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Old 09-16-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
surferbum OP
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Puke 13 days and what do you get - Day 1

With apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford “You ride 13 days and what do you get, another day older and”. This is my inaugural ride report for a multi-day trip from the SF bay area to Glacier National Park and back on my 2010 BMW 1200 GS. I originally was going to camp and buy all the necessary gear. Read the many threads on best chair, best tent, best coffee pot, most needed camping gear and decided to limit the number of variables for this trip so I stayed in motels. My game plan was to not do any iron butt rides but rather keep the daily mileage less then 350 miles and enjoy side trips as they presented themselves or just enjoy the daily destination. Built my tool kit (electric pump, plugs, wrenches, sockets, screw drivers, ratchets, tape, spare nuts/bolts, wire, pliers ...) expecting the worst but the bike was flawless. I drove solo except for a section of 2-up riding with my wife. Following a fellow rider's suggestion, my wife flew in and out along the ride. This worked perfect. The overall stats of the ride:
  • 13 days from Thursday (August 12th) to Wednesday (August 25th)
  • 3500 miles with less then 100 miles on Interstate highways
  • 900 miles ridden 2-up with my wife
  • Traveled through 6 states (CA, OR, WA, ID, MT and NV)
  • Temp ranged from coolish 50 degrees to hot 108
  • Rode through 2 National Parks: Lassen Volcanic and Glacier National and
  • 19 National Forests: Eldorado, Tahoe National, Plumas, Modoc, Fremont, Malheur, Umatilla, Wallowa, St. Joe, Coeur D'Alene, Kaniksu, Kootenai, Lolo, Nezperse, Payette, Challis, Boise, Sawtooth and Fremont
Scenic highlights were:
  • Many gorgeous lakes: Lake Tahoe, Red Fish Lake, Flathead Lake +++
  • Lassen National Park
  • Hells Canyon
  • Spiral Highway
  • Glacier National Park and Going-to-the-Sun Highway
  • Eastern Oregon desert
  • Great B&B's
  • Great breakfasts in restaurants like the Squeeze In in Truckee and Chatty Kathy's in Burney
The roads were uncrowded with a few delays due to road construction but nothing bad. Churches were for sale. Rural areas have been on the downward slide for 50 years with the only places which were making it had some connection with a local tourist site such as a lake.


Here I am ready to hit the road:

The first day started with a ride up to Lake Tahoe on the state highways. The first part of the ride took me on a very twisty road along the Calaveras Reservoir and up through Livermore. This route was used for part of Stage 3 of 2009 Tour of California bike race. http://bicycling.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip/332118 This started the ride off on the right foot. Crossing the central valley of California is the price you pay for entering the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. One of the most enjoyable rides is along CA 88/89 approaching Lake Tahoe.

Stayed the night in north Lake Tahoe on a Priceline bid at Squaw Creek. I could see William Shatner in my mind telling me to “go lower you namby pamby” while I was bidding. Late morning start got me up there in the late afternoon after 250 mile of riding. Always love to stop at the Kirkwood Inn along the way for a rest.

For years we would take a break here during car trips and I would watch the motorcycles cruise by.

Living the dream now. A little road construction along the way and a good chat with the sign guy who proudly posed.

Traveled up the west side of Lake Tahoe and as always it is beautiful.

Plenty of water, the last few years had the boat docks looking absurdly high at the waters edge.

Here's my route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...bab18dcaa3&z=8
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BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
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surferbum screwed with this post 09-20-2010 at 01:56 PM
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:02 PM   #2
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Day 2

A great night's sleep and ready for an equally great breakfast at the Squeeze In. Lines are always out the door and one of there specialties is french toast. It tasted great!



Traveled the California state highway past Graeagle, Lake Alamnor and stopped at Lassen Volcanic National Park.




The smells you experience on a motorcycle are very special and while touring Lassen, you'll smell the sulfur. Just like Yellowstone except didn't see any mud pots. The picture jumped out at me while riding toward through the forest toward park.


