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Old 12-02-2013, 05:46 PM   #46
Shesaid OP
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Central CA
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FINALLY! We're GOING somewhere!

13.1123-Hollister-(72)

Hesaid and I are different. From everybody else, naturally, but also from each other. He is all about a PLAN. He likes to plan things. He needs a plan. He likes to get out maps and compasses and sit down with Google Earth and make lots of notes and do math and figure out exactly what he's going to do, exactly how he will do it, when the best time to do it is, and then plot the alignment of several key astronomical entities in order to ensure that his plan is implemented in the best relation to the space/time continuum. Sometimes he spends so much time planning that he never gets around to doing.

I am all about doing: I believe in double checking the pre-packed overnight bag to make sure you haven't raided it of it's Ibuprofen and then GOING!

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This is why I have far more grand ADVENTURES to tell tall tales of than Hesaid does.

He works so hard to avoid having "adventures" in the first place.

Once I got the hang of riding without falling over and breaking anything I need in order to continue riding, my first point of order was to obtain a rack for the Wombat. In order to strap stuff to. Because being able to strap stuff to the bike is pretty much my idea of priority 1 before setting off on an adventure.

And so I have been ready to GO somewhere and stay overnight pretty much since June.

I was all about throwing some sleeping bags in a sack and camping in Sequoia National Forest, but Hesaid was all, "I don't think we're ready for that...I think our first overnight should be in a hotel, that way its less stuff to worry about going wrong...I don't know if we can ride that far..." etc, etc, and so on.

I spent a lot of the summer with my eyebrows raised, making squishy, puckered-up duck faces at him. Really? "Too far?" We regularly rode UP to the mountains AND BACK all in one go. Camping for the night before heading home seemed like LESS riding. All in one day, at least.

But we have yet to go moto-camping. I've come to the conclusion that Hesaid is uncomfortable with the minimalist camping techinique that he will have to adapt to for the bikes. Whereas I have been an ultralight backpacker for 15 years now. And Hesaid does love his comfort zones. He'll come around. In his own time. (Which will be this next summer or I'm going without him!)

So a couple of weeks ago, he came home to inform me that he was planning an overnight trip to Hollister.
Hollister? Really? That's the destination of our first overnight trip? Hollister is the mythical land of Fortune and Glory? Hollister is where awaits our destiny, land of adventure and intrigue?

Hmmmm. I had no idea.

But at least we might actually GO somewhere!

Turns out, Hesaid's co-worker was planning on loading up his dirt bike with his dad and his dirt bike and meeting up with his brother and sister-in-law, their daughters and their dirt bikes and camping at the Hollister Hills OHV recreation area just outside of Hollister on the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Ok. I admit. I'm getting older. And growing soft and spongy. I'm less enthusiastic at the prospect of camping in late November than I used to be. But, if it meant getting to GO somewhere, then I was prepared to suck it up!

Fortunately, Hesaid's plan was to use his co-worker's camping trip as an excuse to ride to Hollister, spend the night in a warm, comfy hotel room, eat dinner and drink beer in a restaurant, and ride home the following day.

This sounded good.

And so it would be: We departed for Hollister at the crack of dawn-- NO REALLY! The BUTT-FREAKIN-CRACK OF EVER-LOVING DAMN DAWN! on Saturday morning.

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BRRRRRRRRRR.

Have I ever mentioned that I am NOT. A. MORNING. PERSON. ???

And you know what I like about driving a car? Cup holders. Yup. Call me a yuppie; a conformist, in-the-box, yuppie cager (you'd be the ONLY person who ever called me that) but CUP HOLDERS are the vehicle for the world's greatest beverage-- coffee. And you can drink coffee WHILE you drive!

Even if you outfit your bike with cup holders, it's difficult to drink it while you ride. It is a woeful sacrifice one must make for the joy of the ride.

Our route, having been meticulously planned by my partner-in-crime, eschewed freeways and made sure not to put more than 100 miles between gas stations-- the Wombat averages 80+ miles to the gallon, but has a capacity of little more than that gallon.

We wound through the same alfafa fields and dairies that were the scenery on our way out of the valley for our Parkfield trip. I was only mildly surprised to see the alfafa still green and thriving this far into the season.

