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Old 08-08-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
CanyonChaser OP
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My trip to MotoGP - or - Reconnecting with my Dad

So, I haven't really spent any time with my father in about 20 years. In fact, the last time we did anything he was the age I am now.

For years we kept saying "we need to go for a ride again" - but this year we finally made the commitment and decided MotoGP was calling.

Dad is actually full-time paid minister for CMA (Christian Motorcyclist Association). So he rarely rides for fun. He's mostly crossing the country on his GoldWing whilst pulling a trailer. This trip would be very different for him.


Having ridden across Nevada enough times to know that I never wanted to do it again, we decided to trailer to Reno. I would leave my house in Salt Lake and head up to his home in Cache Valley.


We loaded up his Buell Ulysses and got ready to head west. Dad normally rides an HD Ultra Classic or a GoldWing, but picked up his "Uly" after riding my Gen I MTS. Still, he rarely rides it.


Ahhh. Crossing Nevada...


We left the truck and trailer inside a friends warehouse in Reno, and then started the actual riding first thing Thursday morning.


It's kinda amazing how much the world changes between Reno and Tahoe.


We planned to ride around the back-side of Lake Tahoe as Dad is always on his way to someplace else and has never seen some of the "off-the-beaten path" sights.


I figured we'd get into the swing of not rushing to the next location by stopping for coffee.


Not a bad view...


I spent quite a bit of time programming the Zumo so I'd be able to just following the bouncing ball across California. This proved to be a very wise decision and made the trip a lot more fun because I wasn't constaly navigating.


Panorama!


Dad was pretty impressed


Back on the road. We had a lot of canyons to chase down.


First off was Ebbetts Pass (CA-89)


One of my favorite roads


I just love this view!


We then did Sonora Pass (CA-108), then down CA-49 and into Yosemite.


Obligatory El Cap. Photo...


One for dad as well...

We woke up the first thing in the morning and headed off to cross the Sacramento Valley before it got hot. Then it was onto find the top of Mount Hamilton (CA-130).


Be mindful of one-lane bridges


We found Lick Observatory


And stopped for the obligatory photo


Look at all that wiggly!

Soon afterwards Dad got to experience lane splitting for the first time. For the entire trip he talked about how it was his favorite part. It was like breaking all the rules, but without getting into any trouble.

But first thing the next morning, we found ourselves here!



It was a little foggy...



I just had to take a photo of this bike


I took Dad to Cannery Row and we looked at all the cool bikes.


One of his first bikes was a Honda Dream. Now, Dad has been to Sturgis more times than any of us can remember, yet he was totally impressed with MotoGP because of how much more motorcycle diversity there was. There are more motorcycles than just those emblazoned with the bar and shield.


Stay tuned. More to come... :)
dp
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #2
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After MotoGP, the actual "ride" began.


We started by heading north, back towards Skyline Boulevard (CA-9) and decided to try many of the smaller roads that network off of Skyline.


It was time for some food - and what better place than Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want. I had the Norton burger. Oddly, there were no Ducati themed menu options. I remember their used to be a Desmo special, but I didn't see it this time around.

Next we headed into San Francisco for one specific purpose. Ride Lombard Street.



Unfortunately all the other tourists had the same idea and we had to queue for about five minutes before we had our chance to lumber down Lombard.


It was a lot steeper (and slower because of all the traffic) than I would have expected and I had a hard time getting any decent photos. This was the best one.


Looks like a scene from one of the best Car Chases of all time! Herbie Rides Again. ;)


Then it was time to head to the Golden Gate Bridge.


It was covered in traditional San Francisco fog


But as we got to the other side the fog started to clear.


Then I took Dad up Conzelman Road to get this famous view.



It's quite epic!


From there, the day was getting late, so we raced up the coast towards Stewarts Point where we'd catch Skaggs Springs Road

The next day we rode back towards the coast on Boonville Road (CA-253) and Mountain View Road.


This may have been my favorite road of the trip and where I got one of my favorite photos


We reconnected with CA-1 and rode north a little ways and then turned inland on CA-128, finding ourselves back in the big trees


Dad had never seen the big trees before...


...so, we decided to stop


It just sorta makes you feel small and insignificant




Once back inland, we turned north until we found CA-20 where we ran back to the coast. The road was freshly paved but under heavy construction with lots of traffic. Hindsight, I should have used the one road south, Orr Springs Road/Comptche Ukiah Road. Oh well, next time.


We stopped in Fort Bragg and I picked up some toys for my boys. Jake and Sprocket. I started doing this years ago, pick up a stuffed animal, attach it to the back of the bike where it picks up many scents from my travels. The dogs seem to treasure these toys more than any others.


Next stop! How can you miss the Drive-Thru Tree?


I think I have a photo from this angle from every trip I've made up the coast.


Me and pop - I'm on the right ;)

The next day we set out to find the Lost Coast.


Not here...


Here either...


Found it!


One last stop in Ferndale. Everything looked like it had been untouched for fifty years... The photo's just didn't seem to capture it...


Instagram to the rescue!

At this point, Dad really wanted to get home. His aniversary was just a few days away. So we sorta scratched the rest of the trip and headed inland on CA-36


A pretty great road, actually. Fast sweepers, tight switchbacks, one-lane sections, big trees.


CanyonChasers Approved! (at least until CalTrans removes my vandalism)


We stopped for gas in Red Bluff and then headed inland... Oh what a difference a few miles makes!


We ran out of daylight just outside of Quincy. Which, according to this sign, puts it about 1/2 a mile from nowhere.


We arrived back in Reno first thing Thursday morning, loaded up the bikes, including one stow-away, and headed for home. Eight days. Five days of actual riding, and 2,000 miles traveled. I managed to wear out both the front and rear tires on my MTS (both were new tires) and dad wore out the rear on his Uly. Good times!!


Thanks for reading!
dp
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