This was my first Gypsy Tour and, as promised, I had a great time. The folks at NORCAL know how to plan and execute an event. Great rides, great food, and great times were had by all.
We started our tour by heading out on Friday on the I-5 at 5:00 a.m. This was a successful attempt to beat the holiday traffic, but what a dry, boring ride. 550 miles, with a brief stop at A&S Powersports, the US's #1 BMW dealer. We finally made into Boonville and the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. In the morning, all was quiet.
The next morning, the tour meandered up Hwy 101 to Branscomb Rd. After a wonderful and winding ride through some beautiful mountain roads, we were suddenly deposited onto Hwy 1 at the blue Pacific.
Throughout the day, we saw miles of roads, and trees, like these:
The day's ride eventually led us to the fairgrounds in Ferndale. There we found comfortable surroundings, lots of riders who had enjoyed a great day of riding, great food, and lots of laughs. We always seem to have plenty to laugh about at the end of our riding days.
In the morning, after a good night's sleep, we meandered into town to find breakfast. There we found a wonderful restaurant and a quaint downtown area.
After soaking up this town's charm, we hit the road again, headed for sites like the Avenue of the Giants.
Further into the day and into the mountains, we encountered more of the twisties planned for our ride. Miles of roads like these were around every courner.
I don't know these beemer dudes, but the picked admirable lines through the corners.
At the end of the day's ride, we broke from the group to begin our 12+ hour ride home. We planned to camp in Truckee, where part of our group began their ride on Thursday. After setting up camp we headed downtown for dinner.
Smilin', happy, well-fed riding buddies. Just add beer.
After a cold and sleepless night, I parted company with the group. Once again I found myself without rubber on my rear tire. I knew it would be close, but I misjudged by about 500 miles. I might have made it, but on counsel from my buddies, I rode 35 miles to Sparks, NV, and spent the day. Breakfast in Truckee before heading to Sparks.
Being both a Monday and Labor Day, no motorcycle dealers were open, including Sierra BMW. I rode gingerly around town to see what was up. I found this place, which looked promising, but they didn't have anything in my size.
Tuesday morning, when they opened, Sierra BMW got me right in for a new tire. I was back on the road in no time. Nice store--check them out if you are in the area.
After getting my new tire, I settled in for the 450 mile ride down the 395 to the 178. It was a long but scenic ride. I had time to make so didn't stop too much, but I did make time for a brief detour on the June Lake Loop.
My thanks go out to NORCAL for a well-planned and thoroughly enjoyable rally.
If you're interested, the rest of the pictures are here.