Summer Riding

Cool air, no traffic, and the whole day ahead of you.

Going for a morning ride is one of my favorite things to do. Summer in the Sacramento Valley means hot days. We have actually had one of our hottest summers this year, with many days over 100F. When you add in the heat from the asphalt, heat off the engine, direct sun, motorcycle helmet, and the gear you are wearing…. whew. The alternative to the mid-day summer heat combines my favorite meal of the day with nice, cool morning weather. Of course, a breakfast Harley ride usually ends up turning an entire morning ride.

Our favorite breakfast spot is at the Auburn Airport in Auburn, California. The name of the restaurant/diner is “Wings”. It is right at the Auburn Airport and you can watch all the planes take off and land from it’s outdoor patio. They have a full breakfast and lunch menu, along with made to order coffee’s. It’s an easy in/out for the bike, and even has a brewery right across the parking lot called “Knee Deep Brewery”. Personally, I’m not a beer person, but that place is packed every weekend. It has a food truck, covered tables and good music.

Starting from Roseville/Rocklin area you can take Highway 80 to Douglas Blvd towards Folsom Lake. Turn left on Auburn-Folsom, which is the start of a great ride. Long sweeping turns, rolling hills, and lots of other bikes to wave at. Once you get to Auburn, you just take Highway 49 toward Grass Valley, make a right on Bell Road in Auburn, and left on New Airport Road. Auburn Airport is at the end of the road, past the Ridge golf course. Turn left into parking lot, order a Mocha and Eggs Benedict, and life is good.

Once you have stuffed yourself, the possibilities are endless. Go back down to Highway 49 and head toward Grass Valley/Nevada City area, or go back out to Highway 80, head east for a mile or so and get off at Foresthill Road. Foresthill Road is also a beautiful run. Long sweeping turns, gorgeous views, the highest bridge in California, and a nice elevation change which means that you end up in the pines. And there is nothing better than being on the bike and smelling clean air and pine trees.

Worton’s Market in Foresthill is on the right when you are going thru town and has bathrooms, a deli, ice cream, and picnic tables overlooking the mountains. And usually a bunch of other bikes. As anyone on a motorcycle knows, where there are bikes, there is a great place to stop!

Of course, every lovely morning ride must come to an end. Usually, we have stayed out longer than planned, and are now riding in 90-100F weather. This means we are trying to decide how much gear to ditch for the ride home. He usually will wear a t-shirt home. I’m a wimp, and hate riding without a jacket, so I just roast in silence and pray for green lights in town. If I’m truly desperate I will soak my shirt with water, which makes my husband happy, and draws strange looks from families having lunch at the picnic tables.

Funny thing though…. even dying of heat heading home, sweating so bad that it’s dripping down my neck, and praying for green lights all the way thru town….. I’d still rather be on the back of the bike with the roar of the pipes, the blue sky overhead, and my husband patting my leg as we head for home.

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