Creeps in Death Valley?!
Yes, last week Death Valley was infested by Creeps M/C!
And here are the details of the trip!
We were all set up to leave on Friday AM 3/23. On Sunday (3/19), my bike was already to go mechanically, last thing was to do the oilchange since I had 2k on it and we were likely to hit 2k miles! Thats when I discovered water in the oil, crap! I made a series of phone calls, no head gaskets to be found at any local shops that were open on a Sun or Mon. We got the bike down to my buddies shop, DJ Cycles in San Jose. Performed a leakdown test, not the head gasket! :clap Just the waterpump! Fortunately, I had bought spares the last time I did it! So I was down at the shop everyday before work and after (swing shift) working on it. So was DJ and my brother, helping me, getting clients bikes done and prepping their own bikes!
Because of all this we got a later start than planned on Friday!
As told in the previous post, we started out from south San Jose at 12 noon, instead of 9am as planned. 3 of the 6 of us had only managed 3-4 hrs of sleep per night for the past week!
So we hopped on Hwy 85 south, to 101 south and then 25 south. This put us in Hollister where we topped off gas. From there it was fun roads! We continued down 25 through Paicines as well as other lil towns, then on Peach Tree Rd. Along here is where, DJ CYCLES was fighting a rut with his new front tire and was aimed off the road and had to choose unknown tall grass or a dirt driveway to aim for at 50mph! All went well, no laydown or highside!
Peach Tree eventually became Indian Valley Rd and dropped us into the town of San Miguel along side 101. We ran 101S for about 5 miles to Paso Robles and stopped for a late lunch at Good Ol' Burgers!
Then we hopped on 46 East, which is also called Windy Way, and was a nightmare of 50mph, with crosswinds, riding at 45* angles and fighting winds from semis! But we made it to Bakersfield before sundown, where we decided to call it a night, for several reasons. Needing a good night sleep and good meal, not knowing where to find camping east of Bakersfield, and hoping to find a GoPro Helmet mount before traversing Kern Canyon. No luck on the GoPro, seems the CycleGear in Bakersfield is gone!
We got a couple rooms at Motel 6 near Hwys 178 & 99 and found a Marie Callendars in walking distance! Had a great meal and enjoyed the discounted beers in fishbowl glasses!
Got up and moving, grabbed a quickish coffee and pastry breakfast from StarPukes.
East bound on 178, through Kern Canyon,
We had 1 minor issue at the 20mph hairpin when headed up some hills. Inmate reaymorgan had misjudged and ran through the turn and stopped on the outside, but when he stopped the angle was so steep, his foot didnt touch and he dropped the bike.
We got him uprighted and took a breather. Then we finished the 178.
North on 395 and we stopped at Olancha for lunch. This is where my brother got another one of his bright ideas!
Yes, it stayed safely in place for the remaining 100 miles!
Then took 190 east, then headed through the remaining valleys and mtns.
We got to Furnace Creek well before sundown and inmate jrsride2002 found us at the Ranger Station, checking in.
We got all setup and started in on our beer and stories!
Thanks to DJ CYCLES and his girlfriend(who brought a stove, cooler, beer and group food) we had a great breakfast! Due to a few factors we got a start just before noon, but we were on vacation and many of us were tired from the overtime work for the week prior, so we didnt care much. Its a day for an easier loop!
We got gas and scooted down 190 to 20 Mule Team Canyon, which made for a nice dirt primer, the whole crew was convinced airing the tires down was a good idea! We continued down 190 to the turnoff for Dantes View (Furnace Creek Wash Rd), which was a nice sprint up to a 5500' view of BadWater @ -282'!
We ran down from Dantes and took the dirt road to the South, this is where Furnace Creek Wash Rd and Dantes View Rd intersect. We aired down to decent pressures and hit the dirt to see what we can learn of ourselves and our bikes! jrsride2002 was awesome and hung back with panda! and jejtastic (our self-appointed "Slow Team")
and did some reassuring and educating. Both learned and advanced quickly, they rolled up at the end with big grins and confidence that was many steps ahead of where they were just 1 hour before! All of us had a good time and learned alot, we even decided to scrap the previous plan of running the Badwater Rd slab, instead we ran South to North up Westside Rd! West Side is in real nice shape, but has enough hazards that you have to keep your eyes open. A few minor sand washes, loose corners and ruts, the standard stuff! One of these ruts, caught me off guard and I ended up not being able to avoid it and it spit me out the far end, headed for the outside berm and open rocky desert beyond. I prepped for the spill, but at the same time recalled my early BMX/MtnBike days. I got the bike stable and when I hit the berm, I leaned into the turn, and wacked the throttle and before I knew it , it was all over with! :clap I'm really hopping that DJ CYCLES' GoPro was still running at that point, since he was hot on my tail!
pic by jejtastic
Toward the end (north) in the saltflat areas, there are some runoff washes that can sneak up on you! The deepest of which, did sneak up on me and I had to wack the throttle again, about that time is when I heard the theme song to the Dukes of Hazard! I'm sure it felt better in my gut than it looked! :cry
My brother's '92 XR675L/SM
DJ CYCLE's R1100GS
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panda!, jejtastic & jrsride2002
After that we hit the pavement and checked out Devil's Golfcourse
Artist's Drive and Artist's Palette!
