Beautiful metropolitan Tracy, CA

No wait, come back!  There is a reason that I rode to Tracy.  I’m training for doing long-distance again (where “long-distance” is more like 200 miles a day, not like cross-country or anything); therefore, this winter my Tuesday rides are “how far can I get, have lunch, and be back by 4pm or so?”.

A GPS makes breakfast better:


One thing that befuddled me on yesterday’s ride was the attire of my fellow motorcyclists.  Let me explain.  This man below was wearing khakis, normal shoes, and a lightweight textile jacket.  This was the norm; I saw a few riders in jeans and sneakers, etc.

OK, who cares, right?  But let me tell you what *I* was wearing:  windbreaker base layer, jeans, armored pants with thermal liner, short sleeved shirt, long sleeved shirt, heated jacket liner, armored jacket, thermal neck gaiter, and I was STILL COLD.  Do these other riders live in a different planet where it was not 40F outside?  I know I didn’t just have a bubble of cold following me because everywhere I stopped, people made the “wow, it’s a cold one today!” chit-chat.  I salute you, squids on the interstate, and your apparent complete resistance to hypothermia.

I took said interstate out to Livermore and then puttered on some fun back roads over to Tracy.

Tesla Road:

Corral Hollow Road goes past Carnegie Recreation Area, known for its hillclimbs.  Check out the ruts in the hills!  There weren’t many riders there yesterday but it’s amazing to watch people (try to) make the runs on weekends.  They go STRAIGHT UP.

Corral Hollow Road, also known as, “so, hey, how was YOUR Tuesday?”:

Unfortunately, all good roads must come to an end, and Corral Hollow does eventually wind up entering Tracy in the Central Valley.  Since the Central Valley is — not terribly surprisingly — a valley, it gets really flat, really quickly.

Wikipedia tells me that Tracy is the second-most populated city in San Joaquin County, which should tell you something about San Joaquin County.  It was named for railroad director Lathrop Tracy (once they found a theme, they stuck with it, as the city named Lathrop is 11 miles NE of Tracy).

Tracy’s big claim to dubious fame is a tire fire of over 7 million illegally stored tires that burned for two years from 1998 until 2000.

My destination in Tracy was nicer than that, though — Papa Urb’s Grill, a very small little restaurant tucked into an interstate exit strip-mall right next to an In N Out.  The Sisig fries at Papa Urb’s are awesome and if you ever find yourself in Tracy, definitely stop by.  The food is incredibly good and incredibly inexpensive.  Thanks to April for the recommendation (pro tip: always ask your chef friends for restaurant recs).

After lunch, I took Altamont Pass Road back west instead of getting back on the interstate.  This is always the right decision: Altamont is generally low-trafficked and you can ride at a good clip; plus, windmills!

I rode back through Livermore and then hopped back on the freeway to head back to the Bay Area.  I ran some exciting errands like picking up the cat’s medication from the pharmacy, and then headed home.

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