All clean and ready to ride.
My Friend Brian, ready to lead the way…
Dear Family & Friends,
Day one of our adventure.. The first leg of our trip is a three day ride to Salt Lake City, Utah for the National BMW riders convention.. I am riding with a friend of mine, Brian Louw. I really enjoy riding with him because he is an extremely competent and skilled rider that keeps a good pace and always seems to find great back roads to ride on. And in the evening he is an easy going smart person to talk to. Always a plus.
I was apprehensive about the first day because we had to ride across the valley, through Fresno and up into the Sierra Mountains. Fresno was supposed to be 107 degrees today and always has miserable traffic.
The good news is we left at 7 am and beat most of the mid day heat by going through the valley early. And Brian led us around and above Fresno through some great back roads, quaint valley farming towns with little or no traffic. I was rating Brian a 10 as a ride leader.
From there we headed up into the Sierra foot hills. Again I normally take a main highway up to Oakhurst but it is a boring road with more traffic that I like. Instead Brian took us along some very meandering back roads that went through beautiful farms and ranches and absolutely no traffic.. I thought we were home free from the heat and traffic. We came to a remote intersection and Brian suggested we take an “alternate” route since the pavement ahead was in rough condition with lots of pot holes from the winter storms. Sounded reasonable to me… We rode about five miles and stopped to admire the scenery and congratulate our selves on what a good decision this road was.. We then rode another 100 yards and a sign was posted, “END OF PAVEMENT”.. Always being ever the optimist we forged ahead figuring they just meant a rough patch… For the next twenty miles we road some rough off road trails. Loose gravel, dust, ruts, and no pavement at all. If we were on our GS dual sport bikes this road would have been heaven but since we were both on big heavy touring bikes with slick tires and me with low narrow bars it was a challenge.. Brian’s ride leading rating certainly dropped a couple of points after this choice! No longer a 10.. 😉
People often think that the only reason motorcyclist wear helmets is to protect their heads in case of an accident.. The real reason is so we cant hear each other cursing and screaming at each other…..that road was certainly challenging and DIRTY!!
The plus side was the scenery was spectacular with running creeks, ponds, meadows, forests, wild turkeys , and cattle. We survived the twenty miles of dirt and dust (sure glad I cleaned my bike so well yesterday) and once it was over we had a sense of humor about our “adventure”. A sense of humor is a must when traveling by motorcycle. I always say the difference between adversity and adventure is just attitude.
From there we finally found pavement and made it to Hwy 49 which runs along the Sierra foothills, commonly known as Gold Country because it was were most the California Gold Rush took place.
By now the temperature was creeping over100 degrees so we stopped for lunch and a cold drink. We found a traditional 50s dinner with an amazing collection of classic record albums covering every square inch of wall and ceiling space. As tempted as I was to order a bacon cheese burger with fries,,,,, I ordered a Spinach Salad.. I need to watch it, I am losing the current battle of the bulge.
After lunch we continued north on Hwy 49. It is one of the best motorcycling roads anywhere. Great scenery and very twisty with a natural rhythm to the turns that makes it a delight to ride..
We finished today’s ride in Jamestown, Ca. An old gold mining town that is now a beautiful tourist town..
First call was to take a nice cool nap with the AC on!! After a bit of rest I cleaned my bike as best I could with a bit of water and a motel towel. I had to at least remove enough dust to I could read my gauges and GPS….
After a bit of cleaning up we walked into town and had a delicious dinner at a local old west tavern and restaurant built in the 1800s.. A good glass of Merlot mellowed out the day and a HEALTHY plate of perfectly cooked Rib eye steak and vegetables made a fitting reward for the day. ( doing no carbs or sugars for a while) A good meal, a glass of wine and some good conversation with Brian made for a perfect evening.
Now it is off to bed. Today’s ride was about 265 miles, tomorrow is 450 miles and more heat! So early to bed and early to start will help avoid the heat.
“Creative Writing uninhibited by grammar or spelling”
A nice 50s style diner for lunch…
Some reading material provided by the restaurant.
What started as an enjoyable twisty paved country road ended with a 20+ mile ride in the dirt…
The scenery was beautiful ..
Our destination for the day, Jamestown, CA. A classic old west town.
Friendly too… 😉
Ready for some dinner and wine!
Classic old west bar and diner house..
“KINGS OF THE ROAD!”
The perfect road meal,,,, a good rib eye steak, mushrooms, veggies, and a good glass of wine… 🙂