Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • East Bay Cruise

    Posted on September 27th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    East Bay Cruise
    After the Half Moon Bay cruise there has been some talk about getting together for more regular cruises. Given the Mod day and GoatRun, this weekend was the only one that I would be available for. With short notice to both the G8 and GTO communities, I put together a cruise through some of my ‘normal’ roads in the East Bay.

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    The group gathered at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton at 10am. I didn’t know how many people would be in attendance, so we waited around until almost 11am before starting out. There was one other G8 and a GTO. I had hoped for a few more cars, but small groups make doing cruises much easier.

    The drive down Foothill Blvd. was nothing special. When we got to the curvy part I happened to get a phone call from one of the cars in the cruise (we didn’t have enough radios for everyone). I understand the idea behind the hands-free laws, but trying to get my bluetooth on and in my ear… while answering the phone… while trying to drive around corners. The trip on Hwy84 through Niles Canyon was quite nice… very scenic.

    I had given everyone a heads-up about the turn onto Palomares Rd. I was impressed that the GPS (which worked perfectly by the way… including the route loading via the computer) pointed out that we needed to make a “sharp right turn”. Palomares was nice and clear of traffic, so worked out really nicely. I had a good chance to use the manual shifting mode and really liked how the tune was blipping the throttle on downshifts (it’s a great sound). There was some ‘popping’ noises while coasting in a higher gear (that were not present before the headers and exhaust), but the car behind me couldn’t hear it (so it couldn’t have been that bad).

    After Palomares we had to drive through Castro Valley to get to Redwood Rd, which was no fun. I wish there was a good way to get to Redwood Rd without having to drive through the ‘city’ streets. I was being a good guy when driving, knowing I had two people following me, and not passing slower drivers. I’m never really sure when to pass slow people when they are consistently not pulling over on a two lane road. When we got to a place where there was room to pull over I did and let the slower car get farther ahead. After a short wait we headed-out again and had a really great drive. When we caught-up with the slower car they finally took the hint and pulled over to let us by.

    We took a quick pit-stop at a park before heading back out onto Skyline Blvd. The remainder of the drive went by quite quickly. The view from Skyline and Grizzly Peak Blvd. was a bit disappointing due to haze, so we didn’t stop to take and photos. The drive through Tilden Park was relaxing as well.

    This lead to Wildcat Canyon Rd. which was just awesome. There was a slow car (I think we actually passed it twice in the day) that kept the road nice and clear. I took the opportunity to let the G8 show what it can do in the curves and it performed perfectly (I even lot sight of the GTO in my rear view mirror)!

    The last part of the drive around the reservoir was a nice cool-down. Since we were close to a photography location that I’ve been really wanting to check-out, we headed up Hwy4 towards Martinez. To my surprise, as we were pulling into the parking lot there was a police officer waiting to also turn in. I figured he was going to follow us up to the photo location (it’s clearly a place people go to do donuts and stuff). I parked and got out of the car and talked with the officer about how we would be doing some photography, and he left (we all figured he drove out of sight to wait for us to do donuts and race up and bust us)… but all we did was photography.


    While I dislike that ‘punks’ would potentially ruin a great photo location by doing donuts… it does makes for some cool ‘details’. With some proper positioning we get all the benefits of doing burnouts and donuts without needing new tires (or getting tickets from the waiting officer).


    The photo location really worked out nicely, but I wish the light was better… I will for sure be returning later in the evening to take advantage of the golden hour.

    The cruise appeared to be a success, and was a great shake-out drive before GoatRun. While more cars would have been nice, I think just having some sort of activity (involving the G8 folks) at least once a month. The more people we can get out to see what being in an active car club/community is like, the more people who will continue to come out to events.