Browneye's Laguna Seca Trip 2012
My old riding buddy Johnny Ringo said we should ride up together so we met in Gorman for breakfast at the Ranch House. A good breakfast to start the day on this glorious morning. We gassed up and headed for Frazier Park to ride out thru Pine Mt. Club. We were going to take all the twisty roads on our route to Laguna Seca in Monterey.
Ringo rides a 990 Adventure and I was on my new Tiger 800XC. Since we both ride an awful lot of dirt this was going to be a nice diversion for us.
In no time we were out to Maricopa and then on to Taft and out the 58. We were making good time. Well, too good of time. As we went by one of the farm compounds out past Carrizo Plain, ol’ Johnny-law was there to greet us. With blue lights flashing we just pulled off.
Of course my standard m-o is to get off and take my helmet off so they can see this old gray-haired guy. Our friendly lawman says, “Do you know the way to Laguna Seca?”
Funny…I was thinking of some way to deny it. Everybody is just booking through here on their way to the races.
“Hmmm…clocked you at 85. Some of these guys are way over a hundred. One of them was 140 and he just kept going so we have the planes after him. I’m gonna give you guys a warning this time, so just keep it down and be safe okay?”
WTF? I’ve never heard of a warning for thirty over the speed limit. I guess the old man trick worked. Well, at least this time. :rofl
So, on up the 101 to G18 to Hunter Liggett. Yes, we were going to do all the twisties. Half way thru the army base Ringo decides we gotta check out this huge rock outcropping. Afterall, he is a bigtime trials rider, so yeah, he had to try his 990 out on them.
The twisty road down to Hwy 1 did not disappoint. The views up and down the coast are definitely fantastic. We met a couple of other riders from out of state. They had been doing some touring and were headed to the races for the weekend as well.
The terminus of Naciemento-Ferguson Road, overlooking the Pacific Ocean
Big Sur, up Highway 1
Looking south down Highway 1
A couple a old-time dirtbikers enjoying a road ride. Well, at least yours truly is getting there. Ringo is still a young buck. :D
I left the house at 7:30am and we pulled into camp at the raceway at 6:30, just in time for a cold brew. Whew, what a long day. 401 miles. Base camp at last.
More to come...
Next segment: The Races
A couple of days at the races...
Another old riding buddy <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:PersonName w:st="on">Jeff Wallace</st1:PersonName> (slocalspode) has a standing reservation at Chapparal, right on the track grounds. Theyíve been going every year for more than 20 years now. They have two sites side by side, right across from the showers and bathrooms. We can stuff about 20 people into these two sites. Itís pretty cool, with satellite tv, lighting, campers, firepit, bbq, coolers, you name it. I just had to ride in with a change of clothes and enjoy the races.
Ol' Slocalspode is my biggest fan. He has gotten me into more types of riding than anyone else I've ever met. I found him on a vintage bike forum and we've been riding ever since. He's got more than 20 motorcycles in his garage. In fact, you couldn't stuff another one in there. He has gotten me into observed trials, street riding, and turned me onto ADVrider.com so many years ago. What a terrific host for the races. He brings his truck and camper, a couple'a bikes, and tons of beer and grub.
Joe, another of our friendly hosts, brought family all the way from Denver:
Yes, we have CCTV and a satelite dish for keep up on what's going on down at the track.
We pitch our tents under the oak trees out behind the campsite. It was pretty full this year. You have to find a level tent spot carved out of the hillside.
During the midnight hours the fog rolls in so thick from Monterey Bay that it condenses on the oak trees and rains down under them. So glad to have a waterproof tent. It wasnít cold but it was pretty damp out overnight.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
Saturday morning the fog from Monterey Bay hung low over the track.
We hiked up to the corkscrew while it was cool.
Here's my dear old friend Slocalspode.
<o:p></o:p>At the top of the access road of the campground they setup their ez-up and chairs with a great view of the track and infield. We can sit up there and drink beer, watch the races.
The cool thing about this event is they have combined AMA World SuperBike along with MotoGP so thereís never a dull moment. Qualifying and racing all day long for three days. Itís a go-to event for sportbikes and motorcycle enthusiasts, and they just love to ride there. The bike parking lot was absolutely packed. And if you rode in on a Ducati or a Yamaha, you got a special area to park your bike.
