36 and 188. These are my mileage totals on two wheels this past weekend, for bicycle and motorcycle, respectively. When I’ve said it really doesn’t feel all that cold here in the Bay Area, I amend this now to say it might not seem so when walking or standing still. When moving at 30 mph on a bicycle, it’s another story. Up this to 80 mph on a motorcycle, and, well, let’s just say the story turns downright frigid.
The “Tiberon Loop” is a popular, somewhat challenging and not-too-far-away route for cyclists in need of a quick jaunt out of the city. I’m happy to have rediscovered it on Saturday, after having ridden it several years ago. For a total of 36 miles from The Presidio, it’s a decent workout of relatively short distance.
Mines Road, heading southwest from Livermore, spans far greater distance. This is certainly an excursion for which, despite seeing one cyclist, I recommend throttle over pedal. Yesterday was the first Homoto Motorcycle Club ride of 2011, and it was by far, for me, the coldest motorcycling I have done to date. With gloves inside of more gloves, my hands seemed to remain painfully frozen. And at highway speeds once we were out of the twisty canyons, moments came and went in which my entire body quivered.
Nevertheless, Sunday was clear and sunny, unlike the fogged-in grayness of Saturday. It was terrific to finally get out once again for a long, scenic, albeit freezing motorcycle ride after such little throttle activity in the past month. As I wrote after our December group ride to Dillon Beach, there’s such a wonderful variety of country roads to explore so close to San Francisco, providing the momentary feeling of being somewhere far away. This time, amid cliffs and rolling green hills, I saw images of England, Scotland and France. Perhaps the extremely narrow, winding, varyingly paved road we were on had something to do with it, in addition to the breathtaking scenery.
188 miles of motorcycling make for a satisfying day, no matter the temperature or terrain. Thankfully, and unusually, I rode my motorcycle every day of last week, though just within the city. Yesterday was “for real.” And seeing as I’ve now logged a mere 500 motorcycle miles since November 1, rides like this one are obviously few and far between. As such, they’re a welcome event when they happen.
By pedal and by throttle, winter temperatures drove the weekend. I definitely know a little more today about traveling “at the speed of cold.”