BSA MID State ride. April 12, 13, 2014

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BSA MID State ride. April 12, 13, 2014

Post by Thruxton71 » Sat May 03, 2014 5:41 pm

I you have not ridden with Frank Forster on the Mid State ride, you are missing out. The official
ride leaves from Carmel on Saturday and ends up in Morro Bay after riding on a lot of challenging
and rewarding roads. The riders then return to Carmel the next day on a different route, just
as amusing.

Some of us in Southern California take a different option. This year we trailered up to Morro
Bay on Friday, then early Saturday we headed up Hwy 1 to ambush the ride in Big Sur, or at least that
was the plan. By the time we got going and finished breakfast in Cambria, were were running a
little late. In our group was a Triumph T160 (trident), an original owner Norton Commando, a 69 Triuimph modified to
dual purpose, complete with knobbies and uppipes, a 64 Royal Enfield Continental GT, and my ride,
a 1952 velocette MAC. The plan was to ride with the RE, as the MAC and the RE are both small bikes,
and have to run at their own pace.

Soon the Norton and the T160 tired of our pace, and raced ahead, and the desert sled stayed with us.
As we approached ragged point, things got interesting, what with traffic and tight sinuous curves.
Even though I had made the RE rider promise not to try to race (thusly pushing the pace beyond the
comfortable cruising speed needed to maintain reliability on a long ride), the race was ON. He has a
distinct power to weight ratio advantage over me, but I don't slow down for corners and have been known
to execute aggressive passing maneuvers in traffic. So it was back and forth all the way up the coast,
me getting an advantage in traffic and corners, and he using straights to catch up and do flybys. In other
words, we were having a grand time.

As we started to get close to Big Sur, the organized ride started to show up in the opposing lane, Frank
leading. As Gas is always an issue for my bike (100 mile range), we had to get up to the Shell station
in Big Sur and refuel before we turned around, which is what we did, putting us behind the ride.

Running back down to catch them the pace was a little more sane, and the CHP were around, and getting
their attention could make a fun ride a disaster.

The next step in Frank's ride is to climb up from the coast on Nacimiento-Fergusson Road into the
military base, Hunter Leggitt, and onward to lunch in King City. If you have not ridden this goat track
of a road, please take the time to do so. I like the ride up from the ocean, which elevates you to the crest
at 2780 feet, where upon you get to drop back down on a roller coaster road snaking through a coastal
forest, with shadows and decreasing radius turns and no center line. It will test your brakes and control
and concentration, especially knowing that every blind corner may have a cage coming through. Not a
lot of traffic, just enough to keep you on your toes. I seemed to have lost the RE somewhere along the way,
but pulled over for a while, relaxing, and they reappeared.

Once on the base (the old hunting reserve for the Hurst family) things get more civilized, and it pays to
obey the speed limits, as the MPs issue federal tickets, and take it from me, this is something you do
not want to get. The security perimeter has been shrunk, so unless you need to stop and
get fuel, you can pass through without having to show license and insurance. Traditionally this is a
great time to take in the wild flowers that bloom this time of year, but this year the display was
muted. Something about no rain.

We took Jolon road over to King City, a short cut (you need to be creative to get on the time line for
these rides), but the good run is to take Lockwood/San Lucas road over to the 101, then farm
roads into King City. It is a horsepower road, not that I would know.

Lunch at El Lugarcito on Broadway was, as usual, fast and tasty. Time to see who is on the ride! A passel of
old BMWs, a couple of Harleys, Our group, an Aprilla, a Ducati, more Nortons, oldTriumph twins.. quite a collection. These
people are there to ride, and the type of bike doesn't seem to matter. They all know that Frank lays out
good rides and great roads, if there were time enough in the day to see them all.

We headed east out of King city on Lonoak Rd, out past the cultivated fields, into the low hills with cattle,
and away from the city. This road has very little traffic, once you are away from the farms and into the
ranches. Another horsepower road, but entertaining, even on my old MAC.

After 10 or 12 miles (did you gas up in King city?), we turn onto Peach Tree road, that runs south through
huge ranches, tracing the course of a dry river bed. It gets very interesting as time goes by, another classic
Frank road. Built to follow the contours and curves of the land, old school. There is some rough
pavement for a rigid, it gives one's legs a good workout, supplying suspension. There is a lot of ground to
cover before dinner in Morro Bay, so a reasonable pace must be maintained. Oh, that is another thing
about Frank rides, people don't really linger on the road, in general, these are riders.

Just when you think you cannot have any more fun, Peach Tree turns into Indian Valley road and things
get even more interesting as it climbs up out of the basin that Peach Tree ran in back westward and
into San Miguel, where, and you guessed it, gas is available. Of interest is the fancy smancy Lamborghini that
we passed, who was not happy with the rough roads, I guess. Hah.. passed by a rigid 1952 Velocette. Weak.

Franks official ride left from San Miguel and crisscrossed the wonderful roads that lay in the hills to the
east of Paso robles where there are a BUNCH of wineries. We hit the 101 to the 46, and after struggling to
keep from being run over by traffic, turned on Old Creek road, to get back to Morro Bay. Old Creek is another
must ride road in the area, but we had the misfortune of being stuck behind cages. Too bad. This is where
horsepower would be nice. Not that I would know.

Dinner at the Otter Rock cafe in Morro Bay sounded good, but Mr Desert Sled decided to sit in the Hot tub
at our hotel, so we were 1/2 hour late, and they wouldn't serve us. bOOOOO. Must be a new policy. Then some
more riders came in and got the same cold shoulder, so 8 wallets walked out and looked for food and drink
elsewhere. We ended up in a friendly pizza place with a pitcher of beer.

The next day we loaded up and headed back, while some of our group rode part of the return route, which
went out through pozo and lunched at parkfield, then a bunch of nasty little roads back to Carmel.

It is a great couple of days of riding, no matter how you do it.

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Re: BSA MID State ride. April 12, 13, 2014

Post by Brakelate » Sun May 04, 2014 10:07 am

Sounds like another great time. I swear I am going to make a "Mid State" ride before I kick the bucket. Thanks for sharing here. :clap:

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