We gassed up in Coalinga: I had suspected we might be planning on obtaining some sort of breakfast-like device in Coalinga as well, seeing as how Hesaid IS a morning person and one that requires a morning meal.

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Also, it was cold. I had opted for my Olympia Airglide riding gear because I knew afternoon temps were expected to hit the mid-70's. I would rather layer up and be slightly chilly than wear the warmer gear with fewer vents and risk being too warm. I had 4 layers of pants on and 5 layers of shirts on and my poor little hands were frozen through. My fingertips were so numb they hurt. (They actually hurt for several days.)

I was looking forward to a rest in Coalinga, a sausage McMuffin with egg and a chance to sit still and hold a cup of hot coffee for awhile. Especially since breakfast at MickyD's is a rare treat for me, seeing as how I'm rarely out of bed before they stop serving it.

And there was the McDonald's, right across the street from the Chevron station. Waiting for me. Calling my name.

At the very least, I figured we'd grab some sort of mass-produced Danish and a coffee at the gas station.

It was not to be. We gassed up and took advantage of the rest rooms and were on our way.

Hesaid, once again, was the only one who really knew what our planned route was. I really need him to learn how to program these things into the GPS. So we wound our way through the wakening streets of Coalinga in search of whatever road it was he planned for us to travel.

We ended up on Coalinga Road. A long, winding, road through some ranch land and canyons that eventually dumped us out on Hwy 25 just south of Tres Pinos.

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Coalinga Rd was a nice little ride. Twisty and devoid of traffic. Not in the best repair, and on the San Benito County side, the pot holes had been filled with loose gravel. It was well-packed, but still loose gravel. I don't know if that's their overall plan, or if they'll come back later and seal it with tar. But it made for some trepidatious manuveuring for these two novice riders.

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I was particularly excited to see the bobcat run across the street some 50 yards ahead of me and jump up and disappear into the brush. Bobcat ranks pretty high on the wildlife sighting chart.

I eventually pulled over for a break. This is where the whole thing went to hell, and we got in a big fight because Hesaid is like living with Mr. Spock-- but we didn't get into the fight until the following Tuesday, so the ride actually continued on quite enjoyably.

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While we were off the bikes, Hesaid ventured off the side of the road and down to check out the dry river bed that we'd been following along for most of the road.

He returned to tell me that the river bed bottom was all rocks (I could see that from the road) and he was particularly intrigued that it had the appearance of a "natural concrete." Upon which, he insisted that I "go take a look and report back."

So I, in my 4 layers of pants/5 layers of shirts/boots/gloves/helmet ensemble, proceed to navigate down the embankment on the side of the road, toward the river bed.

Suddenly my toe is caught on something: It is truly amazing how much information the human brain can process in the amount of time it takes to fall on your face--

"My boot is caught on something."

"It's not giving. My toe is really caught. I wonder what it is."

"I bet it's a tree root. One of those stupid brushy things. I'm surprised it's holding so firmly."

"I need to get my foot uncaught or I'm going to fall over."

"Nope. My boot is really stuck."

"Crap. I'm going to fall."

"Well don't try to break your fall with your hands, that's how you broke your wrist last time."

"No. Just put your hands out to the side. You have a helmet on, it's not like you're going to hurt your head."

"Stupid river bed. I don't even care about the damn river bed."

THUNK!

I was mostly struck by how bad it did hurt my head. I felt I was in a cartoon-- like maybe when the coyote hits his head against a rock or a gong and his whole body vibrates for while. And then stars.

I did a quick diagnostic check... pretty sure I didn't break anything. Hands, wrists, arms were good. Nothing broken, nothing sprained, no injuries to report. But my head sure hurt. Helmets may save brains, but they are not designed to absorb impact without transferring some of the shock to your noggin.

So there I am, laying face down, spread eagle in the dirt (really soft dirt, btw) thinking that that hurt my head more than I'd expected and working through the emotional shock and subsequent humiliation of my face plant, when Hesaid arrives at the scene and begins demanding to know if I'm "OK."

And my first impulse is say, "Fuck no, I'm not OK."

But there I am-- have not moved an inch-- working the consequences of my response in my brain: I'm thinking that if I say "no, I'm not OK" he will immediately become concerned that I have injured myself. He will be worried about me. He will be worried about how he is going to get me to medical care, he will be worried about how we will recover the Wombat if I'm not able to ride, he will be worried about our friends who are expecting us but don't have cell signal, he will be bummed that our ride is over....

