Posted by: mckenzie68 | May 5, 2010

The road to San Francisco or Rae’s near death expereince … Day 16 or May 4

Today started with a glorious morning, warm and sunny (there was a slight fog early in the morning but it burned off quickly).  We ate a continental breakfast in the lodge common room, and enjoyed some good strong coffee to help wake us up!  Nice.  We took our time loading up the bikes and we were on the road early, so we (I mean me) decided to go the Point Reyes Lighthouse and then to see the Sea Lions.  The ride was slow as we wound up behind a bus driver who wanted to make a point of slowing said tourists to at least 10 MPH, yes that is MPH below the speed limit.  He eventually turned off to go pick up some children at a local school, I bet he runs a tight ship or bus so to speak.  We ended up driving a very nice road up until the “event”.  We reached a stretch of the road which started to wind its way up towards the lighthouse and of course there were the requisite 180 degree switchbacks, and some of them with significant elevation changes.  I proceeded through one particularly bad 180 degree corner, and let Rae know, but … as I looked back I could see her bike in the air with the wheels up.  Scary.  I panicked, but lucky for me, I have some training so I was able to stop my bike, turn around on a slope without incident and park close by her without a problem.  By then Rae was up and walking around, and there did not appear to be any marks on her gear, which I find amazing considering the damage to her bike. I cannot tell you how upset I was, and really I still am…I am sick that she crashed, and if it had not been on a corner like the one it was at, the outcome could have been much worse.  What I mean is this corner was surrounded by a berm and pasture, not a mountainside cliff, thankfully.   I cannot bring myself to even think about that part, it makes me worry even more.  So once I knew Rae was OK, I got the camera, took some pictures, and got the bike up and parked in a safe spot.  The funny part was while the bike was on its side, and even as we were trying to get it up, cars were driving by with people slowing to look, but not one, and I mean not ONE freaking driver stopped to help (Rae says: It was interesting that a couple of people waved though.  Who waves to people at an accident scene?).  This is the second time in my life where I am flabbergasted that I have personally experienced (not at work) a situations where human beings have lost their humanity – so much so – that people just drive by someone who is so obviously in need of help.   How messed up is that?  We worked (mostly me…Rae did an excellent job of handing me tools and looking forlorn as her bike was in tatters) on the bike at the side of the road as car after car drove by.  I got out the JB Weld KWIK (Rae says: that stuff is freakin’ amazing!!  It’s miracle bond!) which I employed in the best way I could, fixing her windshield and her clutch lever bracket which has been snapped in two.  I also fixed her saddlebag which had its closing mechanism torn up.  Finally I gave her bike a once over. and it appeared ride-able.  It took about 2 hours to get everything sorted but when it was all done, I took it for a test ride.  Everything appeared to be OK, and we rode out to that crazy lighthouse.  Rae said since we had crashed on the way to see it, we had better see it, which we did.  It was a little bit of a let down as that lighthouse was nothing compared to the cool ones that we saw in Oregon.  We decided to make our way to San Francisco and to a BMW dealer and decided to forgo seeing the Sea Lions…we just weren’t sure if the clutch lever bracket wouild hold and we had a long trip ahead yet.  So we headed out and made our way along the coast, a very twisty ride (Rae says:  I was totally freaked out after my get off, since these twisties had nice cliffs just off the road…no soft pasture land along this stretch.  Thank goodness Ray was so generous to ride very slowly through and show me the lines to take,  I was way too tense, but I did make it though!) , to San Francisco!  We stopped prior to reaching the Golden Gate bridge to put the camera on my handlebar mount, and shed our jacket liners.  I was then able to take pictures of Rae as she rode onto the Golden Gate Bridge, and at the far end, we paid the toll to a wonderful lady who was so happy and complimentary to us both for riding such a long way from Canada.  We went to BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco and within seconds of arrival I was introduced to Fredy and Ian.  Fredy was absolutely amazing and made me and Rae feel like everything was going to be OK.  We were both concerned that our trip was finished due to the damage to Rae’s bike.  Fredy took my bike right in (booked for tires and a check) followed by Rae’s bike for damage repairs and parts ordering as well as new tires.  Watching Fredy order parts, put together the service order, and basically get things done was an awe inspiring sight, especially considering the day we had just had.  There was also a young fellow named Ian who worked on fixing Rae’s saddlebag, not an easy fix, yet he got it done.  He then took the time to tell us about where he lived in Maine and the ferry between Maine and Nova Scotia.  I cannot say enough about BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco, they have helped turn a disaster back into a trip…we are so very grateful.  Thanks so much guys!  We took a cab to our hotel, which fortunately for us was nearby, and booked into our room with ease.  The Best Western Americana is done in a 50s vintage and our room reflects the era, which is pretty darn cool!  Once unpacked we showered and then header out for a quick tour, dinner and some room snacks.  We ended up making a wrong turn and walked up 6th St toward Market St.  We walked by drug dealers, hookers, and pimps, which were EVERYWHERE!  It was extremely scary, and having had lots of experience with those type of people in downtown Calgary for 10 years I knew it was not a good situation.  Rae was completely freaked out but somehow loved the experience, I guess it was an adventure…sort of.  It’s amazing the difference one street can make, because that is all it took to leave the baddies behind and into the busy main shopping area of Market Street.  We ate, picked up some munchies and wine for later and returned to our room.  A quiet night to a very long and challenging day…gosh I am glad that Rae is OK…bruised but OK…so scary.  Tomorrow we explore San Francisco, but first a good nights sleep!




  1. Be carefull guys, you have a long ways to go.

  2. Glad Rae is “just bruised” & the ADVENTURE is still to be. Be safe … both on the bikes & where/when you are exploring off the bikes – LOL LOL.

  3. OMG … Take it easy you guys. Glad to hear Rae is OK ……

  4. Be careful you two! I want you back home in one piece!!

  5. Glad to hear you are ok Rae and that your bike is gonna make it, that would have been difficult! Praying you guys have a safe trip.

  6. Wow! So glad to hear Rae got out of that one. I’ve taken this trip a couple of times on my bike as well (though not the motored kind) and those turns are treacherous… especially the ones turning over 200 ft cliffs. I can’t believe someone actually waved as they drove by. Try & enjoy the rest of your Trip. San Francisco is just the greatest adventure.
    Bernice (remember me from KW Rae)

  7. The funny part was while the bike was on its side, and even as we were trying to get it up, cars were driving by with people slowing to look, but not one, and I mean not ONE freaking driver stopped to help (Rae says: It was interesting that a couple of people waved though.

    Leave it up to Rae….That’s some funny shit there!! 🙂

    These are the times you will remember
    Ride safe guys.

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