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, February 29, 2004

Mount Hamilton Ride

I decided to put this "leap day" to good use and set out on a fav ride taking the back way south to Del Pierto Cyn road up to San Antonio Valley road and topping out at the Mount Hamilton Observatory. The day started off sunny but was cloudy by the time I set out around noon. My route parallels I-5 down to Mossdale where my "secret passage" under the freeway brings me up on the east side and soon on the small highway 33. Today the box culvert I ride under the freeway in was flooded. I was pretty sure there was about a foot of water in this approximately 150' tunnel so I chugged right on through without a problem.

The ride down was uneventful and I was able to make all the turns and connections by memory. The ride up the cyn found me heading against a steady stream of riders in small to medium groups. No KLRs but plenty of harleys, hondas, yamahas, and the like. I got and gave plenty of waves. A little excitement was found with about 50 head of cattle on either side of the road but no one paniced. My hands got colder as I climbed but the rest of me was warm enough. The Junction roadhouse was hopping when I pulled in to stretch. All harleys and I never saw them again as I dashed up to Mount Hamilton on a greater set of twisties than you can imagine. I plan to continue down the west side and work my way over the Santa Cruz mtns later this year for an even better multiple day journey.

It was even cooler up on top and not a cup of coffee in sight. My snack of a candy bar, orange and water hit the spot. The view on top was hazy but I could still see some snow capped sierra peaks and closer up enjoyed looking down on lands that the Nature Conservancy has been preserving. I also saw 3 3 wheelers a couple of cafe racers, a couple with a harley and a crotch rocket, etc. On the ride down I stopped at the Junction for that cup of coffee to warm my hands. The place was now full of locals drinking beer and watching All in the Family. On the way down I saw lots of deer and a coyote to go with all the wildlife on the way up.

When I stopped at my under the freeway tunnel for a quick pee break I couldn't start my bike again! I wasn't getting any juice and couldn't bump start it on the soft dirt road. No luck finding jumpers but when I checked under the seat it appeared a battery terminal was loose. I tightened it as the skys got ever darker and I could nearly feel the rain. The bike fired up and I kept it running while I put the seat and side cases back on, just to be sure. No more stops and I was home again without incident. When I climbed off the seat at home, I found one of my tire irons had slipped out at the break-down and I sat on it all the way home. Nothing else seemed to have been lost. Pretty lucky!

Final mileage for the day was 184 and the total time out was about 5 hours of happy riding. This is my longest ride of this new year and had me thinking about continuing over Hamilton and down to Monterey Bay or staying along 33 and working my way through the coast range to Carrizo and beyond later this year.....

Monday, February 23, 2004

A salty KLR tale...

This is one of those unusual and "glad it's not me" situations. Read on

Monday, February 16, 2004

Ted Simons, 71 yr old adventure tourer, has recently returned from his second trip around the world. This one was some 25 years later. This absolutely boggles my mind as well as many others. You can pick up some of his regular updates from the Rider magazine tours/travel section online.

For more detailed information, you can do like I am and pick up one or more of his books from the link below. I'll have more to say after I get my copies...

Ted Simon Jupitalia
"The interruptions ARE the journey"

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Triple Digits in February!

Today was my first triple digit ride of the new year and it was great to be out. There was a bit of a wind and more than a little chill in the air but it was also crisp and clear. I made my way across the delta and first checked out the hiking facilities at Los Vaqueros reservoir for later. Next I headed straight at Mt. Diablo but turned at its base and cut across Morgan Territory. This road becomes a single shaded lane for miles before cresting and coming back down into Livermore. I decided to continue south and pick up Patterson Pass rd for my return. This give some great views of windmill farms and today you could see clear across the valley to the sierras. Nice! I was chilled but happy by the time I got back home.

I could just feel the urge to pack some gear on and head out for an extended trip down the coast range and back up the coast, or over to Death Valley, or maybe Baja.....

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I'm putting this recent KLR650 List posting up here, at least for a while, so I can think about it more.

Date: Tue, 03 Feb 2004 03:48:25 -0000
From: "bmrbill"
Subject: Ride report AKA brother's last ride

I went for a ride with my brother this weekend. We headed out of
Ridgecrest on 178. As we made the left to parallel the base of the
eastern Sierras, we caught a nasty cross wind. Rather than fight it
all the way to Mojave, we nosed straight into the wind by staying on
178. Between the (now) head wind and the 16T sprocket on the KLR, I
had to pull Walker Pass in 4th gear. No big deal. Besides, the
twisties going over 178 are so much more fun than grinding along on
58 over the Tehachapis. We stopped a couple of times on 178, and
there didn't seem to be much wind!? I didn't think much of it.
Normally my brother would have bitched about how fast I took the
curves on 178. Not this time. Riding 99 north to 46 gave us no
hint as to the head winds we were about to run into. And, there
were no cross winds as we headed west on 46. In Lost Hills, we went
ahead and stopped for gas. I only had 153 miles on the trip meter,
but I figured better safe than sorry. I ran out of gas once between
Lost Hills and Kettleman City- call me paranoid. The KLR took just
a little over three gallons. Still close to 50mpg. Heading north
on 5, I was having a hard time keeping to the posted 70mph. No
matter how far I twisted that throttle, 75mph or less, was the top
end. My brother would have normally insisted on going faster. Not
today. About a mile south of Santa Nella, I started thinking about
gas. I only had 129 miles on the trip meter, and calculated that I
could make Patterson with gas to spare. As the thought crossed my
mind, the bike died. I had to hit reserve and dodge over to the
exit lane for Santa Nella. The headwind had cut my gas mileage down
considerably. My brother stayed right with me and didn't say a
word. Last time we went out, on a ride to Alice's restaurant, he
ran completely out of gas; he didn't know the difference
between "ON" and "RES" on his Honda Shadow Aero. Once we got to
Patterson we went ahead and topped off, and headed up Del Puerto
Canyon. As we headed up towards Mines Road, he stayed right with
me. Of course, his cremated ashes were riding in my new Wolfman
tank bag, so it was easy for him. Once we reached the family
property, I built a huge bonfire and opened a 12 pack of MGD.
Somewhere during the evening, I scattered his ashes as requested.

Someone, maybe Stu, mentioned that the KLR will go through oil when
ran at 5000-5500rpm for a long period of time. In 750 miles, the
KLR went through a quart and a half. On the plus side, the same
head wind on the way north, was a tail wind on the way south. I had
just as hard a time keeping it under 80mph going south, as I did
trying to reach 75mph going north.

Thanks for letting me ramble. Gotta get back to American Chopper
and the Seagrams.


Sunday, February 01, 2004

Need a Motorcycle?

I'm selling the 1987 Honda Rebel we bought last year for my daughter to learn to ride on. It's a great little bike that is fun to ride and has that cool retro look that never fades...

250 Honda Rebel

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