So the day started at about 8:30, I cracked my blinds and the room just filled with that warm, buttery sunlight that gave this blog its name. A few tiny wisps of cloud hung in cliques, but in general, it was the solid, summer, blue, California sky. I wolfed some breakfast, tried to stir up some interest in an R029 SV ride (everyone was busy), and headed for the twists. I knew it wouldn’t be amazing as it was raining all of yesterday, so I wasn’t expecting to be teasing my knee above the pavement, but it was so beautiful out, I just wanted to be riding, and it’s beautiful up there. First piece of unexpectedness was that it was fucking cold. In my room, the sun was warm, wrapping me up in toastiness. On the moto? Oh man. Luckily, I always stuff a sweatshirt in my backpack to act as camera cushioning. By the time I was about halfway between 92 and 84, heading south on Skyline, I had to pull over. When I flipped up the windscreen on my helmet my breath materialized in front of me in a diaphanous cloud as if there was a small fire burning in my mouth. It smelled great out though, wintery, redwoods, eucalyptus, woodsmoke… I got myself packed back into my jacket, now with sweatshirt underneath, and ripped open some atmosphere as I rolled on the throttle. I still love that Delkevic exhaust. One thing I notice about having to layer up like that though, is I feel like a stuffed sausage and have trouble moving my arms and head around. Another reason I can’t wait until summer.
The second unexpected thing was that some of the turns were actually dry enough to get down into. More on that in a bit. I finally got up to the trading post across from Alice’s and had to hang out for a while while my fingers and face warmed up. The sun in the parking lot was saving my life. It was also a great opportunity to people and moto watch. The regular old guys were up there, a group hanging around a gaggle of MG’s(cars?), a few Harley’s (blat, blat, blat), and one crazy, old yellow Ducati, a number 7 painted on a race badge above the back tire. It was actually pretty sick. I was kind of parked away from everyone else just sitting and warming. Then a blue GSXR rides in, full leathers, and I wonder if he knows some drier place. We nod hey to one another and he crosses over to Alice’s to get coffee. Another guy rides in, Alpine Stars leather jacket and I don’t even know what kind of bike he’s on, but I don’t really know my bikes very well. It looks like an old Monster. It’s painted matte black, red rims, a red hourglass design painted on the gas tank, and a spider painted on the tail. I’m guessing he calls his bike the black widow. I didn’t look too close, but it seemed pretty cool, put together with old parts and pieces of wire. And he says, “Man, colder than I expected.” I nod and laugh. “I can’t feel my face,” he says as he walks over to the trading post to buy, what I later find out to be, oil.
Last group to roll in, about 10 of them, is a group of biker chicks. They were very cool. A red Ducati Monster, 2 SV’s, and then some assorted Honda’s and Yamaha’s. Like I said, I don’t know bikes other than my own. Gathering what I did from their conversation later, I think they drove down from the city to brunch at Alice’s. Pretty funny how everyone who rode in was complaining about how the cold took us all by surprise. I had warmed up by now and decided to brave 84 west to see if I could find some dry twists…
It’s funny how a little water can turn me from a semi-confident rider to a scaredy, noobie, squid. The bitch of it is you can go into a turn and it looks all nice and dry and roughed up like a tennis ball in the 4th game of the 1st set (haha, don’t get that reference? I’ll add footnotes) and about halfway through you discover the spot that, were route 84 west not here, would be (albeit small) a fast running creek. Nothing eats at my guts like that squirrelly little swivel you feel in the back tire when you are leaned over and you begin to lose traction. Bleh. I know where most of these little streams exist on 84 so I started taking some chances in places I thought I could. And on those dry ones I was really able to stuff the front tire down into the turn, feel everything grabbing, and lean deep into the curve of the double yellow line. I fucking love that, by the way.
Once I got out of the trees I could really open it up. The roads were dry and no one was on them. I had a slight scare when I came around one of those long, wavy curves to find a San Mateo County Sheriff car headed toward me, then brake lights and pulling to the side of the road like he’s going to do a u-turn after I passed him. He didn’t.
To shorten up a long post… I stopped briefly at the San Gregorio General Store to warm up again, headed out to Highway 1, went north to Tunitas Creek Road, took some hot moto porn photos and drove farther up the road to find a quiet side-of-the-road to take a piss. Does riding a moto shake all your pee through you faster or something? I find I have to constantly pee when I’m riding. Anyway, I think only one bicyclist was treated to a show as he surprised me coming from the other direction… Oh well. I turned around, headed back down 1 to 84 again. I figured there would be a few more dry patches on my way back. There were. More good turns, fewer scary spots, all in all, more than I could have hoped for since it rained yesterday. I basically back-tracked all the way to my house with a brief stop at the Trading Post and ran into the biker chicks coming out from finishing their brunch. Their service must have been excruciatingly slow. One of them explained to me how she could never get rid of this little “purse” she had because it fit so perfectly in her trunk. She then demonstrated. Perfect fit. I should have gotten in their biker chick group. I told them I would grow my hair out or something if I could hang with them. I wonder if they read bolty.net
I took a few more photos at that awesome spot on Skyline where you can see the ocean, San Francisco, Crystal Springs Resevoir, the bay and 2 of the 4 bridges. Such a great day. When I finally got home, I immediately got on my bicycle and took a long ride on the bay trail. A few more photos and some video snippets I might include. Finally, Jay texts me to see if I wanna go have Japanese food at Higuma in Redwood City with Scot, Bud, Donna and her. Since I’d eaten cereal for breakfast and had a couple pieces of cheese later in the day, I was ready. You have no idea how good that sushi and katsu curry was…