Saturday, January 19, 2008

2008 Jan 19 - Polar Bear Ride

2008 Jan 19 - Polar Bear Ride Manteca to Jackson

{Click on any photo to view the full size image}

Scotty said "Don, you can't have a Polar Bear Ride without snow ;-). " So for Scotty, Top Dawg insists he rode through this to get to the Ride. But I know that it is a photo from a Death Valley Ride.

Tom, Top Dawg and David J.

We met at the McDonalds on East Yosemite Avenue in Manteca. I got there first and had my biscuit and egg with a Senior coffee which was $0.69 in Manteca.

Tom from Sacramento arrives next, then Top Dawg. After a bit, the rest of the total of 9 bikes and 11 people arrive, 2 bikes are riding two-up.

Jason a new member from Manteca and Rhonda and Tim from Brentwood.

KC and his Meanie and John and Lea.

It is too cold to ride without my left glove today and I can't press the button to turn on my camera with my glove on. So no road photos. We head along with the traffic on Hwy 120 through Escalon and just before Oakdale we turn onto the back roads. Nice twisties along Rodden Road to Orange Blossom. More twisties as we ride Orange Blossom to Knight's Ferry. We take a break at the park above the Stanislaus River, a part of the Corp of Engineers.

David and John

Everyone but K. C. who took the photo.

We were suppose to have lunch at Teresa's Place and I am phoning for reservations. Well, it turns out that Teresa's no longer has lunch on Saturdays and wont open until 5:00 PM. On Sundays they open at 2:00 PM for dinner. So we will head over to Mel and Faye's Café, a Jackson stand by.

From Knight's Ferry we back track a couple of miles to Sonora Road, which is a little used road where on a weekend you may find more bicycles than cars on. Things are uneventful for 8 or 9 miles. Then there is a old guy on an ATV riding toward us and is pointing his arm to his left, our right. I slow but am not sure what he is trying to tell us. Then as I make the next corner I rapidly pull as far to the right as I can on this narrow road with mud and fences along both sides of the road. And just as quickly come to a stop because what I saw was a herd of cows and calves being herded down the road right at us by two horse backed cowboys. We stop in a single file and turn off the engines so as not to spook the cows with any exhaust noise. Part of the herd moves over in the dirt to my right and the whole herd stops as they reach me. Eventually the cowboys with their herd dogs manage to move the herd around us. The first time I ever encountered this. I was a bit panicked by the sight of 40 to 60 cows spread across the road and both shoulders blocking any path through them. I could not get my glove off and camera ready as I was paying more attention to what the cows in front of me were doing. And I was the only one whose camera was readily available in my tank bag.

We continue along and head north on Milton Road for 20 miles, which has recently been repaved to Hwy 26 to Valley Springs then over to the road on top of Pardee Dam.

There is the single lane road on top of the dam that we rode.

Bikes at a break at Pardee Dam vista point.

We take Stoney Creek Road, a favorite of the squibs in the Summer into Jackson.
Photo from

We ride the original ride route into and out of Teresa's Place parking lot and along old Main Street. Then to Mel and Faye's Diner.
We decide to eat outside and order from the take out window because the wait for a table is too long.

Eating al fresco on a Polar Bear Ride.

KC, Top Dawg, VSP and David J. waiting for our food.

Top Dawg insisted that I post a solo photo of him. The old town of Jackson in the background.

Tom eating his burger.

Bill eating his burger.

John eating his food.

Lunch was the end of the Ride. So we break up into ones and twos as people are heading in different directions to get back home.

Here is a list of Riders and their home towns:
Top Dawg...Atwater