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Old 08-08-2010, 01:25 AM   #16
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabandsnort
a walk through bodie is like a walk through time.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:34 AM   #17
Geddo
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Day 2- My Take
We head out in the morning and grab some breakfast at the local greasy spoon,


then its on to Sonora Pass. We take a quick detour out to Bodie.
Bodie Church


Bodie Wench

Notice how the wench is struggling with the lever...

As Jab mentioned, this is not what either of us expected, it is much more popular than we thought it would be and people seem to be
materializing out of the desert to see the place. We head out after a few pics to take on the next pass.

What a beautiful ride Sonora Pass is, I rate it above Tioga due to the infrequent traffic here. You have to be
real careful on this road as there are many sharp switchback turns and no signs warning you about the recommended
speed for the turns. But no matter the ST is just swaying through the turns like a yacht in the open sea, this
bike is as smooth as silk.

One of the switchbacks on Sonora, popular for the two-wheeler crowd


The best I can describe the feeling of this bike is, it feels like many well engineered and precisely fitted pieces
of steel working in perfect harmony and obeying every whim of the rider, you become one with the bike, it is merely
an extension of you as you move to the beat of the road, anticipating your intentions, there is no feedback just a
smooth rhythm...this is completely opposite to my Guzzi which is more like sitting on a box of exploding fireworks
shot out of a cannon! The Guzzi feels more like a tool you are using to carve up the road, you are
constantly trying to control the bike as well as coax it to your intended path.

Plan for this day is to finish Sonora and then find a campsite up on Ebbets Pass, we head up Ebbets and stop
halfway to get a drink of water, its hot and we are parched. Along comes a bike headed the opposite direction,
just as he rounds the bend and sees us he brakes hard and flips a bitch to come and stop next to us. I figure he
is lost or in serious need of some assistance... until I notice he is on an ST1300. My mind says 'no, this is not
truly happening' but my ears say 'oh yes' as he asks me how the ST is running for me. His name is Rich and he is
real nice guy, not being 'good with the Internet' he apparently ordered some tires by phone for his bike. He
didn't know what to get and the kid on the phone must have had a sense of humor cuz he ended up with some bi-ply
monstronsity on his front end that barely cleared the fairing and wouldn't allow for the fender to fit over. We
cannot believe he is riding the passes with this thing... but then again it is an ST and I imagine if you put
square wheels on it it would still ride better than half the bikes out there.

I am now truly dumbstruck, I have apparently stumbled upon a cult of motorcyclists I had no idea existed. I feel
like an outsider that has been given a tiny glimpse into a secret society, I start to wonder if I am somehow
inadvertently being rude by not giving them the secret handshake. I fear that I have obtained too much knowledge
of this secret society and begin to have concerns about going to sleep for fear that a gang of grey-hairs is going
to sneak into camp and take me away so I cannot tell the tale.

We reach camp and pull into a spot, as we are unpacking a nice retired lady strolls over and says "I thought I
heard motorcycles coming through here..." immediately I sarcasticly respond "couldn't have been mine!". She smiles
and says "They're so quiet!" then tells us how nice it is to have motorcycles in camp.

Her whole family comes to this campsite every year for a little reunion and she truly seems happy to have us there.
She gives us a tip as to where to pitch our tents and says again, "What wonderful motorcycles!" After I pick up
my jaw I setup camp and have a nice quiet rest, the secret society I decide is too polite to abduct me, they have a
sinister plan to kill me with kindness!
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| '04 Moto Guzzi V11 Cafe Sport | '05 Honda CRF 250X | Trip to Tooele for WSBK '08 | 3 Naked Twins take a Ferry to Victoria | Sierra Pass Tour
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:48 AM   #18
Jrmobb
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Im loving the ride report, Its putting a smile on my face

Thats mind blowing the dedicated st crowed. I would have imagined BMW guys would have been much more popular but you learn something everyday.

Keep up the report, Im right there with you guys enjoying the trip.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:18 AM   #19
teachnsurf
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Shhhh... you're giving away the SecreT.
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1st Epic Journey

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:17 AM   #20
jabandsnort OP
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Yeah, I thought the BMW crowd was loyal

Geeze, these ST-fans kept coming out of the woodwork! Normally on our rides I get my fair share of comments about the GS, but this time next to the ST it was like my bike was invisible, it was ridiculous.

