VSP's Musings

SFBA VROC is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club, an International group of Internet Kawasaki Vulcan enthusiasts. The SFBA Chapter is a misnomer of sorts since it includes Northern California, Northern Nevada, Southern Oregon and Utah.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Tiny Leads Ride

Tiny's SFBA VROC Ride - April 25, 2004

Lorin, Deputy Bob and I arrived at the Jelly Belly at 10:15. Nite Lite and wife were already there buying candy. TC shows up on his yellow V-Strom but needs gas so we send him off to Fairfield to the nearest gas station. Tiny arrives on his VN 1600 with Van on his ZR1000. Topdawg gets there on his VN 1600.

Tiny leads. Nite Lite is riding tail gunner. The eight bikes head off for Mankas Corners. Vineyards, farmland and orchards are on both sides of us as we get to Mankas Corners and turn onto Suisun Valley Road/Wooden Valley Road. We twist and turn our way along this road in the Coastal Range Mountains until we intersect with Hwy 121. A pick-up towing a boat lets the back half of us pass at that intersection. Hwy 121 is a winding main road from Napa to Lake Berryessa and is heavily travelled. The road needs to be repaved. After a fashion we get to the Corners (Moskowitz Corners), which is a gathering spot for motorcyclists. It is located where Hwy 121 intersects Hwy 128 and has a lot of parking.

A rest stop. Water break. Change to summer jackets. It is getting hot.

Tiny leads us out with Van, Lorin, Bob, Topdawg, VSP, TC and the Sublows following. We ride along the west side of Lake Berryessa. There are a lot of people out this weekend since it is a sunny day in the high 80's with little wind. Boaters and water skiers are on the Lake. We leave the Lake at Pope Canyon Road and get caught behind an RV. But it takes a turnout and off we go. After winding our way up and down the mountains we blast along Pope Valley. Until we exit onto Howell Mountain Road heading to Angwin. This is a slow very twisty road for a long stretch. We get to Angwin and pass Pacific Union College, a Seventh Day Adventist school. There is some function going on today since the place is full and cars are parked along both sides of the road. {note: Hi Don, When you went by PUC in Angwin last April that was Alumni weekend. We were there for our 40th reunion. Rod}

We get to Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley and get to Calistoga. A lot of tourist in town. Lunch stop at Buster's BBQ. Boy are we hungry.

BBQ chicken or tri-tip was the choice of most. Was it that good or was I really hungry. It hit the spot. TC had to have his dessert:

Now we are ready for the last leg of the Ride. Over Petrified Forest Road to Calistoga Road to Hwy 12 to Arnold Road at Glen Ellen. From there Nite Lite will lead to the Sonoma Cheese Factory (in Sonoma) and the end of the Ride. Nite Lite's son is working there this afternoon.

The Sonoma Cheese Factory is along the town of Sonoma's Town Square. The Square was jammed with people and cars. So the Ride kind of ended in the street. I headed off with TC to show him the way out of Sonoma. Bob was off to visit his brother who lived close by.

Don "VSP" Inamasu
'00 VN 750
Stockton, CA 95219

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Nite Lite's Ride

SFBA VROC Ride - March 14, 2004

Start at Jelly Belly

VSP arrives

The weather was gorgeous. Low 70's and gentle breezes. Everyone should have been out riding. We saw a lot of motorcycles and a lot more cars today. The turnout was a little disappointing. Just the two of us bikes. The Sublows on the Nomad and me on my 750. I even had time to go into Jelly Belly and get a bag of Belly Flops.

It was a really good Ride. We even found roads with little traffic. Here is the route except for the Hwy 12 and a couple of short cuts from Jelly Belly to Petaluma.

We stopped in Occidental and had a nice lunch at Negri's. Saw a bunch of motorcycles come rolling in to town. Found out that Evelyn Negri's thoroughbred named after her needs to take $700 a month medicine. Rode past the Inn at Occidental, the only AAA Four Diamond and Mobil Four Star Inn north of San Francisco. Inn at Occidental Web Site
We then went over Coleman Valley Road to the Coast. What a view as you cross the top of the mountains and see the Pacific Ocean come into sight. Took a coke break at the Tides Wharf and sat outside in the warm sun and salty sea air.

A gas stop as we left Bodega Bay heading south down Hwy 1. We crossed into Marin County and Howard took one of his favorite lightly travelled roads, Marshall-Petaluma Road. Here are some photos taken at a nice little wide spot on the road.

Howard and Linda got home around 4:30PM. I still had a two hour ride back to Stockton. Hope to see more bikes for Tiny's April Ride.

Don "VSP" Inamasu

VSP Leads Ride Along the River Roads

It was a bright and sunny day. It was a terrific day for a ride. Thirteen of us on ten bikes arrived at Ernie's Saloon in Isleton from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. TC on his Classic, Tiny on his 1600, NiteLite and Homeless on his Nomad, Darcy on his 1500 Classic, Dan Ritter and Ada on his Nomad, Paula on her 500, Paula's hubby and their two friends riding two up on their GS500's, Rick M on a Bonneville and me - VSP on my 750.

