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Old 11-18-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
dougvo OP
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Sonora, CA area dual sport

Had planned on a 4-day trip from San Francisco to the Sonora foothill area for a birthday celebration with a couple of buddies, hoping to get our mix of BMW's and KTM's into some fireroad and off the tarmac.

We were crawling through traffic trying to get over the bay bridge when Wesley's KTM signals a major overheating. We beelined to the KTM dealer (Scuderia West...love you guys!) and diagnosis was a dead waterpump...apparently an expected occurrence on this model/year. After much deliberation, the birthday boy and I headed out for Sonora with the hopes that Wesley's bike would be fixed in time for him to join us the next day.

Made it to Sonora as the light dimmed...damn these short days...and bunked down in the Days Inn as basecamp for birthday partying damages. I wasn't too quick out of bed the next day ("the light...damn the light!") and Wesley was making his way towards us so no big loss. We did ride up to Beardsley lake and checked out the beginnings of the trail we had on my GPS. Big Big thanks to Gail at Modesto BMW for sending me some GPS files for suggested day trips.

We had some grand plans of linking up two of the routes for a Saturday-Sunday outing. Equipped with camping gear and ready for some cold evenings. Nothing ever goes as planned.

Headed down 49 to 120 past Groveland where we picked up the beginning of the route from the top of Ferretti Rd that twisted its way down down down to the Toulumne River. Beautiful.



Wesley and his KTM...something's wrong...


The boys look further and find the right gas tank line is pinched. Solved. Now he'll make it more than 75 miles.


The birthday boy...


The three amigos...


Wesley on break...


The hills to ride through...


We made it to Cherry Lake without incident. Gravel path isn't too bad even without knobby tires. But, damn these bikes are heavy when loaded down.

And then came the snow. Being the only one with the route in my GPS I ended up in the lead most of the time and just kept thinking "this patch of snow will be the last." Little traction whatsoever and the downhills became a controlled slide. With nearly 30 miles to go we called it a day...didn't know if it was going to get better or worse, and at 5 mph it didn't look hopeful.


We backtracked to Cherry Lake and then stuck to Tarmac to Toulumne and then Sonora. Days Inn...what was all this gear for, anyway? ;-)

I have video of me biting it in a big mudpuddle...will post when I figure out the upload/link.

Cannot wait until next season when we can plan on some knobby tires and no snow.

Cheers,
doug
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Old 11-19-2010, 03:00 AM   #2
oldxr
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this is my normal riding area since i live in modesto.nice pics.send me a pm sometime to go for a ride.i use my fz1 up there but just got my xr back on the road.if you go from cherry lake to hwy 120 you will run into rainbow pools-a great swimming hole to stop at in the summer.the short cut to yosemite using hwy 132 through greely hill is a nice ride.if you ride south on 49 from coulterville to mariposa you will find a great stretch of curvy road.i will be going up italian bar road columbia on my xr soon
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:16 PM   #3
dougvo OP
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A couple of more pics that Wesley took...



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Old 11-19-2010, 04:51 PM   #4
dougvo OP
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Short video clips...

Navigating shallow snow...not deep but slick as snot. After sections of this we turned around and back-tracked.



And the now-funny mudpuddle crash...

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:02 PM   #5
nvdesertrat
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Looks like a beautiful ride do you have GPS Track log ?
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:59 PM   #6
dougvo OP
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OldXR...you're a lucky man to have such beautiful riding so close nearby. I love the twisties of the roads south and north of San Francisco, but I tend to tear those up with the R1. Will definitely be back in your neck of the woods. I did do a lot of reading up on rides out of Coulterville, 49 from Mariposa, etc, etc, but would love to hook up and have a local show me the way.

Cheers and happy riding,
doug
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:49 PM   #7
oldxr
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dougvo-if you and some buddies can make it to modesto on a friday night i have an empty house in modesto you can stay at and ride out to the hills on saturday.send a pm for more info.its getting cold and wet real fast around here though but usually good to about 4000' elevation
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