I met a local rider named Steve a few weeks ago on Monitor Pass
and he set up a ride to Downieville on Saturday, April 7th. I had to get to the local bike shop to get some parts, so we met there and headed off...
We headed out 395 north to Hallelujah Junction, with a blue sky and warm temperatures. It sure was a great day for a ride, or so we thought!
We stopped in Sierraville for breakfast at the Roundup Cafe, where we found a good breakfast, and the wait staff kept us entertained. The pancakes here are HUGE!
From Sierraville, we had three choices: 1) go back the way we came (not), 2) head towards Truckee, and 3) north towards Downieville. I'd heard of Downieville before, but have never been there, so off we went.
The ride through the valley was pleasant, and it was good to see how green the vegetation was, especially compared to hills of Nevada where I live. But we were here to ride twisties and get a beer in Downieville.
We soon found the curves that we were looking for, and they were excellent. Not too much traffic, and not much sand or gravel. Unfortunately the clouds started moving in, and we started picking up mist on our visors. Due to the riding effort, I didn't take any pictures until we reached the bridge in Downieville:
We parked the bikes,
And headed into St. Charles Place, a local saloon with a great atmoshphere and location next to the river.
After a refreshing beer on the empty outdoor deck, we took a short walk through town, then decided to head back, as the weather was getting worse. Sure enough, the rain starts, and we lower the pace to something more appropriate for wet conditions.
As we crested the mountain, the temps dropped, but fortunately the rain did not turn to snow. The remnants of the winter snowpack reminded us that it wasn't summer yet...
With the rain, and colder temperatures, I turned on the heat to my grips and seat. The Gerbings liner was still in the sidecase, but it wasn't cold enough to bother with it.
We stopped at a scenic vista as the sun started to heat the road, causing it to mist. The mist rising from the road reminded me of Colorado, where this is quite common.
The bikes will definitely need a wash, now.
We returned to Sierraville for lunch at the Mexican restaurant, located across the road from the Roundup Cafe. There were several other bikes already there, including a nice red 'busa and a black K1200RS.
A couple of the crusier crowd bikes were there also, and I had to give the rider of this chopper some some credit for riding it in the rain.
Leaving Sierraville, we fueled up and went west towards Truckee. The road was decent, although not nearly as fun as the Downievill road, but at least the rain had stopped.
We ended the ride heading through Truckee and to Lake Tahoe, where we rode around the north shore, then turned for Reno over Mt. Rose highway. This is another fun road, but is usually busy.
Total miles for the day was just about 300 (including the ride to Reno and back from home). A wet day riding is still better than a dry day working on the yard.