Tiny and the Sublows

Darcy and the Ritters

Sublows, TC and Rick M.

Paula, hubby and friends

A few had to top off their gas tanks before the Ride. There is one gas station in Isleton and none along the Ride Route.

Checking Dan's Nomad in front of Ernie's

TC and Tiny. Ernies in background

Off we head over to Grand Island. Riding along the bumpy road taken only by locals and fisherman. Then we cut through the middle of Grand Island on SR 220. We reconnect with Hwy 160 at Ryde (see link below). Paula decides at the left turn that her bike needs a rest so lays it down. No injury. We manage to regroup at Walnut Grove our first of two rest stops.

We ride past Locke the Chinese settlement that is the home of "Al the Wops" (see link below). We then barrel along at 50 mph along the river to Freeport then to the McDonalds at Pocket Road in south Sacramento. After unloading some breakfast coffee, we head back to the river roads to Clarksburg. I almost miss the unmarked turn off to Clarksburg Road to ride the farm roads as a change of pace. Then back to Hwy 160 to turn off on the road to the Grand Island Mansion. After a quick look at the Mansion (see link below) we head toward ferry number one. SR 220 has a cable ferry to get across the river.

The ferries are manned by CalTrans employees. On the other side of the river is Ryer Island. The roads there are seldomed travelled. No traffic and a few twisties along the levees of Ryer Island. A boat ferry takes us over the Sacramento River about three miles north of Rio Vista. End of Ride (three hours and 90 miles from Ernie's) at the Chevron/McDonalds in Rio Vista.

TC heading back to San Jose from Rio Vista

Nite Lite did not bring his skunk helmet

Click For Information on the Grand Island Mansion and Spa

Click For Information on the Ryde Hotel

Click For Information on Locke


Feb 8, 2004

Don "Very Short Person" Inamasu

Fogrider Leads Ride

Fogrider Leads SFBA VROC Ride Along Left Coast Oct 12, 2003

It was a dark and stormy night...... No actually it was a terrific day for a ride. Five of us eventually arrived at the Starbucks in Pinole, Tiny on his new 1600, Fogrider on his Nomad, Paula on her 500, Darcy on his 1500 Classic and me - VSP on my 750.

We had a bit of a problem getting to the same gas station to top off the tanks before we took off. But a cell phone call got us all to the same place. Then we took off to the Richmond - San Rafael Bridge. A short freeway ride up Hwy 101 and we are off toward the Coast on Lucas Valley Road. We pass more bicyclists than autos along the way, but then again this is Marin County where the bicyclists have chauffeurs to drive their cars. We wind our way to Point Reyes where the restaurant is too crowded with a too long hour wait for lunch.

So we head north on Hwy 1 to eat at Howard's Station in Occidental. Although there are a lot of people at all of the places we stop at and pass along the ride, the traffic is really light. In fact, the only thing that slowed us up was our desire to take in the scenery along the ride.

Lunch takes awhile to order. Howard's Station is a popular breakfast place serving that meal until 12:30 PM. But we arrive at 1:00 PM just as the last of the breakfast patrons are finishing up. The place is crowded.

After lunch we were suppose to head along Coleman Valley Road over to Bodega Bay. But we take a left fork along Joy Road instead of the right fork that keeps us on Coleman Valley Road. But what the heck no one has ever ridden over Joy Road, no wonder since a lot of it is a one-lane road through the old Redwood Forest. From there we head over to Valley Ford Road to take us to Petaluma and home. Now Nite Lite rides that road at about 80 mph, but he rides with all the cops that patrol that road. So we take it at a leisurely speed limit. At the gas station in Petaluma we split up to head home. Darcy and I head over to Hwy 116 as the rest head down Hwy 101. Fogrider will continue over the Golden Gate Bridge to the City. Tiny and Paula to head back over the Richmond Bridge to Oakland. The only traffic that Darcy and I find all day is after Hwy 12 leaves Napa County and merges onto I-80 for about two miles. The 8 to 10 lane super slab is at a stop and go pace. It turns out that there was an accident that shut down two of the five lanes. A Senior soda (27 cents)for me as Darcy has to pay full price for his drink at the Fairfield McDonalds then back onto Hwy 12. Darcy heads off on Hwy 160 as I continue toward home on Hwy 12. A nice 10 hour day on the bike. All in all a great day.


Hee hee, Don, If you got home before 5:30 you beat me. (I got home at 5:45 PM - VSP) We had total stop and go on 101 from Lucas Valley Rd to the 580 turnoff. Seems there was a car on fire or something on the Golden Gate bridge, I guess a bunch of people were trying to head over the Richmond Bridge instead. Tiny and Paula took 580. Traffic cleared a bit on 101 but stopped dead at Marin City. I got off and poked around Best Buy for 30 minutes, hoping it would clear. Nope. Lane split where I could, even Park Presidio on the other side of the bridge a mess, took local roads and it still took me an hour, should have been about 20 minutes. -

Fogrider Ken

Don "Very Short Person" Inamasu