The sun was setting, so we ran back to the camp, our beer and dinner!
Started alot like Day 3 with a slow start and a great breakfast, but then took a downhill slide when it was discovered that at some point DJ CYCLES' front brake hose had gotten pinched between the front A-arm and fork tube and was leaking. About an hour of diagnostics, measurements and phone calls, located a shop in Las Vegas that could make the hose. It was determined that jrsride2002 would drive DJ CYCLES there and back, both loosing out on a whole day of riding! It was also determined that none of us could help any more, so we geared up and went on a short version of our planned route.
Gassed up again at Furnace Creek Chevron!
pic by jejtastic
And headed north on 190, north on Scotty's Castle Rd,
pic by jejtastic
past Ubehebe Crater and then on the dirt towards Teakettle Junction
the Grandstand and the Racetrack
By this time the sun was threatening to drop below the mtns! So we boogied back towards the crater. Along the way is when my brothers headlight bracket decided to give up the good fight. 5 minutes with zipties had it back to 60% usable and with dual H7 55watt HID bulbs, the lighting was sufficient, but our goal still remained to get off the dirt before the sun hid for the night. We got to see Ubehebe Crater during sunset!
The dirt portion was good with the first 2-3 miles being the most difficult. lots of fist sized knarly pointed rocks! But most of the rest we could run at 45-50 mph!
Tourist shot of myself
Wonderful rr, love seeing people ride their bikes from the garage to DV! :ricky
Is that the moon? Nice use of pano pics in this rr ...
see you around the campfire,
Yes, it was a wonderful sight when we got there and saw the moon rising over the mountains! And a nearly full one to boot!
And I should be working in a lil while to finish up the report on how our ride home went!
The beginning of our return trip! :cry
All loaded up and ready to roll! Unfortunately, my brother felt he needed to be back that eve and decided to do a fast solo slab back. He made it fine and even decided to go bowling that evening after doing 500 miles straight thru on the XR675L/SM! The rest of us refueled and did a last minute trinket grab at the country store in Furnace Creek!
DJ CYCLES putting his earbuds in and reaymorgan stretching out http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8404/8...c9e36b52_c.jpg
We headed back the same route towards Bakersfield and the same Motel 6, since we knew what to expect!
All was going well thru the park when we were climbing up towards Father Crowley Point, we heard a horrendous grating metal noise, yes every one of us heard the same thing and wondered what happened to our engines. Then realized it was 1 of many jets that are known for doing low altitude flybys out in the deserts! Thank goodness! So we took a stopoff at Father Crowley and were treated to quite a sight!
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A minute or 2 later a Chevy Astro van pulls up and an old gentleman jumps out, runs over to us and starts asking about the flybys and telling us how he keeps missing them! Meanwhile his wife or passenger has opened the door and is puking her guts out! :eek1
Back on the road with a gas and lunch stop at Olancha. Then continued down 395 head long into horrid crosswind. I'm still fairly certain that I had the bike horizontal and the tires 6" off the ground for a good 5 miles or more!:huh
Then we caught 178 west and the winds started to go away....
I have always loved the alien looks of the Joshua Trees so we made a stop for pics!
We could tell we were running short on light so we kept moving.
Kern Canyon was beautiful at night!
We intended to have dinner in Lake Isabella at our favorite grub spot, Damn Tacos, but they closed up shop!
But got a few beautiful moon pics!
All of us were exhausted and we just opted for Carl's Jr, after we checked into our hotel!
We all got some needed rest, then had a good meal at Carrows, in the same parking lot as our hotel.
None of us liked the idea of fighting the winds on 46 again! So we opted for 58 running west out of Bakersfield, this was a good call as the weather was beautiful, cool and the road was in great shape!
Our first stop was about 30 miles east of 101 at a lil parking lot with a roach coach going by the name of Mike's Tin Can and was setup to serve the construction workers who have been working on the big solar farm out there! I neglected to get a pic, but the truck had IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) stickers from locals nearby as well as Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico! This is awesome to me, because I have been a member for 13 years now! I really need to remember to carry a few stickers! We didn't have much cash, so we just got sodas.
pic by jejtastic
Sometime before this stop is where panda! picked up a friend!
But Mike and his help suggested the Way Back Inn (@ Black Mtn RV Resort, 4293 Calf Cnyon Hwy, Creston, Ca). We found it, great company, great Boxer even tho she was very shy she liked to play! The food was really good too! Tell them the Creeps sent you!
Then we slabbed it up 101 and back to DJ Cycles, the shop!
Yea guys! Tons of fun!! Thanks for letting me join y'all!
In Texas now, no computer, and the dumb phone aint good enough to check out ALL the pics.
Keep me in the loop for future rides!
Looks like fun, thanks for the report!!!
Bitchen ride report,I like the bikes,thanks fer takin us all along.
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