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, August 08, 2004

Short Fixed?

I hope so. I've been thinking that the clutch safety switch was acting up again but yesterday when I shut down to get gas, I couldn't start again and had to pull the seat and fuss with the battery terminal again. It seems that the lead to my trickle charger/jumper cable is not staying tight. I worked on it some and seemed to come up with a better solution by changing washers, and reconfiguring how the wiring harness fits above it. Things were firing right up nicely when I finished. The battery didn't need a top off like I thought it would in all this heat. I did nearly drop it and had to make a last second save before it hit the pavement. I broke the fall, and not the back of my hand in the process.

Still have a little tread left on the back tire which I think is pushing about 5000 miles on it now, mostly pavement. It's about time for an oil change too.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

High Country Ride

I decided that I needed to get out of town and head for the sierras. I got a late start after going over the bike the evening before.

I rode traight up highway 4 and was making great time with the light traffic until i got in behind a convoy of fire trucks heading up the hill after putting out a grass fire. The smoke from that fire and the one I saw higher up near Avery could be smelled and tasted far beyond there.

Lots of bikes out today, more harleys than anything else but at least they were riding farther that a local 7-11 run for a change.

By the time I got up abouve lake alpine it was quiet as always but I could tell there were more people out doing things or sightseeing. I had a nice stop at the Jackass Gluch Bridge and gave it a look over as an early project I worked on. The ridge high above needs to be hiked again too.

I pulled off the road to rest and watch the East Fork of the Carson River flow by before heading down into Markleville for a cold drink. The ride back was a bit of a race to beat the sun getting low enough to be hard on my eyes. I nearly made it.

I still have a short in the clutch switch or battery connection and had to pull everything apart in Murphys and then fire the bike up before I buttoned everything back. The round trip lasted about 8 hours and included about 270+ miles. Very little dirt today but I did get off on a rough set of switchbacks climbing above the Carson. I only followed it for a few miles as I didn't have a map. I have no idea where that road goes, yet!

Oh yes, 4 more miles and I'll finally turn over 15,000. I haven't been riding enough and it's taken longer than I thought it would. I have a few longer rides still planned for this summer and early fall though.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Lost Coast Trip (not mine yet)

I'll have to talk to Pat about some of the biology and making fun of my kids later...

Message: 11
Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2004 04:42:40 -0000
From: "Pat Schmid"
Subject: Finding the Lost Coast

My adventure to find the Lost Coast was everything I wanted it to be.
The trip out to coast was relaxing. I went up around Lake Tahoe,
crossed over to Truckee by the Brockway Summit, being treated tothe
annual coming out of the butterfiles. From Truckee I took 89 north to
44 and dropped down to Redding to catch 299 for the coast, crossing
six national forests - the Toyaibe, Tahoe, Plumas, Lassen,
Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers - one administrative unit - the Tahoe
Basin - and a national park - Lassen. A long 450 mile day capped by
the run through Lassen and over 299. In Lassen I just put the speed on
cruise control and enjoyed the fantastic visas. Coming out of Redding
on 299 there is a nasty twisted section where every other pair of
corners seems to be an uphill passing lane just long enough to knock
of two cars if you can keep your KLR cornering at foot peg dragging
angles and while I know the IRC GP1 gets a bad rep for itds street
handling, but they did the job on this day for this rider.

I arrived in Eureka with plenty of time to set up camp and go do some
crowd watching down at Humbolt State - these kids would be odd at the
Burning Man. After eating Jamaican I returned to camp to discover my
neighbors were from Alberta, heading back home on their Harleys, but
they were true motorcyclist first and we shared a campfire along with
a few beers and tall tales.

Come morning we parted ways, they heading for the Klamath River and me
for the Lost Coast. On my way I pulled off to take in the Humbolt Bay
Wildlife Area and had several treats. First was running along a couple
of miles of road with an endless parade of spider webs strung between
two telephone wires glistened with their trapped moisture revealing
the perfection of their detail. As I pulled into a viewing area I was
treated to a crane escaping the attack of a hawk and as I pulled back
onto the road I saw two loons come to rost in a pair of cypress trees
and I swear they were chatting like an old married couple.

Finally I pulled into Ferndale and caught the road over the King
Moutains. Let me tell you, the paved roads thrugh the Lost Coast are a
KLR nirvana. When they go uphill they go straight uphill stacking the
switchbacks like rungs on a ladder and what goes up must come down the
same way. And the twisties, I don't think I ever saw a straight road,
unless it paralleled a beach and the turns were so tight anything
bigger than a KLR would just be too much work to muscle from
turn-to-turn. A sport bike would have too much much abrupt power to be
smooth and a FC650 would make its extra weight only too well known. In
two days I saw less than ten other bikes, four of which were converted
dirt bikes and the BMW pilots scared themselves silly trying to hang
at my lowly KLR's pace. Plenty of spots to dive past a cage on the
insdie of a corner so that traffic didn't matter and even it was light
and mostly local. There ain't no amenities to attract a crowd, just
wonderous solitude among vistas that words can't describe.

