Now Planning Our Next Driving Event

Features & Articles

Suggest an Event

East Bay Tour with the Safety Fast Club

The still morning was broken by the sound of a dozen MGs firing up at once with a refined rasp from their pipes. The crisp air had warmed as quickly as the cars would and it was time to get on the road. Coffee, donuts, and gasoline would fuel the first stretch of our drive. Summer may have been officially over, but it didn't make any difference. It was a perfect day to be in an MG.

On Sunday, October 5th the Safety Fast Club met in Berkeley for a half-day drive through the East Bay hills. A nice mix of MGs made the journey, including a TD, a Magnette, a couple of As, and many chrome- and rubber-bumpered Bs (see the list of cars and owners). We traveled several winding roads through the hills and woods for a distance of about 70 miles start to finish.

Dennis Byron and Sue, red 1970 MGB
Tim Delony and Tracy, white 1979 MGB
John Fredericks, ivory/maroon 1958 Magnette
Tom Heid, green 1978 MGB
Joel Johnson and Betty, Scion xB
Scot Kelly, red 1959 MGA
Skip Kelsey and Verna, blue 1969 MGB GT
Tim Kirby and Georgie, white 1962 MGA
Vince Louie and Carolyn, brg 1952 MG TD
Andy Preston and Marla, blue 1967 MGB
Wayne Veatch, brg 1967 MGB
Dan Watson and Nancy, citron 1974 MGB
Troy Witzel and Marsha, red 1967 MGB
John Morrill, Fiat x1/9
Terry Witzel and Diana, Honda Prelude

After leaving the meeting spot in Berkeley, we headed up Marin Avenue towards the first of our tour’s hilltop roads. Grizzly Peak Boulevard was our first chance to see the amazing panoramic views of the bay. We could catch quick glimpses of San Francisco’s skyline between the houses as the cars cruised through the neighborhood. Soon we reached a section with unobstructed views from steep cliffs and stopped to take in the sights. If it weren’t for the smog and haze sitting on the bay that morning, we would have had an even better view, but it was still worth the stop.
We jumped in the cars again and continued on to Skyline Boulevard and Pinehurst Road. With very few cars and bikes sharing the roads, we were able to make our own pace and slow down when another view presented itself. For a sunny Autumn day, the roads were quite empty. Pinehurst Road offered some shade under its redwood trees and its twists and turns were a real delight for both car and driver (and passenger). As we passed the tiny town of Canyon, it almost felt as if we were in the Santa Cruz mountains. Just past Canyon we made a turn and headed into Moraga for lunch.
The lunch stop gave us all a chance to tell MG tales and check out each other's cars in greater detail. The cars attracted a small crowd of onlookers of varying ages. A dozen MGs parked together is a sight hard to ignore. Lunch in the shade at a small park was a nice break from the road. It was a good chance for members to get to know each other better, especially the new members. Hearing stories of where and when owners found their MGs never gets tiring.
Our lunch recharged us, so we fired up the cars again and headed back to Pinehurst Road. We took that to Redwood Road and drove towards Castro Valley. Before getting into the heart of the city, we turned west towards Lake Chabot. Once again we were presented with some great views. We continued north and eventually hit Grass Valley Road, which is very reminiscent of several rural Marin County roads. The “farm” feel made it hard to believe we were only a few miles from Oakland. We then rejoined Skyline and headed back towards Berkeley. At the intersection with Grizzly Peak we turned onto Snake Road and headed down the hill. There is no question where Snake got its name. It was a really fun way to end the trip.
Thanks to all who attended for making this day such a success. For those who could not make it, we look forward to seeing you at our next meet.

As a member, you have a great deal of input into what events the Safety Fast Club holds. We're always open to interesting drives or destinations. If there are other events with which you'd like to schedule a Safety Fast Club drive, feel free to suggest them. What is most important is that these Bay Area events and drives are laid back and fun.

Got something to say? Send it to