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Old 06-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
Desert Dave OP
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Enjoying the Moment...My Take on Riding Nor Cal

I suppose this is about as close as I'll ever get to a blog. I actually tried this once before back in 2005 with a thread in Ride Reports "Where did you ride today" that was for posting a couple of pics from your day rides that didn't have enough material for a full report. It had a nice three year run until it fizzled out and fell into the archives. Well now that everyone is doing it I'll try again instead of loading up all of the photo threads like I have been. Feel free to add anything relevant. This is just for fun....but then that's why I do most everything.

So here we go. I decided to get serious about this around the holidays, and six months later something is actually happening! I have a little more time right now as the riding season is over ("but wait", you say, "it's the first day of Summer". I know, I can explain more on that later) So I thought I'd start with a quick recap since last winter, at least get some photos up to get this thing rolling and see if anybody is interested in reading it.

I feel so fortunate to live where I do. Many of my favorite places to ride are right here in my backyard. Now I'm not a world traveler, and in these forums I haven't really done anything impressive as far as miles, but I have covered the western half of the US and Canada pretty good. After spending years rushing around to see the next big thing and get somewhere new, I'm finally taking the time to slow down and experience what is around me instead blasting through it. Some days have turned into 14 hour rides where I only go two or three hundred miles, that's a lot of time off of the bike. But getting off the bike more has opened a new dimension to my riding. What used to be an escape from reality has become a reality of its' own.

My relatively new riding style fits perfect with my newest hobby, photography. I've been "serious" (if I can call it that) for almost three years now, learning and practicing all with the goal of trying to share my experiences visually with some feeling, instead of just a random shot. I know I'm not alone as there are many accomplished photogs on this site that understand the passion of combining these two hobbies. Besides I quit racing and my riding is honestly becoming a bit less adventurous (risky) so I needed something new to push my limits.

So in the following pages I hope to share my backyard with you guys. Lots of Sierras as that is where I love to be, some desert and some coast as well. I'll even try to show some of my favorite areas in the central valley that may change some riders idea that this is just a wasteland. Mostly day and weekend rides.

Here's a few photos of where I rode last winter. We had an amazing winter (it was a drought) that left areas usually inaccessible open until late January.

Ever ride Tioga Pass in Yosemite in January? I'm sure a few of you did after this year.







A very Frozen Ellery Lake.





How about (yours truly) standing on a frozen mosquito lake on Christmas eve?





Strange to see some of my favorite spots on the passes frozen with so little or no snow, definitely a unique winter.











I'm sure I'll be posting quite a few photos from the Mt. Hamilton area as this is a regular ride for me. The top is always wonderful when on the edge of a storm. Whenever I'm looking for landscape photos from the road I always try to compose a shot quickly if I hear a bike coming.





This one here is just everything that is right about motorcycling. Enjoying the moment. I have no idea who this is, but he was out doing his thing while I did mine.





Enter the Tenere. My new ride as of January and I've been taking photos of it like a parent would a newborn for the first six months. Many of these have been posted in the Tenere threads, but I'm sure many of you skip those. So here's a recap of my life with the Tenere so far. As I add more to this thread I'll take the time to tell more of the stories behind the photos.

First ride, had to get a photo as it would never be this clean again! And it did rain pretty hard later that day so I was right. Did give me a good chance to try out the traction control though




Second ride was weeknight after work. I was having so much fun sliding it on some local Delta dirt levees that I almost missed an awesome moment. This is why I always carry a camera on the bike.



Picking up a new ride in the middle of winter means having to deal with icy roads, but that's part of the adventure, right?





My local road



Just a good memory of a ride where my friend on the RC51 tricked me into thinking I was on a sportbike. Rode way faster than I should have, but learned a lot about the bikes limits


Hetch Hetchy "the other Yosemite" in winter.



