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March 16, 2008 Ride

Riders Association of Triumph Ė Ride Report

This was a great ride.  We met at San Jose Triumph at 9.  Maya had the shop open and coffee and doughnuts were ready.  Jim was there but may have a touch of flu so he did not come on the ride.  The ride started with seven riders; Jean Luc and Victor were both on Sprints, Maya rode her TT and Tim was on his new 675.  We had two Bonnie derivatives, Charles on his Scrambler, and our newest member Jeremy on his Speedmaster.  I rode my Rocket III.

Our destination was Fremont Peak State Park which overlooks the San Juan Valley captured by the Gabilan Mountains and Flint Hills.  The area is best known for the city of San Juan Batista, and its Spanish colonial mission.

Seven of us moved out at about 9:30 south bound on I280, two miles later we turned off on south bound 101.  The route continued south past Morgan Hill and Gilroy finally turning off the slab onto State Route 156 East.  From this point it was follow San Juan Canyon Road, follow the leader, follow the signs and follow our intuition to Fremont Peak State Park.  The canyon road makes several surface changes and continues to narrow and roughen taking us gradually south and east out of the valley.  Finally after maybe 12 miles we start to climb and the road narrows further.  The air grew colder and as we climbed far enough to begin getting glimpses of Monterey Bay we were also passing streaks of white powder in the shade of the trees along the sides of the road.  Thatís right, we were passing recent snow fall that hadnít yet melted.  Spring seems almost here but winter gives way less easily in the deep shade on Fremont Peak.

It really was cold on top of the peak.  Jean Luc and Charles took some great photographs.  We could easily see the power station at Moss Landing and the northern half of Monterey Bay.  The ride down provided even better views with the whole San Juan Valley visible before us.  Someday perhaps weíll finish the canyon route, according to the map there is another 60 miles of rural road winding all the way to I5 and the central valley.

We took lunch at a nice place in San Juan Batista and walked up to look at the mission and historic sites.  This was Palm Sunday and the mission church was crowded.  Nearby was Harley row with possibly 100 Harleys all parked together.  All in all the seven of us made the best company I think.

Our return has us back on Highway 101 for only two miles before cutting off slab, west on Route 129 to Watsonville where we all desperately needed to buy gas.  129 was a delight, little traffic and fine views of hills and valleys that are super green this time of year. 

After refueling we took Highway 1 north to Santa Cruz. (How many of us know that Highway 1 is named Cabrillo Highway in this area?) There was some traffic here but not too bad.  Victor had business in Santa Cruz and split from the group here.  I was still in the lead; completely zoned out in the construction maze of the 1 to 17 interchange and missed the turnoff.  Fortunately no one followed; the remaining members of the group correctly took 17 back over the hill to San Jose.  After my brief detour into Santa Cruz so did I.



Riders: Jean Luc (Sprint), Victor (Sprint), Maya (TT), Tim (675). Charles (Scrambler), Jeremy (Speedmaster), Roy (RIII)


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