There are always some cool bikes to see. Here's the BRAMMO electric racer paddock:
We sit under our EZ up, drink beer, and watch the races.
And the vendor area in the infield always has some cool stuff to see.
There are lots of groups of 'umbrella girls' from all kinds of race teams, walking though the paddock area, photo-ops for the desperate fans. :rofl
The last race on Sunday is late afternoon and then thereís a mass exodus. We always take Monday off so we can drink beer all day and relax, have a nice dinner, and then head out fresh Monday morning.
Early Monday it was fun to pack up the bike and head out after a nice weekend at the track. It was pretty foggy, dew streaming off the face screen as I hit the hiway toward <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">King</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">City</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. It warmed up nicely as I made my way down the 101.
I hit Dennyís at <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">King</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">City for breakfast</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, so just blew by Paso. As I headed over the hills toward Buttonwillow I had wicked it up pretty good. Passed a ton of traffic and then it was clear sailing. A little too clear I guess, getting the speeds up and sure enough, a CHIP coming the other way behind a string of cars. I thought I saw him pull a U-ey way back there and then there was a 45mph construction zone so I slowed down. No way, I had been HAD! 87 in a 65, ouch. Same deal though, old gray hair guy on a new bike, so he wrote a ticket for 74 so I could do traffic school. I guess it's a good thing he didn't come along when I was closer to a hundred. :lol3
He was just chatting away, telling be about a Lambo he had stopped doing a hundred, and there was no lienholder on the reg. The guy was complaining about the hotels doubling the rates in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Monterey</st1:place></st1:City> for the event. Oh well, takes all kinds huh? So I stripped off my layers, put my vented jacket back on and headed on down the road. <o:p></o:p>
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Home by 2:30 with another fun ride done. About 800 miles this weekend on the new Tiger 800. Whoohoo!<o:p></o:p>
Nice, except the ticket.
Very nice... Leave it to JR to trials ride his 990. Whattaguy !
...and Jeff; What can I say. Great guy ! We'll have to go off-roading when it cools down.
Awesome Brownie!!! Looks like a great weekend. You guys have a whole gypsy village out there! Must be thousands of bikes heading north that weekend but, pulled over both ways? Geez. Maybe if we're in the same group next year we'll take the alternate alternate route. :lol3 Glad to see you putting that XC to good use.
Great ride report and great pics Chris! For some reason, the rock pile looked A LOT BIGGER in person [Jen wasn't thrilled with the fact that I was ridding rocks on a 500 lb bike :huh, when it was my only transportation home]. I had a blast the entire weekend and fortunately I had some guy run sweep for me most of my trip home. He was cruising at about 110 so I fell in about a 1/4 behind him....no ticket. Good thing considering the 84 in a 55 I received the week before.
We were camped right up the hill from you...
I was the guy that chatted you up about the luggage, I too have a white 800XC.
We rode down from Spokane, it was a 2700 mile round trip, and worth every minute.
I'll put you on the list for possible ride-alongs for a BC/SE AK trip. Was supposed to go this year but didn't make it - no $$. :cry Maybe next year. Ride up Van-Isle and take the ferry to Prince Rupert, hit Stewart, Hyder, and ride into BC interior, 7-9 days. Interested?
I grew up in the NW, still have family there. Western WA, north of Seattle. Move to CA in '92, never looked back. :D
Since this RR links from my sig line I thought I would post an update here. Joe, in the photo below which is from up thread in my RR, was killed last year in a motorcycle collision. Survived by his wife and two young daughters, he will certainly be missed. His wife is seated at the picnic table here next to the TV monitor in the photo. The other fellow is a family friend.
He was one of the original attendees of their annual group campout at the races. Joe rode several bikes, an Aprillia Tuono and a BMW F800ST were a couple of them I had seen. We did a return ride from Monterey to LA one of the years - he was a very competent and accomplished rider.
We just never know when our time is up, when we will reach the end of life... I say enjoy each day like it is your last.
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