Used my Flip video recorder to get some footage while touring the roads winding around the volcanoes. This was my first experience with it on the bike. It worked well but my mount resulted in the videos being in portrait mode rather then landscape. Will do better the next time. Another construction delay but the scenery has improved from the first sign operator.

Left plenty of time to sight see and explore the park. Almost anywhere along my ride I could pull over to the side of the road; Look over an edge and see a wild river with me being the only one viewing it at that time.

It was getting hot (100) as I entered Redding. Another Priceline bid at ˝ the rack rate. Shatner would be proud. The Holiday Inn's room was very up-to-date and comfortable.



Here's my route:http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...1,4.092407&z=8
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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Day 3 Outotha desert and into Burns

The next day started with an 1 ˝ hour ride then breakfast. I do like my food. Research showed that Chatty Kathy's was worth the stop in Burney. Ate (more french toast) and gassed up the bike. Off to the east Oregon desert.



This area of southeastern Oregon is devoid of people. There are a couple of lakes you go by but it is hot and unsettling. You go by two lakes with one (Lake Abert) being dead to fish. Abert rim is spectacular and rises out of no where. The geology of this part of the country gets your attention with the crazy angles and layers of the paralleling mountains.


Almost a tactical error in the desert by stopping too close to the sand.



HOT I saw almost no one while riding and glad I didn't fall over. Almost pulled the trigger on a SPOT tracker before going but couldn't pull the trigger. Gas stations (people and cars) are few and far between. Started seeing some other motorcycles returning from the 70th Anniversary Sturgis Rally week. The stream continued throughout my ride but I was always traveling in the opposite direction.

Easing into Burns, OR after 350 miles. My first B&B at the Sage Country Inn. This will be a theme for the ride. I made certain the B&B's had a highly acclaimed bed and full breakfast. Used TripAdvisor for this and it never failed me. Never been to Burns before but it has seen better days. If you want to follow a vet-to-riches story read about Scott Campbell who was born in Burns; Got his vet degree; Bought out a Portland, OR vet; Built an empire of 600 offices; Sold a big chunk to PetSmart for hundred's of millions of dollars; Bought the Ponderosa Dude ranch including 120,000 acres, thousands of cattle; and is building a 27 hole golf course to go with the expanding 5000 ft. airfield.
The B&B was well done and the owner has all the toys: jet skis, 4-wheel ATVs and a large man cave to store my bike. Breakfast was of course big and good.
Here's my route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...d983001da3&z=7
__________________
2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

surferbum screwed with this post 09-20-2010 at 02:26 PM
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Day 4 Joseph OR and Hells Canyon

Of course starting with breakfast.


The next day was up to Joseph, OR via the little traveled state highways. The ride took me through the dude ranch and a number of small towns. Whatever gas stations which existed are closed with only concrete islands as reminders. Many are so south of prosperity that many churches have “For Sale” signs. Made it to my next night's stop at another great B&B called Bell Pepper's after 275 miles. The drive took me past stunning lakes with only me and the lake. Here is just an example of a stunning lake. This one is Wallowa Lake at Joseph, OR which had quite a variety of water sports.



Made an attempt to see the washout of FS19 road in Hells Canyon but started too late in the afternoon. Made it within a couple of miles but the open range roads had plenty of cattle. Black on black doesn't work for me plus I was hungry for dinner. My Modus operandi was a good breakfast and a good dinner without a lunch. Grab a snack when I would gas up. Joseph is thriving and the guest at the B&B were entertaining. A husband-wife from Vancouver Island and another from Portland. The B&B raised their own eggs but the rabbit wasn't on the menu.

