childhood that are becoming hard to find.

Todays Riders and their bikes:

Don I. ......................... BMW F650GS
Pdub with Yvonne ..... Don's Triumph Legend
Phil T. with ReneƩ ..... Kawasaki Nomad
Daniel B. .................... V-Strom 650
Eric B. ........................ Harley Davidson
Jess H. ....................... Triumph Sprint