California riding today, with mucho pics - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2009, 11:54 pm Thread Starter
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Cool California riding today, with mucho pics

I took a day off work for a 350 mile ride around and through Yosemite today including local favorites Cottonwood, Cherry Lake, and Wards Ferry Roads. There is a map at the bottom of the post. I tried to ride Cottonwood a few weeks ago but got blocked by snow so today was my chance to finish the job. As it turned out I almost ended up walking home.

This is my first ride with my new Sony a300 DSLR camera so I took a lot of pics to get a feel for it.

Departure at 0615, bike ready to go. As usual I couldnít sleep in anticipation of a great ride.

I took the backroads route from Clovis. Two great local roads in particular. Hereís the first; Raymond Rd. This is cow and rodeo country.

Next up is Grub Gulch Road. How can you not love it with a name like that? And it rides just like it sounds, winding through cattle country and as pretty as a postcard.

More cows than people on Grub Gulch.

90 minutes later, Iím on the top of the Little Dragon. A local LEO laying down the law. Is that little pickup even capable of speeding?? Ironically I earned a performance award myself not 2 miles from this spot over the winter.

A look at my office for the dayÖ

Whatís not to love about the little dragon? Hereís a few for youÖ

Past Coulterville the fun roads continue. Hwy 49 is a blast.

The GT representing hereÖ

Makes you want to ride doesnít it?

Hwy 49 near Moccasin. Sportbike heaven and beautiful too.


Iíve never ridden Wards Ferry Road before but it looks interesting so itís on my schedule for today. Off to a good start.

Wards Ferry Road. Is it goaty? Heck ya. Itís the road CalTrans forgot. Worth it? Absolutely.

And to the infamous graffiti bridge. Trying out some f-stops on the new camera.

Remote and beautiful. Just up my alley.

American Graffiti.

So what does the bridge look like from above? Glad you askedÖ

From here Wards Ferry smooths out and poshes up as expensive new houses and beautiful meadows appear.

Through the friendly town of Tuolumne and guided by a stranger mowing his lawn I find myself on my main target of the day, Cottonwood Rd. Oh Cottonwood, you taunted my a few weeks ago when you were blocked with snow. Today you are mine. This is middle of nowhere stuff and Iím riding it to Cherry Lake. My first time. And it is spectacular.

A few graffiti bridges on this road also.

The rivers are raging and the colors are gorgeous.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2009, 11:54 pm Thread Starter
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This road is a great mix of fast sweepers and beautiful high Sierra forest. Think pine needle scent and cool air.

Glamour shot of the Caberg Trip as I stopped to admire the woods.

Cottonwood I think I love you.

Yours truly.

Go ahead smell that asphalt.

Did I mention the views? They are amazing. You can see Cherry lake in there somewhere.

And on to Cherry Lake Road, another sweet kick in the pants.

So deliciousÖ

Lot of raging rivers to enjoy here too.

And inexplicably in the middle of nowhere, a swimming pool by the side of the road?? OK then.

Views arenít bad here either. Hereís a few for youÖ

Love the flowers.

Another bridge from above.

Cherry Lake RoadÖ

Gimmie a break itís a new camera ok??

And on to the final phase of the ride. This is where things get kind of interesting. Through the gates and into Yosemite off 120.

Moments later, minding my own biz, suddenly um isnít that a red warning light on my dash? Oh sh** my temp gauge is pegged. Pull over, instant puddle under my bike. Damn please let that be my own blood rather than the former resident of my radiator. No such luck. The BMW spills itís coolant for some inexplicable reason. Having just been serviced a couple months ago I find it hard to believe that I was so low on coolant that it overheated but I canít think of any other explanation.

See the stuff on my bike? Ouch.

Along comes Mr. friendly park ranger with a few bottles of water in the truck which I pour into the radiator reverently and with fingers crossed that I havenít split a hose somewhere. Fortune smiles on me and Iím on my way again.

Ah Yosemite. Will we ever get sick of Yosemite pictures? Well I hope not cuz hereís a fewÖ

The falls were booming today.

Fortunately the bike held together and I made it home in one piece. I have to say Cottonwood Road was my favorite today, itís simply awesome. Go ride it sometime.

Hereís the route.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 12:40 am
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Great pix!

Thanks for the great pix. Seems like the Sony performed well.

Keep a high visual horizon,
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 10:27 am
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New Camera ride...

Great shots! So why the overheating? Have you figured that out yet?

07 crystal grey met
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 11:57 am
no power in the 'verse can stop me
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Nice, very nice.


tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2009, 8:51 pm Thread Starter
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Bike is in the shop now so we shall see what the issue is.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old May 20th, 2009, 7:32 pm
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Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
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California Riding


Great pics and entertaining commentary.

Being out of Sactown, I rarely get much south of 108. Cottonwood, Wards Ferry and Cherry Lake roads look right up my alley. They seem to be a bit goat tracky, but decently to nicely paved. True?

Assuming one were a pretty aggressive rider on a KGT and did not stop and smell the roses, what would you estimate is the time to do the loop from sonora to Cherry Lake to 120 to Wards Ferry and back to sonora?

I ask since it is tough for me to get away for more than one day too often and wonder what it would take to do that loop from Sacto. And yes, it is an area that deserves at least an overnighter I know. Groveland and the Iron Door Saloon are calling!

Thanks for your pics and any info you can provide.


Rob T

2006 K1200GT Silver (the fastest color)
2000 R1100RT Gone, but not forgotten
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2009, 1:15 pm Thread Starter
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Hey Rob, I wold say probably 3 to 4 hrs.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2009, 1:29 pm
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GREAT pics and a VERY shiny bike!!!!!!!!! Nice area to ride it seems, plenty of variety, and especially liked the arty flower shots and the moccasin and waterfall pics.

Thanks for posting.
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