The plan had been on the books for a full year. Ride from Los Angeles to the 13th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel Valley, CA, on Thursday, enjoy the Quail Ride on Friday and the show on Saturday, then ride home Sunday.
The plan didn’t include bad weather, but it was 39 degrees and hailing an hour out of Los Angeles. It didn’t include middle of the day re-routing, but several of our favorite backroads were closed due to the season’s rain and snow.
So, over breakfast in Taft, we improvised using road maps and weather apps. Ten hours, three rainstorms and 420 miles of beautiful scenery later, we were at the Quail Lodge and Golf Club.
Motorcycle & Gear
My riding friend David Coffey and I met years ago while riding to the Quail. I was parked by the side of Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd, layering down for some unexpected hot weather. David the Good Samaritan stopped to see if I needed help.
I said, “No, I can change clothes by myself.” He laughed and we instantly became friends. We have ridden together to every Quail since.
Wet Ride on Nice Bikes
This year, we had to get creative. Ordinarily, some of our ride would include SR 1 and perhaps the aforementioned Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. But both of those were closed by bad weather.
Also, I’d hoped to have lunch at the famed Parkfield Cafe, a historic location that has always been closed when I’ve passed through. No dice! Flooding had compromised the roads to Parkfield.