A close up of Wapama Falls across the lake



Riding the eastern sierras before the passes opened back up





And back in the high sierra this spring



Discovering an old gold mine stamp mill a few weeks ago. Been by it hundreds of times and I still find new things.









More to come!!
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Desert Dave screwed with this post 04-15-2014 at 08:37 PM
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #2
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Wow !!
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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You don't know me and I don't know you. However your wonderful photos make it clear we love the same things! Your photos are alive and really capture the spirit of the bike and ride... Good work The Triumph rider grinning ear to ear in the snow and cold is classic.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wfo600 View Post
You don't know me and I don't know you. ..... The Triumph rider grinning ear to ear in the snow and cold is classic.
Well Hi, I'm Dave, now you know me.

Yeah, I love that photo with the Triumph rider. I had already framed the scene wishing someone was there to get a photo of me riding through it when I heard his bike coming. I couldn't predict the look on his face, which is what makes the scene so special. Nothing like sharing a moment with a passing stranger on a chilly mountain top.
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Old 11-02-2013, 05:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Desert Dave View Post
Well Hi, I'm Dave, now you know me.

Yeah, I love that photo with the Triumph rider. I had already framed the scene wishing someone was there to get a photo of me riding through it when I heard his bike coming. I couldn't predict the look on his face, which is what makes the scene so special. Nothing like sharing a moment with a passing stranger on a chilly mountain top.
Honestly, I thought it was Peter Egan...
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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More Mountains 'N Crap

Now that my "riding season" is in full swing I intend to take every opportunity to enjoy the high country until the snow closes most of it for months. This also means more updates to this thread regularly

Last weekend was an another example of perfect riding. Snow had the passes closed for a few days and then re-opened for the weekend. Any of you locals thinking about it, go do it now! A little cool in the morning for certain, but by mid day temps were mild. I counted a total of 4 other motorcycles on two Sierra passes and so few cars that I made it over Tioga without having to pass any. Heck, actually let one car pass me (very rare) as the scenery was so wonderful I wanted to look around, and he was on a mission for something. Heading towards the Eastern Sierras but had to stop for a minute here as the early sun was coming over the hills...





I did have some tourists pull over and join me. If you're going to walk into my photo I'm going to make you part of it!





Shared a few miles with these guys on Tioga Rd. Stopped for a few minutes for a quick High Country B.S. session. Always interested in what others are doing on the road, they were passing through from Oregon , heading somewhere warmer (not here).




On the East side I planned to check out a dirt road I'd been passing for years, but looking back into the hills the area around Lundy lake looked so inviting that the bike just turned left by itself I think. I was just along for the ride. I hadn't seen it with this much snow, so it was a new experience for me.





Once again I was living in a postcard.













Rode up to the Beaver ponds for lunch. Yours truly claiming this pond as mine for a day.






Looked for Beaver, but couldn't find any. (often a familiar story for me)




The detail in the rocks sometimes catches my eye, like this one did.






About right now I'm wondering why I talked myself into putting on Tourances instead of replacing the K60s. No hero sections here, or even off road but a bit of frozen dirt to make it to the ponds. The tires felt like slicks in the mud between the ice, which was fine , and the parts where I had to roll on ice was o.k. to, as I was ready for it. However the frozen mud took me by surprise and gave me an adrenaline rush for the day.





As much as I love it this time of year, the days are just to darn short. Of course I can watch sunset a bit further away from home and still get back at a decent hour. I still didn't leave until an hour after sunset though....


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Old 11-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Thanks for the time and effort.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Desert Dave View Post

Looked for Beaver, but couldn't find any. (often a familiar story for me)


[/IMG]
just show the "beavers" the pics you are taking and you should not have a problem....
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfo600 View Post
You don't know me and I don't know you. However your wonderful photos make it clear we love the same things! Your photos are alive and really capture the spirit of the bike and ride... Good work The Triumph rider grinning ear to ear in the snow and cold is classic.

