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Wow, what a great ride!

Thanks to Doug for putting together a great route. We rode through places that most folks only dream of, or see photos.

It was pretty warm, mostly 90s during the day (and at night, too -- 90 degrees at MIDNIGHT. But in the high country it was in the low 80 and just beautiful.

Once we got north of Bridgeport, Doug routed us over Hwy 89 on the way to Hwy 50. It's two lane, no shoulders, no guardrails, spectacular views of the valley below, the snow-capped mountains around us and the most pristine alpine meadows I've ever seen (other than the Alps). We took a side trip to Emerald Bay State Park on Lake Tahoe, some awesome twisties through the hills and wine country of Amador (?) county and an off-the-beaten-path route from I-50 to I-5.

Doug and Debbie were great riding partners and I can't thank them enough for a most memorable ride.

Now to go wash the bug-corpses off the bike. And the remains of one suicidal pigeon. I guess it just couldn't take one more day in Folsum....
 

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Wow, what a great ride!

Thanks to Doug for putting together a great route. We rode through places that most folks only dream of, or see photos.

It was pretty warm, mostly 90s during the day (and at night, too -- 90 degrees at MIDNIGHT. But in the high country it was in the low 80 and just beautiful.

Once we got north of Bridgeport, Doug routed us over Hwy 89 on the way to Hwy 50. It's two lane, no shoulders, no guardrails, spectacular views of the valley below, the snow-capped mountains around us and the most pristine alpine meadows I've ever seen (other than the Alps). We took a side trip to Emerald Bay State Park on Lake Tahoe, some awesome twisties through the hills and wine country of Amador (?) county and an off-the-beaten-path route from I-50 to I-5.

Doug and Debbie were great riding partners and I can't thank them enough for a most memorable ride.

Now to go wash the bug-corpses off the bike. And the remains of one suicidal pigeon. I guess it just couldn't take one more day in Folsom....
Bret:

Yup, there was some beautiful country in that area, isn't there!

This quick trip really made me miss living up there. Yes, it gets warm in the summer (over 100 fairly often) but the mountains and the rivers make up for it.

Here's a link to a pano that I took when we were going over Monitor Pass (it's an iPhone pix 'cause I didn't bring my Nikon)

http://cbeinfo.net/tripreports/images/20110621_tahoe_ss1k/Monitor_Pass_Pano_01_50.jpg

The "_50" means that it was saved at a quality rating of "50" to make the file size smaller.

If anyone's interested in a higher quality picture, you can get it here:

http://cbeinfo.net/tripreports/images/20110621_tahoe_ss1k/Monitor_Pass_Pano_01.jpg


CA 50 runs down the hill from Tahoe to Sac and, for much of the way, it's on top of a ridge. We turned off the 50 at Camino and took Snow's Road. Steep and fun. Not as steep as the 24% grade road up near Monitor Pass. We didn't have time to ride down that but that is definitely on the list for the next ride up there!

Amador has good quality, well-priced wines. If you folks are in the region, you can stop in at almost any winery and fine something to enjoy. The only place that I would not recommend is Villa Toscana — beautiful building but their wine is lacking (to be charitable). Favorites on Shendandoah Road are Story, Sobon, and Vino Noceto and Dobra Zemla on Steiner Road. Oh, I visited Montevina recently and they were pretty good, too.

http://goo.gl/maps/ItL7
 

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I-5 was…I-5 which means it's fast and ugly! We left Irvine a 0630, wandered up 395, came down the hill, and took Grant Line Road to go kitty corner south of Sac. We hit I-5 at about 2000. That means it took 13:30 to get to Sac and 8 hours to get back home on I-5. The sunset was about 2030 and since there was nothing to see, I put on the modified map backpack and Debbie watched Netflix on the ride home!


http://roadgear.com//backpack-holder-p-57.html?osCsid=49e9a213dd865393ad8ebd3f320db02f


I got that backpack last week and had it modified so that it's "landscape" mode instead of "portrait" oriented. You slide the iPad in the opening and the velcro closure on the side keeps everything shut. Add a pair of earphones and you're all set!

Bret and I both remarked that we were getting excellent mileage. On the stretch up 395, I was getting about 40 MPG which I've only hit once before. Part of it was the lowered-speed, no doubt. I had the 'Wing in the shop for service and maybe my mech did something magic?

Nice that I was getting good mileage but the good thing is to be able to calculate your mileage as you're moving. I did start a thread about "how many gallons in a tank according to the hash marks" and the thread got beat to death by overwhelming stupidity. I learned that there was no reason to need to know that and one poster even went so far as to say that it was impossible to calculate miles to empty.

Fortunately, I forgot both of those things and relied on the little conversion chart that's taped to the inside of my windshield. As we headed south from Lost Hills, I realized that I was lower on gas than I expected. I did some quick math and estimated that I'd have about two quarts left by the time we got to Lebec.

If you know that part of I-5, you'll know that there's a big gas station on the north side of the Grapevine and I was tempted to turn in there. Two things kept me "on plan".

One was that I'd planned out Lebec as a gas stop so I should be able to reach it. Also, I'd told Bret that we were going to fuel up in Lebec and he wasn't in my rear view mirror so I'd lose him if I turned off early. But the important thing was that I'd written that I had a good tool to use to estimate mileage and this was the time to put up or shut up.

As we cruised up the Grapevine, I was having second thoughts. That needle seemed to drop pretty quickly and Debbie had asked "Doug, didn't you want to turn off back there and get gas?"

I told her that I estimated that I'd have about 1/2 gallon. I knew that was high but there was no sense having her get worried. I was really happy to see that gas station show up. Really happy.

Really happy 'cause I had a pint of gas left!

After I finished topping up I had put in 6.54 gallons which is just a few miles from having the opportunity to push a 900 pound motorcycle!

The three of us chatted for a few minutes at the gas station. It was late (about 0230) and all of us were tired and looking forward to being home. We headed south on I-5 right around the speed limit. I was tired and even the speed limit felt fast to me. That was fortunate because I got lasered by a well-hidden LEO as we cruised through LA (monitoring speeds at 0300?).

We got to the final fuel stop at 0400, filled the tank, and headed home.

A very enjoyable ride — great scenery and great company.


Next Four Seasons ride is September 21. Maybe up PCH?
 

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I can testify to the reading on Doug's gas pump!

I was watching my fuel gauge carefully. When the low-fuel light came on I looked at the trip odometer and did a little calculating. I was pretty sure that our scheduled gas stop was within range, though bit past my normal comfort zone. (I'm a big chicken, especially when contemplating the ascent of the S/B Grapevine at o'dark thirty with dozens of Big Rigs lumbering along in the two right lanes.) Nothing like a little pucker-power to keep the eyes open!

Doug & Debbie were burning a bit more fuel since they were riding 2-up. I only required 6.08 gallons -- and the voices were yelling at me!

I'll also testify to the benefits of a visit to the Iron Butt Motel. IIRC, we'd stopped about 80 miles earlier for unscheduled eye-opener break. I reclined on the grass for 7 minutes of shut-eye. I know that it was 7 minutes because I'd asked Doug to wake me in 10 and when I got up he told me that I still had 3 minutes.
I went from drowsy to wide awake without caffeine. But I drank a coke anyway -- and was fresh as a daisy for the last couple hours.

What a great experience. Thanks again, Doug!
 

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Congrats!

Think I'm going to do my first SS1K in early Sept...consolation ride for not being able to attend RG, I fear.
 
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