2013 – MotoGP at Laguna Seca! Last year my son and I were not able to make our annual trip to MotoGP because of my wife’s surgery. This year however, the stars aligned and we were once again able to gear up and getaway for a few days. It was nice to get out of the heat in the valley and have some quality bro-time.
At 8:00 on Saturday morning we were all set to go. We packed just what we needed for a 5 day trip on the road. Packing light with Jr. is easy. Packing light when my wife and I travel – not so much.
All ready to go.
We hopped on Freeway 99 and road the slab to Highway 152. Nothing real exciting on either of these stretches of road, and we have been on them a million times. But I do enjoy seeing the farmland and this has always been the quickest way to get where we were headed.
We rolled into Los Banos and had to make our customary stop at Starbucks. Coffee is always good and a butt-break every now and then is also appreciated.
Thirty minutes later…
Which meant it was time to hit the road again.
Highway 152 into Gilroy has always been one of my favorite stretches to ride. The slab is good, the twists and turns are fun on the V, and the views are awesome. We got into Gilroy and headed for a burger joint I had researched, Cafe152 Burger Company. We both enjoy a good burger and I tracked down a local joint that seemed to be just our kind of place.
It was everything we were hoping for. The service was great, atmosphere was casual, and it was absolutely one of the best burgers I have ever had. If you ever get a chance to go there, try the BBQ Bliss burger – amazing!
After a relaxing lunch, we were back on the bike and heading to Monterey to pick up our tickets at Will-Call. After that, we headed to Cannery Row for “Race Night On The Row.” We hit Cannery Row at about 2:15pm and eventually found a place to park. At 3pm Cannery Row is closed to all vehicles other than motorcycles. Signs are everywhere warning that cars will be towed if not moved before 3pm. Some did not heed the warnings.
This minivan had Harley’s in front of it and Ducati’s behind it. Tow truck driver did a masterful job of dragging it out to the cheers of onlookers.
Some nice bikes on the Row.
We played around Cannery Row for a bit and watched at more and more bikes showed up. I had researched a tourist place called the Mirror Maze that we went to check out. Basically this place is a maze of mirrors and colored lights. The object is to enter in one side and find your way out the other. Jr. was very good at it, I was not. I ran into walls, used a few bad words, and had to be rescued by Jr. a few times. The shot below isn’t great, but it gives you an idea of what we were dealing with.
Few shots from Cannery Row.
The weather was turning cooler, and we had already had a long day, so after a few hours we were back on the bike and heading to Gilroy to our motel. When we do our “bro-trips” we always end up staying at Motel6. I know they aren’t for everyone, but for us guys, they fit the bill. And the Motel6 in Gilroy is fairly close to the motorcycle enterence at Laguna Seca, and is more affordable than the places in Monterey and Seaside.
Home Sweet Home for the night.
Enjoying a few beverages. Note: Not all of the drinks in his hands are is – one is mine!
Sunday morning started early with a 5:30AM wake-up call.
Followed by breakfast at McDonald’s.
And then we were off to Laguna Seca. The motorcycle-only entrance to Laguna makes for a great little ride to the track. Winding around the older parts of Fort Ord is fun and you get to see some of the old buildings that are wasting away since the military base closed. We made it to the track and parked in the Red-9 reserved parking. In the past, we have used the Green-4 reserved parking, and I think we will again. Red-9 is not quite as convenient .
One of the best things about going to Laguna is meeting new people. Here are a few of my new friends.
We walked around the marketplace for a bit, and then hit up the Yamaha booth to pick up some souvenirs for Jr. He is a huge Lorenzo fan, and he needed some new swag.
Then it was off to the grandstand to watch the race. When I bought our tickets I decided to try to Turn 11 grandstands instead of Turn 4,which is where we have gone in the past. Turn 11 has the advantage of being at the Start/Finish, but I think watching the race action from Turn 4 is better.