So I can't say "No, I'm not OK."

But I don't feel it would be honest to say, "Yes. I'm OK." I don't feel OK yet. I feel kinda stupid and grumpy and my head hurts. Also, all those layers of clothes make me feel like the little brother from A Christmas Story in his snow suit.

Eventually I told him that I wasn't broken. I felt this was an adequate response to convey that I had suffered no major injuries that would require a change in our plans while leaving a little space for me to sit there and feel sorry for myself for a little bit.

All in all, at the time, it all worked out as well as can be expected for the two of us: he insisted on repeating his original question until he was satisafied that I was just lying in the dirt for no good reason, then insisted on my getting back on my feet even though I wanted to lay there and pout for a little longer.

13.1123-Hollister-(55)

Several days later, I tried to explain my thought process to him and how I was trying to be all considerate of his reaction and so forth, only to be informed that he just did not understand how I could not be OK when I was OK.

The man has no concept of human emotion sometimes. It's like dating a robot.

13.1123-Hollister-(60)

Nevertheless, at that exact time and place, I got up, dusted myself (mostly) off and we got back on our bikes and rode off to our destiny... well. To Tres Pinos for another tank of gas, mostly.

13.1123-Hollister-(63)

Then we back tracked to Cienega Road and wound our way up to the OHV area where we sat and chatted with friends while I watched dirt bikers of every age racing around the trails.

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Good grief but that is not something that appeals to me. They're all busy crashing and falling over and jumping and buzzing around this way and that in unchoreographed mayhem.

13.1123-Hollister-(67)

We bid our farewells, stopped by the gear shop in the rec area where I spent some quality time petting the resident psychotic shop cat-- good thing I still had my gloves on! While Hesaid wondered around like he might actually be considering buying a new tire.

We rode into town and checked into our room at the Hollister Inn. Then we spent some time preparing the bikes for their big night outside along. Hesaid was concerned about the bikes getting stolen and/or otherwise molested. I'm not going to pretend that isn't a legitimate concern, and I'm not really going to say Hesaid was "paranoid" about it-- but he might have been slightly more worried than warranted. I'd say, "Hypo-paranoid." He seriously considering wrestling the bikes into the room-- I don't think that was necessary.

So, once the the bikes were nestled close together and locked up, and Hesaid had opened the curtains so he could see them easily, we spent some looking up places to eat in Hollister-- places we could walk to, since our plans for dinner included several pints of beer.

13.1123-Hollister-(68)

We ended up at the "Running Rooster" where we enjoyed perfectly tasty (and very messy) burgers and the aforementioned several pints of beer with no ill-effects, so if you're ever reading the Yelp reviews for the Running Rooster in Hollister, fear not the nay-sayers. It's a perfectly nice place to have a meal.

A good night's sleep and I woke up to the Weather Channel telling the nation about all the snow and hail and sleet that was plaguing Oklahoma: Oklahoma's Doplar map was nothing but pink and blue and purple with the weather people telling the residents to "just hunker down" through the storm, and here we were, preparing to ride motorcycles home on a bright sunny day.

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We planned for a later start to our day on Sunday, since we had arrived in Hollister with 2 hours of sunlight to spare. We figured we could afford to start later and avoid the coldest temps and still make it home by dark.

We checked out of our room and headed back out of town via Cienega Rd again. We had to stop for a moment to let the wild turkey's cross the road-- I didn't have a camera handy, so no pics.

We went back to Tres Pinos for gas and breakfast. Many people here on ADV had suggested a Flapjack place-- I can't for the life of me remember the actual name of the place-- so we pulled the humble DR650 and the mighty Wombat up next to the shiny GS in all it's BMW glory and requested a table on the patio.

13.1123-Hollister-(10)

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm and I didn't have to pad myself up with nearly as many layers. We had a fabulous breakfast-- and I got to wrap my hands around a hot cup of coffee finally-- while watching skydivers slowly descend toward us. Kinda cool.

13.1123-Hollister-(12)

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Then out of town, down the 25 and onto Panoche Road.

We've done Panoche in the car a couple of times, and it has been on our "to do on the bikes" list since before we even got the bikes.

It was pretty fabulous.

