Friday, November 27, 2009

2009 Nov 27 - Black Friday Brunch

2009 Nov 27 - Black Friday Brunch (Lil Doc, Manjo and Sherm)

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

Our Black Friday Brunch was suppose to be at Bette's Oceanview Diner in Berkeley, but the waiting time at Bette's was from one to one and a half hours. So we ventured the quarter of a mile to Brennan's. Brennan's is located under the University Avenue railroad overpass.

While I was waiting in front of Bette's to redirect people to Brennan's I happened to see something for our friend Jest.
Jest had actually started his ride to the Brunch, BUT...

damn weatherman!
been gorgeous all week, sunny, moderate....had been looking forward to a nice ride over to meet manjo, see don and howard et al.....the one day i don't read the morning paper, it calls for rain and cleaned, gassed, check...daughter to friends house, check...(wife and son had plans).....back out the bike, its nice out, a little overcast, but calm and
a good 50 degrees....check....figure with everyone at the malls and departure time, it'll be a great little ride an hour up the road to berkeley, see friends old friends and new over some good grub....

dressed warm, but rain never even crossed my mind.....get onto 17, and 10 minutes later the freeway is crawling, even stop and go in spots....raining like hell....i was dressed for comfort, not to be a sponge for a day...within 10 minutes, i'm soaked to the bone....i figure, ok, i can handle this, probably just a burst that'll clear up any minute....traffic crawls past a few malls, the airport....make it over to the the east bay, still pouring...look ahead, the sky was dark...either an eclipse, or its a

gave it some more time, passing through milpitas....thinkin to myself, had i worn some raingear, this would still be a drag, but doable....picked the wrong day to wear an open mask...:)...

as water ran down my crack, i said screw this........

hope the rest of ya made out all right,
....sure hate missing a vroc chow down...:)


Here is where we were. Brennan's now occupies the old Southern Pacific Railroad Station. The only Amtrak train that stops next to it now is the Capitol Corridor, which runs from San Jose to Colfax. More trains use the tracks including the California Zephyr. They just don't stop at Berkeley.

The entrance to Brennan's

Irish Coffee what else would you expect at a place named Brennan's

Brennan's moved to this refurbished train station in 2008. Before they were located right across the parking lot road in what looked like an old warehouse. The old place had a lot of ambience reminded you of somewhere that you would find the Maltese Falcon. The food line is cafeteria style and the food is traditional Hof Brau and plenty of it.
Big turkey, roast beef and sausages

Uwe was the first in line as usual. :-) He and his wife Rad had ridden their bikes from Pacifica to join in on the Brunch.

Here's Uwe's order {actually he and Rad split this} Pastrami Sandwich, fries, coleslaw and a piece of cheesecake.

Here is Nite Lite's pastrami dip with smashed taters and a piece of pie.

Now Sherm's brother-in-law Richard does not look like a big eater, but he had the ham plate with potatoes smothered in gravy and a few veggies.

Manjo ordered a more sensible fish and chips.

My dipped brisket sandwich. There are more layers of meat that do not show up in the photo.

I took this of the guy behind me who had the dipped roast beef.

We had already staked out a long table for 10 {there were 9 of us}. So everyone carried their stuff over to the table and began eating. The one hour plus wait at Bette's would have given us a bit too much time to visit. Plus Sherm was hungry. :-)
Lil Doc had two Shrimp side salads and Manjo's fish again. Manjo insisted on buying my lunch.

Sherm was busy taking photos, since there was a possibility that they would show up in a magazine article.
Rad on the left, Makini with the yellow hat who rode his Nomad from Vacaville and Richard chowing down.

Rad, Uwe, Sherm, Nite Lite, Lil Doc {hidden}, Manjo and Makini.

Lil Doc, Manjo and Makini.

The whole table.

We sat around and shot the stuff for quite awhile then headed off in every which direction.
It was a fun get together and not often that we have VROCers from across the country in our neighborhood in the late Fall.

I "stole" the next two pictures of everyone from Sherm.

Those who made it:
Manjo and Lil Doc from MA.
Sherm from Yuma
Richard from Santa Rosa
Nite Lite from Petaluma
Makini from Vacaville
Uwe and Rad from Pacifica
Don "vsp" from Stockton


Saturday, October 24, 2009

2009 Oct 24 - Cranky's TriTip

2009 Oct 24 - Cranky's TriTip in Tracy Ride (Altamont Crossings)

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

Click here to view Cranky's Blog about this Ride

Today's Ride is a double crossing of the Coast Range between Livermore, CA and Tracy, CA with the wonderful Palomares Road thrown in.

Here is what has to say about Palomares Road:

If I had to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is where it'd be.

Forget about the house on the hill costing a million smackers.

This'll do just fine.


This road isn't all that long, say about 10 miles, and somewhat hard to find running north-south in between the Walpert Ridge and Sunol Ridge.

We are meeting at a McDonalds since I am old and need my Senior Coffee and a Restroom. :-)

Roy C. in the black cap and Eric D. the tall guy

We have a couple of new to our VROC Rides today. Mike from Manteca and Sid and Emily from San Mateo.

Sid and Emily and Mike at the back table

Our official greeter Cranky shaking Mike's hand

Mike and Sid and their bikes

Eric and Capt Redbeard

Cranky and Roy C

There are seven (7) bikes lined up and getting ready to pull out of the parking lot as I see Rad from Pacifica, CA on her green machine pulling in. I wave to her to get into line. So there are eight (8) bikes for the Ride.

Here is a map of today's Ride Route for more detail click on the View Larger Map.

