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Old 06-24-2019, 06:33 PM   #1
happy_rider
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Post RIDE REPORT: a weekend in the Sierra

Almost four years ago, I spent a three-day weekend exploring a few Sierra passes and rather liked the experience. I had ridden Carson, Tioga, Sonora, Monitor, and Ebbetts passes and of those, Monitor and Ebbetts stuck as my favorites. On a separate occasion, I had ridden to Tahoe with a "small" detour through Yuba pass, which I absolutely loved. With a free, sunny weekend in perspective I decided to ride my three favorite passes and make a small report out of it. Lots of riding, not a lot of pictures for you, unfortunate reader!

Day 1: Bay area to Walker, CA, ~438 miles



Yuba pass is located at the north end of CA-49; I had previously accessed it through Auburn, CA and wanted to try something different: CA-20 from Yuba City and then Marysville Rd. Of course I missed a turn and ended up riding a good bit of La Porte Rd before turning back. Good fun, but not my favorite road. Had to backtrack to get some gas since 91 octane fuel is not available everywhere. Oh well. The whole point of the day is riding so I'm not going to complain.

I like Yuba pass for its scenery, and beautiful flowing curves. It's great fun and not too busy. A bit dirty on the lower (western) side so be careful out there. Fantastic riding. Saw quite a congregation of riders in Downieville; not quite sure what was going on.

Hwy 89 then connects to Truckee and Lake Tahoe, which was spectacular, as usual. The deep blue lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks is quite the sight, though I was sharing it with a lot of people on the road, as might be expected.



A short jaunt on Hwy 395 brings me to CA-88 and CA-89; there was some sort of festival in Markleeville, which I was tempted to stop for, but decided against.



CA-89 then brings an opportunity to ride Monitor pass on my way to Walker. I was not alone in that a very large group of riders coming from Ebbetts was stopping at the junction, presumably waiting for everybody before continuing. This gave me the opportunity to squeeze by and be on my way behind a Harley (?) riding two-up at a respectable pace who kindly let me pass after a few turns. I have to say that overall other motorists have been kind in that regard; I always appreciate it and give .

I then stop for the night at the West Walker Motel, which treated me very well 4 years ago and thus gets me back (it's a biker-friendly motel). When I mentioned my past trip the nice front desk lady even gave me a rebate on the room rate. Definitely a solid base to explore the area.

Stay tuned for episode two!
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:23 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report looking forward to more. I want to explore the Sierras someday. Is a three day trip enough or feel rushed?
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:51 AM   #3
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Look forward to more!

Rick,

Join us for the Rydther Rally which goes to Hawthorne, NV.
A chance to ride several passes and party like a rock star with a bunch of fellow 2 wheel enthusiasts all in 3 days.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:59 AM   #4
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Thank you both!

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Originally Posted by RVFRick View Post
Thanks for the report looking forward to more. I want to explore the Sierras someday. Is a three day trip enough or feel rushed?
If the goal is purely riding I think you can do plenty in three days. If you want to stop a lot for visiting / hiking / smelling the flowers then obviously you have to pick fewer destinations. Don't forget to check the weather and road closures; for example, Tioga pass (SR-120) is still closed. I highly recommend riding the Sierra, it's great fun!
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:00 PM   #5
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Always nice to see a Sierra ride report. I've got my route laid out and have even got a few hikes setup on the way out/back. As much as I hate to ride Tioga Pass due to the traffic, the scenery makes it worth it. So, I'm stuck waiting a few more weeks before Tioga Pass is all the way open. I'm heading up Ebbetts->Monitor then Tioga Pass home. I've found that Ebbetts (like you) to be my favorite pass.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:30 PM   #6
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As much as I like and am used to smaller displacement bikes (70, 250 & 400), I think I may need to upsize for longer distance touring rides. Comfort, safety, bags and reliability. What does teh barf think?

[/B]
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Look forward to more!

Rick,

Join us for the Rydther Rally which goes to Hawthorne, NV.
A chance to ride several passes and party like a rock star with a bunch of fellow 2 wheel enthusiasts all in 3 days.
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:52 PM   #7
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As much as I like and am used to smaller displacement bikes (70, 250 & 400), I think I may need to upsize for longer distance touring rides. Comfort, safety, bags and reliability. What does teh barf think?

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So many great sport touring motorcycles out there. Find one you like and don't look back.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
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Day 2: Walker to Bay area, ~296 miles



In a quest to get on my way early, I elect to replace breakfast with hotel room coffee and a cereal bar. There is gas in Walker and a few options for breakfast but nothing open before 7am on a Sunday morning (fair warning: the gas station is not open 24h but they do have 91 octane fuel). Nothing quite like riding beautiful passes alone in the crisp morning air. So it's back on Monitor pass, this time going west. Never ceases to amaze me.



The air is crisp enough that I'm happy to have a heated liner and gloves (I ride in perforated leathers, perhaps not the best choice for early morning rides at 8,700 ft). Ebbetts pass continues to impress with its ineffable beauty. Such a treat! Of note, there is still snow on the ground and the small lakes near the top are partially frozen. The road is clear, though.



I'm tempted to bring the family to one of the many campgrounds this summer although I'm not sure about the temperature at night... Will have to look into it. I can only imagine the beautiful hikes.

Once the steep part is over, it's a delightful ride down fast corners, mostly unimpeded by traffic and taken in a high gear such as to not attract too much attention... The rollercoaster ride after Angels Camp is quite busy, though. Somewhat boring ride until Livermore where I decide that I haven't had enough and will ride Mines while I'm there. I usually ride it counterclockwise so this is a new experience and perhaps a bit long after this weekend's riding. Hot, too. Overall a great weekend ride. Thanks for reading!
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:41 PM   #9
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Wow! I most certainly need endurance practice and a more comfortable & less frantic touring bike. I see lots for rent for less than $100/day. 1000cc-1200cc is a big jump for me.

Last year I went on a group ride and did: peninsula, Mt Hammy, Junction, Mines, Livermore, home and was exhausted. Mines seemed endless - at one point I was conflicted - riders dream of such twisty tarmac yet I was hoping it would end. Full bladder and cramping legs didn't help. I'm getting old

The fact that OP did Mines at the end of a multi hour ride
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:13 AM   #10
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Nice report and roads. We have done something similar and may just plan another this year depending on my out of town work schedule.....which had me missing kernville ...sad
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:30 PM   #11
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As much as I like and am used to smaller displacement bikes (70, 250 & 400), I think I may need to upsize for longer distance touring rides. Comfort, safety, bags and reliability. What does teh barf think?
I recently got a bigger bike (Tuono V4) that has mounts for bags due to the RVF not being all that touring friendly. When I swap between the bikes it's pretty amazing the difference in riding position. The Tuono is a lot easier to ride longer distances, but the RVF is capable if that's all you have.

Here's a pic from Carson Pass (Red Lake) from a few years ago.

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Old 06-27-2019, 07:43 AM   #12
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You took some of my favorite roads. Well done.

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Old 06-27-2019, 11:53 PM   #13
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I recently got a bigger bike (Tuono V4) that has mounts for bags due to the RVF not being all that touring friendly. When I swap between the bikes it's pretty amazing the difference in riding position. The Tuono is a lot easier to ride longer distances, but the RVF is capable if that's all you have.

Here's a pic from Carson Pass (Red Lake) from a few years ago.

: Cool photo of an NC35 in the Sierras.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:27 AM   #14
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Tioga Pass is open fully starting July 1st BTW. They announced it last night.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:04 AM   #15
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Tioga Pass is open fully starting July 1st BTW. They announced it last night.
Happy dance, got my monday planed now
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