13.1123-Hollister-(18)

We stoppped in at the Panoche Inn to see how it's coming along. The owners have had it up for sale for awhile and we don't make it out that way as often as we'd like, so we didn't know if it was under new ownership yet.

Nope. We wandered in and ordered up a couple of Pepsis, watched the "Thief of Bagdhad" on the TV and chit chatted with the (same) owners about their plans to sell the place and the chances of actually doing so.

13.1123-Hollister-(77)

But we can't sit here and eat peanuts all day-- we want to get home before dark, and the "fun" part of Panoche Road lays yet before us.

I admit, once the pavement ended, I felt much better this time. Even when I hit the soft, poofy dirt, I was feeling good and holding steady. I even had the TW in THIRD gear most of the time. That's a huge improvement for me!

13.1123-Hollister-(40)

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We took some time taking pics before continuing on to the water feature.

13.1123-Hollister-(80)

We'd been looking forward to this. Even when the whole dang valley is dry as a bone, this spot offers a modest water crossing. No sweat on 4 wheels, but what would it be like on 2?

I came up behind Hesaid where he was poised on Dr. Feelgood. The news struck some fear into my heart; he informed me that the tiles were slippery. And the tiles he had his feet on weren't even wet. This gave me an opportunity to worry about the water crossing.

I wasn't worried about riding through the water; I was worried that algae would be built up on the tiles under the water, making slippery tiles slipperier. If the bike started to slide, it would be pointless- to- disastrous to put a foot down if the bottom of the crossing was gooey. My foot would just slip and I'd still go down and then I'd be wet and cold and covered in algae, and hopefully not get water anywhere it isn't supposed to be in the bike.

13.1123-Hollister-(21)

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But let me tell you-- there's no other way around and going back was not an option.

So I let Hesaid go first.



One he was on the other side and all set up with the camera, I took several deep breaths, lined myself up for the absolute straightest approach I could muster, and went for it.

Like BUTTAH. What was I worried about? Seriously, so much fun, I considered going back and doing it again. But then again, why tempt Fate, right? We can go back and play in the spring.

13.1123-Hollister-(24)

13.1123-Hollister-(5)

Gassed up at I-5 and discussed our route home from there. This is where we lost our sense of humor.

Not literally-- we actually had a great ride even from this point, but the way home from Little Panoche/I-5 is all long, straight roads that don't really go where we want to go. So there's a lot of zig-zagging while we fight for daylight at the point in the ride where we're both, "Well, that was fun, now we just want to get home."

Then my brand new helmet (Scorpian transformer exo-900 somethingorother) decided to sass back. The chin curtain was unsnapped on one side. Normally I'd have just unsnapped the whole thing, shoved it in a pocket and dealt with it later. But it blocks a lot of wind and bugs and I really wanted to keep it attached. Those snaps are a @*!&!! but Hesaid finally wrestled them into submission for me.

13.1123-Hollister-(34)

Somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, I saw some really enormous hawks on the side of the road. I wish hawks on the side of the road was the sort of thing you could feasibly pull over and take a photo of, because these guys were HUGE. I see lots of hawks in the areas I live and travel but these things must have stood 3 feet tall. Hesaid says he didn't see them, so he can't back up my claims. But they were really big.

Zig.

Zag.

Zig.

Zag.

The sun was getting lower on the horizon behind us. I stopped to take pics of the vineyards: we rode through a section of the valley where it was just grapes as far the eye could see in any direction. Mostly grapes for table grapes and raisins out here.

13.1123-Hollister-(84)

We were so close to home. The directions for our route had us traveling east on a familiar road, then told us to zig and zag and zig zag again. We stopped to consult the GPS about this. Turns out, the road we were on would not cross the Kings River-- thus the zigging and zagging.

Hesaid is not amused.

13.1123-Hollister-(36)

While zigging was in process, the Wombat suddenly coughed and then that blissful silence ensued... that familiar and unwelcomed blissful silence. WTF? No way. I coasted to the side of the road.

Heside pulled up alongside me with that perplexed look on his face. I asked him how many miles it had been since we gassed up, as I'd lost all faith in my ability to do math in my head as I looked at the odometer.

76 miles since topping off the tank, and yet, here I was, turning the tank to "reserve."

