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Old 06-24-2011, 08:10 AM   #1
Cpt. Ron OP
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Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Sacramento, CA
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15th Annual HLDMC Ride, Clearlake, CA

Time for the 15th Annual HLDMC Ride in Clearlake, CA. It's always the weekend after Memorial Day. It started as a celebration for two of us who purchased brand spanking new bikes. It's denigrated into mostly a dualsport ride into and around the Mendocino National Forest. Usually, everyone eats my dust as I lead the group along the tracks that I've spent countless hours producing. This year will be different.

But the weekend started out nice enough. I even saw my shadow

Anxious to hit the dirt, I find some just north of Davis.

Time for the run up Putah Creek to meet rediRrakaD at The Crossroads (formerly 'The Corners') at Highways 128 and 121.

Turns out that Scott met up with Slackmeyer on the way to the rendezvous with me. So we had a short chat before going off in our separate directions.

Scott and I agree that Knoxville-Berryessa Road is one of our favorites in the area. And he also confirms yet another bird kill for my record. This area has got to be one of my most diverse and productive hunting grounds...

After arriving at the cabin, Scott and I agree that no matter what happens the rest of the day, the riding we've had so far makes the day complete. Anything else is just gravy.
Cpt. Ron

"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
Cpt. Ron OP
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We prepped the house for visitors while waiting for the others to arrive. The plan was to get some riding in on Friday before the rains set in. Superhunk squashed the idea of food shopping first. Let's ride he said. Dinner will come later. Alright by me.

So, it's me and Superhunk on 950's, Scott on his F800, Arno on his Husky 510 (Cheater!) and Howard on his WR250. Like our choice in bikes, our skill and aggression levels were quite varied.

The ride today was a run up Morgan Valley Road to Rieff/Rayhouse Road down to Highway 16. Once at Highway 20, we would decide where to continue.

The nice thing about the late spring is that everything is still green and there isn't dust.

Nice form, Scott.

Arno and Howard ready to head down the last drop to Cache Creek and Highway 16

Trying to get moving shots of Scott, he just gives me the, "Would-you-just-pass-me-and-get-it-over-with look."

At the Cache Creek crossing, 950SE pilot Superhunk:

Howard and Arno:

A word about Arno. Remember he has the 'Cheater' 510 on this ride. Probably a wise choice considering his other ride is a V-Strom. But he wanted to make his bike a little more comfy for the transit sections this weekend:

Now I don't know about you, but I have a theory. You can get the rider off of a KLR, but can you get the KLR out of the rider? On the descent to Cache Creek, I saw evidence of a brake slide to the outside of a corner that resulted in a ricochet off of a small log. Inquiring, Arno admitted that it was he who did that....on purpose. Riiiiight.....

Continuing northbound after Highway 20, we hit Bear Valley Road.

When the road finally straightens out, I strike. I figure I have one chance this weekend to make a pass on Arno and make it stick. Running with a fairing, extra cylinder, almost double the displacement and taller gearing, a long straight section is all I need. Twist the throttle, grab 4th gear and go. Buh bye. Grab 5th gear and he starts to eat dust and rocks. Grabbing sixth gear and Superhunk comes into my sights. At this speed, traction comes and goes. Stay in the tire tracks to maximize grip to maintain speed.

At the next meeting point, Superhunk was kind enough to say, "Man, I was going really fast back there when you passed me!" GPS confirmed a top speed of 105. The 90-degree turn after that run was an interesting affair with excess speed and loose gravel on top of hard pack. The washboard was just the icing on the cake. Well that was certainly fun.

From here on out, we took Walker Ridge back to Highway 20 before slabbing it back to the house. Along the way Superhunk, Arno and I took some single track that parallels the main road. Good fun that was. Oh, and Arno dusted us quite easily. Cheater.....

It was a good run up Sulphur Bank Road before stopping for 'supplies' at the local market.

Arno, Superhunk and Scott:

That evening we chilled as others arrived either by bike or truck. Dinner was put together and people ate as they pleased. The rain started in earnest. Which means steel wool whirlybirds are safe to do:

Ken was kind enough to pack a couple of canopies in his truck for us. To give Scott his initiation to the group, we parked his beemer (the only one this year) under one and set up some lights. For extra good measure, we placed a BMW brochure on a side table....

Gus arrives and unloads his bike in the rain with a little help from Superhunk. Heavy bike, aluminum ramp and rain. What could go wrong? Why do you think I have my camera ready?

I'll be damned if he didn't pull it off with no circus act. Wait until the mud tomorrow....
Cpt. Ron

"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner
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Old 06-24-2011, 03:10 PM   #3
Wishing I was riding RTW
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Looks like a good start fellas! Damn work kept me from making it up last minute. Maybe I'll make the Trinity Alps this year.
My screen name is kind of long. I am the "ME" part, my name is Cory.

Jimmy Lewis quote: "Those KLRs are full of potential. Just takes a rider..."
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:52 PM   #4
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:18 PM   #5
Cpt. Ron OP
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Originally Posted by heinee View Post
Oh, OK....