View Larger Map

One mistake in my ride planning was to not have a pit stop in Livermore. So I pull off of Tesla Road onto Cross Road and a farmer's wide driveway for an impromptu "butt break".

Rad phoning Uwe that she made the Ride, barely.

These next photos are really out of sequence since they are photos of Patterson Pass Road which we rode after lunch. But I figured that some road pictures are needed here. :-)
I don't know if the Speed Limit is ever enforced. I have never seen a LEO on this road.

Oh yeah. It is a two way traffic, one lane road already and the sign says "Road Narrows"
{funny thing is that the road gets narrower}

More and more windmills along the Altamont

This is the wide part of the road and more windmills

The road really does get narrower

Here we are parking in front of {well to the side of} Shorter's Rib Pit in Tracy.

Rad, Eric and Cranky ordering from Donelle Shorter {Dave's wife}.

These two ladies took a picture of me and some others as we were ordering but the picture came out blurred. Oh well. They were happy that they got here just before us and did not have to wait for nine orders in front of them. :-)

Okay. Time for the obligatory food photos.
My brisket sandwich with the sauce on the side.

I tried eating it as a sandwich, but wound up eating the meat with my fork

Tri tip with a side of potato salad

Tri tip with a side of green beans

Cranky's pulled pork sandwich

Roy was the last one served since he ordered the catfish which had to be prepared

My rib dinner with coleslaw and black eyed peas from a previous visit. :-)

And the only one who had room for dessert was Capt. Redbeard. Here is his sweet potato pie.

Today's Riders:
Cranky S. -------- San Jose --- #16804
Capt Redbeard---Fremont --- #18179
Sid/Emily---------San Mateo - #21235
Rad P--------------Pacifica ---- #26674
Eric D-------------Castro Valley - Guest and many time HSVROC Attendee
Roy C-------------Castro Valley - #16477
Mike S------------Manteca ------ #27964
Don vsp----------Stockton ------ #5569


Saturday, October 10, 2009

2009 Oct 10 - Welcome Kevin R. Ride

2009 Oct 10 - Welcome Kevin R. Ride {Carmel Valley Road}

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

We are meeting at the McDonalds on Hwy 68 in Salinas. Today's ride is to welcome new VROCer, Kevin R. who just bought his first motorcycle, a 900. He will be taking his MSF Course next weekend so we will avoid any Freeways. Kevin is a young Lieutenant in the Navy attending the Naval Post Graduate School.

Cranky and Kevin looking at my bike, Cranky's and Top Dawg's

Funny looking Vulcan?

Although lunch is only 30 minutes or so and our first stop, Top Dawg just has to have a fried apple pie. :-)

Eating his Health Food, apple pie.

It is only a short 15 mile ride which takes a bit over a half an hour to the far end of Carmel Valley Village to get to Billy Quon's. Of course I overshoot the driveway and we have to double back.
Just 100 yards past the restaurant is the sign on Carmel Valley Road that states No Services for the next 41 miles.
The Volcano Grill and Mai Tai Bar parking lot side

The owner, Billy Quon behind the register

We are seated in the Lanai on comfortable sofas. There are three sofas and four of us so the two skinniest must share a sofa. :-)
A neat table

The two "big" guys get their own sofa

Another type of table in the Lanai { photo of their dessert later}

This is the main dining room decorated for Halloween.

Below is the Specials and Dessert Menu. Full Menu here.

Lunch Menu

$8.95 WiKi-Wiki Locals Lunch

Chinese Chicken Salad
Served with sweet Hawaiian rolls and coconut butter

Haleiwa Fish Tacos
Napa cabbage, carrots, celery, & mint. Served with sweet Thai chili sauce.“Volcano”

Kona BBQ Baby Back Ribs
with french fries

Kobe Beef Sliders
Two mini-gourmet Kobe Beef burgers with sweet potato fries

Cheeseburger & Fries
One half pound cheeseburgers with fries

Hawaiian Kahlua Pork Sliders
Two of our delicious Pork Sliders with sweet potato fries

Quesadilla Of The Day

Cuban Black Bean & Pork Soup
with a Volcano Grill Salad or Caesar Salad

Lunch Dessert Specials

Caramelized Banana Cream Pie 4.95

Arctic “Dri-Ice” Bon Bons 1.95 each

Top Dawg insists on eating healthy so he orders the Chinese Chicken Salad.

Kevin is still in his 20's so he has the half pound Cheeseburger and Fries.

I ordered the Mini Kobe Beef burgers, but Cranky and I traded one each.

Cranky ordered the Fish Tacos and I traded him one burger for one taco.

Putting on the "stuff"

No one at our table could eat a dessert. So I had to bother other patrons to take a photo of the two special lunch desserts.
From the next table this is the Carmelized Banana Cream Pie. They said it was delicious.

Now here are the ladies from the photo above. They shared an Arctic “Dri-Ice” Bon Bon.
Cool presentation, huh.

We then rode Carmel Valley Road with no incidents. But then I missed the Elm Avenue exit to Greenfield another double back. Then we had to retrace our route since the other road that we we going to take had a bridge out. Then only one more missed turn.

Now at Greenfield it had gotten warm. Everyone unlayered. Then we got back headed north and the wind started blowing hard and the temperature dropped 15°. Man was I freezing by the time we got to the Ride End. Which was a wide spot on River Road and Hwy 68. River road becomes Reservation Road and a straight shot for Kevin to get back home.

We say our good byes and split up to head on home.
Cranky and Kevin

Top Dawg cinching up his helmet

I think our next ride may be the kinda Annual Polar Bear Ride {NorCal PBR}.

~end for now