Port Costa Post Office and Bikers

Port Costa Post Office, ink and watercolor, 5x7"

Port Costa Post Office, ink and watercolor, 5x7"

Port Costa is a strange, tiny, rundown town and a popular destination for motorcyclists out riding the winding roads in herds on noisy Harleys. At the end of  town, by the railroad tracks and behind their cracked and crumbling Post Office I sketched above, is the Warehouse Cafe, a seedy bar in a ramshackle warehouse with cheap, stiff drinks, a funky outdoor deck, and a surly female bartender (perfectly described in this collection of hilarious Yelp reviews).

Port Costa Bikers Saddling Up

Port Costa Bikers Saddling Up in Front of Post Office

The bikers roar into town, have themselves a breakfast beer or two and ride out. While they seemed like a bunch of  tough, old burn-out guys with beer guts and women who looked “rode hard and put away wet,” they were very polite when I asked them questions about their (very expensive) bikes.

Bikers Lining up to Leave (Arrow is where I was sitting to sketch)

Bikers Lining up to Leave (Arrow is where I was sitting to sketch)

It turned out that the corner where I was sketching (red arrow in photo) is where they line up before tearing out of town in a caravan of ear-splitting noise, leaving behind a cloud of flying dust and gravel from the barely paved road. I had to pull my sweatshirt over my face and plug my ears every time a group tore off. My friend Beth Bourland posted some great pics of the day here including one of me so focused sketching I didn’t even know she took the picture.

Besides the bikers, it’s a fun place to paint so my plein air group meets there once a year. And then same thing always happens: we set up for our critique on the patio at the Warehouse Bar and just as we start to talk about the day’s work, they crank up the music on the outdoor speakers so loud that we can’t hear a thing and have to move all our stuff down the street to a quieter spot. Is it a coincidence? Does their music always go full blast at 1:15? Or are they trying to keep away the wrong sort of customers (us)?

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