Derbi de Mayo IV Saturday May 21st

Derbi de Mayo IV has been rescheduled to Saturday May 21st 11am

Derbi de Mayo IV our fourth annual ride celebrating the great moto brand Derbi. As is our tradition this ride flows through the hills in the the Mill Valley Mt. Tam area. This year’s ride will revisit some of our favorite roads, but with a new twist–Laps.

Prep the bikes, get the chains lubed up, the registrations current, the tires checked, and get that riding gear ready. Smaller (50~85cc) two stroke replicas like the Derbi GPR, and the Aprilia RS50 are very much encouraged. Fast mopeds should be fine (make sure your brakes work!). Full size 4T (250cc+) is frowned upon. Groms and such are okay!

Meet up is at Mel’s Drive-In on Geary (3355 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118). They have a parking lot, but if you are looking for a place for your transport Rossi park is near by, and there is usually parking around there. Meet up Saturday May 21st at 11:00am, KSU TBD. If you want to eat breakfast at Mel’s you should probably show up a bit earlier because this is around the time they are busy.

We’ll gas up at the Chevron on Geary and Arguello. There will be others for the bikes that guzzle. Lunch will again take place at the Little Chihuahua at 292 Divisadero St. San Francisco, CA 94117.

If you still don’t have a Replica Racer contact us, and lets find one for you. If you still haven’t gotten your Replica Racer ready lets get on that, we can help you!

Route. This route has been updated due to landslides, and road closures.

Derbi de Mayo IV Ride Report

Derbi de Mayo has always been one of our most popular rides. It generally consists of a good healthy romp through the Marin headlands, and then a nice Mexican food meal. This year didn’t disappoint. While it was rained out on the 7th we did a reschedule for the 21st. Even then it was looking like it might rain. One particular regular riders lobbied super hard to get me to cancel the ride—I told him to have some faith. 😉 The Derbi Gods smiled upon us for it was a really nice warm (enough) sunny day.

Due to some morning irregularities we ended up meeting up at my place. There were to be a cast of five riders this year. GL on his RS50, Ed on his RS50, Richard showed up with his MB5 but I suggested that he ride the Silver bike (GPR50), Matt rode the Lorenzo-Ui Replica GPR50, and I rode my #1 which still wasn’t ready, but sometimes you just have to go for it!

The bikes were setup, tire pressures adjusted, and then we headed to the 76 to gas up. Because the plans changed a bit we modified the route. We ended up going south on Alamany to Brotherhood and then up Sunset. We rode past the Cliff House, through the golf course and the Legion of Honor with many rings around the fountain—hey it’s fun. From there we rode out to the Presidio where we had to go buzz the residents. There are some very fun curvy roads through there, and it looked like a lot more fun than the traffic leading to the Bridge.

Once on the Bridge it was a total fluster cluck. There were a couple of cars that mated mid-way through. Thankfully with bikes you can just filter through all that malarky which is just what we did, and of course exited to ride down into Sausalito. Once past the Bridge traffic was incredibly lite. I’ve never seen so few cars on these roads during a Saturday. Even riding through Marin past the Arco at Tam Junction we were able to ride at full speed (the posted limit!) past the 7/11 and up into the hills. I’ve never been able to do that—all of my braking markers were for beans.

The route was laid out to take us on HWY1 out to the ocean. The roads were clear, dry and with very little traffic. We did some waiting to let things get nice and empty, and we made it nearly all the way to Muir Woods without a single impedance. That just doesn’t happen on Saturday out there, and yet it seems we were blessed by the Gods of Derbi.

GL was on a mission as he was ruling it. He had just fitted some Sava MC18s to his bike and it felt like Iannone had possessed him. There was more than one corner where he flew by me that made me feel like we were riding Philips Island. It was fun to watch—well while I could keep up with him that is…

They are doing some construction on HWY1 with a stop light and cuing for only one direction to flow through a section. Cars cue up, wait, and then a whole bunch of them are released. Going north we got there just as our direction was released so we didn’t get a chance to clear the cars. We got through the light and then waited. We probably should have waited a bit longer because we kept catching up to some of the folks that were ahead of us. But it’s cool we would just pull over and wait some more. This strategy is significantly safer than any other one we’ve tried. Passing angry cage drivers with anemic little strokers doesn’t work very well, and then you just have more cages in your path. If you let them go, wait, and then ride you have clear roads to totally enjoy—and you haven’t pissed off any cage drivers. Bonus!

With construction comes danger, and you have to beware of the conditions. GL, Richard, and Matt were a bit up front, and Ed and I were trailing in the back. I felt my rear start to go on a nice sweeper on HW1 just like you do when you are out in the dirt taking a nice sweeping corner. The leg went out and I was able to keep the bike from sliding too far. Ed was right behind me, and I mean right behind me. Had I lost it we both probably would have gone down. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I got to hear Ed describe the view. Too bad he wasn’t running one of his cameras at the time.

After that we came up on Panoramic. One of the most fun and pretty roads we have in the Marin hills. It’s more technical than HWY1 with plenty of elevation changes, trees and gorgeous scenery. This section is nearly all up hill switching back and fourth with tight corners flipping back and forth. If you haven’t done much of this it’s a challenge, and if you have, it’s still a challenge. If you don’t get your shifting just right you are going to get dropped.

At the top we turned off to ride out Ridge Crest. This is a longer flowing road that rides along the top of the cresting mountain parallel to the coast. You can see for miles, and the views are inspiring—but you don’t look at them because you are piloting through the corners, hills, and near the end the woods! Once in the woods we came up on Bolinas Fairfax, or BoFax as we call it. This is one of our favorite roads however the north east section of the road has been closed due to some land slides during the heavy rains we had in the spring. This time headed west towards Bolinas. The west side is a fun twisty road with plenty to keep you alert and having a good ride. It lets you out back on HWY1 just on the north side of 21 corners.

TwentyOne corners is a very nicely paved section of HWY1 just south of Bolinas. It’s a sweepy fun section of curves switching back and forth like a constant ricochet right on the edge of the water—you really want to keep your line in this section. This leads us to Stinson Beach from which we were back on the coast on our way back to Tam Junction. We were having such a good time that we were there before we knew it. Well that meant back across the Bridge and a short ride to The Little Chihuahua for lunch.

Food at the Chihuahua is really good tasty treats in the Mexican style fare. Chips and salsa and yummy burritos. The price is a bit on the high side for a burrito, but for this once a year ride it’s totally worth it.

After lunch we were still in ride mode so I took the guys out to Market street where we rode up Upper Market to Twin Peaks. Recently the south section was repaved and it’s just a joy to ride. The guys enjoyed it, and I think Ed was feeling really great as he passed me on one of the corners with more flair than I’d seen hime exhibit during the whole ride. Then in was back down the peaks and the grand sweepers of O’Shaughnessy.

As it does every year Derbi de Mayo delivered another great ride. Thanks to all the made it—and to those of you this missed out this year make sure you make it next year. Many of these roads will be featured at GPR Camp on Wednesday and Thursday.

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About the author: toratora