Highway 36 (When things just fall into place)
Ever have one of those days where things just seem to fall in place? For instance you
leave the house a tad bit late, but stop lights turn green as you approach, or how about
you go into work early to get prepared for a meeting…a meeting that should have been
prepped days ago but your supervisor says “meeting is canceled”.
Well I had one of those days, and it all started when the alarm went off at 0530 getting
me up for the Saturday morning roll-out (Sport Touring motorcycle ride). As usual, I
was up and ready to rock, but on this morning I started reading the news and loss track
of time, it was now 0630 and meet up was 0700. I could have made it on time but I had
to run to work for a quick minute, oh crap!! By the time I left the office it was 0715.
Made it the meet point at 0730 and did a quick roll through, I had no worries because
no one sent a mail confirming the ride but I ride through anyway wishing not to ride
alone…again. No one’s there so I head out but then did a quick U-turn for Steve’s
house, I remembered he sent a text message on Friday confirming the ride. Don’t ask
me why because normally I wouldn't bother anyone like this, but I figured what the
hell it's worth a shot.
As I approach the house I see his wife sitting out side reading and I ask, can Steve
come out and play (LMAO), just kidding I ask if Steve is going on the ride today and
she says he’s still sleep but she’ll ask. Come to find out his alarm didn't go off and he
had overslept and needless to say glad I came by. Guess this is one of those mornings
where things fell into place. Now on to the ride report.
It’s Saturday and Steve and I head to Hwy 36, I have been to this road many times, but
it’s the first time for Steve, he’s and avid rider but with deployment prep he has not
had much time for riding, but today is different. We make way for Red Bluff via the 99
and it’s a long straight ride of 70 miles or so. Making Red Bluff we make a fuel stop
for bikes and body and I give a little briefing on the road we are about to ride. He’s an
experienced rider so the briefing is not that detailed, just a few safety tips on things to
watch out for and a layout of the road which by the way is 140 miles of turns…YES BIG
Before we start Hwy 36, we have to stop and pay homage to the Mecca sign. Because
just as with any roller coaster the ride is over when it’s over (he he).
In saying that, let the repetitive and continuous motion begin.
Step 1. Roll on the throttle to engage warp engines.
Step 2. Apply brakes for entry speed, and navigate to apex.
Step 3 Reach apex and reengage warp engines.
Step 4. Repeat steps 1-3 till sensors are overloaded.
Step 5. Reset sensors and repeat steps 1-3 (LMAO)!!!
Yes this ride is always a thrill to ride, but riding with someone gives it a different
perspective and increases the fun factor by 10. Especially when you come to my favorite
turn of the day, It’s lead in is a short series “S” turn...
which drops a little in elevation and heads back up the hill, as you reach the summit it
banks to the right with another drop-off.
As you’re descending you look ahead and realize there’s a 90 degree left no more than
100 meters up…Oh shit, brake, apex, roll on throttle then repeat,
and the best joy of all is knowing that someone else has the same grin under there
helmet. This is riding with friends, this is motorcycling, this is sport touring, this is
Being in need of fuel for bikes and body we disengage warp engines and reset sensors,
we sit back and say this is a great ride and we wish our friend Mike was here he would
have enjoyed this ride as well. But he’s still in Germany so I’m sure he’s having some
wonderful rides as well.
As we rest, we talk to other riders to hear there stories and get information about
other roads in the area. As I'm talking to one rider I happen to ask what is he riding,
now being somewhat up there in age "just as I" I'm thinking this guy has a big BMW
tourer or something like that, but NO!!! This dude is riding a GSXR-1000 and he just
turned 60 years of age last week...Oh there is hope for me after all. To see a rider that
has trashed the norms of society, to see a rider that says #uck it, I'm going to ride my
bike to hell with this age $hit..this gentlemen is a rider, this is my future.
With our short break over we get back on the road heading deeper into the mountains
for more twist and turns. Hwy 36 is truly and amazing road for anyone to enjoy. As
long as you remember the #1 rule, ride your own ride and everything will be alright.
The biggest gauge we have is our brain, use it to keep you out of harms way.
Backdrop view of the Shasta mountain range. After the 140 mile twisty run, we start to
drop in elevation and the temp drops about 10 degrees as well. For us it's about 80
where as in Yuba City it's 100, and we welcome the 70 degree weather. We make our
way to Hydsville for lunch, fuel and a quick look at the map, I have a GPS but I like
maps because it gives a complete overview.
Just as I expected, we had too much fun in the twisties so we have to forgo the
forgotten coast till next time. It's 4:30 now so that will put us back in Yuba by 10pm.
We could stay overnight and continue in the morning, but the blood is pumping and we
want to ride.
Thinking of the lost coast we head down the 101 for home, after riding about 2 hours
we come to the Grizzly national Park that has some huge Redwood trees, I believe this
is the valley of the giants
And since Steves backside is not as tough as mine, I take it easy on him and pull over
for another rest stop...Enough with the jokes, I simply mean that I've done more long
distance tours than Steve I'm use to the long hours in the saddle.
Ramstein Wilde Schweine minus eins (Mike)
Ramstein Wild Hogs minus one (Mike)
Down 101, through the Redwoods we connect to Hwy 20 taking us towards Clear Lake.
I'm glad this bought us here because now I can add a coast line to the story (ha ha),
after all we had to save the forgotten coast till next time
I'm Anthony and thanks for reading the storyline. No club, no fees, just level headed
riders enjoying a ride.
So here we are chillin on the coast line about 2 hours from home, nothing like a long
day in the saddle to make me remember why I bought my bike. I asked for a long ride
and Anthony delivered. I had a great time and it was a pleasure riding Highway 36.
As the sun sets, we head for home chasing daylight and shadows along the way. This
has been one of those transcending days where I have come to the realization that
when I'm on the road with bike and friends, I don't need much else.
From Yuba City to the mountains, and through the forest to Clear Lake in a race
against time, before long the shadows overtake us and lead the way home. We quickly
make the last gas stop as the sun and shadows keep moving. Gassed up we increase our
speed in hopes of catching daylight. Concentration intense as we focus on the light
ahead, shadows, sunlight and us.. all three heading for the finish line we call home
As we round the bend we're taken by surprise, thinking it's been a race of three when
all the while it's been four, the moon has overtaken us all and rears it's head over the
mountain looking back to see who will take third place.
For now it matters not how fast we go, the moon is happy knowing the race is won.
Sunlight takes second and the shadows follow with a quick third. Steve and I are both
left with the darkness of moon light.
Today things just happened to fall in place, and those things made for a dam good ride.
WHERE DID YOU GO TODAY?