Von Ryan Express?

Von Ryan's ExpressWent out for a spin to get some seat-time and familiarity – like falling off a log, things are clicking!

Took Meder Road out to Ponderosa where I took a left, went down past the HS through the woodsy section, jogging past Cielo winery (our local dive-Winery), and came out at N. Shingle. Right on that back into town to Mother Lode Drive, and left towards El Dorado.  After a half-mile or less I cut right onto French Creek Road and rode southwest into a loop of more hilly-woodsy stuff broken up by pastureland, to the junction with Old Frenchtown Road.  Another left and back towards Mother Lode Drive and thence the fork onto Pleasent Valley Road to El Dorado.  A quick 15-mile or so loop of narrow crowned roads, leafy and cool with sandy corners, hot in places on the ridgebacks, busy with traffic on Mother Lode…

If you stay on Pleasant Vally Road you wind up in Pleasant Valley, a place where the early Mormon soldiers returned-to from fighting the Mexicans in San Diego, and then hunted for gold before forming into party’s and heading back to Salt Lake City as ordered by His Eminence or what/whoever. Wagon-trains came down from crossing the Sierras (on the easier trail) and also camped there – and for a while the population was the largest in the County.  When gold was discovered all hell broke loose.

In El Dorado I went right on Highway 49 and quickly forked left onto Union Mine Road, and headed out the Rod and Gun Club site, out at the ass-end of the quarry before Rattler Ridge Road (trust me, it’s true).   I drove past the entrance to the Club a ways, and then after about two miles turned around.  Union Mine Road re-joins Hwy 49 further south.  Hell, half the little dead-end roads around here are named Mine-This of Mine-That.  Facilities were open but all ranges were closed, so I just tootled-in and rode a circuit of the place, then headed back to my new best friends at Buckhorn Bighorn Guns.  Whoa!  They have 30-40 Krag!  Had to get me a box.

We talked a bit and my question was, “Moto Carry – how do you avoid sweeping your passenger?”  A gentleman was there picking up his Big Black Super-Duper Rugerhawk (or whatever, I don’t know those guns) that the gunsmith had just finished tuning, and he said that on horseback he carried crossdraw.  Ok then…bikes are like horses…

Tootled on home in the 3:00 “rush-hour” traffic and felt rather smug since it wasn’t 100-degrees (yet).  The bike works a treat and I’m remembering how to ride AND use the switchgear – but the turn-signals are still abominable.  Still not sure about The Name.  I don’t tend to name my stuff.  Could be “Oswald” for Oswald Von Wolkenstein, a one-eyed medieval Bavarian minnesangerWe visited his own stomping grounds at the Trostburg in Waidbruck on our Edelweiss trip, and the aforementioned surname “stein” – literally in German Wolkenstein means “Cloud-rock” – and there it is.  A hugely massive chunk of freestanding Dolomite sandstone (that hikers can hike around up top – and fall off, ask my 10th grade German Teacher, Frau Cate!) which in the twilight when the alpenglow hits, lights up in awesome freaky  colors and looks like some kind of surreal Kingdom Under the Mountain.Wolkenstein  No wonder the people up there are called gnomes…wonder what it was like for the Roman Legion stationed up there?  With the collapse of Rome, why return when you had those mountains all to yourself?

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

21 thoughts on “Von Ryan Express?

    • That was taken in Europe in 1998 in Val Gardena/Passo Gardena, in Sassolungo northern Italy – the Dolomites. We came around a corner and saw this incredible *thing* and I just started laughing hysterically in my helmet, it was so amazing – ride fatigue I guess. 🙂 For the US version I think you can get on the “Going to the Sun” road in Glacier National Park in Montana, or head to the Grand Tetons? 🙂


    • Since it’s right around the corner from the early middle-ages mistral/poet Oskar von Wolkenstein, I figure he must have known about it. Also My HS German teacher was from Austria and spoke of “Gymnasium” school trips to the Dolomites – and you can walk around such a place – but its NOT safe – and hiking around some such similar “massif,” a school-girl classmate slipped and fell to her demise – in 1940-something.
      But you can do something similar as a tourist in Yosemite, get swept over the falls.


  1. Name-wise, might you consider the classic “Gummikuh”?
    As for carry, I’d have to concur with Will that a shoulder holster is the only way to go, in all aspects (comfort, accessibility and damage/injury resistance in case of a crash).


