No wait, come back! Â There is a reason that I rode to Tracy. Â 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. Â Let me explain. Â This man below was wearing khakis, normal shoes, and a lightweight textile jacket. Â This was the norm; I saw a few riders in jeans and sneakers, etc.
OK, who cares, right? Â But let me tell you what *I* was wearing: Â 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. Â Do these other riders live in a different planet where it was not 40F outside? Â 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. Â 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.
Corral Hollow Road goes past Carnegie Recreation Area, known for its hillclimbs. Â Check out the ruts in the hills! Â There weren’t many riders there yesterday but it’s amazing to watch people (try to) make the runs on weekends. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â The Sisig fries at Papa Urb’s are awesome and if you ever find yourself in Tracy, definitely stop by. Â The food is incredibly good and incredibly inexpensive. Â 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. Â 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. Â I ran some exciting errands like picking up the cat’s medication from the pharmacy, and then headed home.