San Francisco to Lake Tahoe: a quick weekend.
For the last couple of years, most of my expendable income has been flowing towards vacations for my wife and I, and towards camera gear. I spend far too much money on traveling and photography, but those are both hobbies that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, I haven't really made a big effort to feed one of my other favorite hobbies: motorcycle riding. Sadly, it's been just under two years since I've owned a bike, or gone for any sort of serious ride (other than borrowing friends bikes here and there).
My motorcycle bug is always "itchy", but recently, since I've moved to CA (from MA), it's been quite bad. There's some spectacularly beautiful stuff here to experience. In any case, since I don't currently own a motorcycle, I decided to get my fix by renting a Triumph Tiger 800 and shooting up to Tahoe for the weekend with a coworker. He owns a brand new Speed Triple.
We set off early on Saturday morning, scooting up to Auburn, and hanging a left onto 49 for some twisties.
Stopped for lunch at the "Ridge Cafe". Interesting little cafe with a very chill, hippy vibe. Great food, and a good spot to stop and relax.
Passed by this... looked like a hoot:
Finally made it to lake Tahoe (somewhere in the background, hidden behind those damn trees):
I set up my campsite (I was camping - friend stayed at a hotel), and then we ate at a little place in Heavenly Village.
My friend went gambling, and I went to Emerald Bay to go take some star photos:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cialowicz/9442213892/"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/9442213892_32c7b51f94_b.jpg" alt="Twilight, Emerald Bay"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/cialowicz/9442468045/"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3802/9442468045_8b4e152065_b.jpg" alt="The Milky Way"></a>
Some place off of 88, on the way home:
The Speed Triple:
Please try to restrain yourself, ladies:
Pretty awesome Thunderbird caravan we came across:
Back in SF:
The Tiger 800... a great bike for this sort of ride:
I really loved the bike. It's not perfect at anything, but it's very good at everything: touring, sporty-ish riding, adventuring. It could certainly use a taller windscreen for longer trips, since the wind protection isn't great. Taller handlebars would be nice for off-road riding. The seat also isn't the most comfy around... it could be a tad big wider and a little flatter (a V-Strom 1000 seat is much more comfortable). However, both of those things are easily solved with aftermarket parts. The 800 triple is a great motor - torquey, yet smooth - much less vibration than a V-Strom 1000. Plenty of power for most anything. 6th gear roll-on passes are drama free, and there's generally no real need to downshift unless you're really pushing it.
Awesome night shots! Looks lie a great ride. I lived in Monterey for 12 years and loved going to the city and round the Taho area. A buddy used to work at the Ski Area in Truckee. Incidentally, what camera and settings do you use for those great star photos?
thanks and great day tripin report!
I really enjoy highway 88. Those are great photos. Thanks for sharing!
Very cool, I've done that very same ride a few times myself. Tahoe is a nice getaway.
Amazing night/star pics!! Thanks for sharing.
love lake tahoe. Wouldnt stay in heavenly village again! Too commercial.
Id stay north up by the Ritz.:evil
awesome pics and i enjoy your commentaries.....:lol3
just brilliant....."ladies restrain yourselves".....:rofl
nice bike too.
Awesome Pics! A Bunch of my friends were at that bash :freaky
I really liked the star photos, too. How's your buddy's Speed on a ride like that. Any issues with comfort on a long ride?
Pretty good little loop! My history is opposite as you. I grew up in SF and moved to Boston for career. That was 1990. Still here, although I just bought a winter place in Scottsdale. I think I'll ship a Ducati and a Yamaha dual sport out there. I like riding out west. Particularly AZ UT NV ID WY CO and NM.
Hard to beat cruising Lake Tahoe, though. I had a place in Truckee for 20 years, but never a bike there. When I was you age I did all the enduro's in NorCal. District 36 AMA. Tough going!
You really should get a nice dual sport you can tour on. So many places to see and photograph out there. No better motorcycle camping anywhere.
...and a nice loop for a ride. :clap
I'd love to pick up a dual sport sometime soon. Money is a bit of an issue right now, but maybe I can track down a deal this winter. I keep gravitating towards a KLR, but I'm fearful of the 3-hour highway slog that it takes to get from SF to the mountains. Plus, it'd be great to do some 2-up touring with my wife occasionally. Maybe I can find a deal on a used V-Strom.
Photos are brilliant. I bought a low end dslr a couple years ago and basically have the idea that someday I'll be taking pictures like those....
also a bit jealous of your location. to be able to do tahoe or yosemite for a weekend would be killer.
thanks for the report!
I know the clutch lever pull force was a real issue for him in stop & go traffic, so he installed some sort of doohickey to take care of that and reduce the force greatly.
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