    • I thought the Gummikuh was the K-bike series because they flexed a bit midships? It may be of interest to note that in German the obverse or “Kaugummi” is the term for chewing gum, an adjective from the verb which means “cow-chewing,” as in the cud. Heh. So it kinda works both ways.


    • Perhaps my vernacular is wrong, but I definitely wasn’t thinking of the usual “Miami Vice” style shoulder holster. What I had in mind was the barrel-up-and-down, strapped-to-the-chest style rig like used to be issued to Air Force pilots. Used to have one for my M92 several decades ago, and though I never used it for such, it always seemed like it would be very handy for on-bike carry.


    • The problem with the military/hunter type chest rigs is concealment. Never being able to even un-zip your jacket, let alone take it off, would be a major problem in anything other than winter. Could try a vest for cover under the jacket. That might work. Essentially, it is a cross draw that is positioned quite a bit higher.

      There are some undershirts designed to carry a compact gun on either side, muzzle down, under the arm.

      There are jackets designed with a concealed pocket/holster inside. Might be able to have your current jacket modified like that, or have a new one made. With the passenger situation, though, I would be leaning toward the fanny pack or similar bag type carry for a full power type defensive gun. Being able to take off the jacket when you stop for lunch is good.
      Might still consider a smaller Back-Up-Gun for on-body carry. Much easier to find a comfortable spot for a .380 or smaller. Problem with those, is you may have to consider dealing with 4-legged critters at some point.


    • My current riding gear (Dainese GoreTex with removable cold-weather liners) might need some updating, but my budget is not unlimited! The pant’s don’t have belt loops unless I add some…
      My wife hates the fanny-pack in her lap, so I have to wear it around the front-way which is not great for the tank…


    • I have one of those from my Grandpa’s stuff – old USGI stamped U.S. on it for a 1911. Problem: the retention strap presses down on the grip-safety, so no cocked-and-locked! 🙂


    • You might consider adding a small tankbag to carry the fannypack. Maybe a magnetic version, which are easy to deal with. Just wipe the tank before sticking it down, and keep the bottom of the bag clean. Ran one on my Duc, with no problems.


  2. Keep in mind what falling on your carry piece would do to your body, if you hit some awkwardly placed sand/gravel/antifreeze. I’m thinking on or just behind the hip might not be optimum. A/IWB may cause problems with fuel tank contact while riding, and contraindicated for a passenger’s carry, I suspect.
    Crossdraw has similar drawbacks as A/IWB, although it might clear the tank.

    Ankle holster is a possible, but would require proper pants/boots for concealment, and may not fit due to clearance on the bike side. Ankle rigs are typically worn on the inside of the leg, to keep one from banging it into objects, which is annoying and can draw unwanted attention.

    I would lean toward shoulder rigs, and off-body carry. Might need to get your Leathers tailored to fit a rig, to help concealment. Might have to go with a vertical rig, to keep your wife comfortable by not having the muzzle pointing at her, but unless it is a muzzle up rig (available for revolvers), it would most likely still be covering her leg.

    I used to just toss a snubbie into my tank bag, but I’m thinking a small accessory bag that can be clipped to the bike, or to a tank bag, might be the way to go. Then you just mount it around you like a fanny pack, or use a shoulder strap. Perhaps one of those Maxpedition shoulder bags, or similar. Like this:

    I see you have hard luggage. The problem with transporting the bag in your luggage is just that, you’re not carrying. You can pretty much figure that it won’t be useable if needed, when it is locked up. It’s fine for those times you can’t take it into a NPZone, but I would not use them, otherwise.


    • You too? Did you ever fly-in? Poor Reds appears to be shut every time we’ve passed by. There was a note on the door about family illness or something.


    • I went to CSUS in the 80’s and spent many a Thursday evening @PoorReds. Fridays & Saturdays the line was out the door and down the parking lot. Sorry to hear the place is shuttered. Hopefully they resolve it soon.

      Flew in once for a friends wedding in the vicinity.


    • You went to Sac State? My cousin went there – so he would be close to skiing at Tahoe! 😉 I’ll check-in again on Poor Red’s, it’s right around the corner from the Bighorn Gunshop.


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