31st Jan 2015
162 miles driven
414 horsepower

On this sunny Saturday I rented a lovely E90 BMW M3 to visit Point Reyes, California. On my last Bay Area roadtrip I drove a Camaro SS — a huge car with a laggy transmission. Granted, I would have preferred a manual but couldn't find one to rent at the time.

This M3 is different; DCT shifts occur in just 80ms. With the most aggressive M mode settings it happily blips the throttle on downshifts before singing all the way to its 8,400RPM redline. I setup my GoPro Hero 4 and pushed the M button.

The Marshall Store

After an hour on the road, a quick bite was in order at the famous Marshall Store right on Tomales Bay.

The trip continued to Point Reyes National Seashore — down Shoreline Highway and up Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. The weather was perfect and the roads were empty. The V8 happily rang through its gears. Though this dual-clutch transmission has 7 gears, the 7th is not a performance gear and is there purely for fuel economy.

Point Reyes Lighthouse

I raced against the sun to make it a few miles down the road to visit Point Reyes Lighthouse for a few crepuscular shots. Unfortunately, the steps to get down to the lighthouse were closed and night fell quickly. I took the opportunity capture some amazing long exposures in what was complete darkness except for the moon.