The Wombat has been averaging 83 miles per gallon since we bought it. So this was unexpected. I guess holding that throttle open at 60 mph for 76 miles of long, flat, open road, really takes a toll on the fuel consumption.

Now we have to figure out how to get gas one more time.

At least we know about where we are. We made some minute recalculations to our plan and headed east again with plans to gas up in Traver.

13.1123-Hollister-(85)

Remember when I said it turns out I love riding at night? Well. That was back in August. When darkness merely removed the eye-seering agony of the sun and brought on pleasant temperatures in the high 80's.

Now I'm less enthralled with it. It got cold. The temperature dropped from pleasant 60's and 70's to sub-zero arctic frigidness in an instant! OK... maybe not that extreme. But that sun went down and it was COLD and it was cold all of a sudden.

We made it home just after 5 p.m. The dogs welcomed us home with tails a wagging and then we celebrated with a lavish victory feast.

13.1123-Hollister-(76)

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Hesaid/Shesaid's Daytripping Thread to Fortune and Glory
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Shesaid screwed with this post 12-02-2013 at 06:21 PM
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #47
psmcd
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Your trepidation was premonition
of trepanation to receive
but for helmet did precede
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:23 PM   #48
Hesaid
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I knew I should have gotten back to this post sooner. I only made it a third of the way through the tale before Shesaid began to tell her tale. I think she did a pretty good job, leaving only a few things off the top of my head that require clarification. Lemme see...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
And Hesaid does love his comfort zones.
I'm not sure if a beer and a steak at camp is really considered a "Comfort zone". I would consider it more "meal planning", and I think it's gonna take something more than figuring out which pocket a steak can be crammed into. We're going to need a bike cooler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
We gassed up in Coalinga: I had suspected we might be planning on obtaining some sort of breakfast-like device in Coalinga as well, seeing as how Hesaid IS a morning person and one that requires a morning meal.I was looking forward to a rest in Coalinga, a sausage McMuffin with egg and a chance to sit still and hold a cup of hot coffee for awhile. Especially since breakfast at MickyD's is a rare treat for me, seeing as how I'm rarely out of bed before they stop serving it. And there was the McDonald's, right across the street from the Chevron station. Waiting for me. Calling my name. At the very least, I figured we'd grab some sort of mass-produced Danish and a coffee at the gas station. It was not to be. We gassed up and took advantage of the rest rooms and were on our way.
Yeah, I thought so too. Guess we should have talked that one over. As it were, I was pretty impressed with how far we were able to make it on a Snickers "Dark" that had been riding around on my bike for a month or more split between the two of us. We didn't even have to resort to the several month old granola bars (which after a couple of thousand miles on the back of a DR have probably reverted back to just granola by now...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Suddenly my toe is caught on something: It is truly amazing how much information the human brain can process in the amount of time it takes to fall on your face--

"My boot is caught on something."
I believe I had mentioned that there used to be a fence there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Several days later, I tried to explain my thought process to him and how I was trying to be all considerate of his reaction and so forth, only to be informed that he just did not understand how I could not be OK when I was OK.

The man has no concept of human emotion sometimes. It's like dating a robot.
I am... fully functional, programmed in... multiple techniques.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
So, once the the bikes were nestled close together and locked up, and Hesaid had opened the curtains so he could see them easily, we spent some looking up places to eat in Hollister-- places we could walk to, since our plans for dinner included several pints of beer. We ended up at the "Running Rooster" where we enjoyed perfectly tasty (and very messy) burgers and the aforementioned several pints of beer with no ill-effects, so if you're ever reading the Yelp reviews for the Running Rooster in Hollister, fear not the nay-sayers. It's a perfectly nice place to have a meal.
Shesaid forgot to mention that the beer was on "clearance", a term I don't think I've ever heard applied to beer before. $2 pints of Paulaner Oktoberfest. Not bad at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
Zig.

Zag.

Zig.

Zag.
This is the part that so many don't seem to understand. When you think motorcycles and zig-zags, you think corners and leaning. But that's not what we're dealing with. What we've got is a valley with roads that make up a giant grid. And we're say, fifty miles northwest from where we want to be. So we can either go forty miles east and then thirty miles south, or thirty miles south, then forty miles east. Or zig-zag. Five miles one way, then five miles the other. then do it again. Like riding a Lightcycle on the gamegrid. Straights and ninety degree turns at intersections. No one's idea of fun, but better than just two long boring straights. So that's what we did. I can say at least that it's a good way of ending a trip, as after two hours of that, you're pretty happy to just be home, and less likely to want to just keep riding.

