Volcano Ride

So let me begin by explaining that there is a town called Volcano – I did not ride around a volcano.

I belong to a motorcycle group which is fun collection of riding enthusiasts that have all different types of bikes.  They organized a ride to this lovely little city which is located near the towns of Pioneer and Jackson, CA in the Sierra foothills. Since this ride was going to be 334 miles, we decided to take the cruiser - our Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad affectionately named “Klunky” for the loud klunk it makes when going into gear.

Klunky (2012 Vulcan Nomad)

The ride took place on June 8th and started in Livermore. We went through the backroads starting on Vasco Road to our lunch destination in Volcano at the Union Inn.

Volcano is a historic town established in 1851. Don’t blink as you go through it because it’s that small! Directly across from the Union Inn was another old house almost covered by shrubbery. When I ducked behind the shrubs, I found out that it had been a brewery. I knew there was a reason I wasdrawn to that place!


The Union Inn was a fabulous place for lunch! Food was delicious and the staff was very friendly despite having to serve about 30 hot and sweaty bikers! But with bellies full, we all get back on the bikes for our trip home. The ride back was brutal going through the Stockton desert! The air hitting us was hot so there was no chance of catching a cooling wind on your face. One of our fellow riders was selling a cooling vest. I was encouraged to buy it given my history of heat sensitivity and I was very glad that I listened to that advice! For those not familiar with it, you wet the cooling vest with water, wring it out, and put it on over your shirt. It kind of feels like putting on a wet suit (or a wet bathing suit). When the wind hits it, the air cools you. Conceptually all that is great except for the part where your vest dries up 10 minutes after you put it on because the weather so hot!

We stopped for a water break and the temperature sign read 109 (in the shade). One of the riders had a temp gauge on his bike which read 120 (since it takes into account the heat from the air, bike, and black tar roads)!

This was certainly an interesting place to visit and the 334 miles in a day makes it a good ride. I’d definitely do this ride again……but maybe about March timeframe. June is WAAAAYYYY too hot!