Quail Ride 2014: “Ridden not Hidden”

Reader Contribution by Somer Hooker
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A nice Honda 750 stands poised to go.

An often heard complaint about vintage motorcycles is that they are often kept locked away in collectors’ “stashes” and never used as intended. At the May 16 Quail Motorcycle Gathering’s ride, both of these myths were dispelled. This ride is the hot ticket. The one hundred slots sold almost immediately and included a nice 130 mile jaunt through California farmland and back roads. Oh, did I mention a few laps around Laguna Seca Race Track?

Due to a scheduling conflict, Laguna Seca was first on the itinerary. Organizer Gordon McCall held a brief rider’s meeting at the Quail Lodge and explained that the Ferrari Club was holding a track day so we had to go in early.  The group crossed Los Laureles ridge, arrived at Laguna Seca, and after a 30 minute wait was given the go ahead.  A mixture of Triumphs, Vincents, Hondas, BMWs, and Velocettes roared onto the track along with seven California Highway Patrolmen. Four laps later everyone was definitely awake!

Then it was off for some back country riding at your own pace to Salinas Valley to visit Talbott Vineyards, a longtime Quail Motorcycle Gathering partner. Vineyard owner, Robb Talbott, is a motorcycle collector and enthusiast. This stop provided a good half way point where “field maintenance” could be undertaken and drinks and snacks consumed. The only alcohol available was ethanol for motorcycles. Then came the ride through the foothills back into Carmel Valley. What’s a motorcycle ride without altitude change and lots of curves?  Talbott Vineyards provided another rest stop at their tasting room in Carmel Valley. Here Robb’s small motorcycle museum provides a taste of all aspects and countries of motorcycling. Scramblers, scooters, and even a BMW R37 racer (one of five) are beautifully displayed with art and memorabilia. With cheese and crackers on their breath, riders returned to the Quail Lodge where a luncheon was provided at the Baja Cantin. Any wonder why this sells out so quickly?

The 2015 Quail Ride happens Friday, May 15, 2015. Learn more at Peninsula Signature Events.

A BMW R-60 rider awaits the signal that the track is open.

A Ducati 750 roundcase is ready for its morning exercise.

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