The King City Run from the outlook of a Chase Truck Rider by Gayle Chambers
and I arrived in King City about 6pm on Thursday so we missed the "short ride" that
day. We checked into the motel and said our "hellos" to everyone. I checked with
Mike, the Chase Truck Driver, to see if he was ok with me riding along with him.
He was kind enough to say no problem, so I was set for the Friday and Saturday rides.
The group included Victor and Chris who set up the run and did all the wonderful
hard work, Mark and Kathy Wiebens, Brian Davis, Wes, and Mario and me. Wes and Mike
were the only non-members of YB. (Wes lives in Yuba City, so he’s forgiven. Mike
we have to work on! –Ed)
Victor was on his famous Harley, Chris rode his pre-16 Harley,
Mark and Kathy rode 2 up on Mark’s 1927 JD Harley, Mario was on his 46 Knuckle, and
Brian D. was riding the newest bike and the only Indian in attendance, his 48 Chief.
And, last but not least, was Wes, who traveled the farthest to attend the run , all
the way from Yuba City, riding his pre 16 Excelsior. Mike was guilted into driving
the "Official Motion Pro Mercedes Ben Chase Truck" with me tagging along.
short Ride Meeting Thursday night it was decided to leave the motel at 8:30 the following
morning. Then it was off to dinner at the restaurant across from the motel where
we all had good food, and good conversation which included a lot of talk about motorcycles.
Friday morning was cool and crisp and after enjoying our continental breakfast and
coffee with Baileys, thanks to Mario. This ride would be the longest at about 160
miles and would cover back roads, windy roads, paved and unpaved roads. Off we went
with Victor in the lead and Mike and me following the group in the very luxurious
As the morning progressed over winding roads, we spotted turkeys, many
squirrels darting across the road and Chris said he spotted a gray colored animal
up in the hills, a coyote maybe?
The morning also included gas stops and a visit to
Priest Valley Bar and Dance Hall where a sign was posted saying, "Closed for the
Winter". But, beautiful country scenery and a lot of old yard art decorate the area.
From there we headed up the Parkfield Grade, a steep 3 mile climb followed by the
highlight of the morning, the 3 mile descent on a hard, gravel packed, winding road.
That made me appreciate the fact that I was not on a bike but sitting in the comfort
of the Chase Truck. Here, I really need to give Kathy kudos for riding behind her
husband and hanging onto that little grip handle during the very windy, gravel road.
Definitely, for me, that would have been a white knuckle 3 miles.
For lunch we stopped
in Parkfield, the earthquake capital of California. The restaurant was a unique log
construction with branding irons hanging from the ceiling and saddles used for bar
stools. The outside had a picnic area, stage, and unique tree house. Across the street
from the restaurant was a cute, rustic hotel and spa. We had a great tasting lunch,
some of the dishes included, chili, steak salad, an earthquake burger and a huge
plate of fries covered in cheese and cilantro with avocados. This dish was shared
by all 9 of us. A note to diners, the chef really liked to use a lot of cilantro
in the dishes, so be aware. We were hoping for a "shaker" during our lunch but didn't
get to experience one. The town with a pop. of 18 was hosting a rodeo over the weekend
so there were plenty of cowboys and cowgirls around.
Leaving Parkfield, our route
took us to an old-time gas station converted into a coffee shop with a cute antique
store in the back. We all had a drink and some of us indulged in a sweet treat that
were made on site.
From the Gas Station stop we had an invitation to stop and walk
around an old garage/yard where this guy had an old Studebaker, and a Honda 750 with
wood spoke wheels plus outside he had an old Chopped Top Hot Rod with a souped up
slant 6 engine. The yard area also had ducks and chickens, an old outhouse plus a
lot of yard art and plants. The whole area , inside the garage and outside was very
neat and clean and interesting to all of us.
After this stop, we meandered our way
back to King City, going under and over the freeway and winding our way thru vineyards
and narrow roads. We even encountered a small tornado which kicked up a lot of dust.
Got back to King City around 5:30 with a few sore butts but a good day of great scenery,
good food windy roads, gravel roads and country roads.
We met at 7:30 for our dinner
in a private room at the same restaurant. Staff were very accommodating, and we had
a wonderful dinner of prime rib, baked potato, veggies and dessert ranging from chocolate
sundaes, cheesecakes and mudpie. Our dinner conservation centered on the days ride,
motorcycles and suggestions and ideas for next year’s run. It was a great end to
a great day. We decided to start our Saturday ride at 9:00, meeting in the parking
lot of the motel.
Awoke Saturday morning to blue skies and warmer weather and off
we go with Victor in the lead as usual for our 2 hour ride. Our first destination
was San Antonio Mission but, just as Mark and Kathy pulled into the street, Mark’s
bike died due to electrical problems. We offered to wait but they were done, so the
rest of our little group headed out.
San Antonio Mission is in the middle of Hunter
Liggett Army Base. Now, if you have never heard of San Antonio Mission, you are not
alone. But I must tell you all, that this is a mission you should see. It is beautiful
with well-kept grounds and buildings and a super gift shop featuring local artists
and their wares. We were told that this mission was the 3rd mission built and is
supported by 35 local families. Right now they are in the middle of a hugely important
fundraiser to raise 12 million dollars to retro-fit the church and extended buildings
for earthquake safety. They have till 2016 to raise the money or the state will shut
the mission down and that would be a great loss to the California Missions. So keep
this in mind, take the family, spread the word and go visit the San Antonio Mission.
You will not be disappointed.
Leaving the mission, we went up and over and around
and down and ended in Lockwood at the Diner. We were all hungry. Had a lunch which
included hot dogs with all the trimmings and the best and biggest chili verde burrito
I have ever seen. After eating and visiting and placing a YB sticker in their window,
we headed slowly back to King City. Got back to the motel around 12:30 and we all
checked out and said our "goodbyes till next year."
This is the second year I have
had the privilege of participating on this Run and this year was even better than
last year. There were some new people this year but we also missed the ones that
went last year. Look for info on next year’s Run. I'm sure that Victor and Chris
will take our suggestions and ideas and make an even better Run next year. I don't
want to give away any secrets, but with some of the suggestions and ideas that we
talked about, you will not want to miss this Run. Victor and Chris definitely want
this Run to be fun and entertaining, and historical and informative. Don't be the
one to miss it, I know Mario and I will be there, will you?
Thank you Victor and
Chris for all your hard work and preparation. Till next year, Gayle, Chase Truck Rider