I have to say +1.
Great work!
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Jax' mediocre photo thread.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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Excellent photos Dave, I hope you'll still throw us a bone over in the tenere thread.

But either way I'll be looking in, good work.

Has anybody ever told you, you look like Tommy Chong?
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:02 AM   #11
Desert Dave OP
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Originally Posted by HighFive View Post

p.s. glad to finally see knobbies on an ST. Was beginning to think them too fragile
Take a look over in the Tenere thread, there's a few guys riding these things well past what I want to do on one. Although I accidentally got in a bit over my head this weekend and got a chance to see what she's made of Pics to follow..




Quote:
Originally Posted by true grip View Post
Excellent photos Dave, I hope you'll still throw us a bone over in the tenere thread.

Has anybody ever told you, you look like Tommy Chong?
Yeah, I'll still throw some favorite photos up in the Tenere thread now and then, but I'll save the stories and extra snapshots for over here so I don't hog space in those threads.

Yeah I actually have heard that before
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #12
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I usually try to avoid Tahoe.

Now that I have your attention let me explain. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place, but generally when I ride one of my biggest priorities is to get away from people, and Tahoe is just to crowded for me. Probably why I haven't been there in years. For some reason it's been calling me lately to go explore some of the backroads in the area I've never taken the time to see before. Besides cool weather is rolling in and we've been having a bit of a heat wave for this early in the year.

Rolling out Saturday morning I head up hwy88 only to get stuck behind a Corvette club! These guys were worse than RVs, going well over the speed limits in the straights where I could make a safe pass and then throwing out an anchor in the corners. That's a whole other story, but I worked my way through them.

Coming in to Tahoe on 89 I made a turn on Upper Truckee Rd, this is the kind of road I love but way to short. Single lane tight turns and deep in the woods, only to open into a wonderful meadow that I just had to take in for a minute. My first stop of the day is looking good!








Following the the road further my plan was to see Fallen Leaf Lake, more specifically a waterfall right above the lake. Wow, perfect road, but WAY to many cars. Kind of a bittersweet. The falls were easy to spot right off the side of the road, my second stop for the day was again a winner. I hung out here for an hour or so climbing over the rocks and acting like a kid. I was thinking of coming back later in the day for some better light to photograph them, but thought I'd do my best while I was there.








Feeling pretty good about the day so far I was off to find Barker Pass Rd, a dirt road heading up into the hills above Tahoe on the West side. Unfortunately I missed the turnoff and wound up running into everything I hate about the area. Not my idea of good mountain riding...





Geez, I could've stayed in the city and got places quicker. Just about when my claustrophobia was starting to get the best of me I got on the right track and away from civilization. Quickly. The road quickly climbs in elevation and I was really starting to get into the moment. Threatening clouds up higher just added to the scene. I really should have stopped for more photos but was caught up in the riding.

There's the lake in the distance.





As I approach the Pass I ran in to some Jeepers that gave me some directions to a small lake that I wanted to check out. In the meantime I ran a number of forks just to see what was there. This view from the ridge was so impressive in person.





Not just the scenery, but the temperature dropped low enough to warrant heated gloves, and the wind was blowing so hard I felt the clouds were moving by as if I was in a plane. This to me is adventure riding, just being there to experience something so powerful making me feel so small. I realized I couldn't get a photo that would capture the awe I felt watching the clouds flow by so quick right above me, so for the first time ever I actually used my camera for video. I had no idea what I was doing since I never even read the handbook on how to use it, but hopefully a bit of the the moment comes through.



From here the road went deeper into the woods. PERFECT big bike stuff, just enough dirt to slide a little and feel like I'm doing something that maybe I wouldn't on a sportbike, and just remote enough to feel adventurous. No worries...enjoying the moment.





