The wife went shopping; I went to Dixon, about a 60-mile ride from San Fran, but a pleasant ride at that. It’s mostly highway riding, so I put the 106ci engine to the test, sans the gear and the passenger. Before heading out, I adjusted the rear shock to appease the adjusted weight. The bike is fast. Like, really fast. You wouldn’t guess it by looking at it, but she’s a sleeper as they say. It’s also nimble, very nimble. I threw it around like a sport bike. Cruise control would have been nice on the ’10, which Victory addressed with the ’11s. Also addressed in 2011 is the Fourth and Sixth gear whine on the ’10 transmission. It’s a little annoying but I wear earplugs so it didn’t bother me too much.
Arrived at the Dixon Fairgrounds for the show, and was blown away by the original vintage iron on hand. The AMCA members track down, barter for, or sell a kid or two to get the original bolts for their Knucklehead or Panhead engine cases. These are true restorers in the purest sense. I found a ’41 Knuck that blew my mind, and had to shoot it for the mag (see Feb. 2011 issue and hotbikeweb.com). I also talked to a bunch of great people that I’d definitely like to visit with again. The Fort Sutter meet is great. Make it a to-do on the old list, and you won’t be disappointed.
Headed back to San Fran for a quick rinse at the hotel and a good bite in the city. San Francisco is magical. I will live there at one point in my life. Mark my words. Until then, my wife and I go there every year for vacation and that will have to do. There’s too much to do in the city to list, and space is limited, so I won’t try.
Day Four: San Francisco to San Luis Obispo
Woke up groggy from an all-night city stroll. But I’d be sitting on the Cross Roads’ already comfortable seat coupled with the Airhawk Seat Pad. Time to start our descent back to the Inland Empire. We’d take some time doing so and the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo (SLO) has always been on our list.
Took the 101 Freeway back to save time without having to take the 5 Freeway. The 5 is quick and boring, two things not on the agenda. Plus the 101 travels alongside some pretty cool towns like Palo Alto (Stanford University), Gilroy (garlic capital of the world), and Paso Robles (numerous Central California coastal wineries). We didn’t stop at the latter two, but we did stop in Palo Alto for a bite to eat at a cool little grocery with great sandwiches and homemade salads and soups, close to Stanford. Took our food to go, headed to the campus to see what the rich kids were up to, had lunch in the quad, chatted for a bit, had a smoke, and back on the road we went.
Hauled ass to SLO and checked in to the famed Madonna Inn. Created by Alex Madonna in 1958, each room is uniquely designed and themed. After we arrived we unpacked the bike for the last time (thank God) and climbed the stairs to our room. The theme of our room was the California poppy flower: everything from the wallpaper, the carpet coloring, the bedding, and the bathroom walls was decked out in full poppy motif. It wasn’t the most exciting dcor but then again, I don’t think I’ve ever been excited about dcor. But at least now I could cross the Madonna Inn off the bucket list.
Dropped the bags, took a shower, went to the Inn’s restaurant for an extremely overpriced and not very satisfying dinner; too tired to care at that point. Once dinner was over, we went back to the room and again, watched a good movie, fell asleep in the middle of said movie.
Day Five: San Luis Obispo to Riverside
Woke up, rinsed off, packed the gear, loaded the bike, headed to the Apple Farm for breakfast. The Apple Farm is a quaint Inn, restaurant, bakery, and gift shop in San Luis Obispo. Your gal will love you for taking her there. After Breakfast I loaded up on toffee chips cookies from the bakery to bring home, had a smoke, hit the gas station, had another cookie, and headed home. The road home is always bittersweet. Tyou miss the luxuries of home, but you're in no hurry to get there. But it's trips like these that you look forward to as soon as you get home. Until next time.. HB
Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA)
(866) 427-7583 | antiquemotorcycle.org
(800) 572-7442 | burtoninn.com
(888) 442-0700 | hotelsausalito.com
Kensington Park Hotel
(800) 553-1900 | kensingtonparkhotel.com
(800) 543-9666 | madonnainn.com
(831) 667-2345 | nepenthebigsur.com
Contact your local dealer | polarisindustries.com