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A typical 680 mile day in California, October in NorCal


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#1 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:53 AM

I received the call Saturday afternoon from Alan Clark. He said that the weather report looks good and asked if I wanted to go do a little riding. Now, Alan's idea of a little riding could work out an IBA fanatic, so I asked, "Where were you thinking about going and how early do we have to leave to get home by 7 p.m.?" So we agreed to meet at the gas station for a 5 a.m. departure the next day. I was looking forward to it. This was the weekend that BlueStreek was trying to pull together a ride up to Fortuna and I had to beg off, not being able to spend 3 days away at this time. The route that Alan had come up with was quite the coincidence.

We left Orangevale and rode I-5 to Red Bluff where we stopped for breakfast. Rode Hwy 36 to Fortuna taking a 20 mile diversion up Wildwood Road, went to Ferndale, and double backed to Fortuna for gas, then back to Ferndale to take the Mattole Road a.k.a. Lost Coast road to Petrolia, then through Humboldt State Red Wood Park to 101, then home via 101, 20, I-5.

If you don't know where all this stuff is, here route map:
Ride Route Link

For those that just want a general idea, here is a screen shot of the map:



Leaving out of Orangevale at 5am, it was cool, but not cold. The cool air through my summer gloves had felt good on my way to our meeting point. An hour after riding <the speed limit> up I-5 I had to pull over and put heavier gloves on. I was cold and shouldn't have chanced it. Oh well, I warmed up during breakfast.

The ride to Red Bluff would have been fairly unremarkable except for 2 things. First, there was a pretty stiff crosswind as we went through Woodland. When I-5 turned Northerly again, the wind was in our face and it was strong. I am riding with a stock windscreen now. I had a cee-baileys +4" height and +1" width screen before. I'm getting another one! Long rides with stock screens aren't as comfortable for me. I'll leave that to mile hardened riders like twowheelnut wink.gif Okay, that was the first thing.

Now the second thing was the amount of shooting stars I saw on the way to Red Bluff. It was like catching a really good night of the August Meteor shower. I must have seen 20+ shooting stars and it reminded me of when I was a kid and used to lay on the lawn at night and just watch them streak across the Colorado sky. It put me in a nice state of mind on that ride, and I was a little disappointed to see the sun coming up as we approached Red Bluff. I was not, however, disappointed to see our chosen restaurant and get a few cups of hot coffee and and omelet in my gut! I need the warm up from not having worn the proper gloves.

Somehow, I didn't think trying to take pictures of falling stars was a worthwhile pursuit, so let's just jump to the pictures now. We got our fill, got our bikes their fill at the Chevron conveniently located at the start of 36 and then this is the first picture I took on the trip. We had determined to stop at the sign to take pictures. Anyone that reads these forums enough has seen it. It is the kind of sign riders like to see for some reason smile.gif Alan rode past it, and I just have to show him backing up!



Here is a better pose



Hwy 36. Is it rider nirvanna? For some it is. It certainly has some incredibly fun sections, and it doesn't have much traffic. It is 2 hours of a lot of fun, but I have to say, there are certainly roads that have better twisties. There are better roads for undulations. There are better roads for scenery, there are even less travelled roads. However, there are few roads that are 140 miles long that have as many nice twisty sections, so many nice views, including one particularly fine view of Mount Shasta in it's new pristine white coating, and so little traffic anywhere near here. Plus, it has that sign and it's just fun to ride by it.

Unfortunately, California is spending some money on reducing the curves and undulations on some sections of road. Hwy 36 got some of this treatment. The result wasn't as straight and boring as I had feared, but they did ruin one of my favorite sections of the road. At least it has some high speed sweepers now. You can see how they dug into the hill where the road used to follow the contours of the hills. It was a blast in this section, with a spirited rider ending up airborne a few times!



There are some cool sights to see. This hill, which is not given justice from this shot, seems to have a layered effect as if someone with a huge icing bag put layer after layer of earth down at an artistic angle that Picasso would have dug. If you see this hill, maybe you'll like my description, and maybe you'll be worrying about my ears.



Signs. Sometimes they seem to be in the middle of nowhere. I like them and often take snap shots of them to remember where I have been.



We stopped here so Alan could get more layering on. It was getting chilly as we climbed in altitude.



Where were we then? Signs. Remember them?

We were on 36 and Platina



Right by the Beegum Gorge campground turn off.



Alan's 2007 Yamaha FJR1300 looked nice in the sun.



More to come...












"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#2 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:10 AM

I don't know why, but I seem to always have problems with catching fall colors. I suppose this is a talent that escapes me. I get stuff like this when I try.



Oh well, there are better places, and better situations to catch fall colors than in NorCal going the speed limit. From turn to turn, you can be in different types of wooded forest.



