It’s common knowledge that motorcyclists are some of the most charitable and compassionate people you’ll meet, which is why it was no surprise that we got such a great response when we started putting together “Why We Ride to the Quail.” A group ride starting in Southern California and ending at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Monterey, with some of the coolest people in the industry, and all of it to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Needless to say it wasn’t a hard sell getting people on board.
The journey began Thursday morning at the offices of Why We Ride Films in Moorpark, CA.
The sky was grey and rain looked inevitable, but you couldn’t dampen the spirits of the 20 riders that showed up ready for a memorable weekend.
We officially kicked the event off with brunch at the nearby Lucky Fool’s Pub, where the proprietors had special menus made up just for our group.
Why We Ride played on the big screen in the background to help set the mood.
Why We Ride producer James Walker enjoyed the brunch with his son, Edison.
After brunch everyone geared up and gathered round for a pre-ride prayer by Pastor Tony. Why We Ride producer/director Bryan Carroll (red jacket) introduced us to our ride captain for the weekend, Jim Williams of the AMA (black jacket with the yellow arm band).
Jim is a very experienced rider and just like the AMA’s mission to promote safe motorcycling, Jim would prove to be a fantastic lead rider. Fellow AMA representative Steve Gotoski would ride sweep, and event sponsor Eagle Rider provided a support van should anyone run into any mechanical issues on the way up. Needless to say, we were in good hands.
The group departed from Moorpark and embarked on a beautiful route through the canyons of Los Padres National Forest. Jim did his best to take us around the rain for most of the day, but even the best guides can’t control the weather.
We ended up getting wet, but the group rode carefully and safely through the rain and navigated the wet, gravelly roads to our lunch stop in New Cuyama.
“What should I get?” said no one. When you go to a place called Burger Barn you should probably order a burger.
Lunch was provided by our sponsor Robert Pandya and Indian Motorcycles. Thanks for the support for this event and for the delicious burgers, Robert!
After lunch we hopped back on our bikes and continued on Highway 166 through the pounding rain until we met up with Highway 101.
Then it was a right turn and onward to Pismo Beach.
A short ride up 101 and we landed at SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel.
We unloaded our bikes, shed our gear, and headed out to our private dining area on the patio.
The sun broke through clouds as we looked out on the vast, blue Pacific Ocean. Riders refueled with a delicious barbecue dinner and drinks as we warmed up by the fire pit.
We recounted the day’s ride and laughter drifted in the breeze as the storytelling started to pick up steam. Then it was off to our rooms where a warm bed and much needed night of sleep awaited.
Friday morning came, and there was a little bit of extra excitement in the air knowing that the poor weather was behind us. Brian Klock huddled everyone up for some morning words of inspiration, and ride captain Jim walked us through the day’s route.
We took off north on Highway 101, which after a few miles along the coast cuts inland towards San Luis Obispo. We opted for the scenic route at that point, and jumped on Highway 1 for Morro Bay.
We took our time and rode at a leisurely pace, taking in the majesty of the California coast and soaking up the sunshine.
Our next stop was the Elephant Seal Vista Point, a famous spot just north of San Simeon.
With the Hearst Castle tucked away just a few miles up the hill, we parked our bikes and marveled at the thousands of massive elephant seals crammed onto just a few miles of beach.
It was a sight to behold, with 2-ton males fighting and young pups playing in the surf.
Friday’s lunch stop took us just a few miles up Highway 1 to Ragged Point Inn.
This rustic cliffside hotel and cafe provided not only good food, but also breathtaking views of the California coastline.
The color of the water in this area is just phenomenal, and gave us a taste of what was in store for the rest of our journey up the coast.
“Why We Ride to the Quail” and the Quail Motorcycle Gathering are all about family. Why We Ride producer/director Bryan H. Carroll’s son Ethan got to ride on the back of Brian Klock’s Indian Roadmaster.
We made the most of our time here, and used a few turnouts to capture some photos to help us remember the beauty that was all around us. For those of us that live in Southern California, it’s not every day we get to ride in a place like this. We continued riding up the coast, through Big Sur and across the famous Bixby Bridge before hitting Carmel and our destination in Monterey.
The Hyatt Regency Monterey would be our home base for the next two nights. Riders de-biked and checked into their rooms, then enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the deck.
We met up with a few people who were unable to make the ride with us or who were heading to the Quail from a different direction.
Riders were checked in and received their “Why We Ride to the Quail” t-shirts, provided by Gnarlynow Printgear.
Guests made their way through the buffet line in the Hyatt ballroom, loading their plates with delicious Mexicali food and filling their glasses with a delectable red wine provided by our sponsor Doffo Winery.
You may remember seeing Marcelo Doffo and his Damian in Why We Ride. That’s because in addition to making some amazing wines, their Temecula-based winery is also home to Marcelo’s MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection, which boasts over 150 rare, vintage and exotic bikes. If you love bikes and wine like we do, then you’ve got to pay them a visit.
As guests dined, James and Bryan raised a glass, thanking everyone for supporting the event and kicked off some great presentations.
Our ride captain, Jim Williams, spoke about the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the work that they do promoting safe riding and fostering the motorcycle community across the country.
Richard Beattie spoke on behalf of Kawasaki, and expressed his gratitude at being able to participate in events like these, which bring together good people to celebrate motorcycling and help raise money for the kids. Kawasaki is one of our many sponsors signed on for the 2016 “Why We Ride to the Quail.”
Christine Paige Diers, curator of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame, came out all the way from Sturgis, SD to join us! She was a tremendous help in the making of Why We Ride (she was also interviewed in the film) and has been consulting with us on our next project: I AM STURGIS.
Brian Klock took the stage and walked us through his amazing journey that started in a small shop in South Dakota, and ended up with him becoming one of the most sought-after custom builders in the country. Brian puts an emphasis on family, and believes that everyone he meets on two wheels becomes part of what he calls his #MotoFamily.
Steve Reynolds, director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Ride for Kids program, made his way to the podium to thank everyone involved in the event for their help and support. You may be familiar with Ride for Kids, as they hold rides all around the United States to help raise money to fund research and to help support families afflicted by this disease. We started working with Steve and the PBTF last year and are happy to call them the official cause of Why We Ride Films.
With dinner and speeches in the books, Mike Lowe from Bell Helmets drew a crowd as he demonstrated Bell’s head scanning equipment, which is used to make custom-fit helmets. Mike also talked about the importance of a proper fit in one’s riding gear and enlightened us with updates on Bell’s continual research in head protection.
All in all, the Riders Dinner was a great success and we were happy to be able to put on such a fun event that supported the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
In part 2 of our “Why We Ride to the Quail” Recap, we join up with AMA District 36 representatives and ride over to The Quail Motorcycle Gathering to enjoy a day on the lawn with more than 400 of the most unique and beautiful motorcycles you could imagine.
Our 2015 “Why We Ride to the Quail” participants were: Kevin Allen, Richard Beattie, Ron Benfield, Bryan Carroll, Tami Carroll, Ethan Carroll, Shelby Carroll, Karlee Cobb, Donald Contardi, Ken Conte, Mary Conte, Cristi Farrell, Brian Ganz, Greg Gerlich, Gale Gerlich, Paul Goldie, Steve Gotoski, Erin Hunter, Alexander Klarow, Brian Klock, Mike Lowe, Steve Moore, Keith Oliver, Christine Paige Diers, Robert Pandya, Steve Reynolds, Charles Roller, Tigra Tsujikawa, James Walker and Jim Williams.
From all of us here at Why We Ride Films, and on behalf of everyone who enjoyed this spectacular event, we thank our sponsors for their support!