Here is a link to today's ride: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...8,4.092407&z=8
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
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surferbum screwed with this post 09-22-2010 at 05:30 PM
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Old 09-18-2010, 06:24 PM   #5
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5 Days out and still having fun

The next day took me north and down (up?) the Spiral Highway. Left; Right; 15 MPH; One of my sisters would call (sometimes during a ride) and trace the route via the internet. There are a couple of good YouTube videos for the Spiral Highway. None can do it justice though.

http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=vTSqKTaPvPc

My bike setup for navigation and entertainment was a Garmin Zumo 665 with XM/weather, Droid Incredible (DI) smart phone, 40GB iPod and Sena SMH10 blue-tooth headset. I had good weather for the trip with only some wind and rain the last couple of days. XM Weather alerted me to "Rain In Area" or some such but that was it. I have suspended my XM radio & weather until next year. Was going to cancel but they did a diving catch with the offer so I relented and just suspended. I enjoyed the XM radio prior to getting my DI but am predominantly always in cell range for things like Pandora or just use my iPod. I love this area with its stark, rough hill-scape and clear skies.

Picture and video were done using my Canon point & shoot SD800, Droid's camera and a mounted Flip HD camcorder. Didn't take my laptop so I was constrained to 2 hours of video. Screwed up and had the Flip orientated with the long side parallel to the ground resulting in the videos coming out in portrait-mode (after a computer rotation). I immediately bought a long pivot arm when I returned from the trip. The videos came out pretty good but required a lot of editing since twisty, forested highways dominated the Gigabytes. The day took me around Coeur D'Alene Lake and stayed the night at another Priceline motel in Post Falls Idaho. Here's a look northeast to southwest of Coeur D'Alene Lake.

Trip was on the warm side again but no traffic or construction. Took my time around the lake. That night I experienced one downside of solo riding at the hotel's bar. Some yahoo bigot was complaining about the state of the economy and immigration to a third person seated at the bar. That person left soon after the conversation started. Now it was the bartender, yahoo and me. The guy started now directing his conversation to me. Finished my beer quickly and left to watch the rest of the football game on my in-room TV. Surfaced back to the bar after 30 minutes and all was good again.

Here's my route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...43cec87410&z=7
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

surferbum screwed with this post 09-22-2010 at 05:34 PM
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Day 6 and time for 2-up riding

The next day started the 2-up portion of the ride with the wife flying into Spokane. Little airport and I was able to park a couple of hundred feet from her arrival door. She carried her helmet and clothes. I have read the many entries in the thread about carrying a helmet on the plane so was a little concerned but she had no problem at all. for Southwest Airlines. I brought her boots, pants and jacket. My setup for hauling gear was a pair of Jesse Odyssey II bags and a XL yellow Wolfman bag with Rok strap tie downs. The Rok straps worked flawlessly and made the start-of-the-day loading and end-of-the-day unloading effortless. I also had a 2 gallon gas container but only used it for my Nevada portion of the trip. Her flight arrived late morning so I planned a gentle 260 miles ride for the first day. We followed US 2 north out of Spokane and made it to Somers MT. This was her first trip other then quicky rides in town. Grabbed some lunch at Dub's restaurant along the way. This became known as the “Disaster at Dubs or Drop at Dubs or Dump at Dubs”. I pulled off US 2 and stopped to scout out which parking space to take. Dub's passed the parking lot test (customers). I paused on the parking lot entrance; put out my right foot; Oops it is much further down then I expected and over we go. We both rolled off but no damage to either the 1200 or us. After quickly righting the bike, the wife wanted to go somewhere else since the drop happened right in front of the restaurant windows. Instead we took our time de-gearing and went in. We passed a couple while we came in and they asked if we were okay. Note that no-one came out when this actually happened. Another great B&B awaited which looked over Flathead Lake called Outlook Inn. We had dinner the first night at a fun restaurant which showcased the lake.
Pardon for the photographer's shaky hand. Took as many photos with my Droid and with my Canon. The next cell phone camera better have Auto-stabilization. The reflection of Flathead lake in the window was clever but unplanned.


Toasting to a great day, place and 2-up fun.




