I woke up in Fort Bragg which is not that unusual when you consider that that is where I went to sleep. It was cold. In the mid to low thirties which is pretty darn cold for the coast of California which is known for its year- round moderate weather. But this was just what i wanted so that I could see how my clothing and equipment would work in colder weather.
I checked the bike out and found that I one of the rear fender mounts was about to come completely loose. This part had been changed during the last shop visit and I suppose it just never got tightened all the way down. One of the mounting screws had left me but I made the remaining ones tight and it seemed like it was going to hold. Other than that the bike was wet with dew and a little dirty which was easy enough to remedy. So I packed up and headed out down the scenic highway one. Highway one is probably the best drive in the country no matter what you are driving and on a cold Christmas eve it was no different.
I was only on Hwy 1 for a short piece before I got to Albion and turned off on hwy 128 which heads back east, away from the coast and towards my home in Manteca. It is one of those roads that no one uses unless they have no other choice as it is a winding two lane road through farm county with not much in the way of services along the way. It is what I consider a perfect road as I had it pretty much to myself. The frost covered landscapes of dairy farms and vineyards was just what I wanted to see on this crisp winter day.
I followed it all the way to Davis, Ca making notes on what articles of clothing I would have to add. The air temp gauge on my bike indicated as low as 33 degrees and it is always a couple of degrees high because of the effect the engine temperature has on it. But temps in the low 30’s and a wind speed of 50-70 mph makes for some cool riding. I was thankful for my slider windshield which I kept all the way up most of the day. This kept the brunt of the cold wind off of my torso which had a lot to do with me being comfortable. All together it was a very pleasant day to be riding around the countryside.
Once I got to Davis I did the unthinkable and got on the interstate and headed home. By this time I figured I needed to get home and do the final preparations for Christmas. Besides I had accomplished a 500 mile run and learned as much as I needed to about riding in the cold: more clothes, slower speeds, windshield up. Nice trip all the way around.