SecreT, haha, that's a good one.

More to come!
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:06 AM   #21
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Life at camp

When Geddo and I tour, we're pretty minimalist. In order to pack light and small, we don't do any food, and generally keep the creature comforts to a minimum. This year, however, we did splurge and buy camping chairs! Cricket? Pico? Nope. Alite Monarchs!





You can make fun of the long underwear under shorts look if you want, but it was cold and I was planning on sleeping in the long johns...


These chairs are great, they pack small and are easy to use, even after a few beers

Anyway, after a day of riding, we usually just clean up and then BS by a fire for a few hours before heading off to sleep.





Sounds simple, right? Not so much when you have a 40 degree rated sleeping bag in 40 degree weather. You see, a 40 degree bag doesn't mean that you're comfortable at 40 degrees, just that you won't DIE at 40 degrees.. (the fact that we continue to camp on the summits shows just what sort of genius' your dealing with here...) They do pack down small though....

Here's a few of the other luxuries I keep in my case; camp ax, neck knife/bottle opener, Luminox watch (great for knowing in the dark what time you woke up and had to pee) flashlight, tire repair kit, microfiber towel and plexus, and my Flip Mino HD recorder. I'd recommend them all, but I'm a gear whore.



Next up, Day 3 - Hwy 4 East, 88 West, 108 East, and 4 West...whew! That's one helluva ride. Stay tuned.

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Old 08-09-2010, 12:13 AM   #22
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabandsnort
Not so much when you have a 40 degree rated sleeping bag in 40 degree weather. You see, a 40 degree bag doesn't mean your comfortable at 40 degrees, just that you won't DIE at 40 degrees.. (the fact that we continue to camp on the summits shows just what sort of genius' your dealing with here...) They do pack down small though....
poly microfleece sleeping bag liners will give you another 10-15 degrees of comfort zone

and when you're camping where its really warm at night, just use the bag liner!
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:21 AM   #23
cooter69
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Great ride report!!!!!!

I live and work in Yosemite........and own an ST

We ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:38 AM   #24
jabandsnort OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
poly microfleece sleeping bag liners will give you another 10-15 degrees of comfort zone

and when you're camping where its really warm at night, just use the bag liner!
Great advice, I think Geddo bought/used one of those this year. He's the smart one. (though his Guzzi ownership may suggest otherwise...) I'm just around for the bottle opener and to pull random levers in ghost towns.
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:23 PM   #25
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Day 3 - Hwy 4 East, 88 West, 108 East, and 4 West...

The most ambitious day of the trip, to be sure, but it was REALLY fun. We left camp and started the day Eastbound on 4.
Cue the gratuitous early morning camp shot



Eastbound 4 ended up as a total surprise, as easy and open as the West side was, the East side is small and tight. One lane shared by both directions of traffic.. Pretty though, and certainly worth the pucker factor. There was a few places to stop on the way down, we chose this one





Having no food at the campsite sorta sucks in the morning, so the first chance we got we grabbed some food. We found a place right on 4 called the Toll Station.



Right next to the Alpine County visitors bureau.



(btw- you can't park there..)

Anyway, the food surprised me and was totally good. I don't normally do food shots, but here's one for you guys who wanna know what breakfast looks like.



The service was good too, it seems like its a family run place and I'd guess it was the teenage son who waited on us. No problem there, he was a nice kid, but the massive hoop earrings were a bit disturbing...

On to 88. I'd like to show some pics of that, but it was an aggressive day of riding and we simply didn't stop. Ok, here's the thing, Geddo is a great riding companion, I couldn't ask for better, but man when he gets going he rides! No smelling the roses for that dude. In his defense, neither of us wanted to ride 4 West in the dark so we did have to motor...)



Hwy 88 was a fun road, but at the bottom of the hill hwy 26 blew it away, nicest little stretch of the day. VERY fun!