This B&B was our home base for a couple of days as we toured around the area and circled Glacier National Park. Breakfast was super and the others staying were part of a family reunion whose total attendance was 100+ people. A brother and two sisters were staying at the B&B. Say cheese!




We entered the park from the east and road the Going-to-the-Sun road which was less traveled then going the other direction. Saint Mary and McDonald Lakes are too special to pass up. Here's a Christmas card photo while we were waiting at a construction delay. Held the camera out at arm's length. Smile!



Along the Going-to-the-Sun road we stopped at one of the photo-op places. The marker shows the receding map of the glaciers over the past 100-such years.



Here's our routes for the next couple of days:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...8,4.092407&z=8

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...506d95f743&z=9
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
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And were off ... on day 8

We rode down to Salmon, ID next. Gas for the bike and lunch for us at another great food spot (Coffee Cup Cafe, Hamilton MT) which passed the parking lot test. And yes there were hundreds of coffee cups hanging for the locals.





The ride was 260 miles and fine driving weather. Roads were fun to ride with them following the river yielding twisties and once again sparse traffic.We saw remnants of forest fires from 15 years earlier which isn't coming back quickly. In the middle of nowhere there was a respectable snow ski facility which have no lift lines even during the height of the season (Not like Tahoe!). It was called Lost Trail Powder Mountain. From their website it
Quote:
sits atop the Continental Divide on Highway 93 where Montana and Idaho meet. With over 300 inches of snowfall every year.
Paula is from Mississippi and her husband Dave is from the SF Bay area. Great hosts and they had some Missippippi friends helping out were general repairs. The MS accent is fun to listen to. See some reviews: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe...ed=0CBgQnQIwAA

We stayed in another A+ B&B name the Syringa Lodge. Salmon could be in Big Sky country too!






The B&B was built to be a B&B (no house conversion) by a woman and her brothers. She tragically died of cancer and stood dormant for a few years. The current owners bought it after seeing ads on the internet.




We ate at local restaurant with a fabulous fish meal. It was Walleye and imported (go figure) but delicious. The owners threw us the keys to their late modeled Lincoln Continental (200,000+ miles) for the evening out. Couldn't pass up the photo op for this old motel's sign in Salmon. Right out of the 50's.


Here's our route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...aceac93e1d&z=7
__________________
2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

surferbum screwed with this post 09-22-2010 at 05:49 PM
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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Looks like a great ride. I did a similar ride a few weeks back, but decided to trailer the bike to Grants Pass, Oregon from the San Francisco Bay Area. From there, we went through Idaho on to Glacier. Have to find the time to write the ride report up.

I wanted to go around Glacier, but didn't want to deal with traffic, and we didn't have as much time. Decided to take the dirt road up the west side of the park. I wish I could have added that to the ride. It just means that I have to plan another one
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Day 9 - Over to Boise

Ready to start riding for the day as we traveled to Boise with a short detour to Red Fish Lake. We were warned by another cyclist at a gas stop that the road had many 15 MPH turns and that was correct. You should check out the Ponderosa Pines Scenic Route (segment of ID route 21) if you're close. You can see the forest fire scaring from a forest fire 20 years ago plus active mining and a ghost town. boo!

Short break outside the Sawtooth Museum in Stanley Idaho flying my ADV flag.


The lake was a hidden gem with many water sports and good beaches. I don't know where the people come from but it had reasonable-sized crowds.

