This past weekend, my son and I make the trek from our home in Clovis, CA to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull MotoGP. Had a great time. Best trip he and I have ever taken together, so I thought I would share a little trip report.
We had spent the previous 10 days with the family camping up and down the California Coast, and arrived home around 6PM Friday night. After towing our camper behind the mini van for several days, I was a tad tired and wanted to sleep in a bit before hitting the road on the V. Our plan was to leave Saturday morning around 11:00AM and head to the Monterey Penisula. I was up early finishing the final check over of the bike, and finally we were all set to go.
The wife repeatedly told me to be good and take care of our son. Taking care of the son, would be easy - being good, well sometimes that is open to interupretation!
Here we are in the driveway getting ready to leave.
Since this would be the longest trip my 11 year old son had ever done with me, I planned several stops to make sure he didn’t get too tired, and to give us time to hang out. I planned our route to take as many backroads as possible, and avoid slabbing it whenever possible. We headed out of Clovis on 168, and then merged onto 180 headed west. A short 35 minutes later, we did a lunch stop in Mendota. Things were going great so far.
Here is my son enjoying an Icee at Burger King.
After enjoying our lunch, we were back on the bike and headed towards Los Banos. Motored right through Los Banos towards our next stop, Case de Fruita.
Here is Jr. enjoying a cool PowerAde.
When we left Clovis, it was close to 90 degrees. Shortly after leaving Casa, the temps dropped about 20 degrees. We both enjoyed the temp drop at first, but soon we were both complaining about the cold!! That was all part of the experience, I suppose. We knew there would be dramatic temp changes, but it made sense to plan for warm weather and endure the cooler weather when we encountered it.
Next stop, Embassy Suites in Seaside, CA to pick our tickets up at will-call. Really enjoyed the ride into the Penisula. Bikes everywhere, and rode in with a nice group of riders. Beautiful sight as so many bikes road together in perfect formation. Even saw another green view by the Starbucks across from the hotel.
Shot of the V from inside McDonalds.
After a quick bite to eat, we hopped back on the V enroute to Motel 6 in Gilroy, CA. Would have liked to have been closer to Laguna Seca, but most places near the track book up pretty quickly. As it would turn out, where we stayed worked out really well, since motorcycles get to take the back way into the track on Reservation Road.
Jr. enjoying sitting on the comfy bed. My wife and daughters tend to bag on Motel 6, but for my son and I, it was perfect. Clean room, good bed, and Jr. got complete control of the TV. We were loving every minute of it.
Sunday morning we were up at and out the door at 6:30AM since I was itching to get to the track and see some racing. It was a chilly 25 minute ride, but soon we were on Reservation Road enjoying riding with many other riders in a nice paceline the 6 miles to the track. If you have ever been to Laguna Seca, you know it really is quite impressive when you finally reach the track and see the track tucked into the valley below. After finding our parking area, we were ready for the adventure to begin.
Jr. changing into his walking shoes, and getting ready to put his jacket in the trunk.
Shot of Ducati Island. Since this was our first trip to MotoGP, and I wasn't sure where the Green Parking section was, I ended up following a small group of riders to the island. Turns out the guys at the gate do not like it when a green Kawasaki tries to storm the island!
Some nice bikes on the island.
After a stop at the Ducati store to get my son a hat, we headed over to the grandstands to watch an e-bike race.
Having a great time.
Checked out Danny Eslick's awesome Suzuki. He rode one hell of a race and pulled off one of the best passes I have ever seen.
The girls! Yes, the MotoGP girls were incredible!
There is a great story behind this next shot. This lovely young lady had just stepped out for a stroll in the paddock area, so I grabbed the opportunity to get a shot with her. I handed my son the camera and asked him to take the shot. The lovely umbrella girl squeezed up next to me and my son took the picture. I thanked the young lady for her time and then asked my son for the camera to see the shot he had taken. I liked the photo, but was disappointed he didn't zoom in more a closer shot. When I asked him about it, he said "I didn't think mom would like that." Priceless. He may be my wingman, but he is still loyal to his mom. She loves that.
A little while later, we were walking around, and I saw the Playboy racing exhibit. Incredible ladies there, to say the least. Jr. had wandered over by some bikes nearby, but I wanted a picture of the ladies. I asked them for a photo and took one. As I did, a guy standing beside me said "Jump in there man! I'll take a shot for you." How could I pass that up?
My smile says it all!
Finally it was time to head to the grandstands to watch the MotoGP race. My race shots are not great, but thought I would include a few anyway.
The race was a blast to watch. Lorenzo was incredible until Stoner got him and got the win. Would have liked to have seen the Ducati's run stronger, but that was not to be.
After the race, we wandered around a bit, and finally decided it was time to head back to the motel. We were both tired, and ready to leave. As we were walking to the parking lot, we saw a Ducati that I really, really wanted to take home.
I know, I know. Her riding gear is totally inappropriate, but dang, sure looks good!
Traffic was extremely heavy back to Gilroy, but eventually we got there, grabbed something to eat, and spent the rest of the evening watching TV and talking about the great day we had.
The next morning, we left Gilroy around 9:30AM and headed for home. Great ride. A few hours later, we were back where we started. My wife was out with our daughters, so we had to do a self-portrait celebrating our trip.
Without a doubt, this was one of the best things my son and I have ever done together. To hear him say "That was really fun" when we got to the motel brought tears to my eyes. It truly was a perfect trip. I bought this bike so he and I could explore more places together, and it is living up to all the expectations I had.
Thanks for reading.
Until the next adventure.....