Saturday, May 12, 2007

12 May 2007 - Altamont Pass Roads

12 May 2007 - Altamont Pass Roads

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The meeting place was the Rivers Edge Café in Isleton. Pdub and I were there at 9:00 AM. Tom has called from the road and told us that he will be a little late.

The three bikes lined up outside the Rivers Edge.
The three of us ate breakfast. Great breakfast at the Rivers Edge.
Eric shows up at 9:40. He ate breakfast at home and was joining us for the Ride. Pdub is not riding. So there are just Tom, Eric and I who will face the roads today.

It is windy today. The bikes are leaning over as we head down the River Hwy 160 to the Antioch Bridge. Deer Valley Road to Marsh Creek Road to Camino Diablo to Vasco Road. The breezes along Vasco Road especially near the summit keep our speed in check. That plus the traffic. First break is at the Shell station just north of I-580.

Tom has to replenish his electrolytes.

Off we go over the Old Altamont Pass Road. This is the remnant of Hwy 50 and was the first US Highway through the Altamont. It is a twisty up and down two lane road. Since the Waste Management land fill is about half way up the road, the pavement is wonderful on the Livermore side of the hill. After the landfill entrance the road surface becomes worse but is still in pretty good shape.

From there we look for and find Midway Road which takes us past the Altamont Speedway. It was near the Speedway that the infamous free Rolling Stones Concert took place. The one in which the Stones hired the Hell's Angels as security, a really foolish thing to do.

Then turn onto the single lane Patterson Pass Road, which signs tell you Do Not Pass for the next 8 miles. We do encounter a few cars traveling on the opposite direction. Two cars can barely squeeze through but the motorcycles have plenty of room. It is a wide one lane road, just be very careful in the many blind corners.

The original plan was to continue back to Livermore and another break, but we were getting used to the high winds so took Crossroads over to Tesla Road. Tesla turns into Corral Hollow Road at the San Joaquin County Line. It is a fairly well traveled road and the alternative choice when I-580 becomes a parking lot. For the most part it is a sweeping road that can be traveled at a fairly brisk pace. But at the top and coming down the east side is an 8 per cent grade with a bunch of tight corners and a switchback or two. Quick down shift to second and crawl our way down the hill.

At the County Line off to the South is Carnegie SVRA the off road vehicle park. There are a lot of dirt bikes and a few atv's making use of the Park today. The road becomes a highway, but we encounter a cage and have to slow to 70 mph.

Over I-580 and into Tracy. We need a bladder break so detour to the Taco Bell for a quick rest break.

Across Union Island and Roberts Island. The roads are sweeping and flat and really fast by now. Speedo hits 90 at one point along the ride. Crumb we have to get on I-5 to get around Stockton. Farm roads to Lodi and a little city streets to Andre's. Tom has the patty melt with potato salad, Eric is a good boy and has the side fruit bowl with his BBQ burger. I stick to the traditional bacon cheese burger with fries.

Gas up in Lodi near Hwy 99 and head for home. Windy day but a nice back road ride. Too many people in the area now though. These roads used to have very little traffic, but now have a little as on Patterson Pass to a ton on Vasco Road.

Where was everyone today. Perhaps the Mother's Day weekend. Oh well. The Pdub Wedding Ride should have a bigger turn out.


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