boring ride in the Sierra

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tgrrdr, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

    Joined:
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    so last week my friend K100Steve (not his real name) calls and asks if I want to go for a ride Sat. or Sun. Sounded like a good idea so I was supposed to meet him at his place Sunday morning for a quick jaunt out hwy 4 to 89/395 to 108 and back home. 500 miles, a couple mountain passes and hopefully some fresh air. (in case you've been in a cave for the last month there are 800+ fires burning in calif. and we hadn't seen the sky in the bay area for a week).

    I was having GPS issues so we left "Steve's" a half hour or 45 minutes later than we planned. Luckily he had gotten up early, changed his FD oil and washed his bike so it was nice and clean for the ride (damn posers!)

    The ride started out great - not too much traffic, not too hot and hwy 4 is pretty fun once you get into the foot hills. We stopped for gas in Angels Camp and like I said we were running a little behind schedule. "Steve" had his heart set on stopping to eat at some BBQ joint in Sonora on the way home so he studied the map when we stopped.

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    His super-duper AAA map showed a road (#52) from Dorrington south to 108 near Strawberry (blue line on the map). Looked OK to me so i said sure, why not? :thumb

    Started out great - good pavement, twisty, no cars. After a few miles it turned into a gravel road - no problem for "Steve" on his K100GS. :evil

    I guess it's still spring in the Sierra - there were wild flowers everywhere.

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    #1
  2. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

    Joined:
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    the gravel continued - a little bigger in some places and deeper in others, with a bit of sand thrown in to keep us alert. I was riding ahead because I got sick of eating his dust - I'd stop every mile or so and wait for him to catch up before continuing on. By now we'd been on the road for maybe an hour and hadn't seen any other vehicles.

    The scenery was still pretty nice, with some interesting rock formations and more wildflowers around every turn.

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    #2
  3. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

    Joined:
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    HOLY CRAP - look at the dang flowering wonder!


    beauty .
    #3
  4. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    One of these times I was out ahead I saw some interesting red flowers and stopped to take a picture.

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    After taking some pics I watered some of the parched looking roadside bushes and was standing around wondering where the hell he was when I heard him coming down the road.

    Turned out to be a giant SUV that looked like it had never be off a paved road before in it's life. :eek1 (remember, this is the only vehicle I've seen in over an hour).

    I flagged them down and asked if they'd seen a guy on a yellow motorcycle up the road. They said yes, and that he was OK but was stuck in a ditch a ways up the hill and was waiting for his buddy to come back (they weren't even going to stop until I flagged them down). I'm think WTF? The only ditches I remember were on the sides of the road - how did he manage to get stuck in one of those?

    So, I turned around and rode about a mile or 1.3 back up the hill (I guess I lied about stopping every mile to wait for him to catch up). I come around a corner and see Steve standing over his bike on the side of the road. Think to my self - this doesn't look so bad.

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    Apparently he'd changed his mind about which way to cross over the drainage ditch (that I didn't even remember seeing) and got hung up on a rock, not quite making it through.

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    I felt bad that he had to stand there :cry in the hot sun holding his bike up for 15 minutes waiting for me to come back and rescue him. Maybe he should have done a better job keeping up? :wink: Since he can't get off his bike I clear some rocks out of the way and try to help push him out, but no luck, he's still stuck. I try to talk him into laying his bike down on it's side so we can get some rocks under the rear tire but he's not going for that. That's what I would have done with the Tiger and I'm not very creative don't have any other ideas. :scratch

    I'm about ready to leave him there to wait for a tow truck when he says - let's turn the bike 90 degrees (so it's parallel to the ditch) and then he thinks he can ride it out. Since he's still straddling the bike, holding it up, I drag the front end around and then push from the rear and he's able to ride out of the ditch. :clap
    #4
  5. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    "Steve" is one of those fair weather riders - he usually only takes his bike out on weekends and holidays - so by now the grueling offroad adventure was beginning to get to him. I'm not sure who he bought his bike from that left the personalized plate and plate brackets on the bike.

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    His bike must have been getting tired too because he parked it on it's side to take a nap. Since I was so close behind him when he decided to rest my stop wasn't as controlled and graceful as usual - luckily there were only two of us and there's no evidence to support my previous statement.

    Here's "Steve" trying to figure out why his mirror is a a funny angle and his saddlebag is laying along side the road. :ear

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    We finally get down to the river and stop for a break. More decent views up- and down-stream, but nothing to write home about.

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    While stopped here I see some exotic green plant with a subtle beauty unlike any I've ever seen before.

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    #5
  6. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    we finally make it out to 108 around 5:00 - I haven't eaten since 7:30 and I'm hungry. We drive by 20 or 30 places to eat in search of the holy grail of BBQ places in Sonora. The problem is "Steve" doesn't know where it is and neither does my GPS. We stop and ask for directions "back on the highway, five minutes down the road turn right, you can't miss it". Famous last words. :rolleyes

    There's some kind of fair going on and the normally quite little town is packed! Great I think - even if we find this damn place it's going to take forever to get any food. After missing the turn (unsigned, BTW) and asking for directions again we manage to find Doc's, did I mention it's Sunday? :ear Unfortunately for us they're closed Sundays. We ride around aimlessly for a while - most places are closed - until eventually we ask a local LEO for a receommendation. He points us back down town to Outlaw's BBQ.

    My pulled pork sandwhich (not on the menu) and frys were pretty good and half the price of "Steve's" lackluster ribs. Should have taken some pics of the food - it's been a while though and I'm out of practice. Glad we only wasted 45 minutes looking for this place because it's 7:30 and we're still 120 miles from home.
    #6
  7. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    hmmm... my final post disappeared, I'll have to finish it when I get home from work I guess. :cry
    #7
  8. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    We left Sonora and headed west, gradually making our way to hwy 4 towards home. Last bits of smoke from the many wildfires in California turned the sunset an intense red - neither of these photos does it justice.

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    As we left Stockton we ran into a couple bugs - later I determined they might have been mosquitoes. Stoctonites can thank "Steve" and I for kiling several thousand of the blood sucking bastards...

    Two days later my damn garage still smelled like rotten fish guts.

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    After I long days ride I rolled into the garage - 360 miles and one OK pulled-pork sandwich after I started.

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    that's all folks :1drink
    #8
  9. Neubz

    Neubz Been here awhile

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    Milwaukee/Chicago
    That was really funny! Nice pics too. Thanks. Good RR.
    #9
  10. Donkey Hotey

    Donkey Hotey De Jo Momma

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    Any boring pictures of the road going through there? I've never done those passes. I'm thinking of taking a trip up there to just zig-zag all of them in a few days.

    Your offroad excursion might influence which bike I take. :deal:D
    #10
  11. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    That's some "boring" ride :eek1 and a lot of K bike abuse!! :(: Thanks for the report and pics :thumb
    #11
  12. tgrrdr

    tgrrdr WannabeAdventurer

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    The picture above is the only one I took that shows the road. In most places it was a pretty decent gravel road but there were some areas that were worse than others, including larger rocks, ruts and some deeper sandy areas. Not really suited to a geriatric k-bike (or a new k-bike for that matter) but should be fine for most dual sports.

    I haven't had a chance to mess with it yet, but I want to download the GPS track and insert it into google maps - if I don't forget I'll try that tomorrow after work.
    #12