The Breakfast Club: Dinner in SLO

Sunday, April 12 2015

The SMBC Ride Schedule said this was a weekend for Death Valley. For various reasons one rider after another either cancelled their DV plans or failed to make them in the first place. By the time it came to go only one rider — Alberto — was still interested in going. Not wanting to go to DV alone he headed south for a different destination. The events that kept riders from Death Valley did not get in the way of a ride to San Luis Obispo for dinner. Alberto planned his ride to meet us there. Sunday evening ten SMBC members met in SLO for dinner. Monday we rode home.

Alberto’s ride is well documented with words and pictures on his blog. This is my abbreviated version. Pictures from Bob, Markus, and me.

I’m used to riding alone with the breakfast club. That was not to be on this ride. I waited at the Ralston on-ramp to 92 for the “group”. Mike was it. I joined him for the ride to Cupertino. We picked up Paul on the way. Markus and Randy were waiting at the restaurant. All but Mike were going to SLO. Mike decided to make a ride of it by joining us until Hollister where he’d figure out some nice roads to return to the Bay Area.

(1) On the way to Hollister

(1) On the way to Hollister

(1) On the way to Hollister
(2) Rest stop

(2) Rest stop

(2) Rest stop

Randy and Paul gassed up in Hollister and followed Markus and Me until the intersection of 92 and Old Coalinga/Los Gatos Creek road where we stopped to stretch our legs and maybe lose a layer. Paul and Randy were going to continue south on 25. Markus and I were going to Coalinga for gas before heading to Parkfield.

(3) Old Coalinga Rd

(3) Old Coalinga Rd

(3) Old Coalinga Rd
(4) Suspension by Knees

(4) Suspension by Knees

(4) Suspension by Knees
(5) Don in Coalinga

(5) Don in Coalinga

(5) Don in Coalinga

The pavement on Old Coalinga/Los Gatos Creek hasn’t gotten any better. Markus spent some time using his knees for added suspension. I switched my suspension to “soft” mode. Whatever works. We stopped to fuel up and take a rest at the Chevron in Coalinga. While there we saw sometimes SMBC (and often MWR) rider Don show up on his wing. He was on his way home after a four day Pashnit ride.

Dan waits for the slow guys to arrive

Dan waits for the slow guys to arrive

Dan waits for the slow guys to arrive
Carl at the 25 / 198 junction

Carl at the 25 / 198 junction

Carl at the 25 / 198 junction
It's just a suggestion.....

It’s just a suggestion…..

It’s just a suggestion…..

While Markus and I were getting ready to leave Coalinga another group of SMBC members — Carl, Dan, and Bob and Polly – were heading south on 25. Bob took a couple of photos before his camera died. He blames the red Ducati for the failure. (He also got the camera cleaned and working after he got home).

(6) On Parkfield Grade

(6) On Parkfield Grade

(6) On Parkfield Grade
(6) Still some green

(6) Still some green

(6) Still some green
(7) Parkfield Grade

(7) Parkfield Grade

(7) Parkfield Grade

Markus and I heades west on 198 about 10 miles to pick up the Parkfield grade. At the top of the grade the pavement ends. It’s about 10 miles to Parkfield with the first five down hill hard packed dirt.

(9) Down hill and curves

(9) Down hill and curves

(9) Down hill and curves
(10) Traffic

(10) Traffic

(10) Traffic
(11) Markus out front

(11) Markus out front

(11) Markus out front
(12) End of the dirt

(12) End of the dirt

(12) End of the dirt
(13) Wide load

(13) Wide load

(13) Wide load
(14) Parkfield Cafe

(14) Parkfield Cafe

(14) Parkfield Cafe

The Parkfield Cafe is open on Sunday and sported a good crowd. Their steak sandwich is great. The do have veggy burgers for the non-meet eaters, but they were out. Markus settled for the grilled cheese sandwich.

(15) Cholame Rd

(15) Cholame Rd

(15) Cholame Rd
(16) View from Bitterwater Rd

(16) View from Bitterwater Rd

(16) View from Bitterwater Rd

After lunch we took Cholame Rd to 46 for a few miles then took Bitterwater road to SR 58. About the only thing seen on Bitterwater was ranch land and cattle. No traffic. No cars at all. Bitterwater runs into SR 58 about 35 miles east of Santa Margarita. Another 7 or 8 miles and we were in SLO, apparently the last to arrive. That’s what happens when you take the long way (about 300 miles) to go what for others was a less than 200 mile trip.

A usual fine dinner was had at the Big Sky Cafe in SLO. I understand the meal may have had a negative effect on Dan later. Perhaps he can fill in the details at breakfast next Sunday at the Two Bird Cafe.

Monday, April 13 2015

There was talk about going to Morrow Bay for breakfast Monday morning. I decided I was going to Cambria, instead. Since none of the breakfast in Morrow Bay people were around Markus and Alberto decided to join me for breakfast and a ride up the coast. I’m not going to ride alone on Monday.

(17) Alberto says hi

(17) Alberto says hi

(17) Alberto says hi
(18) Alberto

(18) Alberto

(18) Alberto

The coast was mostly overcast and cool. Traffic was medium. I’ve had more fun riding up the coast. I’ve had less fun, too.

(19) Picture taking time

(19) Picture taking time

(19) Picture taking time
(20) Marc at Nepenthe

(20) Marc at Nepenthe

(20) Marc at Nepenthe

We pulled into Nepenthe to enjoy a cup of coffee/capuchino and the view. So there was no view, today. I described it for Markus and Alberto and hoped their imagination was up to the task of filling in the blanks. Carl joined us at Nepethe. He’d had breakfast at his hotel and was going up the coast alone.

(21) Bob and Polly

(21) Bob and Polly

(21) Bob and Polly

Alberto, Markus, and I continued up the coast with one more stop near Santa Cruz to stretch our legs. While stopped Dimitry walked up to say hi! He and his wife were going for a late lunch at a restaurant close to where we had parked and recognized us. He was one of the riders whose Death Valley plans never quite jelled.

After our rest stop we headed up 17 to 85 north. Alberto pealed off at Saratoga. I knew Markus was going to stay on 85 and figured I’d ride the last 25 miles from the 85/280 junction to home, alone. Nope. While still on 85 I saw a motorcycle riding hooligan weaving through traffic to catch up with us. It was Bob with Polly as a passenger. They joined me as I waved good-bye to Markus and took 280 north to home.

Good DV ride. Even if we didn’t actually make it to the desert.