36 just kind of churns along, back and forth through varying ecologies



Sometimes the camera leans with me



We got to Wildwood Road and took it. The plan was to take it to Hwy 3 and then take 3 back down to 36 or something like that. We stopped at this place that grabbed our attention. It had the view, it had some magic. While the air was still around us, it howled through the upper branches of the trees at the top of the hill. It sounded as if we were standing next to a huge waterfall and violent rapids. When you mixed that sound, with the stillness of the air around us and then took in the sights of ice encrusted trees with sunlight reflecting through them as if they were crystal and then turned to take in the enormity of the view, how could anyone not, just for a moment, drop what they were thinking and just exist for the moment?

Alan takes in the view. I think it looks like an expression of awe in that helmet smile.gif


The view to the SouthWest.



The temporary crystal adornments that will stick in my memories for all time. (imagine the noise now) and mix that with the sound of ice hitting the ground with thuds and chatters.



The view NorthWest



Nature's chapel



The soft touch of the sun.
















"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#3 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:20 AM

about an hour after the ice covered trees, we were in the warmth and lushness as we approaced Ferndale. There's rumor that a descendent of Paul Bunyan lives there. I don't believe it.



I've been here before. Almost exactly two years ago I wrote a ride report called 'Avenue of the Giants and the Lost Coast." Well, here I am about to enter the Lost Coast highway again. I have heard rumours that the road was in worse shape than before. It isn't. In fact, I think there are more sections that have been repaved that there were two years ago, and while there are certainly a bunch of bumpy sections, I really would only consider it a problem if you were riding 2up. That said, who cares? The place is worth it. I'll try to show you why, but my camera cannot catch the majesty and beauty of this place. You have to go see it, and tollerate the bumpy road, quit whining, and go!



Alan takes in the view of the North Coast and it slips away over the horizon from a high vantage point





some really fun twisties later and you round a bend for this



Two years ago, Sherri and I walked this beach, here I am again with memories of that time.





Alan rides by



and parks down the road for his own pictures



Nope...nothing to see here...we move on wink.gif


"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#4 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:28 AM

We stopped and ate lunch here.



You can see the road across the way...



Moss grows in the dark areas, if the road is wet, it may be slick with it.



Then I concentrated on riding, and we hit the Central Valley just as we left it, with the sun transitioning. This time, it was setting



Two more hours and we were home. A great day of riding where the only slab was in the dark. I had gone on this ride to try to escape. I didn't. Thoughts were always with me, except in moments when the sights of nature grabbed me. Those fleeting moments of respite are what I remember the most now, along with the rememberance of times and spaces from before.

Flashback to 2005











"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#5 twowheelnut

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:30 AM

clapping.gif
IBA #33287

#6 teerex51

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 10:53 AM

Great stuff, Andrew...keep'em coming

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#7 madmike2

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 11:22 AM

Yep. The "Lost Coast" is one of the best rides in NorCal. yahoo.gif Of course there's the ride TO the Lost Coast clapping.gif and the ride FROM the Lost Coast (We came out through the Humboldt Redwoods). clapping.gif Luckily, I had a great riding partner, as you did, who would stop, take pictures and enjoy the sights, sounds and ambience.

It looks like the forecast about rain was not accurate. Too bad Bluestreek's ride didn't "come off". That's a real shame. Good for you, Andrew. A great ride and, as usual, a great report.

(Are you and JB in cahoots trying to make me feel worse because I can't ride? It's working!)
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#8 GunMD

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 12:05 PM

Great photos...thanks for sharing.

#9 Old Michael

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 04:00 PM

O'vale, I love reading your reports. ( I 've been going back over older ones posted here, and it's the best part of the forum.) Thank you. I was just up that way last weekend, but got a bit less sunshine than did you. I agree completely about 36. A great road, but there are others I enjoy more - most of the Sierra passes, and believe it or not, parts of 101. A bunch of others.

680 miles is a reasonable day-- - on a friggin' freeway!!! On roads like 36 and the Lost Coast it's a feat! And you stopped for photo ops. That would lead me to believe that you were riding most of the day at a "brisk" pace. Ya see, that's why I'm hesitant to go for a ride with you fuckers! My testicular units are apparently more compact than yours.
And the gal in the photos....your granddaughter?
Take care.


#10 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 04:46 PM

QUOTE(Old Michael @ Oct 22 2007, 05:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
O'vale, I love reading your reports. ( I 've been going back over older ones posted here, and it's the best part of the forum.) Thank you. I was just up that way last weekend, but got a bit less sunshine than did you. I agree completely about 36. A great road, but there are others I enjoy more - most of the Sierra passes, and believe it or not, parts of 101. A bunch of others.