I'm enjoying the climb through the mist, along sections of road that
appear to be carved from the overhang, everything giving the feeling
of Middle Earth and then I come out into the glorious morning sun as I
drop down into Capetown, where the Bear River meets the ocean and you
share the road with open range cattle and the road reads like thinly
paved dirt. From Capetown you cross over the headland into Petrolia -
so named because the town gre up around the first commercial oil well
in the US of A - which is where the Mattole River meets the ocean.
Backover another headland and you run along the ocean for several
miles before crossing over the King range to drop down into Shelter
Cove. From there you can catch the last stretch of the wonderous
tarmac coming out on highway 1. From HWY 1 I back tracked for a 300
mile day that will I only did about twelve miles of dirt it was one of
the best days I've had on a bike and it was a place were a KLR is the
best bike.

Back in camp my new neighbor was on a converted, water cooled XR650
headed for Alaska. We had actually passed each other going opposite
directions in the Lost Coast and so it became a welcomed surprise to
find ourselves neighbors. It was another night of sharing a campfire,
beers and tales - his tales of the 2002 Burning Man and mine about the
1987 version. Came to learn e had the XR because he still wanted a DS
that could be raced, but the more he road it the more he was coming
around to thinking a KLR was the better mount for this type of riding.
You should have seen his eyes bulge as I talked about the diesel rig.

Come morning we wished eacgh other to fare well, he headed for Oregon
and headed back into Middle Earth. It was another misty day crossing
over into Capetown, only I had to get all the way past Petrolia and
back out to the coast before I broke free. You would come aropund a
corner, hit a cloud and be blinded by the water adhering to your face
sheild, using a glove to wipe it free and repeating until you finally
raise the face sheild in desperation and continue until your
sunglasses are hopless, stop, dry off and repat three times before
breaking free at the coast and thinking the gods that you had the
foresight to toss you Seva stove into the panniers and enjoy a cup of
coffee as you soak in the sun.

After a second cup, shedding the foul weather gear, I head out to see
what I can find between this route and the coast. Time and time again
I find that every 4x4 trail the map shows to the beach that I try has
been closed or has been hidden by locals trying to stem the tide of
OHVs going by their front door so I never make the beach. But I manage
to reach a lot of great vistas along a lot perfect dirt roads where
the only problem witha dead end if you have to ride it all over again,
like that's a real problem. And one the way back to Eureka, finally I
am treated to a ride from Capetwon to Ferndale without the mist. The
sun is out and I can finally see what had been hidden and it was all
the better for mother nature's strip tease of my previous three trips
over this section.

Back to camp and I had no neighbors, which wasn't bad as it allowed me
to reflect on the last two days of heaven on earth, two days of
exploirng a land tailor made for a bike that excels at nothing but
being fun while doing everything. I'd come with my batteries running
on empty and after three days of redlining the fun meter they were
floating on a solid 13.5V charge that should last right up to the
Eastern Sierra Rendzvous. And I would get a chance to cap it by
running my route to the coast in reverse.

Only Caltrans turned the 130 mile trip[ to Redding into a four hour
battle of construction zones, but with te range of the KLR I was able
to finaly punch through Redding and onto Shingletown whre I refules
and picked up lunch and headed up to Lassen Park where I found a
granite outcropping to play lizard on, soaking up the rays while
enjoying lunch. After three days in the mist it was sinfully decadant
and just the ticket to refresh me for the last 200 miles home, my own
bed, and a hound dog that made the homecoming complete.

For the record, if you ride a KLR I would put riding the Lost Coast on
your short list of must dos. For thirty years of treating riding like
a religion, this is the closest I've find to Mecca for and you deserve
a pilgramage.

G'ville, Nv

BTW, this was the first trip to try my Go-Lite tent and it was a
success. Up in about the time it takes to put six stakes in the gorund
and raise the center pole. Being a hex design. you set the first two
stakes opposite and then place the other four stakes in the sme
fashion, put the center pole i to shoulder height, position the rain
fly, looping them on the same six stakes and then raising the pole to
full height and then tightening the straps on the rain fly. To apck,
kust as easy. Drop the center pole, make your first fold, then loosen
the two straps on the right to fold that part over, release the two on
the other side, fold, rlease the last two strap and role. Reapeat for
the inner tent. Once up the 72 square feet of space with a center
height of 62" was luxurious.


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