Backtracking some I went to the fork that should lead to Bear Lake. I would find out later this was actually the McKinney Creek OHV trail that runs down to the last five miles of the Rubicon. The road started showing some wear with deeper ruts and some rocky sections. Nothing to worry about, just enough to make me really glad. In fact I was feeling a bit proud of myself for getting into something a bit more technical. Here's a typical shot of the trail.





Of course you can't see the hill in the photo or the rocks but it was starting to go downhill. I took at least one close up of the surface, childs play for a dirtbike, but for a big bike loaded with lots of gear I had to start getting on my game some.




What happened next was a corner with a downhill that I really shouldn't have gone down. A few decent step offs had me wondering if I could make it back up if I needed to. If I knew what I was about to get into I would've turned around right there and tried.

The trail got progressively worse, steeper with bigger rocks and step ups. I now knew I was totally committed and I feared I would maybe find an obstacle I couldn't get around. Soon the rocks got technical enough that I couldn't ride like a wuss, it was time to take the bull by the horns and ride this thing like it was a 250. At this point I really just wanted to get through, but I couldn't help but be impressed how well the Tenere dealt with everything I was throwing at it. Of course riding in this manner means a crash could be really nasty, it wouldn't just be a tip over. I got plenty of use out of the skidplate. Then BAM!, an impact highcentered me on a rock for a second and as I started to highside my two stroke clutch hand somehow launched me back off it and down the trail. I really couldn't believe the zone I was in. And that the bike was fine with it.

I never thought I'd be happy to see the Rubicon Trail because it would be EASIER but I was. This of course was not the nasty sluicebox stuff on top but relatively mild trail, but still enough rock, mud puddles and a creek crossing or two to keep me on my toes. I stopped for a minute and smelled the disgusting fragrance of burning oil, and as I looked down I saw the rainbow color growing in the water I was in. CRAP. Knowing a I had few miles until pavement at the Rubicon trailhead, I was on a mission. I figured since my motor was a dry sump I should be good until the oil light comes on.

I felt dissapointed speeding by three gorgeous high sierra lakes and endless late day photo opportunities, but this was now a bonifide adventure. Creeks crossing that I'd usually check the depth first I just charged through on the gas. Gritting my teeth watching for the idiot light to come on I finally saw pavement! About 50 yards of pavement and the red light lit, clutch in, kill switch and my bike bled out it's last oil. I'm SO done.





O.K. plan "B". As I was gathering my thoughts a group of Unimog enthusiasts were just finishing up the Rubicon and were more than glad to help, in fact I think they kind of enjoyed it. I was told my NRA sticker on the bike gave me enough cred with them. One driver had just installed a hoist for changing his tires and was happy to use it to lift my bike on the rear of his rig. So besides an adventurous ride, I got to ride in a REALLY cool truck!





At camp





They took me back to their camp at Southshore. I just love the spirit of camaraderie on the trail. Nicest guys in the world made my problems their own. They put a beer in my hand, gave me a seat by the fire and insisted I enjoy some of the steak fajitas they just bar-b-qued. New friends I'll probably never see again but that's what makes the road special. I'll never forget.

A few shots of the damage from my garage.





Hey, who's in there?

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Desert Dave screwed with this post 06-29-2012 at 03:51 AM
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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Excellent RR. Damnage!
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:19 AM   #14
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Dave Dave Dave I was enjoying your ride so much then BAM. Isn't that life! Enjoy you pics and story. I believe it will be an easy fix too. Just an enconvenience and of course shopping for another bash plate. When does it end.Unimog guys were great. That had to lift your spirits it did mine. Get that fixed up and get back out there(my pep talk). Best Wishes Mark
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Old 06-29-2012, 06:09 AM   #15
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After I started reading your R&R I have been lurking around the Tenere thread. From the little I know this is a common problem for the sump mounted skid plate, what will be your plan of attack for the repair and how will you change the skid mount for the furture?? As a long time Yamaha freak( from a Big Bear Scrambler in highschool to an 07 FZ1) the Super is on my radar for the next bike. Thanks for the report.
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