The Breakfast Club: Los Gatos Cafe
Sunday, 28 Feb 2016
After breakfast at the Los Gatos Cafe some left for an adventure in the dirt. Others went up 9/35 to Alice’s. We met Chris at Alice’s. A dead battery kept him from meeting in Burlingame and a non-working snafu server kept him from finding where in Log Gatos we were having breakfast.
Alberto’s pics start here.
The day before, on Saturday, I was already wired. Tomorrow, Sunday, promises to be a good day for me. This became evident by getting up earlier than a normal Sunday ride, you see I had to get my new-to-me Mororcycle up and ready.
I traded my old Versys for Pete-the-cop’s old bike, a 2007 Kawasaki KLR with 26,000 miles on it. Now if you know Pete, those are not baby miles, you can bet that bike is glad to have a new owner. We’ll put that story aside for some other time.
Up early, and headed to the Los Gatos Coffee Shop to find WWWobble and Russ already yappin. Shortly the usual felons arrive, we were 12 I think.
Surprise! Mike Geggie whom I had not seen for a while also came by.
Good to see that Uber allows him a Sunday off.
Unfortunately snafu.org was down and many would not know where breakfast would be served. In this manner we missed Chris Weld who called my phone wondering where? And luck had it my phone was not on.
Still, on this day, I ate in a hurry. Markus and I had things to do. He and I had signed up at Doc Wong’s Dual Sport Seminar a couple of weeks ago. Friday last we had a lecture and today at 9:00 am we meet to ride.
“Alberto, you are so wired, take it easy” this, at my almost pushing Markus onto his bike to get going. We still have to go to Almaden Xpwy and highway 85. We only have twenty minutes for the next seven miles… Hurry! Don’t wanna be late! Needless to say we got there not too early, already there were maybe thirty motorbikes hanging around.
Someday I will be silent and chances are my life will be easier.
At the parking lot, among 40 or so riders Doc Wong said “we are too many, so we must break up into four groups, by ability, 1 for accomplished riders, 4 for the less skilled”. I discuss it with Markus, and while he is already an accomplished dirt-rider, he will stick with me so as to ensure I do not get into trouble.
I figure on belonging to group 3. Not the slowest. Markus agreed. As we are sorting, Doc Wong does a head count and my group has 16 riders and he requests a few volunteer for … “this group over here”, as he puts it. “Markus? What do you think… Let’s volunteer, no biggie, practicing slow is okay” - and so we moved. Like I said, I should have kept my mouth shut… We now are on group - whatever the number, - on the most advanced! Ouch!!
Departing the bagel store, we head out to the hills.
Markus knows my penchant for being lost-at-all-times, for the benefit of all of you, he promptly sent me an email after the ride detailing the specific roads, so that this historical-fiction has some irrefutable facts…
- Calero County Park (right where McKean Rd turns into Uvas)
- Casa Loma Rd
- Loma Chiquita Rd
- Loma Prieta Rd
- Mt Madonna Rd / Loma Prieta Way / Sumit Rd
- Ormsby Cutoff
- Sumit Rd
- Mt Madonna Rd (paved)
- Hazel Dell (paved)
- Browns Valley (paved)
This is an important list of roads, as we at SMBC could, on any given Sunday, ride the area, which was heavenly, both in elevation and beauty.
So as to not disappoint read on…
At the place were the dirt road starts there is a fair size dirt parking lot. We will do some drills prior to riding.
While doing the Balance Drill, where, with the engine off and not rolling, you are to get on your pegs for a long as you can. For me that was three seconds. Yes!
Out of a total of forty riders I was the first to fall off the bike. I used my well learned technique to pick up my bike (thank you Markus). Later, I see this girl (and a good looking one I may add) down she goes! To her aid, no less than five guys to the rescue! What-da-hey! No one so much as gave me a look… She, gets help from no less the five!
But, that help is to her detriment, you see, with all that help she still does not how to pick up her bike. I muttered to myself, (“common guys, let her do it, she is here to learn!”).
A few minutes later, out of compassion I went over to her, and told her: “miss, don’t let them help, you will need this technique some day, and you may be on your own”. I am certain she appreciated that, but I had more to say; “miss, I was the first one down, and you are the second one down… Do not feel bad. I also was the third one down! “
I now add two more bike-down to my count… Going on 13. When I got the BOOT at Gardnerville… Well, I had a reputation to uphold!
Almost an hour of drills and we were ready to ride.
Uphill, downhill, hair-pin turns, ruts and holes. All was present. If I say to be disappointed, call me an idiot! But I was prepared mentally and emotionally for far more difficult riding. That it was as it was, is good. Doc Wong catered to a relatively inexperienced group… Good to have them finish on a happy and positive note.
The days riding was great, and I hope we go there sometime with all of SMBC. I rode like the wind, and I was good! Holding my own like a pro.
Returning home via Eureka Canyon Road, Markus inspired kept a lively pace…. Home by 4:00 pm
Like I said, it was a good day.
Click here to open a google map of the route.