Then we got to hwy 49. There are parts of 49 than are super riding roads, unfortunately on this day we had way too much of this.



The traffic and the heat made this stretch pretty terrible.

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Old 08-10-2010, 09:47 PM   #26
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108 again...

Geddo and I both liked 108, but I didn't see him for practically the entire stretch. I got caught behind some traffic and just couldn't catch up (damn that totally competent ST1300! ) Being so far behind anyway, I figured stopping for a picture wouldn't hurt!



I finally caught up with him at the bottom of the hill... ok, fine, he was stopped and waiting for me, but I DID catch up to him. Here he is across from the Marines Mountain Warfare Training Facility located there





Under way again, this time I keep him in sight. It's been a long day by this point, and we're looking for a quick dinner then a run up 4 so we can beat the sunset.


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Old 08-10-2010, 10:14 PM   #27
DocAxeYarYar
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WTF Sierra!

Great report, so glad you did not bail after your Guzzi broke down. Italian bikes have a lot of flair and character, and sometimes you have to pay the price! Ive had a handful of Ducatis, Guzzies and Moto Morinis....Now Buells too, and they are apt to leave you hanging too! Thanks for posting up, enjoying the wonderful pics.
Wring that Honda's neck for all its worth!
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:32 PM   #28
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Dinner on 395

395 is, well, 395...not too exciting. We did find a good BBQ place though. I thought I took a better picture of it, but this is apparently all you get.



The inside was really cool, with all sorts of license plates and kitchy stuff on the walls. Here's a pic that sorts gives an idea of what it's like (sorry G, it's sorta a crappy pic of you)



Alright, here's a crappy pic of me in there as well. Maybe it was the lighting.



(good thing there were no bats in the belfrey..)

Apparently there's a biker friendly motel across the street as well



As we were getting suited up for the climb up 4, three GS1200s came by (might've been the first I'd seen the whole trip) The first two were standing up and the third was seated with his legs akimbo out on the cylinder jugs... If you guys are on here, what's up! By the look of things, it looked like you were having one helluva ride, I'm sorry I didn't get to my camera soon enough to get a picture...

In the end, our fears of riding 4 in the dark were unfounded, we made it up with time to spare. Here's a few pics as we head up the mountain.





Time to grab a few beers from the Bear Valley Lodge and enjoy our last night at camp.

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Old 08-10-2010, 11:20 PM   #29
jabandsnort OP
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Pissed The descent

Geddo and I both like a short last day, so we planned to pack up, get gas in Bear Valley, and head down the mountain for a quick breakfast and a sprint home. (Note: we would've gotten gas the night before but the Bear Valley gas station closes at like 5:30pm. There's no other gas available on the summit)

Packing up



A last look at the campsite at Silvertip.



They had a bunch of these on stands all around Bear Valley, looks like fun, my son would love it.



There are a few of these as well, in case you forget where you are.



The ride down the mountain was pretty uneventful. Not because it's not a fun road, but because there was so much traffic. This one lady in a Porche Cayenne was braking around the corners at 35 mph... in a 55 mph zone!!



There are very few passing zones on the way down hwy 4, so when I FINALLY get by "you should not be allowed to have a Porche" lady, I get stuck behind a two log truck caravan... needless to say, my decent was ruined.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:39 PM   #30
jabandsnort OP
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Do not adjust your set

We passed through Angels Camp without seeing much, so there we were, crossing the valley and looking for something to eat. It's pretty desolate out there and I was beginning to think I'd just run the whole way home... then we stepped into the Twilight Zone.. Copperopolis.
It's the strangest thing, this place rises out of the prairie like some bizzarro mirage. A perfect little downtown like something off of a movie set, but the weird thing is, it's practically empty... like a reverse Bodie, I can't see how this place even exists. There was, however, a little coffee shop that made a mean panini. Check it out









I'm telling you, this place was weird.



Well, that's it.. the rest of the run to San Jose was uneventful. Thanks to Geddo for once again joining me on the annual mancation. I really appreciate him going to far as to rent a bike to keep the trip alive.
Thanks to you guys on advrider as well, you're a constant inspiration, the planning for next year has already begun...

Ciao!
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