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Old 04-27-2008, 06:23 PM   #1
vaara
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Sierra ride, 4/26-27/08

Yesterday I felt kinda cranky and sniffly, so I decided to go for a ride in the hills. I had just had my bike serviced and a new rear tire put on, plus I put a new fork brace (SuperBrace) on to see if that would help with low-speed handling. Which it did.

So anyway, I left Alameda around 1:30pm and headed east. Took some boring freeways into the Delta, then 12 east to Kettleman Road to 88, just past Lodi. Then I hopped back onto 12 and then onto highway 26, which was a lot of fun, at least until I tried to find a shortcut back to 88 and came across this:



This is a road called Schaad Road. "Schaad" in Dutch means "damage," so I decided not to take my chances. So I backtracked back to 26 and wish I'd stayed on it, because just before the junction with 88 it swoops down into and then back out of a deep, forested valley. Very pretty.

Finally I got back on 88 east. There was plenty of snow at the higher elevations.



The lake near Kirkwood was frozen.



As was the one a few miles beyond, just below Carson Pass.



The condition of the road was OK. There were some big-ass rocks around the Carson Spur, probably caused by the rapid snowmelt -- the snowpack contains plenty of rocks and other nasty stuff, in addition to plain old water.

By the time I got to Markleeville, it was around 7:00pm and starting to get dark.



Nonetheless I headed up Monitor Pass.



Here too, the road conditions were mostly OK, with just a little grit and pea gravel along the edges of each lane.



The shadows were getting long over the backside of Monitor. Amazingly, though, the temperatures were quite tolerable. I didn't even have to plug in my Gerbing liner.



I tried to take a picture of myself, but I clearly still have a lot to learn about my new camera, in particular about the self-timer setting.



By the time I got to 395, it was almost completely dark. I made my way up to Carson City, found a room, and had a late dinner.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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Today I had another leisurely start, leaving the *$ in north Carson City around 11:00am.



After a short ride down 395, which is not very nice, I took Jack Valley Road toward Genoa. While sedately cruising through town at the mandated 25mph, I realized just in the nick of time that there was a 4-way stop there. Oops. Fortunately there wasn't any cross traffic.

Then I got on NV 207, the Kingsbury Grade, which is 9 miles of fast uphill sweepers followed by 2 miles of tight downhill twisties.



Unfortunately there's quite a lot of traffic.



At the end you're rewarded with a view of Lake Tahoe. After a late breakfast at an IHOP in South Lake, I got back on Hwy 50 for the ride home. Just past Echo Summit I saw a line of 7 CHP SUVs eager for action, so clearly some caution was in order. I mostly stayed within the limits, then at Pollock Pines I turned off onto Sly Park Road to avoid the chaos around Placerville. This also turned out to be a very fun little road, at least the first 15 miles or so. Took this down to Plymouth, then Hwy 49 for a bit, then 124 into Ione, and finally back into the Delta for the rest of the ride home.

After turning onto 160 from Twin Cities Road, I went straight instead of going into Isleton, and ended up on a Winding Levee Road (tm).



Then a ferry.



And then another one.



From the deck of which I got a shot of Mount Diablo, which meant that my trip was almost over.



Total mileage for the weekend was about 560.

Last edited by vaara; 04-27-2008 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:50 PM   #3
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Great pics of a great ride. Is that the tall windscreen on your bike. Looks like it provides great wind protection.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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Thanks! No, that's the stock shield, adjusted to the top-most of 3 available positions. The wind protection is pretty good, but I have to scrunch down about 3" if I want to avoid wind blast completely.
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:52 PM   #5
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Thats a great ride. Thanks for the photos.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:00 AM   #6
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some of the best views in the world on those roads. i love those impromptu rides. you like the vstrom? one of my friends was trying to talk me into getting one for a street bike recently. he LOVES IT for cruising/group rides.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:31 AM   #7
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The V-Strom is a great multi-purpose bike. It does many things well, but nothing outstandingly, if that makes sense. It's plenty of fun in the twisties (though the SuperBrace made it a tiny bit less "flickable"); it's good for commuting with a topcase installed; it's comfortable enough for multi-hour stints on the slab; and the fork travel is such that it can easily handle potholed goat trails and the occasional foray off-pavement.

As a motard owner, you might be disappointed with its lack of hooliganistic qualities, and it's certainly not fast, but for my (limited) money it's an excellent compromise.
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Old 04-28-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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The one thing I've learned is there is no ONE bike that is perfect for everything... so that just means you need more than one!

I've ridden a friend's WeeStrom and have to agree... it's a great all around bike.

Great pics too!

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The V-Strom is a great multi-purpose bike. It does many things well, but nothing outstandingly, if that makes sense. It's plenty of fun in the twisties (though the SuperBrace made it a tiny bit less "flickable"); it's good for commuting with a topcase installed; it's comfortable enough for multi-hour stints on the slab; and the fork travel is such that it can easily handle potholed goat trails and the occasional foray off-pavement.

As a motard owner, you might be disappointed with its lack of hooliganistic qualities, and it's certainly not fast, but for my (limited) money it's an excellent compromise.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:01 PM   #9
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Looks like a fun ride! Thanks for sharing...
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Old 04-28-2008, 03:09 PM   #10
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so that just means you need more than one!
My heart and mind say Yes, but my bank account says No.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:09 AM   #11
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Nice! I just might have to make a run for it this Saturday.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:37 AM   #12
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Now if Caltrans would just get to Sonora and Ebbetts. Whenever I check the website, I feel like that lady in the Mervyn's commercial: "OPEN OPEN OPEN!!"
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:16 PM   #13
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Peter you came within 5 miles of our house.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:16 PM   #14
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Now if Caltrans would just get to Sonora and Ebbetts. Whenever I check the website, I feel like that lady in the Mervyn's commercial: "OPEN OPEN OPEN!!"
That's one funny commercial.

We are pretty close to last year's open dates.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:43 PM   #15
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Nice pics. What a great ride!
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