RR72: 2021 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

On May 23rd (which happened to be my parents 47th wedding anniversary) I took part in the San Jose Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. It was hosted by Spirit Motorcycles the biggest Triumph dealer in the South Bay.

Per Wikipedia, “The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is a global motorcycle event raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health programs”. There was a good showing at Spirit, approximately 250 motorcycles or so. A lot of Triumphs, but a few Harleys, Ducati’s, Royal Enfields and Moto Guzzis.

The ride [route] per say was slow and a little boring, putting along at 25mph through Downtown San Jose, Willow Glen, Campbell and Santana Row. Lots of people were waving or honking, cheering along as we rode. Riding an air-cooled Ducati slowly on a hot day was an interesting experience. The temperature gauge on my bike rose to 290F, the highest I had seen previously was about 235F.

Yours truly, on the ride.

Gathering at SJ City Hall for a group photo.

This Sport Classic won the award for the “Most Dapper Bike” – I spoke to him and it turns out the owner is from Fremont also.

It was a fun experience overall and I look forward to doing it again next year.

RR71: Ride down to King City and Lonoak

This ride was a repeat of RR21 from 2012 and RR56 from 2020. I was riding the Sport Classic and met up with Akshay (Moto Guzzi Griso), Anil (BMW S1000XR) and Mahesh (BMW S1000XR) and we rode down Uvas to Hwy 25 down to King City.

We had lunch at El Lugarcito Restaurant (a very mediocre fare, similar to 2019) and rode back to Hwy 25 on Lonoak Rd. I loved the desolate landscape there and it was great to visit after almost a decade.

While we were stopping for pictures along Lonoak Rd, Akshay hit a patch of gravel and tipped over his Griso. The damage is minor and we rode on.I was impressed how fast the Sport Classic can go in a straight line. I easily saw an indicated 130 mph on Hwy 25, with more room to go. The air cooled engine is grunty, torquey and surprisingly good at long smooth twisty rides.

 

RR70: Death Valley 2021

I have been to Death Valley several times now, at least four times over the last 20 years, but never on a motorcycle. My first trip was in 2001, in a rental Nissan Sentra. And the latest trip was with the family in 2018, in our FJ Cruiser.

Death Valley National Park is home to the longest network of off-road trails in California, easily accessible from the main paved roads. I had been mentally planning this trip for many years and it was finally coming to happen. 

Many friends got involved and joined in. Many invited friends of their own and it became a big group quickly. A lot of preparation went into the trip. My friend Shobhit from Seattle even bought a motorcycle specifically for this trip (2015 VStrom 650)! Akshay bought his KTM 990 a few weeks before the trip, Gokul bought an XT250. Edit: Actually Gokul bought a KTM 690 early in 2021, but it had engine issues, so in the last minute he bought another XT250 to make the ride!

After buying motorcycles, people bought gear, accessories, fuel containers, gps units and more. We single handedly bumped up the GDP of California for DV2021. I changed the oil, adjusted the valves and flushed the coolant on my 990. I even rode it about 500 miles after the service to make sure everything was working ok – and it was – until it wasn’t. 

The final rider count was 11 – Akshay, Ayon, Bobby, Gokul-small, Gokul-big, Mahesh, Sandeep, Shahab, Shobhit, Sujit and Vijay.

Day 1: March 19th, 2021.

Seven of us: Akshay (KTM 990), Bobby (Ducati Scrambler), Shobhit (Suzuki VStrom 650), Sandeep (Honda Africa Twin), Ayon (BMW R1200GS), Mahesh (Honda NC700X) and me (KTM 990) left the Bay Area riding south for Death Valley. The winter of 2020 was one of the driest on record and it had not rained in about 2 months. But as luck would have it, on March 19th 2021, it started raining as we rode down on the first day.

Vijay trailered his Honda Monkey to Death Valley and brought along his brother Vikram, cousin Ravi and neighbor Salmaan. These were the “Sherpas” who carried a whole bunch of gear, a cooking stove and other supplies. They cooked some fabulous meals, including a goat curry. The sherpas, enroute in Salmaan’s Jeep:

Sandeep’s friend Shahab got his KTM 500EXC in his Honda Ridgeline truck. Gokul-big brought his Honda CRF450L in his Ford Ranger while Gokul-small got his Yamaha XT250 in a Jeep Gladiator. 

Our first stop for the day was in Hollister, where we gassed up and decided to ride down Highway 25.

