Monday, March 25, 2013

2013 Mar 23 - Stan's Mother Lode Ride

2013 March 23- Stan's Mother Lode Ride
                   This Ride Report is by David J aka "Dawg"

The ride began with six of us meeting up at the Chevron Station in Valley Springs.

The last to arrive was a rider (Terry), rode all the way from Ukiah (on his Thunderbird) and is definitely a candidate for the "Iron Butt Association" ...

Anyway, I digress ... The other riders; Tony (on a Rocket), John (on a Tiger) and Al (on a Yamaha), all rode in from Sac-town. Stan (on his Honda Valkyrie - Lives local in Valley Springs) and myself on my "Old Faithful" Harley FXDLI LowRider.

The kickstands were up before 11:00AM and we headed off, up Hwy 12/26 to "Pool Station Rd" and into Copperopolis. Pool Station road is a nice little primer road for those who love twisties, however, this road is also enjoyed by Cagers, so it requires full attention. Also, one must beware of Wild Life. Stan had 3 deer cross his path while leading the group of us.

From Copperopolis, we continued on into Jamestown via O'byrnes Ferry Rd (by Tulloch Lake) and up Hwy 108. A brief butt break and topping-off the tanks for those how needed petrol - (I am a firm believer of topping off my tank, even if I have only gone 46 miles since my last fill up ... this time I only needed 0.79 gallons of fuel).

From Jamestown, we headed west on "Rawhide Road" (eventually becomes Hwy 49) into the historic town of Columbia (if you ever have time - Columbia State Park is a nice little visit worth taking). From there, we continued on into Murphys for lunch at the Firewood Pizzeria/Cafe. Finding a parking location for 6 bikes is rare. Also, keep this helpful warning in mind, never park with your "Front Tire" over or passed the white line ...

The "Fire Wood" ... a great little spot to eat ...  Link to Firewood Restaurant web site

Firewood Restaurant

After lunch we decided that I would give us a tour of downtown main street, in search of "Sheep Ranch Road", which wound up to be about 150 yards from where we just ate. The entrance way to this road as like going into an alley way (and very easy to miss).

For future reference, I recommend taking "Church Street" and getting onto "Sheep Ranch Road" ...

Now, for a little info about "Sheep Ranch Road". This road is a not the smoothest road for about the first 6-7 miles out off Murphys. If you ride a "Touring Style Motorcycle" (if you ride a "RIDGID FRAME HARLEY" - fuhgeddaboudit) ... you will find this road a bit rough, but not un-ridable, you just will have to keep your speed down to under 30MPH and two wheels on the ground (unless your John and ride a Tiger - which was having a blast on this section of road). However, once you get closer to "Mountain Ranch Road", The road is well maintained. Sheep Ranch Road is very twisty and one should be cautious while riding this road (especially the rougher section of the road - unless you have a Tiger - LOL).

Sheep Ranch eventually meets up with "Railroad Flats Rd".  A well maintained and fun, 8.8 miles of twists and turns until you make a left onto "Ridge Road". A four mile (well maintained) shortcut over to Hwy 26, which lead us another eight miles down the road into the town of Mokelumne Hill (the intersection of Hwy 49 & 26).

This is where the 3 sac-town riders and Terry, headed off west on Hwy 49 to Hwy 16, Terry onto Hwy 20 back home to Ukiah. Stan and I continued on down hwy 26 into Valley Springs (where I stopped at Stan's for a short visit) then continued on back to Stockton.

This was a another great day for riding. The weather is is shaping up for another great riding season. Time for the rest of you to "dust off" your scooters, charge up the battery, get out on Two-Wheels and enjoy the outdoors ...

Map of the Ride Route

View Larger Map


Till Next time,
Ride Safe.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 March 17 Ride

Report by David aka "Dawg"

So, it began from the meeting spot from Flying J's off Hwy 5 and Hwy 12 in Lodi. Five of us showed up: The 3 Triumph Riders; Stan with his American, Dave with his Beastly Rocket (both of which I have rode with several times), Pat with his Tiger (Leader of this ride and first time meeting him). Then there was us Harley Riders; Duane on his Heritage (also my first time riding with him) and myself (David - or as my friends call me - Dawg) on my Lowrider.

After the meet and greet, Stands were up by 10:30, and we headed off west, 50 boring miles of "hwy12", to get to our first bit of scenic road; "Suisun Valley Road" - a nice ride for those who love the twisties ( but, one must be cautious of Weekend Cagers that tow things - from Boats to Horses). This road becomes "Wooden Valley Rd" (after the first 7 miles) and this is where the real fun begins. These two roads (which are in reality, the same road) is about 14 miles. Making a nice sharp right uphill turn onto Hwy 121 (that is ruined by a Stop sign - could cause problems for a novice rider - All that rode on this day are well-seasoned in the saddle).

Note: Rockville (Bar & Grill) is a common stopping point for poker runs and such (corner of Suisun Valley Rd and Rockville Rd).

About 5.5 miles up the road, we hang a left on Hwy 128 and the first rest-stop "the CrossRoads" (closed on sunday's). But I would suggest that a better choice (and one of my favorite stops) is going 5 miles more up 128, to "Turtle Rock", also it has "Adult Beverages, Food and Facilities" ... Also, the next right takes you down to Lake Berryessa ...

Anyway, after stretching the legs, we ventured on up Hwy 128 till we came to "Lower Chiles Valley Rd", About 8 miles from the "Crossroads". Making a right (and you have to really be looking for this turn - It could be easily missed), we traveled another 3-4 mile until we made another right on "Chiles Pope Valley Rd". Another 9 miles and then a right on "Pope Valley Rd" to head to our Lunch stop in Middletown, about 20 miles away. Note to Self: Must take "Pope Canyon Road" some day to "Knoxville Road", running along Lake Berryessa Shoreline, then head back up to Turtle Rock. After burgers and beverages, we took the "long way home" Heading up Hwy 29 towards Hwy 20, Hanging a left on Hwy 16 (for a needed "pit Stop"), Then staying on Hwy 16 to eventually get on Interstate 5 and spitting off to go our separate ways in sac-town. A great day for riding ... and another 100+ miles of twisties! Till Next time,
Ride Safe.