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:
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.