As we started down Highway 25, about 10 miles in, Shobhit pulls over in an emergency maneuver. It turns out that he lost his shifter linkage. He had adjusted the linkage the night before, raising up the shifter to accommodate his large MX boots. He probably did not tighten it down enough, so the linkage fell off and the bike could not be ridden easily. At first we tried looking for the linkage on the road, but quickly realized that a small piece of metal, probably 6mm in diameter is going to be very hard to find. Shobhit called all the Suzuki dealers nearby, none of them had one in stock. So we decided to head back into Hollister and “make” a shifter linkage using an M6 bolt. As Shobhit rode his bike back to Hollister, he had to “ride the clutch” as he was not shifting. He was running the bike in 6th gear, from a start.

Anyway, we get to Hollister, it is raining and Bobby is getting impatient and restless because he has work call he needs to get on. He is also wearing mostly mesh gear and has gotten soaking wet. In what appeared to be his frustration, he decides to part ways with us, and head back home. That was the first of many casualties on this trip. Seven Down To Six

With the rain coming down on us, we worked outside the Ace Hardware in Hollister, trying to fix the bike. They folks at the hardware store cut the bolts to various lengths to make it fit, and we JB welded the other end. 

We got some nice hot lunch from Wong’s Chinese Restaurant next to the Ace and with the bike apparently fixed, we decided to press on.

In about a mile from there, Shobhit realized that his clutch was slipping – badly. He could basically put the bike in gear while it was not moving and let the clutch out without the engine cutting out. Revving the bike was getting only about 10% of the power to the wheels, so the clutch was definitely fried. Second casualty of the day – Six Down To Five.

At this point we were discussing what possible next steps would be. One idea was to head back to San Jose and Shobhit would ride Ayon’s CRF250L Rally. Somehow Ayon was not in favor of that – tensions were running high and patience was low. In the end I suggested Shobhit rent a car from Enterprise in Hollister and drive down to Death Valley. The only car they had was a minivan, but at least they had something that Shobhit could use. He drove the rest of the way down to Death Valley.

The remaining 5 of us, started to make our way to DV. It was already pretty late and we’d probably wasted 6 hours on this breakdown. We rode down I-5 to get there as quickly as possible.

Somewhere along the way Mahesh broke off from the rest of us – but coincidentally, he met us back at the Shell gas station in California City. At this point it was late at night and dark. The roads out there in the desert are even darker and rest of the ride was a bit scary. I spoke to Vijay over the phone and he mentioned that the winds were blowing strong there with a lot of sand in the air. 

The two Gokuls rode up to Trona Pinnacles on their way in. They took some great pictures. 

From California City, we took Redrock Randsburg Road to Hwy 395 and Searles Station Cutoff to Hwy 178. Both roads are completely desolate with no signs of life anywhere nearby. As I was riding Redrock Randsburg Road, my KTM 990 started to act up. The electricals started to fluctuate erratically. The tachometer was bouncing all over the place and the speedometer was going crazy, fluctuating between 0 and 140mph. 

The bike itself was running fine. I had turned on my heated grips and was using my much needed fog lights. The fog lights worked well and guided us on this desolate piece of road at night. While the engine was running fine, I was in a desperate mode of panic. I didn’t want to be stranded in the middle of the desert with a non-running bike. I could feel the bike was cutting out at low rpms, so I was giving it a good rev every now and then. I was also keeping it revved up, clutch in, on all turns and sharp corners. The cross-winds were strong and a lot of sand was getting blown around. 

Anyway, by a stroke of luck, and the grace of God, we made it to Stovepipe Wells 🙂

We came in right at midnight, having started at about 8am that day. Right as we were turning into the hotel, I didn’t rev the bike very much and it died right there, 50 feet from my hotel room. Yes, some things worked out better than others, now Five Down To Four. The bike never cranked again, it was totally dead electrically. But I was relieved. I had made it over the dark and dangerous roads to our safe hotel – where we had several folks to help us fix the bike. 

We had some pizza that night, a little bit of scotch and called it a night.  Shobhit had made it to the hotel about 30 minutes ahead of us. It was quite an adventurous day. 

Day 2: March 20th, 2021.

