Where's the ice?
Sunday, 12 Mar 2006
Saturday evening Carl sent this message to the SMBC mailing list:
Subject: [smbc] Black Ice Forecast For Sunday This is not something you want to experience on a motorcycle. Don't ask me how I know. Take my advise and stay home. Carl
That was probably advice worth following given that the scheduled ride was to Mollies in Scott’s Valley. But some of us just have to go our own way! I figured I wouldn’t make up my mind until Sunday morning.
The home weather station said it was 40F at 6:47 AM. The sensor is pretty close to 500’ above sea level. We’ve ridden on much colder mornings. I figured I give it a try. I dressed nice and warm and got the heated lining out of the closet. I know it’s going to be a bit colder at higher elevations. Cold enough to have to turn around? Don’t know.
The temperature in the Garage was a nice 50F. No rain yet, although I expect showers along the way. I get my gear on, start the bike, and back it out of the garage just as the rain starts. Figures. Oh well, it’s off to the gas station first.
After gassing up I wait for a very short while at Ralston and 92, not really expecting anyone to show up. It starts raining a bit harder so I take off. By Woodside road I’m out of the rain and wondering if I should have worn my sun glasses. No problem… the overcast and rain starts again as I turn onto 87 from 280.
As I approach 17 there is a sign: 17 closed at the summit due to snow and an accident. OK, no breakfast at Mollies this morning. The next exit is Winchester. Flames is on Winchester. Flames is the designated backup restaurant. I take the Winchester exit and head north about 5 miles for a great breakfast at Flames.
After breakfast I head on north on 280, planning on going straight home. The bright, blue sky over Woodside/Redwood City cause me to re-think my plans. I take 84 up to Alice’s to see if there are any other idiots out this morning. No rain, but the road is still wet.
There were about 4 Sherrif vehicles parked in front of the store across from Alice’s. A CalTrans crew, or perhaps it was a San Mateo County crew, with a snow plow was parked at the 84/35 intersection, waiting for something to do. I suspect that the weather was not as bad as any expected. There was one other bike in the parking lot, but I did not see its rider.
Still snow on the side of the road, but not much more than I saw yesterday afternoon when I was riding on my R69S. There was less slush on the road than there was Saturday. Coldest I noticed was about 34F around Tunitas creek road. By the time I hit 92 the roads were dry.
All in all it was a nice, albeit short, ride. Too bad the rest of you stayed home.