Ok, that's about it for now. It doesn't look like our weather is going to stay quite as nice from here on out, so I'm not sure where/when we'll get to go next, but truth be told, we could use a few weekends around the house. Someone has to do some chores. Plus wash bikes. And oil changes. And a Wombat valve adjust... But I just got a new base layer to try out, so...

MV
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #49
TheAdmiral
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Great story to Hollister. I love the two sides of the story being told.

I love my morning cup of joe too. Some (wife) would say I get grumpy without my morning coffee. Coffee is my morning "comfort zone". I never feel like I'm grumpy though!

As far as no emotions go, guess I'm more like hesaid on this one. I have to tell my wife "I'm laughing on the inside" all the time!

My wife loves water crossings. Of course she only rides an ATV, but you'll get the idea. I'm a little more cautious like yourselves.

It's only 10 seconds long, but the laughs should last longer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5mAFqTXL6Y
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:56 PM   #50
Shesaid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAdmiral View Post
It's only 10 seconds long, but the laughs should last longer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5mAFqTXL6Y
I take it the dog said, "WTF was that? I'm OUTTA here!" LOL!
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:13 PM   #51
Ol Man
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I am enjoying your travels. Great to hear from the ladies' side. Looks like you are ready to change bikes.
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:00 PM   #52
TheAdmiral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesaid View Post
I take it the dog said, "WTF was that? I'm OUTTA here!" LOL!
That's how I took it! Giggle

Gosh, I really enjoy this thread. Great writing and photo's. ...and then hesaid adds his perspective, which just really adds so much, with so few words. Of all the great threads on Advrider, this one is way up there. I hope you keep this one going for a long, long time to come.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:25 PM   #53
Shesaid OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psmcd View Post
Your trepidation was premonition
of trepanation to receive
but for helmet did precede
OK. I admit it. I had to look up "trepanation" and now it's funny!
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:23 PM   #54
Hesaid
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Ugh.

Ok, we knew this was coming, sooner or later. Winter was bound to arrive. and this week, it did. In a timely fashion too, as our town's annual Christmas parade was on Monday night. Starting Tuesday, temps fell, both daytime highs and nighttime lows. The lows actually to record levels, as our area typically only bounces against freezing, dropping below and staying there, especially into the low twenties, is a big deal. Downright disastrous to the citrus industry.

Now, we've been planning for this, and trying to equip ourselves for it. So far those plans have been coming along nicely. With winter comes snow in our nearby mountains, so we knew we'd be planning rides in other areas, namely lower elevations. Which is cool, there are tons of areas to explore, most of which are complete unknowns to us. But this isn't supposed to be a post about the weather.

See, we've also been planning for a weekend of no riding. A weekend to wash bikes, and perform maintenance. Shesaid has been cleverly juggling bikes to delay this, but that game only lasts for so long:

Me: "Remember, this weekend, no riding, we need to work on bikes, "

Shesaid: "Well, I know the Wombat needs an oil change, a bath, and a valve adjust, but I was planning on riding Pinkfoot, so it wouldn't have to get all that done this weekend."

Me: "So, since you have two bikes, you think you can get away with riding twice as much?

Shesaid:

Me:

Shesaid:

The gig was up this weekend though, both of her bikes will need something or another, and even Dr. Feelgood needs a bath. So we made plans to do our chores, despite the cold. Saturday came and we got plenty of things done, but nothing bike related. Saturday evening came around, and with it, a sense of foreboding. Come Sunday morning our fears were confirmed.

Sick.

Some sort of cold or whatnot, but neither of us is feeling our best. Certainly not up to the idea of hanging out in a cold garage, or worse yet, washing bikes in the yard. More like grumbling and sitting inside in front of a fire.

Damn.

With our weekend now drawing to a close, no progress made on the bikes, secure in the knowledge that this means another weekend with no riding, and feeling like crap to boot, we've got little to do but continue grumbling. Mostly grumbling about how (as it is only obvious) not riding caused us to get sick.

Ugh.

