Last Saturday I met up with a few riders from SBR and rode a “group ride” from San Jose to Patterson. This was my first ride in such a setting. The original SBR thread made it pretty clear that “This is not a NUB friendly ride”, so I was a little intimidated at first. I was also the only rider on a dual sport. The other six riders were on sport bikes (a Honda CBR1000, Ducati Monster, BMW S1000RR, Suzuki DL1000 and a couple of Yamaha FZ1s).
We met up at Green Bites Cafe in San Jose and took 680 to Calaveras. Calaveras is goaty enough for a DR to keep up with the sportbikes. I had fun on the twisties, keeping up with the not-so-mellow pace of the leader Rick. We got off Calveras and rdoe through Livermore to Mines Rd. This was my first time on Mines Road and I was pleasantly surprised. Nice curvy asphalt with lots of shade and not too much change in elevation. The gravel was loose in a few places, but it did not matter much with my knobbies.
We pit stopped at The Junction, where bladders were emptied and cigarettes were smoked. We then got onto Del Puerto Canyon Road towards Patterson. I must say that Del Puerto Canyon has been my favorite road in the Bay Area so far. The road follows a creek for most of the way. Excellent views, moderately challenging twisties and great pavement (a few rocks here and there) made for a fun ride.
We had lunch at Patterson and I decided to slab it back. Seventy five miles of pure interstate at 90+ mph does not make for a fun ride. Before the Altamont Pass I was pretty much at 100mph (indicated) all the time. At those speeds, and especially out in the windy central valley, the windshield was pretty much useless. It was bending all the way back over the headlight fairing providing very little resistance to the wind.
I made it home safely, but exhausted after 200+ miles of riding. I loved the whole group ride thing and might try it out again. 😀 Next time, I should remember to take along my camera.