RR58: COVID-19 Ride #3: Sierra Foothills

With several weeks into the coronavirus pandemic we had settled into a nice routine.  Weekdays were busy with homeschooling the kids, working from home and taking care of household chores. On the weekends, especially Saturdays, we had started doing lots of family hikes – long day hikes in and around the Bay Area (see bahiker.com). And on Sundays, I was able to ride several long day-rides exploring parts of California that I’ve always wanted to explore. The mild Spring weather was awesome, the hills were still green and the traffic was very light because of the pandemic. Motorcycling by itself is a solitary activity that requires very little close interaction with others.  So while social distancing can be maintained I took up the opportunity of riding a few places during the pandemic. The only real problem here would be a crash – and I was very cognizant of that.  Any get-off or mishap that requires a trip to the hospital would not only expose me to the coronavirus but would also unnecessarily overburdened the medical system right now. Thankfully that did not happen, we rode slowly and safely, with an overabundance of caution.

This ride was a partial repeat of RR49. I was on my Superduke while Akshay was on Ayon’s Triumph Speed Triple. This time around also it was just the two of us. We started the day early and took Tesla Road out of Livermore.  It was cool and dry in Fremont but as we climbed up the hills of Tesla we hit a lot of fog.  Visibility was very poor and my helmet visor got completely soaked in the mist. 

We crossed the long and boring roles of the Central Valley while it was cool and dry. The twisty bits start around the town of Snelling. We crossed the Merced River on Hornitos Road and stopped for a couple of pictures there. There were many other motorcyclists riding around that Sunday.  I chatted briefly with the fisherman who was fishing off the bridge.  Not a lot of social distancing going on in rural California. 

We rode Hornitos Road all the way to Highway 140 and then into Mariposa. From there we took Highway 49 (Little Dragon) all the way to Coulterville. We stopped briefly and the vista point before the twisty bits for some pictures. There were lots of bikers out today, many on Harley-Davidsons and many from the Bay Area on sports bikes.

We then took Coulterville-Priest Road (always a favorite)  and then down the steep Priest grade. From here we took a couple of new roads that I have always wanted to ride – Marshes Flat Road and Kelly Grade. These were interesting roads,  20-30 mile per hour goaty roads, with rough pavement.  We made it to Highway 132, gassed up and ate lunch at Don Pedro’s Market. I took a picture of the bulletin board there.  So different from the life in the Bay Area. An ad for a concealed-carry course, yard work services offered at $16 an hour and seasoned dry oak firewood for sale!

The rest of the ride home was uneventful. Even though this was about 300 miles door-to-door I was not very tired. The Superduke sure is a comfortable bike to ride.

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