I got up relatively early on Day-2 and immediately went to look at the bike. I dropped the skid plate and looked at the battery. I was hoping that one of the terminals had come loose, but the connections were good. I borrowed a voltmeter from a guy on a KLR and the battery read 0V. Strange, how could the battery be completely dead? It should still read a few volts, I thought. Next another guy came out to help me – it turns out this guy is a mechanic and runs an auto-shop in Fremont, what a small world! Anyway, he brings along a battery pack and we try to start the bike, but it only cranks weakly. He calls his brother, gets another battery pack and connects them in parallel. That was sufficient juice to start the bike and it runs! It idles nicely but when we measured the voltage at the battery it was under 12V. We then concluded that the alternator was probably bust and was not charging the battery. I was disappointed at that point – thinking I could drive out of the park and pick up a replacement battery – but that would be of no use if the alternator was not charging the battery. Game over, really.

With Shobhit and I not able to ride, we decided to rent a Jeep at Farabee’s Jeep Rental and Tours. This meant we could at least stay with the larger group as we explored DV off-road. So we drove out to Furnace Creek in the morning and rented this tricked out Jeep Wrangler.

 

The first (and only) off-road trip of the day was through Titus Canyon. We assembled at the start of the Nevada-side entrance to the canyon and the Jeep was trailing behind the 7 bikes. Vijay had decided to go ahead and meet up with other folks and ride Titus separately. 

I had driven Titus Canyon in my FJ Cruiser earlier, so this was not really new. Shobhit and I served as the “sweep” vehicle for the 26 mile trip, picking up bikes as they dropped. First was Mahesh, he had a small tip over in deep gravel, then Sandeep had a spill in the rocky terrain descending Red Pass, and finally Ayon had a fall on the gravel deep inside Titus canyon. Thankfully all the incidents were minor and nobody got hurt. Corralling such a large group turned out to be difficult and we stopped numerous times for pictures and breaks. 

Gokul/big took some great pictures.

A lot of funny business.

Anyway, we exited Titus Canyon after about 4 hours there and it was already mid afternoon. Some of decided to go out to Ubehebe crater, where we drove a little off-road. Gokul-small decided to head home, we helped him load his bike into his truck. Gokul-big and Shahab rode out to Teakettle, but they didn’t ride all the way.

Vijay was the only one who actually made it to the Teakettle Junction on his Honda Monkey. After all this, turns out the smallest 125cc bike was the one that made it the furthest. 

Shortly thereafter Shobhit and I returned the Jeep and made it back to the hotel. We all gathered for some much needed beer and food. Here is a picture of all us at the dinner that night:

While we were drinking that night, a group or Brazilian riders came by our table. Among them was the same guy who had tried to help me get my bike started in the morning. It turns out that one of the riders in their group had had an accident and they were looking for someone to ride his VStrom 650 from Death Valley back to the Bay Area. This worked out well for them and for me, as I took them up on their offer. The injured rider would drive back with Shobhit in the minivan.

Day 3: March 21st, 2021.

The ride back from DV to the Bay Area was mostly uneventful. I was riding the VStrom 650 which I enjoyed. I was amazed that the bike could easily touch 100mph and sustain that speed for a long time. Ayon and Akshay broke off at Tehachapi. They retraced their route so that they could ride Hwy 178. Having ridden that highway a few times before, I was not interested, and I was generally frustrated with the whole situation. I pressed on, and rode Hwy 33 to 198 to 25 – which made it a little interesting. I got home, solo, in good time, while Vijay was gracious enough to trailer my broken bike back. I picked up the bike from him in a few days. 

The Brazilian group and Shobhit stopped by the Enterprise in Hollister and brought his bike back in a truck. Eventually we all got back home in one piece, all 11 of us, so things did work out well. A few broken bikes and some lingering resentment, but that wore off pretty quickly. As Valmik’s teacher says, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.

A few days after getting back my bike, I bought a new Yuasa battery, put it in and the bike fired right up. Maybe the battery was old (probably 5+ years) or faulty, but it left me a little nervous about the bike. So that concludes this ride report, my first “failed” ride of the last decade. Not bad a record I guess, but made for good memories. 

Maybe I will go back to Death Valley again next year! 

RR69: Ride along the Sacramento Delta

In February 2021, I did a gentle, mild ride along the Sacramento Delta to Freeport Bar & Grill Restaurant. This was an enjoyable ride at a gentle pace, alongside the Sacramento river on mildly twisty roads. Hwy 160 goes through some interesting towns like Isleton, which I had never been to before. We had a decent beer at the restaurant.

 

2007 Ducati Sport 1000S

On Jan 12th 2021, I bought a used 2007 Ducati Sport 1000S. I had sold my KTM SuperDuke just a few days ago and I was on the hunt for a new motorcycle for a few months by then.

