The Breakfast Club: San Luis Obispo
Saturday, 9 Apr 2016
What a difference a year makes. Last year everyone had an excuse as to why they could not go to Death Valley. That didn’t stop a group of 10-12 from going to San Luis Obispo for dinner as is typically done the final night of the spring Death Valley run. This year we didn’t bother scheduling a spring Death Valley ride, instead putting dinner in SLO on the schedule for a Saturday night. I was certain we’d get a great turnout. I was certainly wrong.
I’ll blame the rain. That and the required two night minimum stay at some of the motels and the jacked up weekend rates at the others. Not many riders said they would ride. Some of those who had initially said yes backed out a few days before leaving. They missed a good ride and a great dinner.
The trip started a day early for Rob. He flew to San Diego on Friday to pick up the Indian he’s been talking about for months. It’s a ‘14 model (he liked the blue color available that year) with low miles.
Carl left earlyish Saturday morning heading down 101. Poul left about the same time but took the hightway 25 route. I wasn’t in any hurruy so didn’t leave until about 8:30. I soon ran into light rain… more water was being kicked up by traffic than pouring from the sky. I also took 25 to Hollister, stopping at the Cozy Cup for breakfast. The light rain stopped at about the highway 25 exit from 101. It was dry the rest of the ride.
I stopped at the 25/198 junction where I chatted with Steve, another rider stopped for a rest break. He is from the SLO area, but was heading to southern Cal. He rode off on 198 toward Coalinga where he was going to turn onto southbound highway 33. I took Peach Tree Rd which turns into Indian Valley Rd. I did not see a single vehicle until I got to San Miguel where I stopped for gas before jumping onto 101 for the last 40 miles into SLO.
I saw Carl as I pulled into SLO and the Super 8 where we were staying. We chatted a while while waiting for our rooms to be ready for check-in. I checked my phone to find a text/picture from Rob that was about 2 hours old. At that time he was 80 miles away. He’d be arriving soon.
Rob arrived on his new-to-him Indian as were unpacking the bikes. Of course we had to stand around and admire his Blue and Chrome beast. I commented on the lack of fringe. Rob opened his saddle bag to demonstrate that some fringe came with the bike. One of his first modifications was removal of same.
We settled into the area where once was a pool. It is now a concrete slab still with depth marking in tile telling us how deep the pool used to be. Rob brought some snacks. He expected a larger group, not knowing that many changed their plans. We chatted for a while before beginning our walk to the restaurant.
Poul was staying in the motel across the street. He mentioned riding to the restaurant so we left, planning on meeting him there. That we did, but a little later than we expected. Poul changed his mind and decided to walk, too. His walk was a little longer as he was looking for us before we left.
The restaurant does not take reservations so we got there good an early; a little before 5 PM. It was mostly empty at that hour. We ordered some drinks while waiting for Poul and the 5 PM start of dinner service.
The food and service was wonderful. The company was pretty good, too.
After dinner we started our walk back to the motel. Poul offered to treat us to a desert of local beer on the way back. We found the perfect place to take him up on his offer. Along the way we found SLO’s gum wall. Pictures were taken.
We stopped at Central Coast brewing where many locally brewed beers are on tap. My choice was the Catch 23 Dark Rye IPA which I thought was an amusing name. A dark pale ail? Name aside, it was pretty good. I didn’t hear any complaints from the others, either.
After our beer desert we finished our walk to the motel and said our good nights. Poul was spending another day in SLO as this was his first visit. Carl, Rob, and I were going to head up the coast. Kickstands up at 7:30 AM.
Sunday, Apr 10 2016
Sunday morning Rob gave me a little crap about “sleeping in”. Perhaps. I don’t need an hour to move a couple of bags from motel room to the bike. As it was we were ready to leave at 7:20.
Mostly ready. As Carl pulled away and I started to follow Rob yelled “wait”. His bike has an electronic keyless ignition, but the handlebars still won’t turn when the forks are locked. That needs a real key.
We had breakfast at the Redwood Cafe in Cambria, about 40 miles from SLO. Rob got gas and we headed south. The next planned stop and place to meet up if we got separated would be Nepenthe.
There was very little traffic on highway 1. I only passed 5 cars between Cambria and Gorda and not many more than that later. I stopped to take a few photos. Carl passed me at that time. It was starting to mist up a bit.
The mist turned to light rain about 10 miles south of Nepenthe. We still stopped and enjoyed a coffee and capucino in the Cafe Kevah. About 11 we were informed that the cafe was closing at 11:30 – it was starting to rain a little harder and the restaurant would be open them. Didn’t make any difference to us. We were on our way home.
Carl left first. I waited for Rob to get ready… new bike needs new routines and Rob doesn’t have them down quite yet. It didn’t help that someone came over to talk about his bike as we were trying to leave. Because of that we never saw Carl again.
Rob an I took 1 north to 68 where we headed to 101 at Salinas hoping for a bit less rain. What we got was a lot more traffic. 101 from North of Prunedale to Gilroy was stop and go. I split lanes into Gilroy where I stopped for Gas. Rob, too. I wonder what kind of mileage his new bike gets?
Gilroy to home is all freeway. Not too much traffic but an on and off light rain. There were a few idiots of the kind that merge onto the freeway and cut across 4 lanes to get to the fast lane – at 60 MPH – to make the ride a little more interesting. I was home abiout 2:15.