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Old 04-04-2016, 06:46 AM   #1
two wheel tramp
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Death Valley Noobs Rally ride

I signed up for the rally last fall when it was announced on ADV. Not only am I a two wheel tramp but I cheat on y'all with ADVrider.

SFMCJohn's recent report got me thinking... and a little jelly. That man is a whiz at finding hot springs! So off I went. I had intended to bomb down in one day but had to leave late Thursday so the ride there was split into a two day affair. Here is my route.

https://goo.gl/maps/JZMQyt7etRN2



I had wanted to stop at Mercey but left a little too late to make that happen. So I stayed at Hollister instead. It was a nice place to camp and I had fun getting a little lost on my way out in the morning.... with my fully loaded wee.

Highway 25 was the prettiest I have ever seen it. Tall green grass waving in the breeze, a smattering of wildflowers. Being pressed for time I didn't stop through this section for photos. I hopped on 198 headed towards Coalinga and turned right on to Parkfield Grade. I had never ridden this road but it looked nice and squiggly on the paper map. I really recommend using paper maps still. I don't have a GPS and there's something abotu paper maps I like so much more than GPS or google maps. But I digress.

Parkfield grade was like HNNNNNNG

A bit goaty, deliciously twisty, nice sightlines and those views!!!! I did stop to take a photo of this. Gratuitous road porn follows (SFW):

The view towards the central valley:



That twistylicious road up:



After I crested the top I saw a sign that said "pavement ends"

I was treated to a few miles of perfectly graded dirt road with good sightlines that I could ride at the same speed as a goaty road. No problem here.

Arriving in Parkfield I saw a ton of bikes. Here's just a few including my fully loaded weeeeeee!


The restaurant had cool stools, too.


And the main drag:

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Last edited by two wheel tramp; 04-04-2016 at 07:10 AM..
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two wheel tramp View Post
I signed up for the rally last fall when it was announced on ADV. Not only am I a two wheel tramp but I cheat on y'all with ADVrider.

https://goo.gl/maps/JZMQyt7etRN2



I really recommend using paper maps still. I don't have a GPS and there's something abotu paper maps I like so much more than GPS or google maps. But I digress.
Hey TWT!

Cool map, and map link ...

You'll have to teach me how to do
the Google-map-linked-route thing,
I can only do the screenshot ...

... love being able to follow a link in a RR and zoom
in to see the details of a BARFer's route
(like Ceniga Road or Parkfield Grade or the
way you took across the Valley to Hwy 155) ...

Great pics! Subscribed ...

see you soon,
-- SFMCjohn
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:24 AM   #3
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John,

I'll gladly show you how to do that. It's pretty easy with the new Google maps. Let me know when you have some time.

Thanks for checking in and reading.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:14 AM   #4
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Mmmm...
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Old 04-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #5
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The weather this past weekend was fabulous. My brother and I had to run down to Oceanside for some family business and it was Severe Clear the whole time. The Grapevine was busting wide open with the most spectacular display of wild flowers I've ever seen. We were on somewhat of a schedule also so no pictures (dang).

What a great ride report (jealous)!

Parkfield Grade road is the beez neez (even on a sport-touring road bike).

Speaking of which, I had one of my coolest motorcycling experiences ever on Parkfield Grade Road. We had just left the Cafe heading north and there is a bit of a climb. As I approached a right hand turn I saw a black horse staring at me at the fence line about 100yds straight ahead of me. As I made the right turn (15-20mph), the horse turned and galloped parallel to me for maybe 200 yards, right next to me. I adjusted my speed to stay right with him and it was just magic. I would have killed for a GoPro (but they weren't invented yet).

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Old 04-04-2016, 09:40 PM   #6
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Dan, that sounds like a really neat experience. I am eager to explore the area a bit more during the paso rally.
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"get your leg, throw it over your god damn bike, quit wastin your time here and spend it ridin the shit out of your motorcycle." ~ redpine
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:19 AM   #7
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I took Parkfield to where it intersects with 46 and headed east. I stopped at Blackwell's Corner for gas cuz I was low. If you go through this route you’re going to need a 150 mile range and that will is cutting it close. Bring gas.

Check out my cool GPS set up for the next stretch. This little shelf came with my bike. The clips are from the coffee that I buy. This paper didn't budge until I removed it at DV. It beat stopping and fishing directions out of my pocket as I don't ride with a tank bag.



At the end of 46 I turned on to Famoso Road. What a great spot! Riding through the orange groves it smelled like heaven. Or... that orange blossom soap you can get at Trader Joe's. I was breathing in deeply enjoying the scent while it lasted. Then the twisties started again and I was like All things being equal 46 feels way more bearable than 198 in many ways. I am not a fan of slab but it happens. I jut try to keep myself from getting a speeding ticket on the stuff.

