Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 268/269 - San Francisco - Callstoga - Eureka

Distance travelled (by bike):  40,780

After waiting most of the morning to sort out Matts bike we finally get moving, leaving the sun behind in San Francisco it was a misty ride for the first few miles. 
Cutting off route 101 to get to napa valley. Taking it easy as Matt gets used to his beast of a bike, very different to his sports bike. As we made our way to napa the sun emerged and was soon bathing  us in heat. Stopping in the afternoon to sample the local wines, beers and ciders.

Leaving the joys of Napa behind we drove north cutting across the country to route 1, passing vineyards, huge lumber yards and driving through the redwood forests, it was a fantastic drive. As we neared the coast the temperature dropped and the clouds rolled in. 
The roads to the coast and along have been incredibly twisty, I know at times Matt was struggling, it wasn't until i decided i should try his monster of a bike that i realised why you don't see many Harley riders on the twisty roads. Its heavy and with the low exhausts and foot plates you have to go really steady around the corners to ensure you don't catch them and slide off, tough work.
Joining back onto route 101 it was a short blast to Eureka, Eureka, we were told it was a good place to stay, the juries still out.

the BMW hiding behind a sea of Harleys

mist over the Golden Gate Bridge

Matt posing on his bike

sampling the local beverages 


driving through a redwood

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 266/267 - San Francisco

Distance travelled (by bike):  40,430

Matt arrived late morning, after dropping his stuff off we headed out into town to do the tourist thing. The weather was amazing a great day to be strolling around.Deciding that we'd had enough of the tourist attractions it was time to celebrate Matt's arrival. We got speaking to some of the locals who suggested the best places to go out (in their opinion), following their advice we headed out, time after time we were the only tourists in most of the places, with the San Francisco Giants playing the atmosphere around town was really good.

Waking feeling truly awful it was a slow start to the day. Feeling more human we boarded the boat over to alcatraz. It really is an amazing place closed in 1963 due to the high operating cost its now owned and operated by the national park services. The parks service have kept everything as it was when the doors shut in 1963, although some parts are in disrepair the island is incredible.
Leaving Alcatraz we raced across town to meet Abigail (cousin who is at university in SF). After been fed and watered it was time to return to the hotel and start packing for our departure tomorrow. Matt has decided that he isn't going to be carrying any luggage, instead thought he could strap his stuff on my bike, not sure about this, we'll see tomorrow when he gets his bike.

matt and his dream car, unfortunately the garage would sell it to him

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 265 - Willows - San Francisco

Distance travelled (by bike):  40,430

From Willows it was straight back into the national forests, i envisaged the drive through the forest to take about 3 hours, it took over 5. I decided to follow some of the designated motorcycle and horse trails, this turn out to be hard work with a fully loaded bike. On one of these trails the bike decided that it had had enough, with the oil pressure dropping, the dash lighting up, the bike cut out, Being no mechanic the only thing i could do was to wait a while for it to cool down, the resume the ride.  Returning to the normal trials to exit the forest. The road out of the forest towards highway 101 was phenomenally twisty, following other drivers who wouldn't surpass the 25mph barrier made the drive infuriating. 
I planned on getting to San Francisco mid afternoon, it tuned out to be evening. Having blasted down 101 as i entered the city the light started flashing again the oil pressure dropped and the bike started to stutter. Nursing the bike to the hotel i got parked up, realising there was nothing i could do to fix the problem i decided the best course of action was to get a beer, cross finger and hope that i can get it back up to vancouver. After all, Matt arrives tomorrow and is going to be driving a Harley up north, if a harley can do it, my bike can!