My goal was to get something different, a complete contrast from what I had before. The SuperDuke was a true beast, extremely powerful, light, nimble and with all modern electronics. So this time I was looking for something more mellow, retro, classy, analog and … slow.

I started off my search kinda looking everywhere, first a Triumph Rocket 3. These are mostly all my pictures, taken by me, of bikes I rode, and not off the Internet.

And a Triumph Speed Triple

I looked at a couple of Bonnies (very nice bike)

A nice Thruxton

I was very keen on the Kawasaki W650 / W800 series, but they are rare and hard to find on the used market

I also have a thing for Honda Valkyries, and I test rode one. It felt great (massive, powerful) but I was unsure of the 700 lbs weight and how easy it would be to live with the cruiser long term.

I was also very interested in the Triumph Thunderbird Sport, after seeing on the Fall Colors Trip in 2020 but this one was down in SLO.

But eventually I stumbled on this GT1000 in Walnut Creek and after the test ride I was hooked. I was not specifically looking for this bike at the outset, but after riding one I instantly knew this was the one to buy. The shiny red paint, the brushed metal triple clamps, the gauges, the sound of the Termignoni pipes and the raw character of the air cooled motor – it just felt amazing.

I looked at a LOT of GTs and a few Sport Classics. They sell pretty quickly and if you don’t act fast, you miss out.

There were a couple in LA, one stock and one nicely modified.

One in Richmond Virginia that I really liked:

A nice red one in Ashville NC:

A local one in Cupertino

A nicely modified one in Colorado

I missed out on this black beauty by a matter of 3 minutes. The listing went online over the weekend and I called the dealer exactly at 9AM on Tuesday when they opened. I got a busy phone signal and I tried again in 3 minutes and by that time the dealer had a deposit on it.

I literally went over a dozen potential bikes, before I stumbled onto a Sport 1000S in New Mexico. It was for sale on consignment at “The Hood, New Mexico” and after checking it out, I decided to buy it. While the bike had higher miles, I was not worried about the air cooled Ducati dual spark motor – I had seen several examples of high miles. More importantly the bike was in pristine condition and mostly stock, so it made me feel good about buying it.

 

I got the bike shipped over from Las Cruces, NM and it arrived in just 2 days. The bike checked out and I guess the rest is history.

The day it was delivered, what a smile I had on my face 😁 😁 😁

This post is only the story of how I ended up with the Sport 1000S. More on the actual bike in a future blog post.

 

 

RR68: Return to Hollister

With the KTM 990, this has been a year of returning to adv riding. First Metcalf, then Carnegie and now Hollister.

I met with Ayon (Honda CRF250L Rally) and we rode down to Hollister Hills on Thanksgiving Sunday morning. We paid the $5 to get in and staged near the beginner area on the right. I took off my top box and went around the kids track a couple of times. I had put on a TKC80 tire on the front a few days ago (at home that too) and I could instantly feel that my front wheel behaved differently in the dirt. I was more confident for sure and I liked the feeling of a more grippy / knobby dirt tire.

We spent a couple of hours at Hollister Hills and covered all the green trails:

  • Rancho Road and Wood Camp return
  • Harmony Gate and North Canyon return
  • Lower Field Road and return

It was easy work for Ayon on his Rally, maybe a little more for me on the big KTM. Nonetheless we had good fun, I enjoyed a beer too!

 

RR67: Fall Colors Ride

I came across a few threads on SBR with amazing pics of Fall colors in the Sierras (Pam’s thread, Ich’s thread). So Akshay, Ayon and I decided to head out that way to explore the colors.

We first rode up to West Point on Hwy 26 (third time this year now, RR59 and annual trip). While the section of Hwy 26 beyond Hwy 49 is definitely fun, I discovered that even the parts of Hwy 26 closer to the central valley are great.

As we rode down Carson Pass on Hwy 88, we realized we were a little late – most of the Fall foliage was gone. There were a few spots of beautiful colors, but for the most part they were gone, we were probably 1-2 weeks late.

We had lunch in Markleeville, at the Cutthroat Brewing Company. This was the same place we stopped for lunch in 2017 with Shobhit & Akshay, but it was called “Wolf Creek Restaurant & Bar” at that time.

We rode Hwy 4 back down the Sierras (again, probably the 4th time this year) and made it home in good time.