Here is Famoso Road. It was a nice twisty road leading up to the Sierra Foothills. The pavement was in pretty nice condition and it was so, so pretty that I actually stopped and took a picture. In many ways this little stretch reminded me of route one in Marin a bit. The coolest part was that I didn't see a car for miles and miles.



From Famoso I jogged onto Tule Road to Woody ending up on 155. That road is mighty twisty. I felt like a pancake getting flopped from side to side. Flip. Flop. Flip. Flop. This was, for me at least, not a super fast road and that was A-OK. Behold the flippity floppity twisty goodness.



Here's a photo from 155 near Glennville. The hills were insane with color. I went from rolling hills with grass and deciduous trees to pine. Up, up, up through a national park. The road became narrower and tighter before heading down towards Wofford Heights.



As I was going up 155 my chain was feeling loose despite being tightened like 500 miles before. What can I say, it's in need of replacing. So after 155 dropped me into Wofford Heights I called those nice folks at the Cyclesmiths in Kernville. If you don't know it's a sweet moto shop in Kernville run and wrenched by a woman named Wendy. She is a long distance riding bad ass. They were able to fit me in right then and there. Then she didn't charge me enough for her time. But my bike felt so much better. If you are in the area stop by and check them out. She was riding a Bandit 1200 with side car that day. I mean, really this lady is damn cool. Plus she knows where all the good roads are.

Feeling good I pressed on. I took Sierra Way to 178. I didn't stop for pictures here. I was hell bent on getting to Death Valley before dark. Google maps said 2:29 to get to Panamint Springs. I made it in 1:45. Route 178 was interesting for a while then gave way to a long straight two lane highway. Somehow a two lane road feels less like slab even if it's straight. Then on to 395 to catch 190, which was straight until the last 12 miles before Panamint. Then it was a real treat! I rushed down the valley and to Panamint. I was here and I was stoked! There were so many people to see that I don't get to see much at all. But first... gotta find my campsite.
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relax, be smooth, find yer zen flow ~ banjoboy
"get your leg, throw it over your god damn bike, quit wastin your time here and spend it ridin the shit out of your motorcycle." ~ redpine
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:37 AM   #8
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Check out my cool GPS set up for the next stretch. This little shelf came with my bike. The clips are from the coffee that I buy.
haha ... I have a handful of those same
coffee-clips at home!

Will have to check out
Hwy 46, Famoso, Tule
next time ...
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:51 AM   #9
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Awesome report. I wish I rode my bike 1/2 as much as you ride yours.
More please now thanks
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:56 AM   #10
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155 hngggggg! Need to get on that road again sometime.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:43 AM   #11
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Awesome report. I wish I rode my bike 1/2 as much as you ride yours.
More please now thanks
I have a motorcycle addiction. It's expensive.

But still cheaper than therapy.
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relax, be smooth, find yer zen flow ~ banjoboy
"get your leg, throw it over your god damn bike, quit wastin your time here and spend it ridin the shit out of your motorcycle." ~ redpine
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:13 AM   #12
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I have a motorcycle addiction. It's expensive.

But still cheaper than therapy.
Nah, I think it's a wash. I probably have 20K into my bike, gear, tools, parts, farkles, maintenance, gas, rallies, hotels, meals and booze in the past 4 years. That will buy me the same in weekly therapy sessions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:46 AM   #13
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Dirty goodness
Some of them Paso roads too which I haven't seen in almost 10 years.

God I wish I had your life!! Where do you find all this time and money for these mondo great adventures?!
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:52 AM   #14
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Dirty goodness
Some of them Paso roads too which I haven't seen in almost 10 years.

God I wish I had your life!! Where do you find all this time and money for these mondo great adventures?!
I'm not a member of ghetto touring for nothing, you know. I have a four day work week now and choose riding over money. I buy take off tires pretty often and ride a cheap bike. I do as much of my own maintenance as possible and camp when and wherever possible. The rally entry was $80.00 for me and that included the camping and three dinners. I snacked on little things to and from DV so I am not buying meals on the road.

My kiddo helps because he's almost 18 so he takes great care of the house (frees up my time!) and does a lot of cooking and shopping for us, which also saves money.

It guess it boils down to priorities. I don't go on exotic trips, just local three day rides. But I do that a lot.

Dravnx, I am sure I have spent quite a bit of money on riding as well. Still cheaper than therapy cuz it doubles as vacation.


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HoHo To all my dog friends
relax, be smooth, find yer zen flow ~ banjoboy
"get your leg, throw it over your god damn bike, quit wastin your time here and spend it ridin the shit out of your motorcycle." ~ redpine
i don't get lost. i explore alternative destinations.
IBA #66001


R3 alone

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Old 04-05-2016, 11:31 AM   #15
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Agree, didn't think of the vacation aspect. Still have to take expensive vacations though because that is what she who must be obeyed likes to do.
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