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Old 09-26-2005, 04:33 PM   #1
xxMax Powerxx
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Redwood City
Motorcycles: Ducati Streetfighter
Name: Wyatt
Perfect September 2 Day Ride

I'm sorry I don't have any pics; my camera batteries were dead. Truth is, we were going to fast to take many pics and we were stopped mostly at gas stations. No one wants a picture of a gas station...

This has been a tough summer, with work and home purchase and all... I was really stressed out and hadn't ridden hardly at all this season. My main riding partner (other founding member of STD - Sport Touring Derels) had moved to SLO... Long story short I convinced him to take 2 half days off work and go for a ride!

We got a late start on Saturday. I couldn't believe how sunny it was. We rolled out of Hayward around 11:00am. I was dead tired from a really long week of work and didn't have much time to prep for the ride... We headed up the 580 to Cloverdale and took the 128 to Boonville. I hate the superslab... But there just isn't a good route between the Bay and Santa Rosa. We stopped in Boonville for gas and lunch. Met a bunch of bikers who had been on the road awhile. A bunch of sport bike riders told us to look out for Melinda and an old guy and his wife (on a Venture) told us they rode 60k miles in year. We continued on 128 to Hwy 1. Kind of a slow start with mild twisties, which was good because both members of STD had a massive layer of rust to grind down on their riding skills. About half way to Hwy 1 we were pulled over for passing over a double yellow, in a construction zone. Not good. I don't understand how the cop found us, we passed him, standing outside his SUV, and didn't make any passes for a mile or so after that. He must have been looking for this kind of activity. Luckily he let us off after a stern lecture and review of our licenses. Sort of a birthday present to me. We headed up Hwy 1 to Fort Bragg and took Hwy 20 back to the 101. This is a very enjoyable piece of asphalt. I haven't seen it mentioned in Pashnit yet, but it was new pavement and had good curves. We fueled up in Willits and blasted 101 to Legget. At this point we were just over 250 miles, but fatigue had set in anyway. I told Matt to lead us down Hwy 1 back to Fort Bragg because I was getting sloppy and messing up his lines. I find it's a bit easier to follow than lead because you can kind of see where the road goes a little easier. Along the way we crossed paths with our lunchmates a couple times in oposite directions.

We headed back towards Fort Bragg and stopped at MacKerricher State Park to camp out for the night. I read a lot of good things about this camp ground and thought it would be the perfect spot. I couldn't believe it, but the "Campground Full" sign was being displayed. It was about 7pm, I didn't have the strength to pull the clutch in anymore and I was about to fall over. The attendant came out and told us there was one spot left!. We checked in, got some firewood and set up our tent. STD highly endorses MacKerricher State Park Campground. Clean, big, quite, semi-private. There is a lake and the Ocean!

We thought we'd be up with the sun, and out early the next day, but we didn't stumble out of the tent until about 9:30! By the time we struck camp, mounted up and checked out it was already after 10:30. So much for our early start.

We set out Southbound on Hwy 1 back to Mendocino. At this point we had about 2 gallons of fuel. I checked my notes and saw that we had about 30 miles to Ukiah, shouldn't be a problem, so we didn't stop (having gotten another late start we just wanted to keep going). We headed East on Comptche-Ukiah Road, through Comptche, a tiny town that wasn't even in the map software database that I use to calculate milage. After about an hour of endless twists and turns and almost no people I started to wonder about my milage estimate. At the top of the SECOND mountain range my low fuel light came on! Luckily it was downhill to Ukiah from there and I could conserve. The road was so twisty you had to keep the RPMs up almost the whole way and it was almost all 2nd gear. Road was pretty beat up for a good part of it, but it was a blast and the scenery was fantastic (coastal redwoods mixxed with Marin headlands-esque hills). We got to Ukiah and examined my notes again. I read the wrong line, it was about 79 miles!! Big difference on a 160 mile tank.

From Ukiah we found route 253 back to Boonville. This road is rediculously fun. Sweepers like skaggs and tighter stuff like Legget to coast Hwy 1! We took Mountain View Road from Boonville to Point Arena. This was fun, but not as good as Comptche-Ukiah, even though it shared similar characteristics (Think Skyline Hwy 35 and friends in Bay Area). It was downhill in that direction, which is tougher and more tiring, but also had a 2 foot wide scrape down the center of our lane for quite awhile that would upset the bike in curves.

We checked out the lighthouse in Point Arena, but they wanted $5per, and we could see it fine from the gate. From there we headed down Hwy 1 to Stewarts Point, with an M3 trying to play games with us. Luckily we have level heads and weren't taking his bait. He couldn't shake us off his tail and wanted to see what we could do, but STD was just riding at a leisurely pace.

We headed up Skaggs from Stewarts Point. The first part was kind of hairy, like the CU and Mountain View roads. By the time we got to the damn' and started down the fun stuff we were both wiped out. I took a deep breath and gave it my all. One last drive through some of the best roads in the world! By the time we got back down to Healdsberg, that was it. Nothing left in the tank. We followed behind an RV pulling a boat for several miles, into town. We just didn't have the strength to pass it.

After pounding another bottle of Vitamin Water and a Powerbar, we threw a weary leg over our steads and braved the gridlock from Santa Rosa to San Rafael. A little more gas and another Red Bull and we headed back to Hayward (about 45 more minutes). We arrived home just before dark, just after 7pm.

The weather was perfect, the roads were awesome, the camping was great. It was the perfect 2 day trip from the Bay area. Total mileage: 601.

Our tiredness was purely from not riding all summer. We aren't that big of wusses and have previously done much longer rides.
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Old 09-27-2005, 02:41 PM   #2
bhaynnes
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Sounds like a great ride. I've gotta try to get one more in before the end of the summer. NAH, I can always do them in the winter.
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:47 PM   #3
tuxumino
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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great write up.
I'll have to check out 20 next time I'm up to ft bragg.
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