Knowing some of us have a full day of riding tomorrow, we actually go to bed at a decent hour. Thanks to my father and his construction of the new enclosed patio, everybody has the choice to sleep under a roof. Good thing, too with the rain that poured down all night.

Doesn't Arno look cozy?

And yet Pat (aka Bark!) sleeps here:

Scott and Gus trade stories of their sleepy head the way, Scott REALLY likes that chair....

Unlike yesterday where everything went as planned, today would be different. With the rain all night and this morning, Bark! informs us that if we wait like another 15-20 minutes, this will all blow over (thanks to his 4G enabled phone and shit...). So, instead of eating light at the house and hitting the road, we decide to waste some time at breakfast. So off to the Main Street Cafe'...

heinee, since he decided not to get his FZ1 any wetter than it already is, ordered the potatoes and eggs inside a toasted bread bowl covered in cheese and gravy....oh don't forget the bacon and biscuits! No, he wasn't going to ride today.

Betty likes us. We like Betty. She's such a Betty.

And she knows when we're going to show, too. She hangs the tee shirts we've given her in the entrance to warn the other patrons that the HLDMC is in the house!

It's June in California. And it's raining. This is a first for this gathering. Superhunk preps his SE for the adventure. It's only been an hour since Bark!'s weather prediction.

I'm wondering now if they're all just sitting there waiting for someone to say, "No, I don't want to do ride today..." It didn't happen.

Eight of us took off on Sulphur Bank Road on the way to gas in Clearlake Oaks. Can you tell it's wet? Very shortly after this, I gave up on my goggle dust roll thing-a-ma-gingy. Water between the film and the lens acted like multiple lenses and really messes with your braking markers.

Soon after hitting High Valley Road on the way to Bartlett Summit, Scott and Howard baled out. The dirt road was slippery. We were getting into the clouds. And they just plain weren't comfortable. So they turned around and went back to make sure the beer was cold. And that's how the system is supposed to work. Buddies sticking together. But we didn't know at first. We were concentrating on getting around the downed tree in the road. Too bad there aren't any pictures of that little adventure. Before we got Bark! through, we asked him to backtrack to find the status of Howard and Scott. After that, we were six. Oh and Bark!, it's still raining....

At the intersection with Bartlett Springs Road, Superhunk and Ken decide to bale out via Nice. Bark!, notice the rain still coming down?

And now we're four. Bark! in the clouds looking down into Long Valley. That's where the clear spot is!

We're headed towards French Ridge. Along Twin Valley Road, there are quite a few creek crossings. And there are some steep hills too. Some of them quite steep and one in particular was quite slippery. Right Gus? I wish I was there with my camera.

Yours truly taking it easy:

Yes, there is a KLR (and Bark!) in there:

And here's Gus on his 950 washing the mud off, with Arno close behind. I got soaked by that wave that overcame me. I'm surprised my camera still works.

From here, it was a bit of adventure up French Ridge where we assisted some lost OHV-ers (leading them up into the clouds and roosting them with mud and rocks ), before descending down into Upper Lake. From there, it was a drone down Highway 20. This sucked. Sucked enough to make one wonder if the whole day was worth this punishment...

Thankfully for us, someone else was handling dinner tonight. We just needed to take care of our beverages. So once back in Clearlake, we hit Safeway to stock up once again. The water dripping off our gear was enough to declare a clean-up in the beer isle.

After returning to the house, it's time to relax, tell stories, and have a beer or two. Personally, I'm a bit slow to change my wardrobe, taking it a stage at a time. Eveningware:

Superhunk seems to have a drinking problem:

And Scott REALLY likes this chair. For Halloween, he's making a suit of armor out of bottle caps for his son. He asked us to save ours for the cause. Alrighty....

And then the C70 comes out...

Adam (my BIL) listens intently as I describe the power characteristics. Heinee stands in rapt attention....Howard, Ken and Bark! stay under cover on the porch.

Arno supervises as Heinee kicks away on the beast. Adam's thinking, "Is this thing on?"

And here's some action shots:

Tee hee:

Arno had to imitate. Granted, his carved corner around the mailbox was superior, and his finish here was worth it. The helmets weren't placed there by human hands. I'll leave it at that.

Meanwhile, the 510 is feeling the pressure after witnessing the C70 in action....

Ummm, I think it's getting a bit late....

What a beast it is....

Being that it's now Sunday, it's time for bed. Sleep tight.
Cpt. Ron

"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:52 PM   #6
just passin' through
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hmmmmmm, you guys down south there - trouble or action!

More please!
What's next? More action!
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:35 AM   #7
Cpt. Ron OP
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Not much more to report. Plus, I'm out the door shortly for a week. See you on the flip side.
Cpt. Ron

"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:29 AM   #8
Whoopdie do
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Thanks for a great weekend!!!

back to cap collecting/ balancing (important work ya know).
"Death in the pursuit of happiness is triumphant!"
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