Last Friday, a new riding friend invited me to go with her and her lady-friends for a lunch ride. I hadn’t been out on the Harley for a while and it looked like this might be the last warm day of the season.
So I was of course in.
And if you throw in riding over Monitor Pass in fall colors, I’m definitely in!
I think it’s the first time I’ve been on an “ladies only” ride ever! Kind of nice to ride without big egos and a male need for making everything into a race.
The purpose of the ride was to see some fall colors, get lunch and then we made a stop at the Chocolate Shoppe in Gardnerville, Nevada. Check, check and check — The colors were off the hook! Lunch with a fantastic view at Topaz Lodge and then a little therapeutic chocolate shopping to top it off. Yum!
Thanks for inviting me, ladies! First time I’ve ever seen a Spyder up close and they’re not that scary. Not even the yellow one!
Monitor Pass on Hwy 89 in the Sierras in California is one of the most beautiful roads we know. We’ve ridden it tons of times with our road-bikes but yesterday was the first time exploring the off-road areas with our dirt-bikes.
So beautiful! The fall colors were exploding and we had views every direction we turned (you get that when you’re up top ;-).
Our friends showed us their favorite Aspen groves and twisty dirt roads. And we got to eat our lunch packs enjoying a million dollar (and acre) view.
If you ever come to this area… take hwy 89 over Monitor Pass. Heck, it’s even worth coming all the way here for this view no matter where you start.
Our next goal is to get our snowmobiles up here when the road closes for winter. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be with snow.
Being a Swede, I love weather. Any kind of weather is fine with me (unless I’m on vacation in Sweden and it rains all the time).
Living here in the high desert doesn’t offer much variation. It seems like it’s always sunny and hot. But it’s finally cooling down and the fall is working its way into the area. I love when it rains here. Or snows. Or whatever as long as it’s a little different from what it was yesterday and the day before yesterday.
We took advantage of the rain that we got today and went out for a 3 hour dirt bike ride with some friends. There was no dust. I like no dust! Especially since I prefer to ride last — I don’t like if someone is watching my silly-looking attempts at dirt biking 😉
John, who was leading was as usual set on finding every single-track trail with bottomless wet sand there is. And I got wiped out before we even made it 3 miles out. I hate sand. Being the 5th bike in line in wet sand is even worse. The sand is churned up like mashed potatoes and my front wheel just wants to go sideways.
The sand got the better of me a couple of times and I went down. That is the reason why I keep telling myself to go slow in the sand. And by doing that, I’m probably making sure I WILL plow and fall. No momentum. Sand scares me. Totally makes sense to live in the desert, right?
This past weekend, John and I thought it would be fun to take the dual-sport bikes out for an adventure. It’s been a month since I rode the KTM 990 last (during the Carson Tahoe Adventure Ride) so I felt a bit “rusty.”
We decided we wanted to explore a 4×4 road up to Crater Lake, just South of Lake Tahoe. We’ve taken the Jeep up there and our snowmobiles in the winter. It’s steep and twisty, but we figured that if the Jeep could make it we would probably do fine on the motorcycles.
Maybe not the best of assumptions as four wheels are a lot simpler to manage over ruts and rocks than two.
The first mile was OK with mainly rough gravel. Then it got worse. And worse. John was riding first (I made him lead as I get too self-conscious when I think someone is watching me). I was thinking “just don’t stop, John, I’m good as long as I have momentum.”
That’s when John’s 450 lbs BMW 1200 GS bounced off sideways and he dropped the bike. And it of course landed square on a rock cracking the engine case so the oil ran out.
I felt so bad. And at the same time I knew that if I had been first, I would have been the one dropping the bike instead — the road was way too rough to ride.
I think we were so determined to just go that we wouldn’t stop and assess the situation when things got bad. Next time we’ll be a little more realistic and remember that just because we think we can, it doesn’t mean that the circumstances will let us make it.