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lifestyle


A 120-year-old tradition visits the California Delta Roads.


By Richard Klain #22237


THE FIRST COMMERCIALLY-BUILT gasoline-powered motorcycles began appearing in the 1890s. When enough of these became available, a sense of community quickly evolved, and peo- ple began riding together. One of the first large group rides was in 1911 with “Motorcycle Day in Livermore,” as commemorated with a 100th anniver- sary event ride and article appearing in the March 2012 issue of Owners News. Calmoto is a northern California BMW motorcycle dealership with two locations, Mountain View and Liver- more. On the first Sunday of each month, there’s a shop ride to interest- ing places over great roads around the San Francisco Bay Area. Calmoto Mountain View opened in 1981. Shortly after that, founding owner Kari Prager started leading customers and friends on informal shop rides. Michael Meissner, now owner and general manager, joined in 2000 and became the sole owner when Kari passed away in 2010. Today the shop


Michael Meissner briefs 37 riders about the California Delta Roads ride.


rides are more organized, shorter and more street than adventure oriented, with email alerts, info links and online Google Maps with routes.


The California Delta is one of those


places with great roads. It’s been around for 10,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. It was a freshwater marsh which by the mid-1800s became a rich agricultural region. Increasing human activity and nature’s response put much of this land below sea level. Levees were built to try and fix that, followed by the water wars, and much of the fresh water became repurposed for irrigation, as well as providing a munici- pal water supply for southern California. Commerce required roads on top of these levees, along with bridges and ferries. Per- fect motorcycle country! This year’s ride on April 3, 2016, started at


Riders queue up, waiting to board the ferry. 106


Calmoto in Mountain View, with 16 riders showing up. Another 21 riders joined the procession at Calmoto in Livermore. From there we rode just under 100 miles, stopping in Locke and crossing over levees on two ferries, the J-Mack and the CA-84 S, and


BMW OWNERS NEWS September 2016


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