Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: August 2017


NorCal Revisited Part 3: Reclaiming San Francisco

My homework was done, and I was ready to jump on Eleanor and play! I looked on Google Maps and found out that there was a road that leads out of Petaluma onto some really nice twisties and headed out toward PCH. It was going to be a bit cooler going into this region (around the mid-60s), so I made sure that I inserted my rain liner into my mesh jacket to add more layers to battle the winds and fog on my way down toward San Francisco.

I had no idea what visually stunning sights I was in for as I was riding down these serene, two-lane roads. There were small lakes, seemingly unending hills, and very picturesque land forms as I rode through on a good clip. However, I had to come to a complete stop for this lake area amid the hills, otherwise known as the Nicasio Reservoir.

Once I made it onto the US-101 southbound heading into San Francisco (around 10:30 AM), the fog was so bad that I delayed taking a photo at Battery Spencer until later in the day when I was on my way out. Temps had also dropped down to the upper-50s so getting through the Golden Gate Bridge and into the city where it was warmer was a priority. It was surreal to cross back into San Francisco again from the north; it had been over six years since I had done it, and the third time that Eleanor had seen the bridge. I had ridden across the Golden Gate Bridge on another motorcycle before this, my 2005 Suzuki SV650.

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I learned a couple things once I made it to Fisherman's Wharf. First, with a motorcycle, you can park for free right in the entrance of the wharf. Second, I need to bring my FastTrak transponder with me the next time I return to Northern California. All of the toll roads are using the system now.

My first stop in the Fisherman's Wharf was the Musée Mécanique, a penny arcade and museum filled with video games and arcade machines from various decades, all of them fully playable. As I had done a decade prior, I threw a few quarters into the X-Men vs. Street Fighter game and beat the snot out of another patron. After that, I ventured outside to check out Alcatraz from a distance as it could be seen in plain view the day I was there.

Hmm. That's not what I think about when I envision a bunch of bimbos in a box.
There were too many food selections to choose from for lunch, and I had a little too much fun taking photos of everything. This may involve multiple visits back up here. I'm not complaining about that.

If it lived in the ocean, it'll probably end up on a roll. The options were endless. Would you like some rolls with your crab, lobster, or shrimp?

A pair of disgruntled giant lobster and an indifferent crab.
That's a long way to swim if you're planning to make any sort of escape.
Getting my clam-on-clam fix with a little help from the squid. This was totally worth the ride down to the city by the bay.
Even the Magikarp couldn't resist all the attention!
Cooked crab...master of the resting bitch face.

I have a feeling that these socks wouldn't fly well at my job. The kids would find it funny, though.
After lunch, I headed over the hilly parts of the city into Japantown to Daiso in an attempt to find a budget Apple Lightning cable to charge my iPad (I had forgotten mine at home). Unfortunately, they were sold out of them so I made my way to the flagship Apple Store in Union Square.

I spent a little time perusing this two-story, open air store and had the chance to plug my iPad in to get a little juice while I surfed the Internet on a display MacBook and took a break. It's a pretty cool location and it was packed with all sorts of visitors. I ended up getting out of there with a Lightning cable. (Tip: You have a 14-day return window if you buy anything from the Apple Store.) This is great for those people who just happen to be out of town and are forgetting anything.

Tangela is here to inquire about the new MacBook Pro.
Switching gears from technology and back to motorcycles, I rode to BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco to check out the store and ask for some assistance in topping off the oil on Eleanor. She tends to burn a little more oil than normal because of her mileage and age, and I was receiving an oil light on my dash while I was near the Nicasio Reservoir. It's a level, not a pressure, sensor. The service manager there wasn't too busy and helped me out in the service bay. I even got a t-shirt and stickers out of the whole deal. I'd definitely come back and visit again.

After that, I made a quick stop to the nearby D-Store to see if there were any good deals on motorcycle gear before riding back to Battery Spencer to get that view of the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time I got there (about 7:30 PM), the view was just perfect.

I made it back to Petaluma around 9 PM and had to find some creative parking on the street. The roads are severely banked here so I had to be careful where I put my kickstand down. In reference to the title of this blog, returning to San Francisco and some destinations that I have not seen in ten years brought closure to what were tumultuous times in my life. In many ways, even being back up here was a cleansing experience.

My next stop the following day, the Corbin Seats World Headquarters in Hollister, CA, would bring some of that healing energy onto my trusty Yamaha FJR1300 in the form of a completely restored rider seat.

That parking angle is just slightly unnerving...