This is a place where I post thoughts and information about riding again after all these years and the KLR 650 that I have for that purpose.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I got out for a little afternoon ride on local back roads, some twisty levees, and a former field road that held a surprise for me. It was brisk and the layers I was wearing under my summer jacket just barely kept me in the comfort zone. The thick winter gloves I was wearing did the trick as far as warmth but were a bit much for handling the controls. I managed.

I did some exploring and practiced taking those bad levee roads at greater speed. Not easy as they throw a little of everything at you, potholes, off camber slants, tractor mud, and more. I did some exploring to see if I can find any open access points to get up on the main levee roads for some real exploring but everything was pretty locked down to control fishing and hunting access. I found places I could get around if I had to but decided to leave them for another time.

I did ride out on a few field roads to see where they would take me and one that wasn't being used any more was quite overgrown and it was hard to see that erosion had washed it away in places. I managed to crash through one spot that was a two foot plus wide trench without going over the handlebars. I did find that my tires were full of enough goat-head stickert to flatten at least 10 mountain bike tires in multiple spots. So far the thicker nobby tread on the KLR seems to be holding up but there are dozens of broken spines still stuck deep in both tires.....Something to watch.

Not a bad afternoon ride for only 40 miles or so. As someone said on the klr650 list today, I'm a wandering rider.

/thinking about a long New Idria ride soon

Well, I now have all the necesary parts to replace this weak link in the KLR650. I don't have the tools or confidence to dive into the motor myself and do this but I've had several offers from others who have the tools and experience.
I intend to do this upgrade this winter along with replace the handgrips with gel ones, replace the missing hand guards, get an electrical connector for my battery piglet, and pick up some more tools and storage bags. I also need much warmer riding jacket as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003


Today was a beautiful day with temperatures in the 60's and bright sun without a cloud in the sky. I came up with a few useful errands to run and since I hadn't started the KLR in over a week now it only made sense to do them on it.

I found a nearly unknown way to go through the university campus and turned a few heads in the neighborhood where my first delivery was made. A quick stop at the post office to pick up the mail and off again. No one was home at the final stop so I hung the delivery on the door and started to head home. I realized I had been far too efficient and came up with a roundabout way to go home after checking out a local levee, park and river area. That got me through a construction zone, along the boat docks and nearly empty baseball fields before I found some thick mud and rough ground to pick my way through so I could end up straight across from the large ocean vessels unloading at the port. Not bad for a 30 minute side trip. That left me feeling like I had been on a small adventure with only a little mud left behind as a hint. The whole route was probably just over 10 miles too.

/maybe ready to go back to work now

Sunday, November 09, 2003

I found my bike, a 2001 KLR, on Craigslist for Motorcycles and suspect you can find a good deal there too.

Here's a link that will give you a sample of what has just been posted on the SF bay area list right now: latest listings

Good luck!

/no riding today:-(
Subject: Motorcycles I considered buying (and 1 I did!)

* f650 BMW
* funduro 98 Yellow Livermore $4600
* 10000 miles
* South America trip
* Favorite of many bikes
* SE Model 99 Sac $5500
* 99 Model Black Coast Guard $5500
* 99 Model eBay Miami $4100
* 22,000 miles
* accessories
* KLR 650
* 2001 Berkeley $3800
* 6000 miles
* 4 yr Warrenty
* Lowering kit
* highly recommended
* 2001 KLR Details?
* Great Gear
* 96 Model Oregon $3300
* 13000 Miles
* hard and soft cases
* heated grips outlet
* 2003 New Concord 0% finance
* 2002 6000 miles Stockton $4300
* 2002 New Stockton $5500
* 92 Yamaha TDM $2500

"defy gravity!" Sent wirelessly from my newton!
Subject: Ellie Motorcycle Needs
To: "Dale T. Steele (mac)"

- Ellie here's the checklist I had. Dad

+ New Back Tire
+ Inspect or replace Chain
+ Check Fluids
+ Check Brakes
+ Tune Up?
+ Chrome Polish
+ Touch up Paint

"defy gravity!" Sent wirelessly from my newton!

Note: I think all these things have been taken care of
and her 1988 Honda Rebel is ready to sell.
Subject: Camping Setup
To: "Dale T. Steele (mac)"

* New Tent
* Sleeping Bags
* Pads
* Ground Cloth
* Flashlight
* Drinking Water
* Rope
* Soap
* Day Pack
* Hiking Stick
* Cooking Gear (in Container)
* stove & extra tank
* 4 plates
* 2 pots
* eating utensils
* small skillet
* cutting board
* brillo pad
* Food (in Container)
* oatmeal
* salt & pepper
* sardines
* soup
* beans
* bread
* peanut butter

"defy gravity!" Sent wirelessly from my newton!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Wet Weather and New Idria ride?

Well, between the rain this weekend and all the things going on in our lives right now, this may be the first weekend in a long time that I don't go riding somewhere. Perhaps I'll spend a little time going over the bike and charging the battery.

I can also do some planning for a possible ride into the coast ranges too. Got a contact from Jim in Fresno about riding to New Idria mine. We connected on the east sierra ride and talked about this one when the sierras got too snowy and before the valley gets too foggy. Might make it a multiple day trip and get Dan from Watsonville to join.

This is a huge remote area to explore. You can take back roads all the way down to Los Padres and the Ventura, Oxnard area. I'll have to be prepared for rain and mud and getting lost in this area at this time of year. Sounds like fun!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Down in the sand!

Well, today I set out for a short ride on a cool afternoon with rain on the way. I retraced my steps to get down to the San Joaquin River levee and learned a few more backstreet options to connect me to the I-5 frontage that takes me there. Once there I travelled east on the levee until I encountered a locked gate. I took a spin around a large tomato field and then noticed that I could probably just squeeze myself and the bike under a pump/pipe. I decided to save that tight maneuver for another day.

As I headed back, I remembered a trail that looked like it would take me to the edge of the river. To my surprise, instead I found a shallow water crossing that allowed me to get up on the other side of the levee. After staying upright on the pegs through that short crossing, I continued east on the levee until I ran out of options. A large flock of dark ibises flushed as I tooled by. I stopped to take a few pictures and made my way back across the waterway. I felt a few sprinkles but never really ran into any rain.

Now the fun began. I noticed a side trail heading into the floodplain. I thought I'd get a little sand practice until I noticed how deep it was and tried to veer back. Instead, the bike dived over on its side while I managed to get the clutch in and slow the trip to the ground. It took a couple of trys to pick it up as I noticed that the mirror, front and back brake controls had only slightly dug into the sand. When I tried to start the bike, it sputtered and sounded flooded as I could smell gas. I let it sit while the sun finally peeked out to warm me a bit and I gulped down some candy. A few minutes later, it started right up with a healthy dose of throttle and off I went. I retraced my path and beat my way back home.

It felt good to get a little dirt and even sand practice even though I did do a slo-mo plant into the sand along the way. That won't be the last time but could well be the easiest one I'll have. The ride today reminded me of some old ones I did long ago along another river.

/back home warming

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