 

RR66: Solo ride to Yosemite

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yosemite National Park was limiting the number of visitors to a maximum of 600 per day. In early September, I was able to get an entry ticket for day use only. Ayon and Gokul also got tickets, but they could not join that day, so this turned out to be a solo ride.

Generally I don’t ride solo long distances. I’m okay to ride solo around town, to work, and in and around the Bay Area. This was the first time I rode 400+ miles without any company. I liked the flexibility of being able to start and stop whenever I wanted, but I recognize the inherent danger of riding alone, without any company as backup.

I left Fremont comfortably at about 8:30 in the morning, and after the quick gas stop at Buck Meadows, I made it to the park. I rode down to the valley, and then took Wawona road for a stop at Tunnel View. It wasn’t very crowded, but there were definitely over 2 dozen cars there, and thankfully no tour buses. After a few pictures at Tunnel View, I rode up to Glacier Point. It had been a while since I went up there, and it was my first time on a motorcycle. Great road and great ride up there, topped off with some excellent pics. I didn’t stop at the actual point, because it was very crowded, I just rode through the parking lot and turned back.

The ride back home was uneventful, I kept an easy pace and made it home by 5pm.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RR65: 2020 Annual MC Trip

The idea for every trip usually comes from something buzzing around in my head, either a song, a movie or a story. This year it was a podcast. Anushka and I had become obsessed with Crime Junkie a podcast on true crime, narrated in a very engaging and inviting way. One particular episode was especially thrilling: “MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF: The Yuba County Five“. We listened to this episode several times in the car and we both became genuinely curious about the fate of Gary Mathias, the only person of the Yuba County Five that has never been found.

With this in mind, Anushka and I searched through maps of the area where this occurred and that’s how the idea for this trip was born.

Shobhit flew in from Seattle the day before. Akshay and I went to get him at the Oakland airport. Notice the color of the sky in this picture. The Northern California wildfires were raging and the skies were dark (and deep orange for a few days). This was also at the height of the covid pandemic, where everything, including airline travellers, were to be sprayed down with disinfecting lysol.

Day 1 (September 11, 2020):

Early in the morning on Day-1 I got a call from Bobby saying that his bike is not starting. Yes, the adventure had begun. We gave him a few tips on WhatsApp and eventually I went over to his house in the morning with my Deltran trickle charger. It was obvious that the battery was discharged, so we decided to jump start the bike from his car. The jumper cables he had were unusual – probably just bad – as they started heating up and sending out some smoke. Nearly burning his fingers, Bobby was able to pull off the jumper cables and then we decided to push start the bike. Luckily it started on the first try, and we were back in the game.

The group then met at the usual place in Niles, where Bobby and I picked up coffee from Devout Coffee. This time year were 5 riders, from left to right: Bobby (BMW R9T), Ayon (BMW R1200GS), Shobhit (Honda VFR1200), Akshay (Ducati Multistrada) and me (KTM SuperDuke).

I decided to take the SuperDuke over the 990 Adventure because this was primarily going to be a twisty street ride with no chance of dirt riding. So while the Superduke has much lesser storage & luggage capabilities, it’s an amazingly entertaining street bike.

We left the Bay Area on Hwy 84, taking Tesla and Corral Hollow via Carnegie. We crossed into the Central Valley and stopped for our first gas at the Keyes Chevron gas station. This was the same place we usually stop when we ride the Sierra foothills. At this point we were step 2 into our adventure.

The fender eliminator on my bike was coming loose and breaking apart – so we took it off and I rode the rest of the 3-day ride without a license plate at the back. So much for the R&G fender eliminator – it failed in the middle of a ride.

Bobby also noticed that his front tire was low on air, so after a bit of struggle with the portable air pump, he was able to get it pumped up sufficiently. It was only about 10AM on the day-1, but amazingly there would be more mechanical failures and breakdowns in this trip.

We continued through the Sierra foothills, riding through Hornitos, Bear Valley and the Little Dragon. We didn’t take many pictures because the visibility was very poor and only short range pics were possible, not wide panoramas.

We braked for lunch at Coulter Cafe in Coulterville. The impossible burger was nice with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

We then took Priest Coulterville Road to Hwy 120 and then took Wards Ferry Road down to the bridge. We stopped for a long time here, took lots of pictures and Shobhit flew his drone here taking this nice video:

From there the ride was relatively simple (but still a long one). We rode past the Archie Stevenot bridge across the New Malones Lake. Once we got to Mokelumne Hill, we turned right on to Hwy 26 and rode those nice twisties for the 3rd or 4th time this year. We stopped for a quick dip in the South Fork Mokelume River. The waters were cool and relaxing to dip our toes.

