Well that was an intense 24 hours. Woke up at 6am to get a flight to San Francisco, did the whole airport commute, airport wait, plane ride, customs rigmarole, and found myself 16 hours later in sunny San Francisco. And this time it really was sunny. Because it wasn’t really San Francisco. I’m staying with friends in Burlingame, just south of the winter micro-climate that often is San Francisco itself, and the weather here was just perfect. Coming from London at the moment, that means a lot.
Within a few hours, I was sitting on the back of a Triumph Tiger XC 800 soaking up the sunshine on my way to pick up my ride for the week. We pulled up outside Armando’s house to see a pristine R6 with a fully adjustable shock, custom shorty end can, gold rearsets and gold levers being washed and prepped for me by my good friend Armando. It really doesn’t get much better than this. Except it does, because after chatting for a while and catching up, gawping at the bike for about 30 minutes or so, toweling down the bike and lubing the chain, Mario and I headed off for what would be one of the most intense motorbiking experiences of recent memory. Almost four hours on totally varying roads – a bit of city riding to get us out of San Francisco, some freeway to get us south of the city, then twisties of all descriptions from there onwards. Bumpy on and off camber B-road type twisties, tight, nadgery, narrow twisties on “goat track” tarmac, and finally sweeping smooth tarmac snaking its way with perfect switchback curves from the coast up to the ridge at Alice’s Restaurant. Wow.
A quick burger (what else, this is Merika, folks) and then a quick night ride back to Burlingame. And let’s just cap it all off with a beer in Mario’s garden looking at the stars, shall we? Lovely jubblies.