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Please read the following carefully. There is a big change for 2013.
The Queer Biker Invasion of Death Valley is no more. It has been killed by the National Parks Service. I have been informed by the NPS that any group of more than 18 people (including groups such as a family reunions) must have a permit to hold their event in a national park. To get such a permit, the group must have liability insurance. Since this has always been a loosely disorganized ride, I am not willing to do the work necessary to get insurance and permits. So the Queer Biker Invasion of Death Valley is officially no more.
However, as many of you know, the QBIDV is my birthday ride every year. I will continue to do that along with a few friends every year as long as I am able. The dates I will do the ride this year are October 12-14, 2013 (my birthday is actually October 14th. I will be 68 this year). The number in my group will be less than 18 so I will not need to get any permits. You can do the same thing if you want, just make sure that the number of riders in your group is also less than 18. But let me emphasize, I am not organizing or disorganizing a ride for anyone other than myself and a group of my closest friends. . If you choose to do the same, please do not say you are on any ride that I am organizing or disorganizing. I do not want any trouble from the National Park Service.
So here is a short summary of the ride I will do with my close friends this October. It is similar to all the other Death Valley rides in the past.
I and my friends will leave Castro Street a little after 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 12, 2013, and will travel East on Route 120 through Yosemite Park and over Tioga Pass, (at almost 10,000 feet it is the highest mountain pass in California) and then South on Route 395 to Bishop, CA where we will spend the first night. On Sunday, October 13, 2013, my group will ride through Death Valley (the lowest place in North America you can ride your bike) to Zabriskie Point where we use to hold a gathering at noon time for all other queer bikers who use to show up. After lunch at Furnace Creek Ranch, we will head westt on Route 178 (a great road for bikes) across the southern Sierra to Kernville, CA where we will spend the second night. On Monday, October 14. 2005, (Columbus Day) my group will return to San Francisco via deserted roads through the Central Valley and back roads through the coastal mountains. So here is a more detailed plan for what I am going to do that year. It is similar to the now defunct QBIDV.
Gathering Place: Castro Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, opposite the Castro Theater
Date: October 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m.
The Route: Bay Bridge to East on Interstate 580 for 49 miles (through Oakland, San Leandro, the Livermore Valley and over Altamont Pass), East on Interstate 205 for 15 miles, North on Interstate 5 for one mile, East on Route 120 for 164 miles (alternate Route 108 over Sonoma Pass), then south on Route 395 to Bishop, CA.
First Stop - about 80 miles - Manteca, CA - Route 120 and Route 99 will coincide for about a mile. Just as you get off of Route 99 there is a 76 Station on the right.
Second Stop - Big Oak Flats for gas and lunch.
Third Stop - Olmstead Point - In the Yosemite high country, along Route 120 is this spectacular place. Olmstead Point is about 200 miles into the trip - from Olmstead Point you have a view back toward Yosemite Valley and Half Dome.
Fourth Stop - The intersection of Routes 120 and 395. Gas stop
Approximate mileage for Day One is 300 miles.
We will probably be staying at the Motel 6 in Bishop as we usually do.
Party Time in Bishop - As in the past, my group will probably eat dinner La Casita Mexican restaurant and bar on Main Street in Bishop. It has in the past turned it into the hottest and only queer biker bar for 200 miles in any direction.
Gathering Place: My group will gather at the parking lot of the Motel 6 in Bishop.
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Time: 8:00 a.m. sharp! (We will need to leave by this time in order to get to Zabriskie Point by noon.)
The Route: South on 395 for 40 miles till Lone Pine. South on Route 136 for 18 miles, East on Route 190 for 90 miles to Zabriskie Point. West on Route 190 for 60 miles, South on Route 178 (the Panamint Valley Road) for about 125 miles.
1st Stop - Gas at the Chevron station just south of Lone Pine before the turn off for Route 136
2nd stop - Overlook on the east side of the Panamint Valley.
3rd stop - Zabriskie Point for our noon gathering
4th stop - Furnace Creek Ranch for lunch and gas.
5th stop - Trona, CA, for gas. Then, on to Kernville.
Approximately mileage for Day Two is 350 miles.
We will probably be staying at the Kernville Inn.
Day Three - Kernville to San Francisco
Gathering Place: Kernville Inn
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013 (my birthday)
Time: 9:00 a.m. (time to sleep in)
The Route: Whatever we decide that morning. We will probably have lunch in Coalinga, and then head west on Route 198 for 35 miles, then north on Route 25 for 78 miles to Gilroy. Finally, it's north on Route 101 for the last 90 miles to San Francisco.
1st stop - Coalinga - Gas and food at the intersection of Route 33 and 198. Lunch at the Perko's Coffee House where we will stop for one final meal together
2nd stop - Hollister - gas at the Chevron station after you make the left at the light.
Mileage for day three - 350 miles.