Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 Aug 27 to 31 - Winnemucca to Ukiah

2009 Aug 27 - 31 - Winnemucca to Stockton to Ukiah

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This is not a NorCal Ride, but since it is my Blog. I can put it here. :-)

I had volunteered a while back to ride with Lil Doc from Winnemucca, NV to California on her cross country Ride along I-80 from Massachusetts to Silicon Valley.

In the mean time my Kiwi riding partner, Don Mardle VROC #26262 decided to visit me. These two events blended into one as the timing became jumbled for a variety of reasons.

Kiwi Don riding a Nomad arrives at my home on Aug 26th. He finds out then that we will be leaving in the morning for Winnemucca, NV. He has ridden in a lot of the United States but had never ridden the beautiful I-80 in Nevada. {that's a joke BTW}

So the morning of Thursday, Aug 27th we head out. First stop is the Flag City Flying J for gas. Next I have to take him for breakfast at the Market Club in Sacramento {Market Club 2008 Ride}. Then it is up to I-80 and head to Winnemucca.

There is a lot of construction on I-80 on both sides of Donner Summit, which slows us up considerably. We get to Lovelock for a break and I phone Lil Doc who is already at the motel.

She got an hour head start on us since she started the day in SLC on Mountain Time. Anyway, Duke (Ron Bennet, SLC, UT area) rode with her from SLC to Wells, NV. He would have ridden with her all the way to Winnemucca, but he did not bring a helmet and was already over 100 miles into Nevada with no helmet. And of course no motorcycle shops until Elko.

Dinner time in Winnemucca and of course I want to go to a Basque restaurant. There are four in Winnemucca, but the real choice is between the Martin Hotel and Ormachea's. But the latest word on Ormachea's is that it had gone down hill a little. So off we go to the Martin Hotel. Besides it is the one next to the railroad tracks where the first Basque restaurants are located in what ever town.
Kiwi Don in front of the Martin Hotel

Beef tongue, Basque beans and corn

My plate of sweetbreads

Lil Doc and Kiwi Don both had the Solomo - A boneless pork loin simmered with fresh garlic and pimentos.

Lil Doc paying the dinner bill

A young (20 something Basque girl who went to UOP in Stockton for two years) took this photo of VSP, Lil Doc and Kiwi Don

The next morning Lil Doc on her H-D Street Bob Trike, Kiwi Don on his Nomad and me on my '07 BMW F650GS head westward. We make it to Reno without incident. We stop at the Harley clothing store located in the Silver Legacy Casino in downtown Reno where Lil Doc wants to get something for her riding buddy. Well, when I stop in the parking lot my radiator overflow tank blows its cover and spews coolant. I am riding my BMW F650GS so I phone the dealership in Modesto to have them talk me through the coolant replacement. Kiwi Don heads off to get some coolant. Well I am not very mechanical so I put Kiwi Don on the phone and he figures out what needs to be done.

We have lost too much time to get back to California without riding through deer country in the dark. But we can make Minden easily and ride the more picturesque Hwy 88 on Saturday. We get as far as the Peppermill when my idiot light comes on.

Back to the cell phone where we are getting phone numbers from Kiwi Don's GPS, after a couple of false starts with calls to BMW Auto dealership. I get the right phone number and get directions to the BMW Motorcycle dealership. As I call Kiwi Don checks the obvious wire connections and fuses because we are not sure if the radiator cooling fan is working. No obvious problems so we get to the shop around 4:40 PM; they close at 6:00 PM.

Even though they have a couple of bikes that need work they take my bike in and find out that the fan itself is "shot". They do not have a spare in stock, so pull one off a showroom bike and install it in my bike. As I go to settle up my bill I find that my Warranty is a 3 year/36,000 mile and is good until Feb of 2010. So my bill is zero, zip, zilch which to me is a pleasant surprise. So I leave a little money for the Service Dept pizza fund.

Kudos to Sierra BMW Motorcycle and a special thanks to their Service Manager, Scott McKay.

But now it is 6:00 PM and we have to high tail it to get to Minden.

We get to Minden around 7:30 PM and over night and have dinner at the Carson Valley Inn because one of us wants to have a few glasses of wine with dinner and walk back to the room. :-)

Early, like dark yet, the next morning I ride the 3 miles to the 24 hour Scolari's in Gardnerville to buy a sweat shirt. We plan on getting to Carson Pass over 8,500 feet elevation around 8:30 AM and all I have is my mesh jacket without the liner.

It was a beautiful ride along Hwy 88. At Cook's Station which is at the 5,000 foot elevation marker we stop for a rest room break and to un layer. Within minutes descending from Cook's Station the temperature has risen considerably and we need to stop to undress more.

Kiwi Don is feeling the heat so we take the short detour off I-5 and drop him off at my home. Lil Doc and I head onward. We take the back roads over the Old Altamont Pass Road and frontage road to the Wienie shop at Vasco Road. A cool off break is needed. I ride to I-680 with Lil Doc then head back to Stockton.

The next morning , Sunday Kiwi Don and I head to the Golden Gate Bridge via Hwy 12, Hwy 121, Hwy 37 and Hwy 101.

View Larger Map

Heading into San Francisco, I am now riding my Moto Guzzi

Riding out of San Francisco

We ride to South Novato Blvd and stop at the French Cheese Company for a water break.
Over to Point Reyes Station then up Hwy 1 to Occidental and Lunner (lunch-dinner).

We are having the full dinner

My fried chicken with steak fries

Kiwi Don's Gnocchi

Our waitress bringing the bill

The matriarch of the Negri Family - Evelyn Negri

The movie house in Monte Rio is an old quonset hut building open one day a week

We take back roads all the way to Cloverdale then Hwy 101 to Ukiah.

Monday morning we head into town for breakfast at Schat's Bakery Café
We both have the:
Ciabatta & Chipolte Sandwich
Roasted turkey, eggs, avocado, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and jack cheese and red pepper chipolte on fresh baked Ciabatta bread.

For $6.95 it is huge and delicious. I have mine without the egg and still could only eat half. Both Kiwi Don and I take half a sandwich in a doggie bag.

My sandwich at top {no egg}. Kiwi Don has everything in his.

We ride together for one exit and we wave good bye as Kiwi Don heads to Boonville then the coast and on up to Eureka. I take a serendipitous route home.

Lil Doc and Kiwi Don had a bottle of Rodney Strong Merlot at dinner in Minden so I had to email this photo to Lil Doc.

I will be attending my good friend's son's wedding at Auberge Du Soleil this Saturday which is adjacent to the Rutherford Hills Winery. So I wanted a driving time estimate.
This is a photo of the Napa Valley taken from the picnic grounds at the Rutherford Hills Winery.

~End for now