MV
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:13 PM   #55
Hesaid
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Well, we're back at it. After illness and Christmas kept us off the bike for a few weeks, we got to go out today. I actually got to go and play yesterday, as Shesaid had to work. I played with my new Christmas presents, namely my new Nelson Rigg Survivor saddlebags. I already had the tailbag, as you might have seen from our last trip, but thanks to Shesaid, I now have the whole setup. I put them on, filled them with random objects from the garage (except for my also new Zippo Woodsman) and went for a ride. I'm happy. When all luggaged up, I can tell it's all there, but I imagine that's true anytime you add a bunch of luggage to a bike. I took them all off, including my Cycleracks bag supports, and went for another ride, just to feel the difference. There is a difference, but it's not bad.



But this isn't supposed to be all about my Christmas goodies, it's supposed to be about today's ride. The Wombat still needed an oil change, and hot oil drains better than cold, so we figured we'd ride around to get the oil hot. And we'd need lunch too. So we headed off to Springville, as almost anyone who needs to perform an oil change will tell you, is the best way to get started. Our route looked about like this: Google Map, and out lunch looked about like this:



From there we headed back the way we came, except for one detour. I had wanted to see if road 19S09 was open, and if it was, what the camping opportunities looked like. So we headed that way, but when we arrived, Shesaid was less than thrilled. Something about the road looking more like a creekbed than a road:





We both went up it for a bit, and then I went on ahead to scout it out.



The road does get better, but Shesaid was not terribly interested in exploring it. So we turned around and headed back down. We did some other scouting around, and then headed towards home. We mostly went back the way we came, and despite the early hour of the sunset, made it home with time to spare. 23 seconds worth of time according to the GPS. The Wombat is draining as I type, so tomorrow we should be able to get everything back together and in running order, and we'll be back in business.

How is everyone else's winter going?

MV
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Hesaid screwed with this post 02-12-2014 at 06:13 PM
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:17 PM   #56
Bob
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Thanks for the update!
I was in Parkfield today for lunch and was telling some of the riders about your adventures and the one to Hollister Hills (great)!

I have a question about your most recent ride?
Does that road you ended on "276", continue in good shape all the way to the South Fork of the Kaweah?
I'm always looking for loops and new areas to ride over your way but I burn 6-7 hours just getting there and back so local knowledge is always appreciated.

Keep the updates coming.
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Old 12-29-2013, 08:32 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Thanks for the update!
I was in Parkfield today for lunch and was telling some of the riders about your adventures and the one to Hollister Hills (great)!

I have a question about your most recent ride?
Does that road you ended on "276", continue in good shape all the way to the South Fork of the Kaweah?
I'm always looking for loops and new areas to ride over your way but I burn 6-7 hours just getting there and back so local knowledge is always appreciated.

Keep the updates coming.
You know, we talked about Parkfield for the day's ride, but opted not. It seemed just a bit too far for just warming the oil so it would drain well. Did you have any trouble with pigs on your way to/through? I saw numerous pigs last time, and everyone (locals) was complaining about them.

As for your question, well, which road? 276 is the main paved road and it climbs to the top of Blueridge. There you'll find plenty of communication equipment, and weather/air quality permitting, excellent views. Some foggy winter days, I've been up there above the fog and been able to trace the Sierras south to the Grapevine, across the Grapevine to the Coastals, and up the Coastals until, well, I don't know where. All surrounding a sea of fog. But does the road go anywhere? No. There are other roads that shoot off of it, but they're private and gated.

Now then, the road that we started up, 19S09... Does it go anywhere? That's the $64,000 question. I've personally never been to the end of it. Some folks say that you can go all the way up and then come down into Three Rivers, possibly via South Fork rd. I've heard rumors of trails all the way to Mineral King. Personally, I doubt it. I know 19S09 leads to an area that was recently annexed into the National Park, and you know how the Parks feel about motorcycles off of the paved road. I imagine that while it might be possible, it likely involves riding on hiking trails in the park. But I'll ask some folks who might know, and see what can be found out. I wouldn't mind exploring it myself. Note however, that Shesaid claims that road isn't in good condition even at the beginning.

Aside from that, what local loops have you done? There are others, though this time of year snow gets to be a problem at high elevations.

