Ride the High Country

It was a gorgeous Spring day in the mid-low 70’s with yellow daffodils everywhere – and I needed to run some errands — so I put on my boots, got my dirt-lid, fired up the Boulevard Bomber and rolled out the door.
I had stepped-on and absolutely pasted a sprinkler diverter-thing out in the tanbark while topping the pear tree with the Stihl moto-saw, so I road out the door, up through the narrow country road flanked by blooming daffodils and old rusted barns, and down over the rushing creek — but Home Depot was crowded and too busy, and lacked decent bike parking. Meh – so I rolled-on through and just kept going – out and down the leafy country-twisty part of Forni Road, down to True-Value on Missouri Flat with the cute girls who run the register.
It was a two-three mile bit of dappled-sunlight and green-shadows with lichen on the oaks that is so much a part of living in Flyover that appeals so much to me. Another way of life, far from people glued to handhelds and drugged-out on audio-video stimuli.
I had forgotten how much the moto-endorphin stream lasted and was beneficial. Makes me want to fire-up the mighty KTM and tear-up the pasture. Reportedly they’re workign on a fuel-injected, road-going two-stroke that will meet emissions and have insane power – awesome!! Let’s ride!

Boulevardier Moto

Maybe I’ll get up before the heat rises, while it’s only in the 80’s and before we hit 100’s again, and motor up to Sly Park on the Gentleman’s Express. I want to ~feel~ the shoulder holster with the 4-inch Model 10 and get the vibe and clothing fit. Maybe I’ll pack the Sig too, as a counter-balance. I need to get this sorted out before the Edelweiss soirée in September, when the heat of the Summer is off – sorta.

Quick Loop

Got the AGM gel-mat battery buttoned-down and into the Gentleman’s Express. The bike lit-up and so We decided to go for a quick loop before lunch. Let me check the Odo: 40-oddd miles?
Wearing cowboy boots and kevlar jeans, I strapped-on the Sig P245 into the Comp-Tac Minotaur with a left-side re-load, and lit up the old ’98. It was comfortable so the whole shoulder-holster issue may be moot.
Wearing my old sticker-festooned (RMD! We remember Peter Patton – RIP) Arai MXC-Pro dirtbike lid, equipped with a “Quick-Strap” (enables easy on-off goggle transitions), for maximum peripheral vision, I started out goggle-less — but vroom-vroom (or blatt-blatt) quickly transitioned to eye-care prone vision.
Rode up through Diamond Springs on Pleasant Valley Road, through a bit of work-zone by Mike’s Grill where you could smell the dirt and pines, and up past the cutoff to Somerset. A guy wearing just a t-shirt and shorts on a red ‘Wing passed me and I felt so over-dressed. Casual Friday I guess and I missed the memo.
The winding road was ridiculous, and so much more fun than in the truck. The air was cool between the trees while asphalt ground-pounders walkin’ around were in the 90’degrees already.
Still my cowboy boots worked better flicking gears than my MX boots or the “Dual Sport” clodhoppers I just bought in the Winter – and now needed to (consider) unloading onto some more needy rider…or keep for inclement Winter weather.
Just past the Pleasant Valley Grange where I’ve been taking my Hunter Education Classes, I turned left on Newtown Road (really, “New-Town”), and took a fond and wistful look to the right while passing by narrow Starkes Grade Road. It’s a windy-twisty-lumpy, one-lane sometimes-two, crowned road that goes up to Pollock – and I’ll get you soon – but with time in the balance, took a quick downhill right onto Snows Road and began the short drop down to Dogtown and climb-out up over Weber Creek to Camino.
“Weber Creek” used-to be Weaver Creek – from Old Man Weaver, and so was Weaverville – but somehow along the way accents and language (and most probably broken toothless miners) corrupted it to become “Weber.” On the way up past the creek there’s three gnarly, climbing, bumpy, off-camber-by-a-mile Alpine switchbacks – that rolled right under, sweet! Cruised down to Hangtown and went through the Hwy. 49 backside by-passes and got home in fine shape and happy. More please.
UPDATE: Edited for brevity

I don’t know why I bother…

The ride up into the hills and back and the following day’s inclement weather found me at the grocery-store magazine rack pursuing the mainline Moto-Mags, twitching with anticipation. I bought a copy of Cycle World. I know a lot of gun-folk don’t bother with the Gunny-Media periodicals anymore and rely instead on blogs and personal communications to communicate their gunsteroonie-stuffs, and the Moto-community is often likewise so-oriented. Still and even after my own participation (tester, photographer, illustrator) in the genre, I had a re-awakened hankering to read the mellifluous prosody of moto-periodical pushers.
When I last left-off the reading of such, the ones I remember liking best were Brit-moto mags; Fast-Bikes (sic) and Bike, and for the auld-pharts, The Classic MotorCycle – mainly appreciated for the complete difference in perspective and attitude compared to the US fanzines, the encyclopedic Roadracing World & Motorcycle Technology notwithstanding.
I had rubbed elbows with several US moto-scribes at a variety of events, from the Packard Children’s Hospital Corbin Ride for that I worked to develop sponsorship, to City Bike and Twistgrip “events” as it were – mainly the Suzuki Press Intro and the Laguna GP’s when I had a press-pass, and seen some others when I was competing and failing, and when I was a moto-photographer at Sears Point…
Reading the stuff again after being away and out of the biz for over ten+ years, it’s like nothing changed except ALL THE NAMES. Who are these new phenoms? The enthusiast Press is still the enthusiast press, charged with a duty to enthuse – but do I really have to join the AMA, again?