The BMW handled great on all the roads we took. My previous bike was a Kawa 650cc Versys. Good bike going solo but I won't have looked forward to traveling on this trip with it. Sounds familiar but we stayed at another fun B&B in Boise named Idaho Heritage Inn. It was a home owned by an ex-ID governor and then by an ex-US senator Frank Church. Don't recommend staying in the Carriage House room unless you enjoy funky thermal heated hot water which had a odor of sulfur. The next morning's breakfast was very good but that night's meal was exceptional. We were a couple of blocks from the center of town and walked around. College student were returning for the school year and the restaurants were hopping. We chose a Mexican cuisine at the Matador restaurant. Turns out it was their opening night with great food and service. It turns out that another couple who was staying at the same B&B from Seattle know of the restaurant which started out there and is extremely popular. Lucky catch. Margaritas were very tasty. Maybe I had one too many that night. (Reminds me of a night at the 1 year anniversary for Cloud 9 bar in San Francisco but that's another story for another trip report if I can remember much). Mas Tequila por favor


I can't remember a thing except the good food:



Here's the route: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...c89fd1cb53&z=8
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

surferbum screwed with this post 10-01-2010 at 05:20 PM
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:24 PM   #10
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Looks like a lot of fun times!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 04:08 PM   #11
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Warning Thread Detour

Quote:
Originally Posted by rider1150gsadv
Looks like a lot of fun times!!
WARNING THREAD DETOUR: Was in your neighborhood a couple of months ago with old college friends staying in Key West for a few days then to South Beach for another couple of days. He and I were bartenders while attending college together and the first day we didn't make it past the Green Parrot Bar at 10AM. Pulled up bar stools and camped out until 9PM that night. The wives left us to our own devices. The Green Parrot's slogan is
Quote:
No Snivelling
Various stages of inebriation:
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2014 KTM690 Enduro R; 2010 R1200GS & 2007 Versys sold
BT2012 ICT 2012 nOObs DV
BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

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Old 09-21-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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Last few days

Dropped my wife to fly out of Boise and back to solo riding. My ride from Boise to Lakeview, OR turned out to be the worst weather with wind gusts from 30-50 MPH. Drove by a couple of semi trailer blown on their sides. I thought that I had managed my routes great until I realized that part of that day's route was not on state paved road but rather 75 miles of 1-2” deep gravel roads. I only did that for 15 miles in the wind; Made a U-turn and detoured via a paved state highway.
There is a great altitude drop on OR 140 at a place name Dougherty Slide. My pic didn't come out but from this photo you can see the 1000 foot drop over only a couple miles of roads.


Found out later that there is a special hang-gliding launch area here. The day turned out to be a long one even though the mileage was only 450. You experience a thousand foot drop as you leave the high planes above Lakeview, OR. Pulled into my reserved Best Western (nice place) and noted the NO VACANCY sign was lit up. They greeted me telling me that I was taking their last room (even though the sign was lit). Announced that I had reserved a room the prior day but they couldn't find it. Failed to write down the confirmation number but had stored their phone number. Dialed it expecting the phone to ring on the counter in front of me but it didn't and someone else answered. I had mistakenly reserved a room at a Best Western in Virginia (not Oregon). They let me cancel and then I took the last room after all. On my last couple of days of driving now with one down to north Lake Tahoe for two days of golf with friends. They ferried the clubs and clothes. We played 36 holes each day with one being at Coyote Moon and the second day at Old Greenwood. If you enjoy golf then Old Greenwood is a treat with it Sierra pines atmosphere and Jack Nicklaus design. The final day was back highways through very hot temps. I looked down at my thermometer which read 106 degrees and this confirmed my body's feeling. Further down the road, it felt hotter . Looked down and now it was 108. I want to get home now and of course get caught by a traffic accident's delay. Lane split 10+ miles and get free of the stop-n-go traffic. It took a few days to unpack; Wash the bike but am already thinking about BT2010 and ˝.

Here's my last two days ride maps: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...f2bb75adba&z=7 and http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...ac804d6e1b&z=8
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BT2011.2 - This time only 1 NF ... BT2011 - Big Trip 2011 15 Days of Ridin' ...
BT2010 - Big Trip 2010 13 days and ...
My Spot WhereAmIriding

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Old 09-21-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:24 PM   #14
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Great ride report.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:11 AM   #15
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Looking good SurferBum! Lassen Volcanic Park is someplace Id' like to ride one day! Great report!

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