MV
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:10 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesaid View Post
Well, we're back at it. After illness and Christmas kept us off the bike for a few weeks, we got to go out today. I actually got to go and play yesterday, as Shesaid had to work. I played with my new Christmas presents, namely my new Nelson Rigg Survivor saddlebags. I already had the tailbag, as you might have seen from our last trip, but thanks to Shesaid, I now have the whole setup. I put them on, filled them with random objects from the garage (except for my also new Zippo Woodsman) and went for a ride. I'm happy. When all luggaged up, I can tell it's all there, but I imagine that's true anytime you add a bunch of luggage to a bike. I took them all off, including my Cycleracks bag supports, and went for another ride, just to feel the difference. There is a difference, but it's not bad.




Note: When he says "random objects" he means MY new seahorse cases that I got for Christmas that will be used as MY new luggage! (Until I can afford the nifty custom made aluminum cases that I have my heart set on.)



From there we headed back the way we came, except for one detour. I had wanted to see if road 19S09 was open, and if it was, what the camping opportunities looked like. So we headed that way, but when we arrived, Shesaid was less than thrilled. Something about the road looking more like a creekbed than a road:



Yes. I was not at all enthralled with 19S09. I insist that it isn't a road, it's a dry river bed. MAYBE I could actually ride on that "road," you know-- all proper, going fast enough to actually keep my feet on the pegs IF I aired down some. As it was, we'd already put a little air in the tires before we left the house and called it "good enough" when it turned out the pressure ended up closer to the 2-up pressure recommendation. Which meant I was a little over inflated for just me and definitely not in the mood to bust a tire open on those rocks on the day when we had no phone or spare tube with us!

I made it to the gate by power walking the bike over the rocks and made note to remind Hesaid-- once again-- that I did NOT want a dirt bike.


MV
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:23 PM   #59
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Everyone ought pursue the dirt course at their own rate. Yours seems to involve anticipation and agreement beforehand. Tires deflate easily and if you're careful to not let too much out they'll be fine for a short, low speed ride home. I'm not up on the TW tires but typically, bicycle and motorcycle tires ride better in the rough, and give better traction on soft surfaces, with lower pressure, but they are more resistant to puncture at higher (recommended) pressures. But you being comfortable with how your bike is set up, and familiar with how it performs with different pressures, is what you'll gain when you experiment for yourself. Can't blame Hesaid for a little exploring and coaxing, and he seems to recognize you have your own rate and comfort zone.

I'd be a candidate for checking out those roads. Nothing but snow around here.


Yes. I was not at all enthralled with 19S09. I insist that it isn't a road, it's a dry river bed. MAYBE I could actually ride on that "road," you know-- all proper, going fast enough to actually keep my feet on the pegs IF I aired down some. As it was, we'd already put a little air in the tires before we left the house and called it "good enough" when it turned out the pressure ended up closer to the 2-up pressure recommendation. Which meant I was a little over inflated for just me and definitely not in the mood to bust a tire open on those rocks on the day when we had no phone or spare tube with us!
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #60
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Ok, for those curious about the area, in addition to the info I gave in the previous post, I've come across the following:

1)Thread on another forum, where a member seems to have info on how you can go from 19S09 to South Fork.

2)A hiker's blog, talking about the annexation of the Dillonwood Grove into the park system. She includes this picture:



Which sure looks like a closure gate to me. I think we all know the rules about going around those.

3)A climbing site which has the following to say:

"There are no more junctions and you are never far from the river as you follow this formerly-paved-but-now-4WD road to the Dillonwood Entrance to Sequoia National Park. There are several unimproved campsites near small creeks, the nicese of which is at the bridge across Dillon Creek (waypoint DILLBR). This is near where you leave the road (waypoint BM5069) if you're doing the short route up the west face of Moses. The Dillonwood trailhead and car camp area is at a permanently locked gate (waypoint DILLWD), 5 miles up FR19S09 at the 5700' hairpin corner. The gate may be closed, but lots of tracks indicate people drive around it. Your fines may vary! A sign says "Dillonwood Entrance to Sequoia National Park" and there is a single large bear box here, but there are no other facilities."

4)This, which really isn't related in any way, but I found interesting.

I'll be reading that last one for a while. So, while I'm afraid I don't have any great answers, I tried. But if you're looking for a loop ride of good roads in the area, Mountain Home State Forest would make a decent one. Lemme map that out and get back to you.

MV
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