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Old 11-02-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
Tally Whacker
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Monterey Madness 2020

Well, because of reasons, my riding buddies and I had to move up our annual Monterey Madness ride by a month and a half. It's traditionally held on the first or second weekend of December but this year we did it October 23-25.

Yes, that's another break from tradition. Historically it had been a Saturday ride up to Monterey and Sunday back home again to SoCal. This time we rode up on Friday, faffed around the Santa Cruz and San Jose area on Saturday, then came home on Sunday as usual.

Since I'm in San Diego, two of the others in Orange County and two in Long Beach, we opted for an 8 AM meet-up on the north side of Los Angeles. Of course, this meant leaving the house at 5:30 for me, but that's the penalty I pay for getting to live in San Diego.

I have no pics of the gas station where we met, because why would I? So let's get right into the photos of the riding.

We started off with what may be my favorite motorcycle road anywhere.


It has some fresh pavement in spots.


That led us to this road, which isn't nearly as fun since it's been repaved.

(This is what it used to be like)

A little bit farther along, we hit this climb out of the south end of the Central Valley:


Which crested here:

Sorry, no pics of the descent on the other side. One of the guys on the ride might have video of the rollers....

Turning north, we entered an area that always feels as if it might be the back side of the moon, it's so severe:


Really, pictures don't do any justice to the area's otherworldly feel.




Soon enough, we arrived at the edge of the world. For our FNG, this was all new so we had to stop for the obligatory photo. His eyes almost popped out of his head when he saw the sign. This is right at the village (if it's even that) of Parkfield, the most seismically active spot on the continent.


A good place to have a bite. I strongly recommend their burgers.


After lunch, we headed up Parkfield Grade:

Yes, that is in fact a STREET triple, not a dirt road triple.

Even more unusual, here we have two ADV bikes well outside their element:

No, that isn't a Starbucks parking lot, and yet there they were.

The FNG enjoying getting his bike dirty:


Look at that. A BMW RT rocking it on a loose, dusty dirt road. Who would have ever thought?



The road turns to pavement at the top of the hill.


The view of the hamlet of Parkfield way down there:


The FNG shot some video:

youtu.be/https://youtu.be/b2KGuoFNecE


But soon enough it was time to head downhill to the lovely town of Coalinga. Way down there somewhere:


That bike sure is pretty. Shame about the flip-up helmet on the rider, though.
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:18 PM   #2
Tally Whacker
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This is probably a good time to introduce my co-conspirators.
BMW-K, who hasn't owned a K bike in many years:

He was the principal photographer on this trip. The bulk of the photos you see (maybe 70%) are his.

Next, we have an old veteran of this ride, VFRVern, who needs to change his screen name even more than BMW-K does:


Here is Mr Blue (because he's a Yamaha fan, of course). This is his third Monterey Madness:


Our FNG, Powerman:

He's not only new to the Monterey Madness ride, but relatively new to California. He got transferred out here for work from upstate New Jersey. Quite a change indeed.

As for pics of me, you'll have to use your imagination. Or wait until later in the ride report. Whatever.

Anyway, back to Coalinga. It's a lovely place, as most oil towns are. The scenery is scenic:


So we GTFO as quickly as we could and soon enough we were saying goodbye to the donkeys* and hello, dear:


Unfortunately, this is the last photo of the day as it was getting dark and we had to put some speed on to really enjoy LG-C Rd.

The last pic of the day:






*Those oil pumps are actually called "donkeys". Really.
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Old 11-02-2020, 12:19 PM   #3
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I'll get to posting Saturday's ride later today.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:01 PM   #4
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Saturday started off nicely with a little grab-n-go breakfast from the hotel lobby.

First things first, VFRVern needed to get all the bugs and that dust from Parkfield Grade off his pretty, pretty bike:


We rolled out of Monterey and soon were admiring the beauty that is San Jose:


Heading east, we could see our next stop at the top of the hill (you might have to look really closely):


A few switchbacks later and we were in the burn zone:


I mean, all burned up:




Before long, this amazing road led us to what seems to be the promised land for BMW GSes. I felt a bit out of place on my R, but at least it was a BMW. The two on our ride that had Triumphs had to slink off and park in a far corner. Those of you that have been there will know what I mean.

Yes, that's me, the surly-looking guy next to the baby blue S100R.

We didn't spend much time there at the Junction, just enough to say we'd put in our appearance. Then, it was back to business.
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This great road led us to another road that would have been great but for all the traffic.


