Wednesday, July 20, 2011

ESMB at Moto Melee XIV

This past June 24, with motorcycles on tow, ESMB headed to San Francisco for Moto Melée XIV. The Moto Melée is a three-day, ~850 miles ride for pre-1971 motorcycles with a start/finish in San Francisco. The Moto Melée was established in 1998 by ESMB friends Jeff Guzaitis and Harley Welch.

We arrived in San Francisco late afternoon Friday, dined at Zeitgeist; a San Francisco pub with great burgers, pool tables, and a beer garden; and ended our evening at The San Francisco Motorcycle Club, the second oldest motorcycle club in the United States, for Chug-A-Lug meet and greet. We met old friends, made new ones, and picked up our Moto Melée packages before heading home to prepare for our Saturday departure.

After waiting almost a year The Melée had finally arrived! At 8 am, after loading up gear, attending the 80 riders' meet-up and picking up route map the first day started. We rode over the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Clearlake, Ladoga, Stony Ford, Paskenta. Lots of small winding roads, some water crossings, canyons, Lake Berryessa, Main Street Cafe in Clearlake for lunch. The afternoon brought dirt and gravel roads, beautiful scenic views, and an end of the day poolside in Red Bluff. Dinner, dancing, and good company were a perfect ending to our first Melée XIV day.

Day 2 started early with brake checking, oil tapping, gas filling. We were heading to Fort Bragg through famous highway 36 with 140 miles of twisties. Breakfast in Wildwood, continued through Wildwood pine forest, then majestic Sequoia Forest, canopies of arching oaks, hitting the coast thru Humboldt into Mendocino along Highway 1, finally landing in Fort Bragg. It was a challenging, amazing day; bumpy, twisty, gravelly. Our Melee host were awaiting at the Hotel with room keys, locally brew beer and great company. We dined, shoot pool, played shuffleboard, and enjoyed the evening with great company.

Day 3, return to San Francisco! Rode through Boonville, Point Arena into Sonoma, went through Stewarts Point, Healdsburg, around Bodega Bay, then to Highway 1 through vineyards and Petaluma. We finalized the day crossing the San Francisco Bay Bridge in traditional foggy San Francisco weather to arrived at the awards dinner. The Moto Melee XIV was a great experience and we are already planning and looking forward to next year!