From there on it was a straight (but long) shot to our hotel in Grass Valley. I discovered a few nice roads along the way: Ridge Road off Hwy 88 was nice, so was Latrobe Road off Hwy 16. We rode around Folsom Lake through a heavy blanket of smoke. I has no idea there is a dam there, it was clearly visible from the side of the road.

I was riding the VFR1200 as we were riding to Grass Valley. Somewhere along Hwy 49 a few miles from Grass Valley the brakes on the bike locked up. I was trying to start riding from a traffic light and the bike simply would not move. I revved the engine and pumped the brakes a few times and then it got going. Anyway I ended up exchanging the bike back and rode the rest of the way to the hotel on the Superduke.

We stayed the night at the Gold Miners Inn in Grass Valley. It was full of firefighters from all over California battling the Bear Fire and other fires nearby. We had dinner at the Grass Valley Brewing Company, which had a nice selection of beers and food. We turned in for the night around 11PM, exhausted from the long ride in the smoky weather.

Day 2 (September 12, 2020):

The original plan for Day-2 was to ride Quincy-LaPorte Road and Bucks Lake Road, but both were closed due to the Bear Fire of 2020.

The skies looked like this at 9 in the morning:

So we planned a route change and decided to ride to Lassen National Park. The first road of the day was Hwy 49, by far my favorite road of the trip. Hwy 49 offers excellent wide sweepers, a few tight turns, great scenery and freshly laid perfect pavement. A couple of the turns were perfectly banked wide sweepers that last over 180 degrees. I was able to lean over the Superduke to the max and relax and have fun at the same time. A very free flowing road, excellent for sport bike riding. We passed through the quaint town of Downieville, it looked nice and cozy – a perfect place to visit for some outdoor action like mountain biking or skiing. Bobby wanted to move to Downieville, and start making whisky with the water of the Downie River! I wish we had more time to spend there, but it looked like an awesome place – surely on my list of places to revisit.

From Hwy 49 we took Hwy 89 up north through Graeagle, and then Hwy 70 on to Quincy. The smoke was getting very heavy as we rode through Quincy. We rode further on Hwy 89 towards Lake Almanor and stopped for lunch at Tantardino’s Pizza And Pasta. The pizza was pretty good and so was the beer.

We then rode on Mooney Road and Hwy 44 to reach the northern entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. These roads were only mildly interesting. Wide open vistas and good pavement, but mostly straight for long distances.

As we rode through Lassen Park, Akshay crashed the VFR he was riding. He was trying to come to a stop on the side of the road, the shoulder was dirt, not paved and he lost the front end coming to a stop. He went down at about 5 mph and scratched up the fairings on his VFR. The shift lever also broke off, but there was sufficient left behind to continue the ride.

Thankfully he was not hurt, everything was ok, and after a sip of water we were on our way. The rest of the ride through Lassen was boring, slowly following the traffic through the park.

The last road of the day was Hwy 32, also a lot of fun. We were a bit tired at this point so were not pushing the bikes too much, but the twisty road was a lot of fun. Hwy 32 follows the Deer Creek for a long time, so we stopped by the side of the road and dipped in the creek. The water was freezing cold, maybe about 40F, so it was an interesting experience. I submerged my whole body in the water about 5-6 times and every time it felt thrilling.

 

My SNK803 turned out to be fully waterproof.

 

Hwy 32 runs to Chico and we stayed the night at the Rodeway Inn, a basic budget motel run by a Gujarati family. We walked to downtown Chico from our hotel and had dinner at Burgers and Brew – they had a decent burger and some good beer!

Day 3 (September 13, 2020):

The last day of this trip was the least exciting. We were all pretty tired from 2 back to back days of 350 mile riding, so we decided to head home, with a little bit of twisty stuff along the way.

We took Hwy 45 and Hwy 20 to Clearlake. It was a mellow pretty and straightforward. As we took a short break on Hwy 53, Shobhit noticed that the oil cap (Chinese one off AliExpress) on the VFR1200 flew off while riding, so his right boot was getting soaked with oil.

After jerry rigging a solution, we rode to the Auto Zone in Clearlake where we found a replacement oil cap (turns out an oil pan drain bolt is the same size).

We had lunch at Russian River Brewing, where they had Pliny for President on sale. Double dry-hopped Double IPA, good stuff and a great way to end this ride!