That heavily trafficked road got us to our designated lunch spot:

The menu was extensive, but not as much as I'd been led to believe by that Arlo guy.

From there it was fun road after fun road:





I think it was after that last road when the FNG said "That was the best hour of my life!"

It got too dark for pictures of the next road, which was definitely NOT the best hour of his life. It was deep in the thickest of rain forests, narrow, potholed, and had innumerable root heaves that were in effect giant speed bumps. Oh, and it was dark. And of course, slowing down wasn't ever really taken into consideration.

That got us back to 101 and a short 30 miles to our hotel. We ordered pizza delivery and drank alcohol back in the hotel until it was time to pass out. Sorry, no pics of the pizza or the alcohol.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:05 PM   #5
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Ah, I missed a photo. Here is the full roster of this adventure:


From left, we have the FNG, Powerman. Next, BMW-K. In the middle is Mr Blue, then me. On the right is VFRVern.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:14 PM   #6
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Great pictures. All my old stomping grounds before I moved north.

Mad
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:56 PM   #7
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Great stuff!

The video did not load, but the pics are outstanding.

That black asphalt ....

How many miles did it end up being for you?
Good lord.. 5:30AM
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:57 PM   #8
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Simply wonderful, thanks for taking time to put this together. One question, the photo of VFRVern at the car wash, that was staged right? Tell me didn’t actually go through that thing
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Old 11-02-2020, 02:10 PM   #9
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Sunday started the same as Saturday- a grab-n-go breakfast, then on the road. The weather was overcast and cool, unlike the previous two days. This wasn't an unwelcome change, since we'd all come prepared for inclement weather. The rain held off, though, but the clouds did stick around all day.

Respecting tradition, we went for the obligatory photo OP on Cannery Row:


Heading South on the Pacific Coast Highway, we weren't the only ones flying in formation:


As mentioned before, the FNG had never seen any of this terrain, so we had to stop for pictures at the famous bridge:


A much prettier shot of the Bixby Bridge (without all that visual clutter):


Rockslide prevention measures:


Now, our plan had been to cut inland before too long, but the area had burned and so our intended road was closed.


This threw a wrench into our route, but hey- the full length of the Big Sur section of the Pacific Coast Highway isn't a terrible consolation prize, now it is? I wish I had a few more photos, but oh, well.

We did turn inland in Cambria and headed up and east.
The road we took is a lot of fun in either direction, but the best views are to the west, away from our direction of travel:

Here's a bit of video the FNG shot on this road:

youtu.be/https://youtu.be/Fg62jrYgbAs

Soon we were back on the miserably crowded hellscape that is California's highway system:


Just riding along, we spotted this little guy making his way across the road:


So we gave him a hand:


Mr Blue, none too sure this is a good idea:


I don't have any pics of the next few roads, but take it from me- they were excellent.

After a while, we got to our last good road of the trip.

Truly heavenly.

The views were good, too:

That looks like a calendar shot to me.

A great way to finish the fun for the weekend.


Dropping down to Santa Barbara there on the right:


It's all downhill from here:


From Santa Barbara, we took 101 to the LA area, then went our separate ways home.

My mileage for the weekend was 1391 miles all told, 26 hours ride time.
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Old 11-02-2020, 02:12 PM   #10
Tally Whacker
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Ah, I forgot a picture. This was late afternoon on Saturday:
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:35 PM   #11
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Nice ride, nicer write up!
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Old 11-02-2020, 03:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tally Whacker View Post
The views were good, too:

That looks like a calendar shot to me.
+1, great pic ... having fun trying to guess the roads.

thanks, enjoyed the pics/write up!
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Old 11-02-2020, 04:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SFMCjohn View Post
+1, great pic ... having fun trying to guess the roads.

thanks, enjoyed the pics/write up!


Feel free to guess-I'll tell you if you got it right.
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:16 PM   #14
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First guess: My spidy sense thinks that the tarantula appeared on Peach Tree.
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Old 11-02-2020, 05:23 PM   #15
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Feel free to guess-I'll tell you if you got it right.
in the first couple of posts I was thinking Hwy 58 W to a right on Bitterwater Road to Parkfield. thought one pic looked like the top of Hwy 58 W above McKittrick ... but, there were some pics in there that made me think maybe not?

don't think I recognized the calendar pic, unless it's up on the way to Frazier Park? Hudson Ranch Road ...? idk, wag.

fun stuff, for sure!
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