680 miles is a reasonable day-- - on a friggin' freeway!!! On roads like 36 and the Lost Coast it's a feat! And you stopped for photo ops. That would lead me to believe that you were riding most of the day at a "brisk" pace. Ya see, that's why I'm hesitant to go for a ride with you fuckers! My testicular units are apparently more compact than yours.
And the gal in the photos....your granddaughter?
Take care.


wow! Thanks! I'm glad you like the reports. There have been quite a few people chipping in more of them and I have great fun reading them too.

I am three years older than Sherri (my wife). Time has been kinder to her than me, which, in turn, is nice for me wink.gif

We weren't riding too fast...averaged 45 mph
"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#11 madmike2

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 04:54 PM

QUOTE
I am three years older than Sherri (my wife). Time has been kinder to her than me, which, in turn, is nice for me


And you notice that "some" guys will do anything to post a picture of their wifre to "dress up" their post. rolleyes.gif
Like the pictures of the ride and the scenery weren't enough!!!!! biggrin.gif
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#12 Silent

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 06:06 PM

Very nice photo's Andrew! You're turning out to be quite the shutter bug smile.gif
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#13 trimmantom

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 06:13 PM

Very nice OV,brings back memories for me .The wife and I were in san fran last year and rode up the lost coast from the other direction through the redwoods and up the coast.
It's just so remote out there and I really enjoyed it although I was in a rented G-35.We stayed in ferndale at that victorian hotel which was really cool.Thanks for the pics and bringing back those memories.

#14 Fred W

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 06:14 PM

Nice.

That last pic was really quite expressive.

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#15 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE(trimmantom @ Oct 22 2007, 07:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very nice OV,brings back memories for me .The wife and I were in san fran last year and rode up the lost coast from the other direction through the redwoods and up the coast.
It's just so remote out there and I really enjoyed it although I was in a rented G-35.We stayed in ferndale at that victorian hotel which was really cool.Thanks for the pics and bringing back those memories.


I really like it when people's ride reports bring back fond memories for me. That I could do that for you is awesome. I'm glad.


"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me

#16 AuburnFJR

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:56 PM

QUOTE(OrangevaleFJR @ Oct 22 2007, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I really like it when people's ride reports bring back fond memories for me. That I could do that for you is awesome. I'm glad.



Thank you, this brought back some great memories of rides I have been on with a group of good friends through the same area. Awesome pic's.


get out and ride! IBA #54706

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#17 James Burleigh

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 08:18 PM

Enjoyed your report. I guess you didn't see any clowns, squirrel-biter terriers, or ghost towns. That's cool. Some of us just hallucinate more than others.

Thank you for the great pics and narrative.

JB
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#18 Silver Penguin

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:02 PM

Most enjoyable pix and report. It's always good to see/hear about a successful and safe ride. You're not going to make me quite so jealous now though. My FJR has finally got out of the garage and reminded me just how much I missed riding it. It's good to be back.

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#19 Midlifefjr

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:22 PM

Totally Awesome O'Vale. The mileage, the pics and the scenery rock. It takes a wee bit o motivation to get on the road at 5am but what a payback..... yahoo.gif We are definitely blessed here in Nor Cal.


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#20 OrangevaleFJR

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 04:44 AM

QUOTE(Silver Penguin @ Oct 22 2007, 10:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most enjoyable pix and report. It's always good to see/hear about a successful and safe ride. You're not going to make me quite so jealous now though. My FJR has finally got out of the garage and reminded me just how much I missed riding it. It's good to be back.

Jill


Talking about getting back safe, I am proof that you can blow a turn, end up in the dirt, and not drop the FJR. I made it back onto the tar with not having time for the butt pucker moment to stop my heart. Something about heading into a 25 mph turn without noticing the turn coming with an entry speed of 75mph makes for an exciting event. Ride the bike people...it's pretty amazing what the FJR can do. I literally carried this much speed into a tight turn that I simply didn't see coming. My thoughts were elsewhere. In many miles of riding, this was the first time I can say I simply wasn't even thinking about the road. I entered the turn that fast and realized it so late that my turn started after it normally would. The thing that save me on this one was that I was close to center line when I noticed the turn so I had the width of the lane to get the bike leaned over. I really didn't have time to be scared. I just rode the bike as Dcarver has made that my mantra and I thank goodness he did! The reason I didn't crash is that I had not previously requested to become a member of the FJR crash club as required.
"Riding Moto-Bike is great fun, I want to hear the stories, I'll never come close to many of these wonderful accomplishments, but I love to hear the stories, I love to dream ...these extremes capture my imagination. Amazing feats." -- RenoJohn|We all live our amazing stories from our perspective and when I read a good story with a good feeling about a bike, I get it.|Watch your temper, I have cows! try me