G’day, Daniel Harman here. This Labor Day long weekend I took the plunge and joined the club’s ROL Gypsy Tour as a guest; as it turns out, this was the best weekend of riding I have had in a long time (and certainly in California), but more on that later.
A little background about myself. As you many have guessed from the intro, I am Australian and have been living in the Bay Area for almost a year now. As for riding motorcycles, I grew up riding dirt bikes as a kid and then later progressed to predominantly road riding. In my early 40s now, I guess I have been riding motorcycles for a little over 20 years and have enjoyed many bikes along the way including some great BMWs (the K1300s I had from new a firm favorite). Since being in the Bay Area I have gravitated to more adventure style riding; with such a beautiful State to explore, my previous bike (a Buell) was simply not up to the desired touring duties. This being the case I bought a 2002 GS1150 Adventure about a month ago and the ROL was the second weekend I managed to get the GS out since owning it.
First impressions of ROL
I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little nervous turning up on Friday afternoon to the first night’s camp. First impressions though was what a supportive and friendly bunch of people. Ed Perry checked me in at registration (who I would later ride with all weekend) and after setting up camp near Scott and Tom, was then invited to join them for dinner that night in the local town pub. A fun night eventuated and I instantly felt welcome and at home. An early night was had, with excitement looking forward to what Saturday had to offer.
The riding was quite simply awesome. Whilst I have not ridden a great deal in California, I have ridden a lot in Europe and in Australia so know a good road when I experience one. The roads on ROL just blew me away; from sweeping corners following Feather River, to technical “goat track” style roads up to Antelope Lake, with some dirt track detours enjoyed along the way, I finished each day exhausted but with a huge smile on my face. Wow! This great riding in addition coupled with spectacular scenery, really made the long weekend special and cemented my desires to join the club sometime in the near future.
So thank you
So with that in mind, a few shout-outs and since thank you to all of you home I met along on the ROL. In particular, Ed, Fred, John and Dan whom I rode with most of the weekend. Seriously enjoyed the challenging riding and look forward to many weekends of riding to follow.